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Arrenhe tr'Khev

An Unsettled Settling In

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.

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