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Blood and Brothers

"Your mother's dead, before long I'll be dead, and you, and your brother, and your sister and all of her children. All of us dead, all of us rotting in the ground. It's the family name that lives on. That's all that lives on. Not your personal glory, not your honor, but family. Do you understand?" ~ Game of Thrones


As Destorie N’Dak lay in a medically induced stupor in the Galae Medical Center in the capitol city, the youngest of the family made his way through the gardens outside of their Senate complex home. The air was soft and filled with the early blooms of en’ha trees, and the sun was creeping ever downwards in the lazy afternoon; had his entire world not been thrust into flux, he would have rather enjoyed it.


Issaha sighed as he made his way towards the three story Praetorian Age home that the House s’NDak had occupied as their residence in the capitol for nearly three hundred years. In many ways, for Issaha, it was much more of a home than the stately manor in Hein’Rhe, and he’d spent most of his youth finding ways to get in trouble in the surrounding grounds.


Those days seemed so very far away now -- everything had changed. Once he’d never cared about politics, about the intrigue that seemed destined to follow his family and coil its way around them and ensnare them in plots of high drama. He’d been the playboy, the loveable fool that no one every worried about, that everyone dismissed – h’nah he was deeply entrenched in plots and schemes that were playing out at the highest levels of the Empire. Elements, he thought, this is na my province.


Clearing through the security door on the side of the manor, which led directly into a small anteroom outside of an elaborate parlor, Issaha took off his boots and headed instead to a door on the opposite end of the anteroom and into a long corridor that wrapped around the house. Finally arriving in his suite in the corner of the house, he was unsurprised to see that he had a message on the terminal. Most of them, as expected, were messages of condolence and support from his friends and former shipmates; but one took him slightly off guard. The sender’s name was blank but the message told him all he needed to know about who had sent it.




He took a very deep breath. He still wasn’t sure he could really go through with the plan, nor was he sure that if

he did see her, that he could keep from throttling the life out of his sister. He paused and looked down at his hands. They were moist with sweat and he knew his blood pressure was racing. This is what we have become?

At that moment, he heard a small chirp and then the sudden sound of photons being organized into a holographic image.


“Jolan tru,” he said mustering every ounce of restraint.


“Is that how au welcome au sister?”


Continuing to look away, unable to face her he clinched his teeth and closed his eyes, taking a very long moment to respond. “I do na think au are io to speak of proper welcomes to au siblings. I suppose I should count myself lucky that au are only a holographic image and na the real thing, least I join Destorie rhae a hospital bed with a knife rhae my hear, na?”


If she felt anything, she didn’t show it, even if Issaha had been looking at her, which he wasn’t. “I see au misplaced loyalty for au brother continues.”


“Misplaced?!” He turned on heel, glaring with all the rage and fury that was bubbling bellow the surface. “How dare au…”


“Oh please,” she said, almost enjoying it. “Destorie has done na thing for au but hold au back. Really Kaelin…”


“That name,” Issaha said, trying hold back his anger but unable to completely cloak it, “is na for one such as au to speak.”


Savu feigned injury. “What have I ever done to au? I have only ever been helpful to au. I, unlike au pathetic brother, have only ever wanted to see au flourish and succeed. He…”




“The truth hurts, doesn’t it Issaha? Here au have been, all this time, worshiping the ground that veruul walks on, and what has he done for au? Kept au firmly under his finger! He had held au back for years, made au out to be some veruulish playboy unworthy of au proud name. Au should see that h’nah, h’nah that he has cast au aside so easily. I bet he did na even come to see au when au were injured, rhae au last mission.”


The truth did hurt. The sharp, barbed words of his sister stung at him like a great swarm of bees and he could feel his resolve weakening. Fighting back tears, he looked directly at his sister in a look so serious, so intense that Savu found herself actually taken back. Had Issaha actually matured?


“That is not why we are here. We are here,” he said emphatically, “because au have stained the honor of this entire house by trying to kill au elder brother – in cold blood.”


She sighed deeply. “It is na that simple.” To be truthful, it really wasn’t. There was no denying that she wanted to see her brother dead, and that she wanted to personally do it – but on the other hand she didn’t want to be so … ignoble either.


“Stop au lies.”


“They are na lies. There are many forces in play. He was...”




“Then why did au na simply turn me in?” It was a question she’d asked herself dozens of times since her brother had first contacted her, and the one foremost in her mind.

“Because,” Issaha said, looking away, “au are still my sister.”


Savu N’Dak smiled. “I see...”


“Na,” Issaha said. “Au nearly yy’a’d au own blood. Na N’Dak has ever done such a vile deed. I did na think au truely capable of doing it, but I see I was wrong … we were all wrong.”


Her smile faded and she looked away.


Issaha felt his voice falter. “Athel,” he said trying his best to maintain what little remained of au composure.


“Do na even think of lecturing me Issaha,” she said bitterly. “I am still the elder and au will respect that.”


“Like au respected Destorie?”


“I did my duty,” she said with more emotion than she intended. “He got in the way.”


“I see.”


“Issaha, au don’t understand.”


“Then explain it to me.”


“I don’t know exactly what is going on,” she said looking towards him, a strange vulnerability in her voice. “I was given orders by my superiors....”


“To kill au own brother?!?”


“If he interfered, ie.”


“How could you... why...”


Savu looked away from a moment before returning to meet Issaha’s glance. “You wouldn’t understand. When you swear allegiance to the Tal’Shiar...”


“I see...”


“I had no choice. But I swear to you I do na know what is going on, or who is really pulling the strings...”


Issaha considered her for a moment. There was something about her tone, her softness now that he had never seen before in her -- though he had occasionally seen it in Destorie.


“Perhaps,” he said, “there is a way for us to both find out.”


Savu perked her brow. This was unexpected. “What?”


“As I am sure au know, Destorie had me transferred off the Talon.”


“Oh?” She feigned ignorance. “I had na heard.”


He noted the lie, but said nothing of it, confirming what he was thinking. “Ie. However, the Talon has been put on alert, their officers recalled and the rumor is they will be sent on a mission to find out just what has happened to Morgana t’Ksa.”


“The io who’s bonding it was, ie?”


As if she did na know. “Ie.”


“And so what can I do to help au, then?”


“Get me back on the Talon.”


Now that was an interesting thought. Issaha working for her … on the Talon? “And if such a thing could be arranged, why would I … and what possible benefit would it serve me?”


Issaha’s eyes narrowed and the cold chill that his voice carried actually managed to surprise Savu, for the deadly intensity upon his lips bore more than a passing resemblance to that of their father or even Destorie himself.


“Together we will find out who is behind this mess so that au can take revenge upon them for making you nearly yy’a au own blood,” he said. “And as for why...”


From his jacket he produced the kalleh Savu had used to attack Destorie. “I think au know why. It would be a terrible shame for father or mother to find this. Or perhaps even the Galae. Right now I don’t think they suspect the Tal’Shiar but well...”


Why, he was an N’Dak after all. “Very well,” she said. “I will arrange for au to be posted to the Talon as soon as possible. Such assignments are not easy these days, especially to a ship as … known as the Talon, but I will see what I can arrange.”


“You’d better.”


Savu nodded curtly, and suppressed a thought about reminding Issaha of his place. “Ie,” she said. “Expect the orders by this evening. However...”


“I don’t think you’re in any position to make demands...”


“Not a demand,” she said, “Just a bit of information you might find useful.”


Issaha considered for a moment. “Go ahead.”


“I have an agent aboard the Talon, I will send along some information about him. You will find him most helpful in passing along information to me about the status of your mission. I will have him also assigned to Science.”


“How thoughtful.”


Savu nodded again. “Well then, good luck little brother.”


“Ie,” he said.


The transmission cut out and Savu stood alone in the bedroom of the cabin that had served as her safehouse since the incident.


Elements, how had she gotten into this?


Chaelon tr’Naierth glanced over. “Very convincing,” he said. “You think he bought it?”


“Ie,” she said honestly. “He did. “


“Very good,” Chaelon said. “I would hate for another of au brothers to need to be removed from the equation.”

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