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Arrenhe tr'Khev

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About Arrenhe tr'Khev

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  1. An Unsettled Settling In Arrenhe was still rather floored by the fact that Destorie of all the people in the galaxy would be the first Romulan he’d come across. He was tamping down the initial disappointment that he hadn’t been immediately recognized, but then he was showing up in alien civilian clothing a good long time after having been on the Talon. The fact that the song had stirred N’Dak’s memory was, Arrenhe felt, a good sign. In any case, he found himself in t’Jaelik’s office a few minutes after parting with the man whom he’d wrote an entire symphonic piece on. “Can I help au?” t’Jaelik asked in Romulan after giving Arrenhe a somewhat snooty look over. “Yes,” Arrenhe replied, in Federation Standard. He had to draw the line somewhere for now. “I was told you could arrange for ‘comfortable quarters’ as well as assisting me with the refugee people I am representing as ambassador.” “And who told au this?” t’Jaelik asked, somewhat suspiciously. “I ran into Destorie a few moments ago.” Arrenhe was amused by the small jerk the functionary made at hearing her boss being referred to so casually. “He was already late on his way to a meeting so he could not do much more than direct me here.” “I see,” t’Jaelik responded, catching herself. Her peremptory tone had vanished, though. “How very unusual, but very well. Can I get au name?” “Arrenhe Khev,” he replied, once again lapsing into the prefix-less form of his name he used on Oullalis. If t’Jaelik thought it unusual, she did not show it. She spent a moment interacting with a console after waving Arrenhe into a chair. Her lips continued to purse more tightly the longer she poked at it. “I do na have au in the system,” she said, as if somehow the computer was being obstinate, that obviously any Romulan citizen in the Gamma Quadrant should be accounted for. Which was likely true unless the Empire Arrenhe had known changed considerably in his absence. “That is not surprising, I have been here a long time. Well before your office here would’ve been in operation,” Arrenhe told her. “Hrmph. I will have to send for au’s information in the next communication dump to the Alpha Quadrant,” t’Jaelik said. “In the meanwhile, I can arrange for au’s quarters.” “Thank you, but my first concern is the welfare of the Oullalians,” Arrenhe interjected. “Na the Empire?” t’Jaelik asked, seemingly knee-jerk. “Destorie was the first Romulan I’ve seen in a very long time,” Arrenhe said, amused again by t’Jaelik’s small jerk at the casual use of the boss’ name. “And as I’ve lived with the Oullalians for years and their planet and nearly 1 billion of their people were just destroyed, I believe they are in far greater need of assistance at this time than the Empire.” If a Romulan were ever to utter the phrase “well, I never!” t’Jaelik certainly would have then. Before she could utter the Romulan equivalent or glare at him, he continued. “I will also need to speak with the Federation, as a good number of ships carrying these people are heading directly for the wormhole rather than here.” “I see,” t’Jaelik responded after a moment, having composed herself again. “I will put in a request for you, but they are very busy.” “I rather figured that after sitting in my ship for five hours before I could be transported to the station,” Arrenhe said drily. “Which is why I insisted on discussing this issue before someone bothered making my bed.” Arrenhe continued to hold a tight rein on the conversation with t’Jaelik for a while until he was satisfied that the Oullalians that were arriving at Camelot would be seen to. He also forced her to sit and wait as he spoke to the Federation official that had called down. Eventually he was satisfied. “All right. Now you may see to my quarters,” Arrenhe said. “As you wish,” t’Jaelik responded, and then her lips pressed together so tightly they nearly disappeared. After a few moments she’d made the arrangements and called in a young security officer to escort him. Arrenhe imagined she was glad to see the back of him. He walked silently with the young officer, deep in thought. When they arrived, he quietly thanked him and entered. The quarters were appointed in typical Romulan style, even if the architecture was distinctly Federation. Based on the quality of the appointments he figured that, even as much as he’d annoyed t’Jaelik, the woman hadn’t been willing to risk a dressing down from N’Dak by stuffing him into a closet. Arrenhe settled into a chair. He had a bit of a problem. He’d not planned on falling right back into the Romulan fold on arriving at Camelot. He’d known from what little information reached Oullalis that there was a Romulan presence here, but he’d planned on dealing directly with the Federation when he arrived. Bumping into Destorie had changed that plan considerably. That left him with the quandary of what to tell the high-ranked officer when they did have their chat. He certainly wasn’t going to admit to being a deserter to t’Jaelik, but it certainly wouldn’t take them long to get the information back on him from the homeworld. Based on what Destorie said about him “going missing” in the report there was certainly an opportunity to avoid the truth. He had been a pilot, he could easily say he was forced at disruptor-point to fly off with a RAC by someone else and was eventually abandoned deep within the Gamma Quadrant. Arrenhe knew he wasn’t the greatest liar though; another reason he had been unsuited for Galae in the end. Nor, with his intense and varied feelings for Destorie, who was a skilled interrogator even without the more dastardly tools of the trade, did he think he could dissemble for very long. Lying by omission was another possibility, but it certainly wouldn’t cover up the eventual question that would come along. Why hadn’t he tried to return long before? This older, and seemingly tamer Destorie was somewhat of an enigma for Arrenhe. He’d seemed almost Vulcan at times with his calm eyebrow raising and measured tone. There had been whispers of a reunification movement on Romulus the last time he’d been there, but sure the Empire would stamp that out quickly enough, and he couldn’t imagine the ambitious, power-ladder climbing N’Dak being part of it. Was it that he’d achieved some measure of his ambitions and had released the clawed predator inside him? Had something else happened? Arrenhe sighed. The specifics didn’t matter, as his own history was more pressing right now. It seemed only the truth would do. How would this older, more measured Destorie react to it? Would he be allowed at least to finish his temporary position as Oullalian ambassador and get them settled? Would he be clapped in irons and taken away instead? With a few less than polite phrases directed at the Elements, he ordered up a drink from the room’s replicator and downed it in one go before trying to reach out to the Oullalians and let them know what arrangements had been made thus far.
  2. (( For those not familiar with the Talon, Arrenhe tr'Khev was a junior security officer - his story continues, and intersects with ours, here )) He’d lost his mind. He kept telling himself that as the indicator of the D’Deridex class Talon dwindled to a dot on the scout ship’s tactical monitor. He’d abandoned his post, in the middle of a mutiny, in the Gamma Quadrant, with nothing more than the uniform on his back (and technically not even all of that), his custom disruptor, and the relatively small amount of latinum in the small vessel’s hold. There’s spur of the moment and there’s “the Devil made me do it.” From what he knew of that Terran myth he doubted the red fellow would even have gone that far. It just ended being too much for him in the end, and gone was where he had to go, the specifics could wait. After the incident that had mangled his shoulder, as well as his chances of being an Empire, even quadrant renowned master of the hrini, he’d worked long and hard to get over the loss of his musical career. Arrenhe thought he’d accomplished it, and found peace with himself and his career in the fleet. The constant danger, not just of their missions but serving on the ship itself with its constant backstabbing and political intrigue, finally caught up with him. All brought to you by a group of greedy idiots that wanted their share of latinum and to get home with it, without waiting to find out if the command staff were going to do something contrary to that. As he traveled away at warp 1, cloaked, on the somewhat haggard Thrai class scout ship, he had to decide what he was going to do. The Talon was chugging along on a direct course for the wormhole terminus that would take them back to the Alpha Quadrant. Thanks to the giant hole in the big ship and everything that had come about in the process of making it, she was not going to get there any time fast, and he could out-strip it even in the little scout ship. He wondered however if going home was a good idea at all though. It certainly wouldn’t do his family any favors. He’d joined Galae in the first place to quell the nasty insinuations that the entire family was cowardly, with Fleet service being rather absent in a few generations. To leave at all, let alone under these circumstances, would only nail that point home. Besides the number of military charges he’d likely face if he slunk home, leaving the Talon to gimp its way back, he wasn’t even sure that he wanted to return to Romulus at all, as the political situation was, if anything, worse on the home planet than on the ship. The latinum opened up some opportunities for him, he thought. Not to mention the value of the scout ship itself, which to a number of civilizations in this quadrant would be quite an upgrade, and to others a motherlode. He wasn’t opposed to being a bit mercenary in this situation. He may not be able to perform music anymore but he could still write it in his sleep, which is generally where he’d confined it since the loss of mobility and control in his arm. While he’d not been in the driver’s seat of the Talon for some time, he kept himself well versed on what they were doing when he could. His security clearance helped with that, though it never paid to be too nosy on a ship like the Talon. Thankfully it was common practice to automatically update the star charts in the scout ships, minus whatever classified information t’Rexan lasered out with her custom eye. He spent some time perusing the maps and information, which helped to keep that well of panic buried. Enough distance had been traveled that he was out of the range of the Talon’s sensors, so he shut off the scout ship’s cloak to buy him more time on the warp engines. Having sped up to warp 1.2 after making his decision, he’d have about two hours energy in reserve should he need to make any course corrections. He was traveling on the outskirts of Dominion territory, and while technically the Empire was at peace with them, neither the Empire or the Dominion bothered much for technicalities when it came to each other. His destination was a well traveled trading outpost a few light years away from the wormhole terminus, operated by a native species that had managed to regain their independence from the Dominion after the war. The reason he chose it was because it was not frequented, or more accurately never visited, by Romulans; it was also seldom visited by the Federation, who had their Camelot station about an equal distance away from the wormhole terminus in the other direction. The extra bonus is that it was crawling with Ferengi, and if he couldn’t find a way to make a Ferengi sing a good deal with pure raw latinum and the ship that was holding it, he didn’t know what could. In that vein, his intentions over the short run were to hock his merchandise for less traceable options, while he browsed the list of potential permanent destinations in somewhat more safety than traversing the Gamma Quadrant in a stolen Romulan Fleet vessel. Once that was done he could invest himself in a small piece of real estate somewhere that had good taste in music. *** He’d managed to not get taken by the Ferengi, so that was good. He had a nice civilian craft with better range than the old Thrai, exchanged the raw latinum for gold-pressed-latinum (and at a killer rate too), a start on a new wardrobe, a more exhaustive map of the area, and most importantly a collection of chips containing a variety of music from the various species scattered throughout the open areas of the Gamma Quadrant. He was already on his way away from the trading post, it wouldn’t pay to stay, especially if the Ferengi decided to get more aggressive in finding out where he found all that raw latinum. With information in his pocket quite literally, he was heading for an area that a grizzled old grain trader had told him was too high-brow for his taste. It wasn’t technically a Dominion world, though it was a trading partner and likely avoided being annexed because of their good sense to engage in friendly trade and the good luck of being in an area of no strategic importance. He was listening to one of the music chips from this planet; the lilting melodies and sweet harmonies were already calling to him. There, surely, he could find a home. Even if he had to live off his savings for a while and learn the language, culture and history before being able to get a toe in the musical scene. Already the “Elements, what have I done?” panic of the first hour after leaving the Talon was falling behind him as he now had a purpose again, even if it was to rediscover himself. *** His arrival on Oulallis wouldn’t be hailed as a great moment by anyone but himself, but Arrenhe was happier than the proverbial clam. The people there didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for strangers, but they weren’t xenophobic by nature either he’d discovered. As emotionally deep as their music was they were also a practical people, and if you had something useful they weren’t opposed to you wanting to move in. The music collection he had painstakingly assembled during his time at the trading post, not to mention what was strangely enough stored in the old Thrai before he sold it (had to be S’Bien), turned out to be a more immediately valuable commodity than his latinum. There were compositions in there from species they’d never heard of, and it turns out he couldn’t have picked a better planet for music. The Oulallians devoured it in a way that would seem unsophisticated to the upper class of his home planet, with no pretenses over genre or topic. He was interrogated over what he knew of this music (though as a Romulan, he quite preferred their very friendly, if insistent, method of interrogation), and he shared everything he knew, as well as gave them the location of Camelot so their traders could go there and get the Federation’s vast music library for no more than their species profile and location. When they found out he was a composer himself, and a tragically mangled former musician, he was brought into their most accomplished school of music to study and to share. He was given very comfortable accommodations nearby, a permanent berth for his personal space yacht, and he’d yet to so much as wave a slip of latinum around. *** Time began slipping by quickly; and though it had been the delivery vehicle of his happiness, his time on the Talon now seemed like dreams. One a nightmare and one a fantasy that had inspired his greatest compositions to date, played in the Oulallian capital city by the most accomplished musicians on the planet. The first, simply titled “The Eye” was a tormented work, with hard slashes of sound and was a powerful commentary on t’Rexan and the chaos that followed her and the Talon. Its reception brought him into the light of the Oulallian orchestral music scene, with rave reviews how it terrified them senseless. The second, “Rekkhai,” was a moody piece that brought together Arrenhe’s feelings on Destorie N’Dak, though he never shared that much detail with the audience. It wavered from heavily maligning, cautiously accepting, and sympathetic, all with distinctively sexual overtones. It was shortly thereafter, with his flattered acceptance, used as a soundtrack for a holoplay. Thankfully, he thought, with an entirely different storyline than the truth. Destorie was, Arrenhe had come to understand, the only regret he had involving the Talon; he felt he should not have left without him, for both their sakes. He could not complain, however. His most boneheaded moment had turned into his salvation; not just from the physical dangers but the psychological ones. Here was acceptance without hateful gossip and the snooty watchdogging of the elite. He had a life better than he could have dreamed possible on Romulus, even if he had never joined the Fleet. *** “Planet-killers. Elements!” Arrenhe muttered to himself as he scrolled through the latest news and scouting reports coming from the nearby sectors. Oullalis managed to stay out of the initial bickering, but now that it was coming to all out war they were not so lucky. They’d been freely trading with new Hundred allies, and the Dominion were nod amused. Now, as entire planets were being blasted to rubble, they were in the path of the rampaging bull as the Hundred were in no position to protect them. He’d never divulged to any of his friends, or fans for that matter, the details of his history. The most that he’d ever commit is that he served on a great ship of the Alpha Quadrant. It was enough however for the government to consult him at the start of the conflict, and again now. Having been demilitarized for centuries, this was a bit beyond them. The fact that Dominion were blasting to bits any potential allies of their enemy was bad; worse that they weren’t even bothering with finding out if the potential was rumor or real, or if it was as simple as trade to complex as military assitance. Based on the intel, he didn’t think they had more than a month before one of the planet-killers could be on their doorstep. He told them this. “Sir Khev,” (he had dropped the traditional prefix to his family name after arriving at Oullalis) began the Prime Minister. “What do you propose we do?” “Continue to call your Hundred contact, first of all. No one else can come to our rescue, and perhaps the tactical situation will change.” Arrenhe nodded at the look of skepticism on the various ministers faces. “I don’t believe it will do any good either, but then what will it hurt?” “That can’t be all,” the Prime Minister insisted. “No…” Arrenhe said, the sadness in his voice evident. “The only thing that can be done is beginning an immediate evacuation. The Federation is receiving, with little choice, refugees from this mess.” “Evacuate over 900 million people in a month? We would have to have a fleet the size of the Dominion to accomplish that, and if we had that we wouldn’t be worrying about evacuating!” Protested one of the more junior ministers. “You can,” Arrenhe resumed with a ghostly return of the authority and dignity of his Romulan past, “allow all of your culture to die, or choose to save what of it you can. There is no ‘good’ answer in this, I’m afraid.” The Prime Minister thanked him for his advice and called the rest of the ministers to join the remainder of their comrades for an emergency session in the chambers beyond. Arrenhe was in no mood to listen to politicians, even with most of them honest and well-meaning on this planet, bicker over such a tremendous issue. “You know where to find me when they come to some conclusion,” he told the PM’s aide as he left. A few minutes later after a brisk walk through the city streets, he arrived at his favorite location on Oullalis. A giant park at the edge of the Administrative District, it stretched for kilometers in both directions and was nearly square so that from space it was a large bluish-green stamp that separated the rigidly ordered center of government from the rest of the urban area to the south. He often came here and enjoyed the flora and fauna when he was in an introspective mood or mentally worrying at a piece of music that wouldn’t express itself properly. He found one of “his” benches and sat himself upon it, trying unsuccessfully not to dwell on the probable horror facing these people who had accepted him without any greater reference than his ability to call forth notes from his brain in a pleasing order. He knew though that there was only one conclusion the ministers could come to, and that a planet-wide address would be hastily drafted encouraging those with the means to leave to do so, and to take as many with them as possible. That every Oullalian trade ship would drop its wares and take on people, and any visiting trade ship would be begged to follow suit. His own yacht, rigorously maintained but only flown once since his arrival, would certainly take on what would prove to be too few. In the coming month that they had, maybe they could save half a million lives and some small fragments of the civilization that had thrived on this planet longer than the Romulan Empire had existed, or even before the first angry Vulcan left to form it. As much as some small part of himself wanted to rail against the Elements for puncturing the dream existence he had found, the devastating reality of the murder of nearly a billion lives that he had come to cherish personally far outweighed it, and he was drowned in sorrow on that bench for hours uncounted, well past the setting of the suns. He was finally roused by the Prime Minister’s spouse who had personally come to inform him. “They will make the announcement within the hour. We will evacuate who we can.” *** The news grew worse instead of better, and it was all but assured that Oullalis would be nothing but smoking ruins within a week. The Dominion had officially abandoned them, with some Vorta functionary giving the Prime Minister what amounted to an apology in Dominion parlance while their machines of destruction bore down on them, striking at every inhabited planet on the way. Arrenhe had arranged for some of the younger prodigies from the planet to be taken on his little ship. As he attempted to arrange for a pilot, the PM made a personal visit to the same quarters Arrenhe had occupied since his acceptance here. The conversation came as a surprise to him, as he had made it known to the government leader that he would not leave, and would suffer the fate of the people. His music could leave (and already had) in the databanks of the evacuating ships. “Our people are almost unknown to this Federation, and them to us. You came to us, a bridge built of music, bringing songs containing the hopes, dreams, highs and lows of entire worlds. Now you must be our bridge back to them, to show them that our flame is not entirely extinguished, and how brightly we once shone and can shine again” the Prime Minister said, his talents for oratory spurred to the fullest. “If you would do anything for our people, do this.” Arrenhe could not resist the emotion infused with that request, or Elements take it, the logic of it. The Universe was not going to let him take the easy way. Thus he found himself in the control center of his little ship with the clock winding down, and the last and fastest of the available ships slated to head out within the hour, carrying the weight of a civilization on their thin hulls. On top of all that, if things could get any worse, to the children he was to ferry away he was a celebrity. He was never comfortable around the young as it was; simultaneously nervous, sad, scared and adoring children were anathema. Thankfully one of them, Lusissa, was older and had taken some of the responsibility for tending them on her own shoulders. At least she could keep them busy. Having been so long since he’d flown, he went through his pre-flight checklist carefully and reminded himself of where everything was before he even dared turn on the main power. Again that backbone that was wont to come and go decided to snap in and as he waited for clearance to take off, a confidence came over him. Eventually the clearance came and he lifted the small ship off the ground, the last to leave. Never one with the kinds of words the like the Prime Minister could pull out, Arrenhe saluted his adopted home the only way he could. As the ship climbed to orbit and he silently wept with the planet falling behind him, he transmitted his last and yet unheard Oullalian composition down to the people that he had to leave behind. It was simply titled “Unbroken.” *** The fast little personal yacht sped past the slower transit and freight vessels that had left days and even weeks before on a course for Camelot. He’d never bothered to name it, as it had done its job in bringing him to a new home. Now that again he was on the move, homeless, this time as the living bridge from one civilization to a host of others, he decided that it needed one. It didn’t take much thought for him to find one, and the ship’s transponder was emitting its Oullalian registry and the name “Memory of Oullalis.” Arrenhe’s young passengers were finally starting to settle in, though no week in flight could erase the enormity of leaving one’s loved ones behind on a planet that was doomed to destruction. He did what he could to ease them, and often played the little Oullalian instrument that was similar in design and range to his beloved hrini. His right arm, still but a shadow of its younger self, struggled mightily with the task and the young musical prodigy of the group could play circles around him. Apparently sometimes it is the thought that counts though, as it soothed them and himself from the sorrows. He and Lusissa took it in turns trying to indulge them in their own abilities as the light-years passed. With varying results, but the good-humor of Arrenhe trying to pull of the simplest of gymnastic moves, or Lusissa, the artist, in trying to play the stringed thavis kept the youngest in fits of giggles more often than not. Before long the limited sensors of the Memory of Oullalis could pull out the details of the Avalon system and its station. Arrenhe goggled at the sheer number of ships in the system; he was also dismayed at the number of Dominon warships outside of it. Though after careful inspection of the sensor data the warships made no aggressive moves and allowed the refugees to come and go freely. He also noted the contingent of Romulan ships, which thankfully didn’t include the Talon. He didn’t think he could face that monster with everything else going on. Camelot was singing a rather strident tune over the communications frequencies as it tried to control the chaos. All Arrenhe could do was follow the instructions, which put them on a slow solar orbit behind a trail of other ships and had him forwarding a message through a comm buoy as to their needs. He listed the Memory of Oullalis as a diplomatic ship, as he had been designated officially as an ambassador of the planet before he left. While they waited in line, Arrenhe filtered through the various communications, half wishing for S’Bien who was much better at it even half asleep, but eventually he found what he’d been expecting, yet dreading. Official word that Oullalis had been destroyed. He sighed deeply, but the news was only a cap of a bottle that had popped off many days ago. The reality had sunk in well before, and the initial grief had subsided to a cold numbness. It took three days before the Memory of Oullalis was cleared for approach to Camelot. By this point other vessels from the evacuation had arrived and been able to transfer refugees off to other ships better suited to carry them, and his prodigy shipmates had also been transferred, rather tearfully. Alone he brought his little ship, still full of all the ill begotten latinum he had never needed to spend, into orbit around Camelot. Docking space was limited, so he was transported aboard after another wait of five hours. Some barely-pipped Starfleet officer escorted him from the transporter room and out into a busy corridor. Ten paces down he stopped in his tracks, staring. The Elements really do have an interesting sense of humor. “Destorie?”
  3. Finding t'Ditsy A t'Ditsy/tr'Khev Production Arrenhe had been searching this section of ship for a while, mostly residential quarters for the crew. He'd gone through a number already that had been burned, both quarters and crew, though he was finally moving to a section that seemed more knocked around than anything else. He stopped outside a door and the number immediately jumped out at him: t'Ditsy's quarters. After scanning inside with his multicorder, he immediately saw one life sign and breathed a sigh of relief. Before moving on he wanted to make sure she wasn't stuck inside or perhaps unconscious, because the readings didn't seem quite normal, though with only very limited medical training he couldn't decipher them with any degree of accuracy. Pressing the button beside the door, he chimed in. The doors swished open and t'Ditsy stood just beyond them as though she had been waiting for someone to come along. She tilted her head in speculation and peered oddly at tr'Khev. A nasty gash ran along her hairline and half of her face and a good portion of her uniform tunic was stained with blood. "Did you ring those chimes? I mean, I assume au did as you are standing there. What do au want?" "Of course I did," he said, thinking that now was na the time for her to be addle-brained, but with her au took what au could get. "I've been searching through this section, wanted to make sure au were okay." After looking her over, he shook his head. "Elements, au are a mess, though. How do au feel?" "Perfectly fine, though I appear to be bleeding." She touched her fingers to her face and stared curiously as they came away brilliant green. "Why am I bleeding. What has happened?" She fixed her attention on him again. "This room is horribly disturbed." "The bomb went off, apparently. Do na know why they detonated it so early," he commented, na knowing that it was the Erein who set it off unintentionally rather than the oira crew whom he figured had been in a hurry. "Anyway, looks like au must've been knocked around a bit when it happened. Were au sleeping?" "I do na know," she said, seeming far more serious than normal. She continued to look at him oddly. "Who are au, exactly? Au look familiar, but I can na place why. Do we know each other?" "J'stal," Arrenhe said with a sigh. "Now is na a good time for jokes, we're in an emergency situation here." Her brow furrowed. "J'stal. That sounds familiar." She turned and picked her way through the room, moving overturned furniture and pillows around in search of something. "I suppose these are my quarters." She picked up a garish pink pillow with ruffles and wrinkled her nose. "Though it seems I have horrible taste in furnishings." "Elements!" Arrenhe exclaimed, knowing now that something was definitely wrong with the woman, as she'd never insult her own style even in a joke. "Ie, these are aur quarters," he said. "J'stal should sound familiar because that is aur name... J'stal t'Ditsy." He watched her, hoping for a sudden revelation and then a following outburst at the state of her things. "That is unfortunate." She tossed aside several more pillows before finding what she sought. She lifted it in her hand and held it out to him for his inspection. A tiny hologram appeared and flickered as if damaged. "I do na know why I knew this was here, but I did. Is this someone that also lives here? My mate?" The hologram shifted at length, showing different poses of Koga... mostly shirtless. "I found a dozen of these in here while I was looking for clues. All of this man." Arrenhe blinked at the hologram, and even despite the unusual and disturbing circumstances could na help but let out an amused grunt. "Na, he is... someio au..." He paused, trying to think of how to word it delicately. "Someio au admire a great deal." He moved over and gently laid a hand on her arm. "Come, I should take au to the maenak bay, they must look at au," he said, hoping that in doing so they didn't gawk too much... or worse refuse to treat her because they like this io better. She tossed the holo over her shoulder and shrugged out of his grip, moving to another area of the room where a wall panel hung askew. She pushed it aside and waved a hand at the jumbled collection behind it. "Someone I admire? That's it? There is a shrine in here! What sort of desperate female am I?" "Oh my," Arrenhe exclaimed at the sight of it. While he would be the first to agree that the fighting champ qualified as a prime specimen and that he knew she liked Koga, the shrine went well beyond anything remotely in his comprehension. "Well, I guess it was a bit more than admiration, wasn't it?" He asked rhetorically. "It's a little... erm... excessive, perhaps." "I do na know what to think about it." She looked from the shrine, seeking his gaze. "Are we friends, au and I?" "I'd like to think so," Arrenhe said. "Au hadn't shared... quite this much of auself with me before though," he admitted candidly, unable to tear his eyes off the shrine. He could na help but wonder what he would've thought had the shrine been of him. "I do na think I have anything to share. I have searched this room from one end to the other and have found nothing of myself... only others. Males. Though none quite so extensive as this." She waved a hand in disgust. "Other than clothes, the only thing of interest I found was a recording." She went in search of it and found it half hidden by a stack of cushions. When she activated it, a haunting tune filled the room. "It is very pretty, but also very sad." Frowning over her disquiet about the signs of her own life, he turned with the intention to speak but halted when she found the recording. After it was activated he could na help but recognize it, as it was io of his own. "That was from me," he said quietly. "I gave au that a while ago, au liked it when I played it for au, so I recorded it. Au said it was the first time au cried but enjoyed it." He finally looked into her eyes. "It was the last io I played before our leave on ch'Rihan, and the accident." "Hann'yyo." She sighed with relief and deactivated the recording, clutching it to her chest. "I believe I would like medical attention now." If only to escape her apparent lack of self in the room. She made it as far as the door before the room started to spin. Right beside her, he slipped his arm around her at the first sign of a bobble. "Careful now, I've got au," he said gently. "Stay with me, we'll have au to the maenak bay in na time." Her head turned slightly as she peered up at him as they moved into the corridor. "Au never told me your name." "Arrenhe," he responded with a quick look and smile at her. "Arrenhe tr'Khev. Under the circumstances I can imagine if au do na think it's a pleasure to meet me," he said as he steered her over and around debris in the corridor, supporting most of her weight through the corridors. "On the contrary," she said a bit shakily. She pressed one hand to her forehead as the cut began to bleed sluggishly. "If au had not come when au did, I do na know what I might have done. Hann'yyo, Arrenhe. Au are... a good friend. I think." "So are au, J'stal... whatever au may have seen in that room, there is that as well," he replied as he approached the entrance to the maenak bay.
  4. The possibility of being killed in the line of duty was not a new idea to Arrenhe, and he'd come to terms with that possibility quickly, ever since the first time he stood on a landmine and had to trust to N'Dak to keep him alive. An assassination attempt was something quite different however. Before joining Galae, as the youngest son of a junior senator, a kidnapping for some sort of ransom had been more likely than being killed. The fact that this assassination attempt had not been politically motivated, or even personal, was befuddling. He'd been hopping mad right after taking the dagger in the leg, though due to the dagger he couldn't do much hopping. Now he was just highly motivated to know why someone had tried to kill him. Before starting the interrogation Arrenhe performed the usual medical scan, and she turned out to be pregnant. Only about a month along, nonetheless it forced a change in strategy for the diminutive dheno. As little as he was usually involved in the rougher interrogations, as they weren't at all to his style or way of thinking usually, he generally was brought in as the "good cop" when that strategy was determined to be useful. Due to the woman's pregnancy he couldn't risk some of the more dangerous methods this time, as there was precedent in the past to allow the child to be born before any serious punishment was carried out on the mother. Unwilling, even in this much more personal case, to enact justice in the course of investigation he came up with another way. Therefore he brought in t'Eriel, who fit the requirements for his strategy and was one he could trust not to lose her temper or her patience. For almost two hours t'Eriel sat alone amongst the dhenos in the interrogation chamber, merely staring silently at t'Malna. Whatever was in the female dheno's mind during this time Arrenhe didn't know, but the look in her eyes unsettled even him, and eventually the suspect couldn't take it anymore either and was willing to start talking a little just to get t'Eriel out of the room. After she began to cooperate, Arrenhe entered into the interrogation, which combined with the woman's now more talkative attitude and rage toward the Arrain, got the rest of it out most suitably. Whatever pain the woman was experiencing emotionally Arrenhe used in place of inflicted physical pain, which he believed to be an underutilized tactic. The base motivation for all of it apparently was the so called "murder" of the three engineer thieves. While the directive had been N'Dak's, the order and the manner of the after-death display had been Arrenhe's. It obviously wasn't to the woman's liking, especially since she'd been secretly bonded to the second of the three engineers, tr'Uhlad. She professed to know nothing about tr'Uhlad's smuggling attempt until after it was over, and judging by her anger over it Arrenhe had no reason to doubt it, especially as forthcoming as she was about the rest. She eventually opined that tr'Uhlad had chosen to go for some extra latinum so that, once they returned home, they afford to be together after his family cut ties, as they didn't approve of her. Arrenhe could scarcely imagine why. She had been the ones to start the juggling "entertainment" and had used it as a cover to chuck the daggers at him. As rude of a server as she had been, that had been due to her self-proclaimed mission and hatred of Arrenhe. She was a server by trade, and eventually Arrenhe remembered her from other festivities the Talon arranged in the past. Thankfully she was used to laying out butter knives instead of throwing them so her aim had been pretty dreadful. She had also poisoned some of the food and wine, responsible for the sickness of a dozen crewmembers. None of them had perished, as it was done only to weaken Arrenhe enough to make him an easy kill later. She professed no desire to hurt anyone else, and seemed truely upset to learn that many of the crew had become ill by the refreshments and had only put t'Losak out of commission to get to Arrenhe. The low dose of paralytic had done that quite effectively, and his trusted dheno was still in the maenak bay trying to get everything moving again. So Arrenhe had finally been able to use his personalized weapon in something other than the firing range, and it had worked well. Considering it was Arrenhe's fighting speciality, being no good in close combat or much better at throwing weapons than the woman, his aim had been true. His desire to have a non-lethal option had turned out as he had hoped, as had he shot her thus with a disruptor there would have been no interrogation and no closure, only a body disposal. Arrenhe, as weary and befuddled by the whole situation as he was, remained quiet and professional through the interrogation. The "soft" interrogation approach apparently was quite a change-up from what t'Malna had expected, as no one had so much as pinched her through the proceedings. Before Arrenhe could leave she had even asked him why he wasn't torturing her. Since he had the information he needed, he told her the truth. "Before it is decided whether your unborn shall share your punishment, I would not risk it. I am surprised that you would." She apparently had no answer to that, and Arrenhe left the interrogation room and ordered her taken, under guard, to the maenak bay to have the child's paternity confirmed through scans. As he worked up the report, he waited for those results to include in it. His people had already matched the DNA on the handle of the daggers to the woman, and confirmed the missing medicine and other ingredients from the maenak tent below. After sobering a few of the partygoers they also managed to get two eyewitnesses that saw her with the daggers, though none actually saw her throw them. Between the confession and the other hard evidence the witnesses weren't needed, but only added weight to the case. Finally word came through from one of the dhenos sent along with t'Malna to the maenak bay. Indeed the child was fathred by tr'Uhlad. He included that data into the report, proof-read it, and then sent it off to t'Aejhae, N'Dak and t'Rexan. His authority was only to investigate, whatever form justice would take from there was not his call. Nor did he want that call. He'd faithfully executed the orders of his superiors in having the thieves executed, and used his knowledge to ensure the display thereafter was as effective a deterrent as possible. Had they been closer to home it may have been possible to use other methods, but that was how it was here. He ordered t'Malna be taken into secure holding in the brig for the interim before he finally closed out his console and rose from his desk in the dheno office. It had been a long day, a longer night, and he was exhausted, heading to his quarters to get at least eight hours of sleep. After arriving inside his quarters he put the room on do not disturb mode. Should anyone be foolish enough to try to wake him, they would have to use a high level override to get any comms through, otherwise they'd have to break in and shake him awake.
  5. Firt dheno gets left out of the mission briefing last week now we get left out a log. We're helping too! :: assumes this must be all t'Aejhae's fault for putting the department's attention elsewhere :: :D Nice Log!
  6. I think that pretty much answers that question, both GMs gone, but I will be able to be there.
  7. Doesn't really matter to me one way or the other. With Starfleet ships it would be crazy to be something other than U.S.S., but I don't really remember any mention of a header before a ship name in any of the TV shows about Romulan ships. Not to mention whether it's RSE or RES it's still the English version, I imagine the Rihannsu would be something different anyway.
  8. With the leeches gone and his good deed done for the day, it was time to finally do what he'd been wanting to do for ages. He'd compiled all the data he could get his hands on for months, tapping into his family resources for the first time for something na related to music, and saved up on his ship resource credits so he'd have enough to replicate or produce what he'd need. The away team mission to the planet of Bronze Age people had finally tipped the scales into pushing him to proceed with his idea rather than constantly chewing on it. He'd thought about it ever since he'd joined Galae, and now seemed the apropos time to get it done so he was ready for future incidents. The incident with the leeches had proved that being flexible had its advantages, too. He'd reserved the HIC during his mandated rest period, and now that he was off duty again he'd put the time in to get it done. By the time his next duty shift rolled around, he'd be prepared. Stepping into the HIC, he ordered up a chair and a worktable, and then took a seat. "Etrehh, begin manufacturing mode, access account tr'Khev 1 for resource credit balance." When the etrehh complied, he nodded. "Pull up file tr'Khev Flexibility 001, access hand scans. Compute best grip and handle design for handheld weapon using data." After the computer finished that task, he ordered it to provide him with a holographic simulation of the results and tried it out. "Nice feel," he commented, adjusting his grip and trying it with both hands. "Good, etrehh save grip and handle to new file, tr'Khev Flexibility Schematic." He canceled the holographic handle and checked his ISD for the next step. "Etrehh, request io: access section two of file tr'Khev Flexibility 001, compute schematic design for all listed requirements. Request re: pull up all data from ship databanks regarding handheld disruptor design, access code tr'Khev h'Rona re. After request io is complete, cross-reference results to request re and correlate. Compute schematic design for best integration." As the etrehh worked on the requests, he called up a drink and some dinner, with some pleasant background music. By the time he tucked into dessert, the etrehh had finished its tasks. He ordered the schematic display on screen. After swallowing a mouthful of pudding, he frowned. "Etrehh, is it possible to alter schematic to place component 33 in line with component 54?" "Affirmative," the etrehh replied. "Do it," Arrenhe ordered, then finished his pudding. After he ordered the dinnerware recycled, he studied the modified schematic. "Mnekha. Etrehh, compute cover, create schematic for finished handheld weapon design." The etrehh did so, and the diminuitive Rihan studied the result. "Na exactly going to blend in with a standard unit, is it? Oh well. Etrehh, create holographic simulation of current schematic." The weapon appeared onto the worktable before him, and he picked it up and tested the feel. "A bit heavier, but that's to be expected. Weight balance is a little off... need to add a bit to the back." He set it back onto the table. "Etrehh, update schematic and simulation, move center of gravity back by 12 millimeters." A few seconds later, the etrehh confirmed the request, and Arrenhe once again hefted the unit. "Much better." He once again altered his grip, tested, using both hands. "This might actually do." He stood, then ordered the chair and worktable out of the simulation. "Computer, update and save schematic to file. Create standard firing target range, activate simulated weapon to exected results, safeties on." A group of stationary and moving targets shimmered to life before him, and the unit's indicator lights switched on in his hands. He took aim at the nearest stationary target on disruptor setting, and fired. The shot hit the target, though slightly off from where he aimed. The aiming reticule was slightly different than what he was used to, so he reset the target and adjusted his aim and tried again. Satisfied, he worked through all of the targets. "Mnekha. Etrehh, reset all targets." It did so, and then Arrenhe switched the weapon mode with a flick of his thumb. He aimed and fired, and the result was exactly what he hoped for. He ran through the targets once more, his smile growing as he worked through them. By the time he finished, he was grinning. "Etrehh, replace range with soft targets... make them Klling'hann." They appeared, milling about with their silly swords ands knives. He altered the setting once again on his weapon, then rather gleefully fired at them all. "Excellent! Etrehh, delete targets. Run final schematic through simulation routines Galae QC 101. When completed, display report." "Acknowledged, expected time of completion, twelve minutes." "Understood." He paused, contemplating how to spend the time. "Etrehh, pull up instrument from tr'Khev program 221." The flute-like instrument appeared, floating in midair a half meter in front of him. It had never been his favorite, though it did create a pleasing tone. He figured, even with his now normal rexlexes and dexterity, that he could still play it well, though, as it didn't take nearly as much skill as other instruments. He experimentally blew a few notes, testing his finger response. Satisfied, he whittled away the remaining time playing various tunes, some of his own spur-of-the-moment creation and a few old folk tunes. "Simulations complete," the etrehh intoned. "Displaying report." The data appeared in front of the dheno officer, and he read through it as he continued to play. By the time he was finished reading, he hadn't missed a note. "Etrehh, save report to file, tag schematic as complete. Compute resources required to manufacture components, cross-reference to credits on balance," he ordered. "Acknowledged. Resource credits required are less than credits available by 221 units." "Better and better," Arrenhe said, happily. He had the HIC take the instrument away while he pulled out his ISD. "Copy file to my ISD." After the transfer was complete, he nodded. "Place order for components." "Acknowledged." "Time to completion of all manufacturing and replication?" "Six hours," the etrehh responded. "Notify me as soon as all components are finished and end program." He stepped out of the HIC and headed back to his quarters to get in a nap. By the time he got his components, it would take the rest of his day to put it together and test it out on the live-fire range. *** A little under twelve hours later Arrenhe arrived at the firing range, his new weapon snugly fit into the holster he'd replicated after he'd completed assembly. He ordered up a set of targets and went through the same routine he'd completed in the HIC, minus the Klling'hanns. The disruptor setting was as efficient as his old one, as the technology used was the same. He couldn't gage the efficacy of the other modes as he didn't have the data to do so, but he was well satisfied. His resource credits were nearly spent, so he'd be skimping on some things until he could rebuild his balance, but it was worth it. Especially since he was pretty worthless when it came to hand-to-hand combat, so having a flexible medium-range weapon was perfect. If ever he experience a mission like the last where a scientist forbade him to shoot and kill the natives, he had another option now. His dual disruptor/phaser had a stun setting, plus as it was a bit bigger and heavier than a standard handheld disruptor, he could always just whack someone on the head with it and deliver a satisfactory whallop with it.
  9. Most anyone who'd known Destorie Ma'Lyn Sheuij N'Dak for any period of time would have expected that by now, the infamous lazer-eyed glare of death he'd become infamous for would, by now, be burying into the soul of Arrenhe tr'Khev. Instead, the calm, placid nod from the Daise'Erei'Riov would likely have been far more frightening to the observer. "I see," he said, as he casually looked back to the file. "I suppose that is a common enough sentiment among the crew." "Ie," Arrenhe said, still horrified that he'd actually said what he said. Too late though to take it back, he could only now try to soften his line as it would be cowardly, and impossible, to step behind it. "I sincerely doubt there's anyio on this ship that likes au, and many who only respect au out of fear. There would be parties and much alcohol consumption if au ever left... io way or the other." "Perhaps," he said thoughtfully. "I have formed a strange bond with t'Ksa and t'Temmarr. I assure au neither of them fear me." "Why would they?" Arrenhe asked with a lopsided smile. "They both are frightening enough on their own accounts, and have both the position and attitude to tell au precisely where to stick it." He shrugged. "Yet they manage to have that and still have heart left enough for others and na just themselves. Something I do na see coming from au." The elder Rihan snorted. "Laehval, the Ice Queen of Talon! Don't let her hear au say that or au will end up with a malfunctioning 'fresher." "Of course," he said, unable to hold back a snort of his own. "Just because it is unwise to mention it does na make it any less true." "I believe perhaps au believe too many of the rumors au have heard about me and my past, tr'Khev," Destorie said leaning back in his chair. "Contrary to popular belief I am not completely heartless." "The rumors also indicate that au would say au were a Lloann'na Faerie King if it would advance au's position," he said earnestly, though the amusement of the statement flashed in his eyes. "Though that specific case would probably na be of any help. So why should I, or anyio else, believe anything that comes from au's mouth?" A long glance cast briefly at the younger Rihan before his eyes worked their way to the personnel file on his monitor screen. "tr'Khev has continued to show himself to be a fine, capable officer who puts himself fully into his duties. He is a credit to his lineage and to this crew. Losing him would be a great loss to the Talon D'Heno and administration. Hopefully though, his musical career will continue to bud; it is not hard to imagine him performing in the Imperial Theatre someday..." He glanced up. "Who do au think wrote that?" "Pithy, concise, and only proves excellent observation skills," Arrenhe stated. Though the pride resulting from the statement, as well as the sting that the musical career seemed nipped in the bud, was certainly felt. "It could have been written by any Galae officer with eyes and ears." True, Destorie mentally conceded and glanced back to the file. "It is with both great pride in io of my young officers, and regret that he could soon be leaving us that I send you my letter of recommendation as well as my pledge for the support and patronage an aspiring artist as he deserves and needs. Signed, Destorie N'Dak, Executive officer RES Talon." With a slight, careful smile. "Au see, shortly before au... accident, I'd heard rumors au were planning to leave the Galae to pursue au artistic career. My family has several reserved positions at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Gaen-Iaum. Io of them had come open and we were looking for possible replacements." "Hmph," the diminutive officer replied, his eyes closing. "I appreciate that, I really do. Though of course it's utterly useless now." He pinched the bridge of his nose with his good hand, as the potential and sudden demise of his career in music was na something he wanted to discuss. Or think about. "Nonetheless, it's hardly any great proof of heart, seeing as throwing patronage around is as much a political statement as anything else. I certainly do na share the same negative feeling for my own father as I seem to for au but even he has done the same. "Na to mention the fact it's hard for me to believe au had the slightest interest in my music when au could na even be bothered to listen to it during the concert before the leave." Destorie snorted outright. "On the contrary, I found it to be exceptional. I am not sure how much au know about the Academy, but just because a patron asks for ios admission does na grant it, not even from my own family. I sent them a recording from that night. They were exceptionally pleased, especially my old instructor." "Au's old instructor..." Arrenhe said, his voice surprised before trailing off. He couldn't imagine N'Dak with an instrument for more than just the token necessity of being 'cultured.' Though, he realized, even a family of the N'Dak prominence wouldn't bother with the expense and work of getting a IAA instructor just to teach the basics. Therefore, there must be some talent in that bag of political intrigue that served as N'Dak's body. The shock of that just left Arrenhe speechless, and his youthful face echoed the consternation of that. "Ie, ie... I had quite promising career apparently," Destorie said with a fond, slight nostalgia. "My mother had wanted me to pursue it instead of the military. Even my father would have prefered it I think." "Wait. Wait, wait, wait..." Arrenhe said, his voice returned and incredulous as he tried to wrap his head around that io. "That's just... I can na... The N'Dak of legend and lore just won't quite pop into my head playing an instrument or singing merrily," he stated. "So either this is another Lloann'na Faerie King moment or perhaps there is something under that facade au are hiding." "There are many things about me only a few know," Destorie said with a grin. "This is io of them." Sighing ever so slightly Destore looked back at the file then to tr'Khev. "But that was a long time ago. I gave up my singing career to pursue the military. Sadly it looks as now aurs will be too." "That may be the case," Arrenhe said. The thought of what those other things could be was so majorly disturbing, yet compelling, that it drove his face into a sight of pure confusion. He shook his head, but the look stayed put. "So au would prefer to be known as a selfish, political opportunist with na compunctions on means, na compassion for anyio? What purpose does that serve, or do au actually enjoy it?" "It protects me from emotional entreaties. It keeps the crew unified, even if it means villifying myself." "That's ridiculous," he said heatedly. "There are a thousand other paths to that end, why choose the hardest on auself, the least pleasant for everyio else? And what in the Elements name is wrong with 'emotional entreaties?' Do au want to live au's whole life alone?" He shook his head again, and, as the discussion of N'Dak's musical past had obviously opened the door to Arrenhe's belief, it was clear both in his voice and on his face that he was disturbed by the thought of N'Dak being isolated. "I've grown accustomed to it, I don't mind it." "Na," Arrenhe replied. "I think au do mind it, but au are obviously so good at the deception au have managed to convince auself, na to mention everyio else, of the lie." He sat back in his chair. "Now that I know that, I will be forced to attempt to befriend au" he said, smiling sweetly. "Of course if au have read my Academy file, au would know that's coming, as I've even seen that remark from an instructor. 'Too much compassion.' Terribly un-Galae of me, I know." Destorie nodded. "Something along those lines, Ie." Then added. "Do na get to close to me, those who do usually end up yy'a." "It is amusing," he said, his lips widening into an open smile. "My family was set on me going into politics, and only many years of my patience allowed them to accept my musical talent as a career. Yet, here I am, in Galae. Au's family went the opposite way, yet here au are, in Galae. Both on the Talon. The Elements are hard to fight, ie? Whatever they have in store for me, for au. I will ride that storm, whether I'm drowned or na." "Ie, now I believe au have duties to attend to, na?" "I do, some, ie." Arrenhe grinned. "Though of course au were supposed to consdider other additional duties for me considering my... condition. I imagine au are too mired in duty to have forgotten that." "Na, I think au have enough on au plate, when io includes the rehab t'Ksa will put au through." "Ah, compassion in there after all. Do na worry, I will na tell anyio... na that they would believe me. They'd just send me right back to t'Ksa for more medication."
  10. Time has a tendency to stand still during extreme moments, both good and bad. Of course any good chronometer, geeky scientist, or bland android will tell you it actually doesn't do that unless you're in the middle of a temporal anomaly, but even in the depths of mysterious space that's a rare occurrence. Of course the basic fact of the matter is that the mind, a tricky beast under ideal circumstances, has a way of altering perception without much direction and even less control. The fact that perception is based entirely upon one's relative viewpoint, and relativity everyone knows is the most annoying scientific concept, skews the nature of what is truth to such a point that it's completely possible to throw everything in the universe under a microscope and say it's utter crap. So, when little Arrenhe tr'Khev came out and said directly to the face of Destorie Ma'Lyn N'Dak "Honesty then... I find au temperament and methods to be despicable, but au are a N'Dak" the dheno's relative time did that pause thing for a while as his brain considered not only various ways for the elder Rihan to punish him for the comment, but ways he could do it himself. This was precisely why politics was completely out of the question for him, irregardless of his family's long-term prowess with the art. Open the door for his mouth to open and sound to come out, unless it's a musical composition it's likely to be something utterly inappropriate and unwise. Just because one says "speak au's mind" doesn't mean one has to, though of course Arrenhe doesn't seem to understand that. As time continued to hold for him, thankfully without the kitchy background music and assurances that the next available representative will be with him shortly, he pondered whether or not N'Dak would dare bludgeon him to death while this meeting was on both of their appointment calendars and it was known, in the dheno department anyway, that the little one would be there. Unlikely, probably, as N'Dak was far too smart and sneaky to take such a risk, and certainly patient enough to find a better opportunity to dump him out an airlock. Of course with his career hanging on a thread, or at least the organic nerves and muscle fiber in his right arm, it was certainly a good way, Arrenhe figured, to get that decision over with sooner rather than later. Maybe, if the unexpected goodie-two-shoes N'Dak managed to stick around long enough, he could be dumped at DS9 before they entered the wormhole instead of experiencing cold-blooded murder. He could only hope, and deal with transportation difficulties gladly instead of figuring out how to navigate any afterlife instead. So, as his brain prepared to start the play clock back up again and let N'Dak finally make his response to such a direct and politically inauspicious comment, Arrenhe wondered if he'd be sacked or if he still had an opportunity to at least take an intentional grounding.
  11. NOTE: These events take place during the leave. A Decision Part Two Arrenhe tr'Khev Eleven days after coming home, Arrenhe tr'Khev exited the theatre after a good rehearsal. His first solo concert was coming up in two weeks, and while the diminutive musician continued to feel the butterflies, the good rehearsals and preparations were boosting his confidence. His mood therefore was quite high as he took the back route toward his new favorite restaurant as he traversed the streets of the capital city. The place was small, not terribly attractive inside or out, but the kitchen held a secret weapon in the chef. He'd been introduced to it by the Maestro tr'Julan, whom Arrenhe had to admit had been accurately pigeonholed by his mother. Considering the elder musician's influence, Arrenhe had little choice but to live with the advances, which were quite subtle and almost sweet, at least. If he had to live with come-ons from a dirty old man it would be an entirely different story. Taking a right turn into an alley to cut some time off his walk to the diner, Arrenhe was lost in his own thoughts as usual. Therefore, he didn't see the three young Rihans that blocked his path until he nearly ran into one. "My apologies, excuse me," he said absentmindedly as he attempted to slip between them. He was stopped by a strong pair of arms and pushed back. He then noted two more blocking the path behind him, and he knew this was going to be a troublesome event. "Au are na going anywhere," said the largest, and most thuggish looking of the lot. Before Arrenhe could even open his mouth to try to diplomatically navigate his way through the incident the five Rihans moved in on him. Hand-to-hand had never been his specialty, and in the back of his mind as he was being summarily pounded half to death he recalled the words of one of his instructors, reminding him to stay out of arm's reach and use a disruptor. With his intentions of resigning from Galae he had na disruptor, or any other weapon for that matter, available while his Galae communicator was tucked away at home. Na that he would have had the time to use them if they were available. He offered his assailants na resistance, but it did na matter, as they were seemingly out for blood regardless of what he did. Stripped of his possessions, the final injury and insult was given as he felt the bite of a dagger into his right shoulder. The five Rihans ran off, their pockets full of his credits, his civilian communicator, and a few of the other accouterments that he'd been wearing. Arrenhe himself lay on the ground, dazed and in pain, his green blood painting an abstract vision onto the alley. After a moment his mind cleared just enough for him to realize that if he didn't go find help, he could bleed to death in the alley. He staggered to his feet and zig-zagged his way through the maze of the alley into the lot of a repair shop, where he collapsed onto his knees. Crawling his way to the door, his right arm dragging on the ground, he then collapsed onto the floor just inside the door and passed out. *** When he came to, he was quite groggy and confused. Looking around, he also noted that he was alone in a hospital room, splayed out over a hospital bed. After a moment the memory of his attack surfaced to his mind, and he shut his eyes again as if he were trying to shut out the vision of it. There was quite a bit of discomfort all over his body, and his right arm was tingling quite uncomfortably. He groped around a moment until he found the call button and then weakly pressed it. After a moment a Maenak entered, looking over an ISD. The lanky medic looked over Arrenhe for quite a few seconds before he spoke. "Ah, au are awake, mnekha," the Maenak said. "How are au feeling?" "Agh," was the best Arrenhe could manage in reply. "Ie, quite expected. Let me double-check au's vitals before I give au any anesthetics." The Maenak looked over the readings on the screen next to the bed, a low trailing hum coming from his lips as he perused the data. "Au look quite stable, so I can give au something," he said before he injected something into Arrenhe's left arm. After the drugs had a moment to enter the body and circulate, he perused the bio-data again and nodded. "Mnekha." Whatever the Maenak had given him it did the job, though the tingling sensation in his arm did na dissipate. He tried to wiggle his fingers, but the tingling changed into a burning and he winced. The Maenak had caught the maneuver as he'd turned back and clucked down at him. "Na recommended, lhhai. Au's arm is still recovering from the surgery. Now, we did na find any ID information on au when au were brought in, and we could na find au in the local database. Could au tell me au's name?" "Huh," Arrenhe responded. Na better way to prove that he did na fit the part of dheno, as they'd apparently na even bothered to check the Galae database. "Arrenhe irKai tr'Khev, Galae ID 4432-DF-33271-ZK." "All right," the Maenak responded, his voice clearly dripping with disbelief. Nonetheless he entered the information onto his ISD and pulled requested the data. His eyebrows shot up as indeed Arrenhe's file came up. "Ie, here au are..." "For now," thought Arrenhe, though he said nothing as he allowed his head to fall back into the pillow. "All right, the authorities will na doubt be in as soon as they figure out au are conscious. Probably better to get that over with sooner rather than later, and I believe au can handle it." He continued to make notes on the ISD. "We will be keeping au for today. Tomorrow au can probably be released if everything looks mnekha. Au can arrange with au's own Maenak some physical therapy on that arm." "What's wrong with it?" Arrenhe asked. "It's... na working right." "Hmm... When au were stabbed, besides tearing through some muscle tissue it also severed the main nerve pathway. Do na worry, we were able to repair it, au will have full use of au's arm after a bit of therapy." The Maenak's communicator beeped, and after a quick check of it, he began heading out of the room. "Must run, another emergency." Arrenhe sighed. It looked like everything would be all right. *** Fifteen days later as he sat in the the office of Kellah t'Rillae, his family's Maenak, things were definitely na all right. He'd been undergoing physical therapy at a Galae hospital since his release, and the strength and use of his arm had returned, but na anything like "full use." So, he'd arranged an appointment with t'Rillae for another opinion. Her diagnosis floored him. "I'm sorry lhhai... The damage to the nerve was quite serious, and even with the best medicine in the quadrant available it looks like the repair work couldn't quite match the excellent nerve-response that au naturally have. Given a few more months, au will certainly have 'standard' response through the nerve pathway... I'm afraid though that it will na be like it was before. Au will have to make some adjustments to be able to continue playing." "Adjustments..." Arrenhe responded weakly. "Ie," responded t'Rillae. Her face was full of compassion as she dealt with her patient. She'd seen and heard Arrenhe play a number of times, and she knew that while he would still be able to play some instruments after he'd adjusted, his performance capability on the very demanding hrini would be diminished by half as the instrument took precise control from two hands to be played well. "At this time there's just nothing we can do, au's hand and finger movements will just na be as refined as they used to be with the right hand. Certainly we continue to make advances, and I will certainly keep an ear open for anything that might be done to return au's nerve impulses back to au's native state." "Hanny'yo," Arrenhe said after a few moments of utter silence. He knew what it meant. He took his leave of the Maenak and returned home, utterly destroyed. His ri'nanov stood waiting for him in the foyer when he returned. Seeing the look on his face, she immediately moved to him and offered her comfort. "I'm finished," Arrenhe said, his voice thick with sadness. "Na, au are na," Nalah said firmly into his ear as she held him. "I can na play anymore." "Au are still a brilliant musician," Nalah replied. She'd received a call from t'Rillae as Arrenhe was in transit, so knew full well the diagnosis and what it meant, but also had the objectivity of distance. "Will au's right hand keep au from composing? Does it stop au from singing? It is na as if au's only talent lie in that abominably difficult instrument." "The hrini was my gift, ri'na'." "It was io of many, my son." Knowing he'd need to grieve for his loss, she let him go after a gentle peck on the top of his head. Arrenhe fled to his room and allowed the emotions to overtake him, and he was lost in pain for hours. By morning, however, he was spent and his mind clear. The Elements clearly showed, cruelly, that it was na yet time for him to leave Galae. As he had na yet tendered a resignation, there were na hoops to jump through on that end. The conversation he had later that morning with tr'Julan was na an easy one, and the old Maestro flung curses left and right at the thugs who'd played fate's role, the Elements, even the Klling'hanns. The concert was canceled, as were all of Arrenhe's plans to take an apartment in the capital city. The remaining few days of his leave were spent tidying up his affairs and the end of his physical therapy. His emotions, however, were na quite as settled as his mind, and a good part of him felt that his life was over; the fact that he still drew breath was merely inconvenient. Returning to the Talon, however, was probably as sure a way to stop that as any other he could think of, and it may have the side benefit of improving his family's reputation and position. For the first time in his life, he cursed the music in his mind and strove to quiet it as he made his way to the transport facility to return to the Talon. He figured most of the crew would be clueless as to the change in his life's course, and that suited him fine. Knowing, however, that t'Ksa was a very thorough Maenak, he figured she'd notice the updates to his Galae medical file; he could only hope she'd find it a mere curiosity, and seeing that it didn't affect his Galae service she would na put things together as to what it meant. Rather than play music in his off time now, he would try to concentrate on becoming a better dheno. Even in his depressed state that thought could still bring him at least a gruff chuckle.
  12. OOC Note: May not get Pt II out for a while A Decision Part I Arrenhe tr'Khev Perhaps it was just the spartan and industrial surroundings of the Talon that had allowed him to suck it in for all of that time, or perhaps his musical compositions had drained away just enough for him to get through each day without breaking down, but now at home the weight of all that had happened to him and to the friends he'd made finally washed over him like a tsunami. Leaving the song half played he burst out of the parlor onto the patio outside, a wail of grief harmonizing with the deep chord that still echoed within the parlor. Heaving himself into one of the loungers on the patio the slender Galae dheno and musician finally allowed all of the stress, fear, pain and grief out in a torrent. As the sun moved overhead he finally grew quiet and still, face down upon the chair. So Nalah found her son. Quietly she strode through the patio doors and knelt beside him, her hand reaching out and laying upon his shoulder. After a moment, she gave a little rub and squeeze before speaking. "Come, Arrenhe, sit up properly so I can see you," she said. He complied, rolling over and scooting up so he could lean into the back of the chair. His eyes were green and puffy from his bout of emotion, his lips pressed into a thin line. "Ah, Faelirh..." She sat beside him and hugged him fiercely, just as she had the last time they'd seen each other in person before he left to join Galae. "Ri'nanov..." Arrenhe whispered as he was squashed into her. Most other times he would hate the feeling of being mothered as if he were still a squalling child, but since today that was precisely how he felt it was a welcome event. "Hush," Nalah said. "Just let me hold au for a while." After almost fifteen siuren of that Arrenhe began to feel more himself, or at least more of his adult self rather than the child. He gave his mother a good squeeze as he really looked at her for the first time. She hadn't changed at all, he noticed quickly. Her youth and beauty had not dimmed in the slightest, not that he would have expected it to, as he swore that she spent at least three-quarters of each work payment on vanity items. "Au look gorgeous as ever, ri'nanov," he said. His voice was still quiet, but no longer raw. "Come, let us go back inside, the air is starting to chill a bit." "Ie," Nalah replied. "Weather control was ordered to put some rain down for us to keep the farmers happy, au's di'ranov managed to finagle it through." They made their way inside, Arrenhe's arm slung companionably around his mother's waist until they passed within. There, he headed to the bar and poured an ale for his mother and some sparkling water with fruit juice for himself. They settled next to one another on an antique yet still very comfortable couch. "So, ri'nanov," Arrenhe began after taking a sip and noting the time. "Au must have skipped out on au's work a little early today." "Ie," she said. "Luckily there was little extra work to be done today, so I was able to fulfill my duties a bit early." She smiled over at him. "Though even if every piece of paperwork on ch'Rihan had been put through our office I would have left it anyway. Na io keeps me from my faelirh after three years." He smiled back. She sensed that now was not yet the time to begin asking questions of him regarding his work, so she chose to keep it light. "It was a mnekha decision, I see, or au would have been drowned on the patio." The skies had darkened quickly and the rain began to fall in torrents, as weather control showed its displeasure with the change in plans through a quick and painful transition in the pattern. The sheets of rain washed over the province as they watched it come pounding down through the window. "It certainly would have taken my mind off things," he replied. "So how have things been?" "Ah, it has been quite a bumpy ride lately, many changes in the Senate and elsewhere. Luckily our little Province has weathered the storm, so to speak. While there has been some painful times for people, I can na say I am displeased by it as it has given au's di'ranov a bit of a boost." "Au would na be a very good Rihanha if au couldn't appreciate good fortune however it came," Arrenhe said with a chuckle. "I am glad, I have heard some worrying stories and hoped that our family could sneak through it." "Well," Nalah began with a wry smile, "I will have to admit that this time we did na sneak through. Au's di'ranov has mnekha instincts, and decided this would be a time to barge through the obstacles rather than dance around them. It has turned out well. I am hopeful that the next cycle he will be able to drop the ne' from his title." "That is mnekha, ri'nanov. Au are na optimistic by nature, au would na mention it if au weren't fairly certain." "True," she said with a laugh. "Though with the greater title au's di'ranov will have a larger target on him." "Larger target maybe," Arrenhe conceded, "though a larger arsenal available to him to combat it. Na to mention the fierce sniper waiting to pick off anyio that looks at him cross-eyed," he said, speaking of her. She was excellent at maintaining the image of a dutiful wife just doing her part for her husband, while she was really her husbands closest advisor and both the first and last line of defense. Arrenhe did not come by his performing skills dishonestly. "Ah, the image that provokes is very amusing," she said, still chuckling. "I will have to share that with au's di'ranov tonight." "Late tonight, I imagine," Arrenhe said. "Spare me the details on how he responds. That imagery I don't need." They passed a few hours continuing to talk, Arrenhe finally able to speak out about what had happened to him on the Talon, allowing him to relieve more of the emotional stress of it all. They then ate a light dinner and spoke of current events on ch'Rihan, the conversation not limited just to politics but of sports and entertainment as well. Finally the sound that Arrenhe had waited for came, and he burst out of his chair and into the main hallway of their home. Aethhon stood in the hallway after coming in from their garage, hanging up his coat upon a hanger in the side closet. As he saw Arrenhe come busting into the hallway, a large grin lit up his severe face. Leaving the closet door wide open he strode over to his son and they grasped each other in a hard embrace. "Well," the elder Khev said finally. "Au managed na to yy'a." "Barely," Arrenhe replied. "It is good to see au, di'ranov." "Very mnekha indeed. Come, I need a stiff drink after a particularly feisty session in the Senate today," Aethhon said. They made their way into the parlor and the ne'Deihu poured himself a double of Kal`iFhou. He settled into his favorite chair and drank it swiftly. He looked to his wife. "Well e'lev, all of au's fretting went for naught." "I am his ri'nanov, I am entitled to fret whether it's required or na," she said. "So au say every time I tell au na to," Aethhon replied, looking at Arrenhe with a wicked smile. "She has been a pain of tremendous proportions." "She is au's wife, di'ranov," Arrenhe said, matching the grin. "She is entitled to be a pain whether it's required or na." While Aethhon laughed, Nalah popped up from her chair and gave Arrenhe a big kiss on the top of his head. *** After a very late evening catching up with his parents, Arrenhe was settled comfortably on his bed while some of ch'Rihan's classic music played softly from the speakers over his head. He was very happy to be home, and for the first time in a while, content. Enough so that he he could ponder his future, a future that would not include Galae. He had not really set out to do what he had initially planned, though after his time serving he began to believe that it would na be possible anyway. With the happy thought of becoming once again a musician he drifted off to sleep. *** The next morning he greeted his parents as they sat in the breakfast nook of their kitchen. After grabbing some toast and jam he joined them at the cozy table. "Did au sleep well, Arrenhe?" His father asked. "Ie, quite well. I had forgotten how comfortable my bed is here." "Mnekha. So what will au do with au's free time?" "Well," Arrenhe began. "First I must send off a comm to Kerih, I haven't spoken with him in ages. After that, I plan on heading into the Capitol and contacting Maestro tr'Julan and seeing how the orchestra is faring." "Kerih will be glad to hear from au," Aethhon responded over a bite of egg. "As will the Maestro. I swear we've had more comms coming in from him inquiring on au's health than from au's aunt." "That is mnekha, I worried he would have forgotten about me." "Na," Nalah said. "He is half in love with au." "Oh, eww..." Arrenhe said. While tr'Julan was ch'Rihan's best conductor and a musical genius in his own right, the man was as old as the Elements and uglier than a Klingon targ. "Anyway," he continued. "I plan on asking him how full his event calendar is over the next few months." "Why?" Aethhon asked, finally peeking over his ISD to look at Arrenhe squarely. "I am strongly considering resigning from Galae," Arrenhe replied. "In fact, I mean to. Though I will wait until my leave is almost complete before I finalize the decision." "Au are sure about this, faelirh?" Nalah asked. "Ie, I am. I was asked to give a performance by Khre'Riov t'Rexan before we departed for our leave. I realized while I was doing it that while being a dheno has given me a new perspective and good experience, it is na who I am, and na how I can best serve the Empire or our family." "This is a big decision, Arrenhe," Aethhon said. "Au know that joining Galae was na something we wished for au." "Especially after au finally admitted that I should be a musician instead of a politician," Arrenhe interjected. "Ie," Aethhon admitted. He then looked to Nalah and nodded. "If this is what au wish to do, faelirh, we support you in it, though if you do wish to remain in Galae we will support that is well. We both know well what it is to be called; though I dearly wish that au were na called in re separate directions." "Mnekha," Arrenhe said, smiling at both his parents. "I knew au would both understand. For the next couple weeks, though, I intend to have fun, whatever comes at the end." "Io thing, though," Aethhon said. "Au should know that Galae is stretched thin at this point. They may na accept au's resignation, especially if t'Rexan wishes to keep au." "So be it," Arrenhe said. "I have made my choice, now they must make theirs." ***
  13. Updated: Simplified format; added new image of tr'Khev; added some new data and summary info
  14. Readying for the Dinner Arrain Arrenhe tr'Khev A performance again, finally. Arrenhe was quite pleased, and a little nervous to be honest, to be performing for the crew. The last time had been quite informal, and he'd played some bantering tunes after nearly breaking a tooth on the metallic center of a chocolate eyeball. With t'Rexan in attendance this time, there certainly wouldn't be any of those, the Elements be thanked. Though considering he would perform after the dinner he sincerely doubted he'd do more than nibble a few things. Having a full stomach was na ideal playing conditions. He was na concerned that he'd lost his touch after all this time; being a musician was still his natural talent and he would pick right up where he left off. His fear was that, after hearing him play, t'Rexan would decree that he was far too good a musician and far too incompetent a dheno and he'd be left on ch'Rihan when they got there. While he had served on the Talon for a while he had yet to fulfill his goal of showing that the Khev family were na weak, capable only of fulfilling soft careers. Na that politics was really soft, it certainly had its brutal moments, but certainly na in the same way as carrying a disruptor around as Galae dheno officer. After finishing the buttons on the cloak of his garment, he began stretching out his arms. Ie, that would be much better. The uniform just did na have the flexibility for playing. Or for fighting, to his mind. His mind jumped naturally to t'Ditsy. Perhaps io day, if she can stay out of trouble long enough, she can design a new much more flexible (and certainly more stylish) uniform for Galae's consideration. Though if that process ever begun he would hope to be around to help temper her gusto; while he could imagine t'Rexan in sequins, the mental snapshot also involved the lethal use of her laser eye. Sitting down on the edge of his bed he grabbed up an ISD and began to put down his song selection. Beautiful and relaxing, she had said, and such would she get. His mental inventory held hundreds of songs, a few from other composers but most from the depths of his own mind, and as he picked and choosed which ones would fit the bill their notes marched to the front of his mind, ready for retrieval. He rarely needed music in front of him to play, even if he were using another composer's work; his brain had no trouble quickly memorizing them. Math gave him no trouble either, but the vagaries of scientific theory had always traveled into io pointed ear and out through the other, so he had little aptitude for that. Piloting required little of high abstractions, and was as concrete and organized as music and math, so that had been a good fit for him as well; his native creativity had sealed the matter. Though of course he was true dheno now, the piloting left to S'Bien and others. His first months aboard the Talon had been io incident after the other of being at the wrong station at the wrong time, and dheno had the greater need. As always, considering losses. Now though, was na dheno at all, and by a long shot. His list completed and flexible as he'd clearly put down far too many songs for io night's playing, he tucked it into the large pocket of his hrini case and grabbed up his instrument. With one last check in the mirror to be sure his hair was well arrayed he exited his quarters. After a few minutes he arrived in the mess hall and found the area he'd requested. He put down his case, extracted the ISD and placed it on the chair, and then headed for the replicator. He ordered a bottle of water rather than a glass, having learned after io regrettable incident at a performance where he'd ended up wearing the cool liquid instead of imbibing it. Returning the bottle to the low crate they had found to serve as a stand, he stepped back and nodded. It was hardly a great amphitheater, but it would do. His stomach, in a confusion of hunger and nervousness, rolled a bit on Arrenhe. Patting it gently, he sat down at the table and waited for the others to arrive for dinner.
  15. Investigative Report (Summary) Case Number: 2456-A Reporting Officer: Arrain Arrehnhe tr'Khev Complaint: Tampering (HIC) Subject: Erein t'Ditsy Determination: Na Illegal Conduct Conclusion Based on lack of motive, subject's own statements, and corroborating factors, it is determined by this investigating officer that the subject committed na illegalities in regards to this complaint. Subject did violate Galae protocols regarding the safe-guarding of personnel access codes. The complaint is still valid, and other subjects must be pursued. Statement Summary Erein t'Ditsy stated that she was approached by a male with signs of recent injury ("looked like he was in a fight") and was offered a romantic dinner. Upon accepting the offer, the male requested t'Ditsy's access codes so that he could replicate their meal. She obliged, and upon returning, they shared drinks. Later, she was rendered unconscious (speculation: drugged), and woke up with a headache and the male was gone. Subject denies tampering with the HIC, though admits that the programs that ran during the incident are hers (Etrehh check verifies ownership). She also insists that she had na desire to share these programs, because na io else would enjoy them. After being shown a holo-image of the escaped Tal'Shiar operative (Case 2458), she verified that this was the individual she was approached by and shared her codes with. While such sharing would be in violation of other regulations, this complaint does na deal with it. There is na indication that she shared the codes for any other purpose than intended: for the male to replicate their dinner. (Etrehh confirms that replicator 25-C was used within the timeframe indicated) Corroborating Factors Summary Based upon prior interviews by other investigating officers in regards to this complaint (*), as well as surveillance footage, the escaped operative had left Medical approximately 18 minutes prior to the timeframe indicated by the Subject. Based on the location of the interlude, it is highly probable that the operative could have made it to the location of the interlude and obtained the codes. Etrehh records also show that the HIC files of the Subject have been accessed by an individual in prior time-frames, though the access records have been tampered with. Also, personal and duty log files of 318 other crewmembers, including the Subject, have been accessed in a similar manner. Based on events on the planet [Planet Name] (Report 997-AT), as well as the available skill and opportunity, it is likely that these records and the contents therein have been shared by former first officer tr'Pscichore. While there is na evidence directly linking him at this time, there are certainly phantom tracks leading in his direction. The timeframe between the obtainment of Subject's codes and the HIC incident would be more than sufficient for the tampering that occurred, and the timely disappearance of the operative during this incident is too convenient to be coincidental. It is highly likeley that the incident was to either injure or yy'a an individual (speculation: t'Rexan), though the choice of t'Ditsy's rather unusual programs in this instance most likely was a positive factor in that regard. There is na apparent motive for Subject t'Ditsy to have engaged in the tampering of this complaint, and na known associations with groups or persons that would benefit from the incident. Her scores on various tests (*) indicates that she is more than intelligent enough na to link herself to this by using her own access codes and programs. All available evidence indicates that Subject t'Ditsy was a convenient target to throw the investigation off the track of the true culprit(s), at least until said culprit(s) were well out of danger of capture. Recommendations In regards to Subject t'Ditsy, this charge should be dropped. Further investigation to pinpoint evidence on Subjects tr'Pscichore and the Tal'Shiar operative would be in order, most importantly, accessing them and an interrogation. For voluntarily sharing her access codes, her supervisor should enact requisite Galae penalties against Subject t'Ditsy. All files and systems in the Etrehh should be re-encrypted and all access codes for crewmembers should be changed, as the links to highly placed and skilled individuals on the Talon indicate treachery from within. End Investigative Report (Summary) | Case 2456-A