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NDak

STSF GM
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About NDak

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    Evil Incarnate
  • Birthday 08/27/1985

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  1. Enarrain Destorie N’Dak looked over from his ISD towards the door of his small stateroom aboard the Norexen-class warbird Blazoned Wing as the subtle chimes interrupted his thoughts. “Enter,” he said looking back to the information. “Jolan tru,” came the voice of the ships master, Enarrain Tarken Jaelok. “I apologize for na being present when au came aboard…” Destorie put the ISD down on the small desk that took up the corner of his stateroom – Romulan vessels had little need for elaborate guest quarters – and smile disarmingly. “Na need to apologize,” he said. “I am sure au had more pressing matters to attend to.” Tarken nodded and moved towards the desk, taking a seat after Destorie motioned. “I hope au find au quarters satisfactory. I am sure they are much smaller than those au were used to aboard the Talon.” For a moment, Destorie’s thoughts drifted away from his new assignment and to his old life. It had been months since he had been aboard the Talon and yet, it still very much felt like his home -- a home he would likely never be aboard again. Waving a hand, he pushed the thoughts aside. “They are more than adequate, hann’yyo. And also for the information au have provided me rhae the status of our operations in the Gamma Quadrant.” “It was na trouble,” Tarken said, “anything to assist the new Chief of Staff for the Gamma Quadrant Command.” A sly grin escaped Destorie before he reined it back in. “I think au overestimate my ability to advance au career, Enarrain.” Slightly built with soft-features, Tarken could hardly be considered imposing, yet Destorie got the distinct feeling that his physical features belied his cunning or ability. Leaning back in his chair, Destorie resisted the urge to yawn and instead picked back up the ISD he’d been reading when the Blanzoned Wing’s captain joined him. “So,” he said finally, “tell me about Camelot. What are the Lloann’na there like?” After some careful consideration, Tarken cleared his throat. “It is an … interesting situation. The Lloann’na continue to be somewhat divided, I think, on why they are there and what to do about the continued deterioration of the Dominion. Their commander Abronvonvich,” he said, somewhat mangling the name – though he certainly could have cared less about doing so, “seems capable from what I have seen and heard from him. The Khre’Riov had a grudging respect for him – as au can see from her reports. I know that before her, Khre’Riov tr’Shaelon also respected him.” “He has a strong record,” Destorie mused. “Clearly the Lloann’na continues to place a much higher priority on this venture than our own government.” Tarken lifted an eye brow. He had not expected such a self-deprecating comment, however veiled, from N’Dak – it certainly didn’t fit the character of the man he’d heard rumors of being an ‘overly-ambitious brat with a penchant for self-aggrandizement.’ Making a mental note to keep an even closer eye on the young N’Dak, Tarken nodded in relative agreement. “This latest round of cutbacks,” Destorie said with a flourish. “Only underscores our lack of interest.” He sighed and put the ISD back down. “I suppose it is to be expected – the Sihhus Lakhraem barely tolerates our continued involvement in – what did the Proconsul call it—alien misadventures?” “Ie,” Tarken said coolly. Homesun politics were, as usual, complicated. “And with the unrest among the frontier worlds, I am surprised that they were willing, at all, to maintain the presence we have.” Destorie frowned. Unrest among the frontier worlds had grown, significantly. The frontier colonies had been the leading force behind the Enuar movement earlier in the decade, which had seen the Romulan Empire shift leftwards toward a more open and free society. They had also been the spawning grounds for several terrorist and separatist movements that Destorie had the rather unfortunate opportunity to deal with first hand. Those actions had given the radical, conservative Sihhus Lakhraem all the ammunition they had needed to push through a series of ‘reforms’ aimed at rolling back the liberal efforts of the Enuar and to further tighten the grip of the empire on the outworlds. Tarken glanced towards Destorie, measuring him. He had learned from others back in the alpha quadrant that a number of mid-level Galae command officials were being replaced, often by individuals like the young N’Dak across from him. “Well, there is little we can do about it,” he finally offered. “I will leave you to your studies. Let me know if you require anything further. We should arrive at Deep Space 9 later tomorrow. It’s roughly another week onto Camelot Station from there.” Destorie nodded and looked back to his work as Tarken quietly excused himself.
  2. The warm summer rays of the homesun basked the solarium of the Rhaen t’Lai Medical Facility where Destorie N’Dak sat quietly in a power chair with a silver cane across his lap and worn, leather-bound book in hand. The title had long since disappeared from the cover, and the edges were frayed. The solarium was still in the late afternoon. “What are au reading, h’nah?” Destorie looked up from his book to find his father leaning against the floor to ceiling windows of the solarium. He wondered how long he’d been there, but smiled. “A diary of io of the sundered,” he said putting the book down on his lap. “Mother gave it to me.” “A message no doubt.” His father said with an easy smile. “It is good to see you well. Au were in bed when I stopped by earlier in the week. A fever they said.” The young N’Dak looked little of himself. Gaunt and distant. He simply nodded. His ‘recovery’ from what was officially being classified as an assault and not an assassination attempt had been far slower than his doctors had anticipated, and he continued to struggle with walking, as of late, seemed to develop a host maladies every time he seemed to be on the up swing. “Ie,” he said. “Though I am better now. The nurses told me au came.” The elder N’Dak seemed troubled. Broad shouldered, stout with the high cheek bones and granite jawline of his house, D’Lvon nodded. “Au mother and sister send their jol,” he said. Both had kept vigil earlier in his recovery, but he had pushed them away as it drug on, telling each in turn to resume their lives. Neither had gone willingly, but had eventually acquiesced to his demands. His father’s visit had been more of a surprise. Their relationship had always been complicated. “Hann’yyo,” Destorie said quietly. “I am sure they are both less than pleased with me for sending them away.” “That is putting it mildly, Sheuji.” Destorie sighed at the use of his fourth name. “In time they will understand, and if not...” “And if not, au can continue to wallow in au own self-pity, ie?” D’Lvon had never been one to hide his feelings or opinion, and his tone was matter of fact. “That’s not what this is about. And if au...” “Oh spare me, will au? Au have been under the care of the best maenek and khiensa rhae the Empire and none of them can say why au struggle so much with the use of au leggs. Well that’s not entirely accurate. Na na, do au know what they say?” “They say it is in my mind,” Destorie spat out his response. “Ie, ie. I have heard them say it.” “And do au doubt them?” There was a long silence in the room. It was rather true. There was no physical explanation for why it had taken him so long to regain full use of his legs. True there had been some damage done as a result of blood loss, but the doctors had assured him and his family that all of that had been repaired. Nor could they physically explain the recurrent pain he felt in his chest, or his nightmares. The khiensa said it was simple trauma, and that, in time, he would recover given proper treatment. He wondered what else they said about him, but did shook his head. “Na,” he said. “As the khiensa say it is all in my head.” “Then be done with this. Au are an N’Dak, and we do not sucumb to self-pitty.” “Perhaps I am not the son au would have wished,” Destorie said bitterly. “Perhaps I am not as strong as au, or au father, or au father’s father.” “Oh for elements sake.” D’Lvon decidedly lacked the somewhat softer touch of his mother or sister, who’d both had this very same conversation only to give up in frustration. Say what you would about Destorie N’Dak he was resolute, even in disparity. “Qu’ii au life au have compared au self to others. To au namesake. I suppose I am as much to blame for that, naming au in such a fashion was a bit cruel.” Destorie looked at his father sidelong. This was the most lucid conversation with the man he could remember. “Why are au wasting au time? We both know that I am lost. Is this about au pride, old man? Are au so worried about au status that au cannot bear to tell au dear friends in the Dehuit that au son is a broken man?” The words stung, but D’Lovn’s jaw remained unflinched. “That is enough. I did not come to argue with au. I came to see how au were doing and I had hoped perhaps au would stop au moping, au sulking. I see h’nah that was a mistake.” Rolling his eyes, Destorie turned his power chair and began to leave the solarium. “Well then, au have seen me. You can go back to your scheming and plotting rhae the capitol.” “Running away, h’nah? Are au going to wheel auself off to au room and cry like a child?” “Taunting a cripple seems beneath au father, though I suppose not considering.” “A cripple?” D’Lvon laughed mirthlessly. “Try a spoiled brat of a Rihannsu whose pouting and sulking over elements knows what demeans all the hard work and effort he has put into his career. Au know, I was wrong to name au as I did, Sheuji. At least au great-grandfather had the honor, the bravery, to take his own life, rather than wallow in his self-pity.” The younger N’Dak stopped in his rolling. His voice was low, immeasurably tense and tinged with roiling anger. “If au were na my father, I would yy’a au. It’s almost a shame someone hasn’t after all these years. Elements knows you deserve it.” D’Lvon laughed again. “Oh really,” he said sardonically. “And just how would au yy’a me? Would au run me over with au chair? If so, then don’t let my paternity stop au. Be rid of me, right now. There’s na io here to stop au.” For a moment, there was silence. How could Destorie possibly respond to that? He couldn’t. Finally when the silence had become uncomfortable for both men, Destorie exhaled. “Forgive me father, I do na wish to see au yy’a.” D’Lvon nodded and made his way over to his son, putting a strong hand on his shoulder. “Au don’t have to lie,” he said. “I am sure there are time au do, I do na hold it against au. It’s not as if I have always been, what would the Lloann’na call it? Father of the year? Ie. “Listen, I came because I do care for au. I do not wish, nor want, to see au waste auself like this. The maeneks have said there is na reason for au to not be able to return to au duties. Perhaps na on the Talon, or na active duty right away -- but there are other ships, other duties, other commands. I have many friends still, and au have managed, despite auself, to impress a few key individuals as well. Gharan Jaeoln continues to ask of au. He has a new command in mind for au.” Despite himself, Destorie perked. “Ie?” “Ie,” D’Lvon said. “Though I do na know the details. I know he has been placed over several of our foreign assignments.” A bit less cheerful at that bit of news, Destorie sighed. “Oh,” he said quietly. “If au speak to him, tell him I look forward to seeing him again.” “So au plan on recovering then afterall?” “Well,” he said, “Au were correct earlier. It would be awfully hard to yy’a from this chair.”
  3. Destorie N’Dak had been wounded before, many times in fact. He had, to his count, nearly died four times, and been somewhat close to the verge several more. His body bore the scars a soldier, and of a traitor. Yet, as he lay in the hospital bed of his corner room in the Rhaen t’Lai Medical Facility on the outskirts of the capitol, he could not remember a time during any of those previous injuries where he’d felt so helpless. Though the maeneks assured him that he would begin to recover strength in his legs, simply to be patient, he found little solace in their words. It had been several weeks since he’d been brought out of what he’d been told had been a medically induced coma. Part of him wished to return to the dreamless sleep he’d lived in for the last months. He was unaccustomed to this life. Even when he’d been injured before on Talon, he had still be expected to return to duty as soon as he was well. His days were now filled with endless sessions with maeneken, poking and prodding him, conducting treatment regimens on his legs. And then there were the unending sessions with the Kheinsa. He hated them, he really did. They were supposed to help au deal with the trauma and the stress that io had been through, yet he always finished their appointments somehow more angry and frustrated than he had started them. “Tell me again,” they would say, “what is it about the voice au dream of that makes au think au knew the attacker?” Elements. How did io describe that? And why would the response have changed since the last time he had been asked? Though that was hardly the most obnoxious question a Kheinsa had asked him lately. “So, Destorie,” the Kheinsa with the long, black hair had said, sitting next to his biobed, “Have au thought about what au will do if au cannot recover? Have au considered au life outside of the Galae? I have found that many people in au position struggle to adapt to a new life, especially when they did not choose such a path.” “Oh ie, ie,” Destorie muttered out loud as he thumbed through a book his sister had brought him. “I just have a list ready of ‘things to do when I get stabbed and have to leave the Galae.’” Actually, on second thought, it might not be a bad list to have, given his luck. He frowned and made a note to work on that list so that he could rattle off a list of ideas the next time a pesky Kheinsa asked him that. He sighed and put down his book. If there was a ‘benefit’ to this recovery, it was that he had gotten a chance to finally connect with his other sister and her children. Of the four children of his parents, she had been the only one to actually settle down and start her own family. She was very different from her siblings, in more than that way though. Quiet, reserved, and genial, she stood back from what she called their ‘petty squabbles.’ She eschewed a military career, choosing instead to serve as an advisor to a wealthy, but somewhat demure house.There, she had met her bondmate -- the son of the scion of the house. Together they had bore three children, two sons and one daughter. In some ways, Destorie was envious of her. She had, seemingly, achieved her goals without compromising herself, without giving into her more baser emotions. He had not and now found himself paying for those unbridled ambitions. He sighed. Perhaps the other Kheinsa, the io who’d just left had been right. Perhaps he did spend entirely too much time dwelling on the past, on the things he could na longer change. He took back up the book his sister had brought him on her last visit and examined it more closely. Was she, too, trying to tell him something? The book in question was na just any tabloid, in fact it was an actual paper and ink printing, bound in soft, blue leather with stylized gold imprint on the cover. It was a title he’d never read before, though he was familiar with the author -- granted what educated Rihannsu was na? It was an old tale, a serialization of the trials of a young man growing up aboard the far travel ships during the Sundering. “I hoped you would like it,” he heard his sister’s voice call from the doorway. He smiled and laid the book down on his lap again. “Jolan tru,” he said warmly, sitting up in his bed. “I had wondered if you au were coming today.” Rasa t’Kealan returned a warm smile. Though she carried the striking, sharp looks of her father’s house, her manners and ways were of her mother’s. “Oh dear Shuj,” she said, calling him by the childhood name she had given him. “I have came to see you every day, why would today be any different?” “Oh,” he said slyly, “I did na know if au would continue to waste au time coming to see the family cripple.” Rasa cast a disapproving look at her elder brother, one not unlike the many their mother had given him over the years, he noted, and made her way to the lounger next to his bed. “Au are na cripple. In fact, the nurse tells me au walked on au own this morning.” Destorie frowned. “I would na call it walking so much as stumbling.” “Au are worse than my son,” she said referencing the youngest of her brood. “At least his excuse for whining is he’s teething.” Definitely his mother’s daughter. “Besides,” she continued. “Au doctors have said that despite au rather foul, and what did the khensia call it -- gloomy? Ie, gloomy disposition, that they are very encouraged by au progress.” “Ie, ie,” he said with a huff. “Soon I may be able to walk to the bathroom unaided!” “Io of these days,” she said, the same disapproving look on her face. “Au will stop au wallowing and realize how fortunate au have been, and that as bad as au make it out to be, it could be worse.” “Oh,” he said, “I know it can always be worse. In fact I usually think of how it can be worse, and then it usually gets worse than that.” She rolled her eyes. “Elements, na wonder someone stabbed au.” “Am I really that bad,” he said lowly. Rasa lifted her brows. She na ever known her brother to take jests so seriously, but perhaps he had changed. Realizing that she had perhaps struck deeper than intended, she softened. “Na,” she said. “Au may have au faults, but au did na deserve this.” Destorie smiled, despite himself. “Have we heard any word from Issaha?” Happy to change the subject, she nodded. “We got a communique a few days ago,” she said. “It was dated a few weeks ago, but all was well. He could na say much, obviously, but he seemed well.” “Mehnka,” Destorie said. “I worry about it him, being out there alone.” Rasa smirked. Perhaps there was some of their mother in Destorie as well. “He will be fine. Au have mentored him well. It is time that he learn to stand on his own, and au know it.” “Ie,” he said. “But the irony has na escaped me, that it was to be me on this dangerous mission, and him safely somewhere else, somewhere off Talon.” “Funny how the elements have a way of working themselves out, despite our best intentions.” Bitterly, Destorie looked at his sister. “What do au know that?” Accustomed to his rather brusque ways, Rasa shrugged off any indignation and continued to speak in a soft, even tone. “I never planned to bond, to have a family -- to settle down and put my career second. Mother never did, so why should I? “Yet,” she said. “I have learned that what we intend and what destiny intends for us are often very different. The elements have blessed me with three wonderful children, a loving bondmate, and a secure position in his father’s house as a chief advisor.” Resigned, Destorie sighed and leaned back into the pillows. “I received a communique from Gharan Jaeoln.” Taking out her knitting, Rasa lifted a brow. “Jaelon,” she said, placing the name mentally. “Oh, ie. The Enriov, ie? Hmm how do au know him?” “We met last year,” Destorie said, “just before I was promoted to Enarrain. He had offered me a command of my own under him, but I had decided to stay with Talon.” Sensing that her brother regretted that decision, she nodded. He needed to talk more than anything, and this was the most open he’d ever been. “And what did his communique impart?” “He wished me well, of course. He said he was most pleased to learn that I was beginning my recovery.” “How very thoughtful,” she said neutrally. “Au must have made quite the impression on him then.” “Ie,” Destorie said. “He also wanted me to know that when I was feeling better, and able, to come see him. He would like to speak with me.” “Hmm,” Rasa said, as her knitting needles clicked together. “Perhaps he wishes to offer au another command?” Destorie frowned. He had considered and dismissed such hopes already and did not wish to further entertain such a notion. “I would be surprised,” he said. “Besides, it will be sometime, if ever, before I am capable of holding a command position again.” Rasa laid her knitting down. For the first time, her voice gained an edge. “There au go again,” she said. “Discarding au dreams so easily. Elements, Sheuji, qu’ii au have ever wanted is to gain power and prestige if na for auself then for our House. Au have gone through so much already, yet au have endured. And h’nah, as au face yet another trial, au are willing to discard those ambitions so willingly? Do na forget that while au are also an N’Dak, au are also of house N’Kedre, and we find our true strength in adversity.”
  4. “Exile is a dream of a glorious return. Exile is a vision of revolution: Elba, not St Helena. It is an endless paradox: looking forward by always looking back. The exile is a ball hurled high into the air. ” - Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses Ihen’Gal stirred to life as the homesun began its long arc across the horizon, splashing against the gentle purple waters of the ocean. The sleepy town along the southern ocean had never been much more than a hamlet, tucked into the Haere’au Bay. Even in the long-since-passed days before the Rihannsu had returned to the stars, and they remained bound the land, it was just one of dozens of villages along the coast, where fishermen made small but honorable livings selling the fruits of the seas. The countryside surrounding the small town was dotted with small family farms and old estates. Here and there a wealthier family from one of the larger cities to the north or south had their summer home, or perhaps a hunting cottage. Laying just off the main road, and nestled into a quiet grove of Ethae trees, the summer home of Chaelon tr’Neirth rose just above the treeline. A brick and mortar structure in the old provincial style, it had long been in the family of the House s’Neirth as a getaway home, now however, it served a rather different purpose. Leading along a neatly kept stone path from the back door and down towards a narrow pond, a small garden was already being tended. Kaelia t’Laenin frowned as she stopped to inspect the leaves of an aluani plant that had been continually terrorized by a small variety of beetle that had been brought to the planet aboard a passing freighter. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on the point of view, the latest round of insecticide she had applied seemed to have warded the vermin off and her aluani were beginning to recover. Satisfied, she wiped sweat from her brow and took a breath, looking around her as the morning sun reflected off the dew. Kaelia had never considered herself much of a horticulturist, until she’d taken up residence in Ihen’Gal, but had since found it a somewhat relaxing respite, and as a bonus prevented her from having to make more numerous trips to the town market where she’d have to continually maintain the facade of a mild-mannered widow who sold her estates in the city of Morina and moved here for a quieter life. Resuming her work, Kaelia considered how silly that sounded, but it was the cover story that she had been given, and she had always prided herself on her ability to stick with whatever she was given. Of course, this was different. This wasn’t an assignment. She wasn’t doing this out of a sense of duty, but out of necessity. How long would she have to stay here? It had been some time since she’d heard any news from her contacts in and out of the Tal’Shiar, and she wouldn’t risk contacting tr’Nerith. Her brother had survived, apparently; though he was still recovering. Such a shame, she thought. After all of this, it would have been less frustrating if she had managed to at least rid herself of Sheuji. Sheuji. The name left a bitter, acrid taste in her mouth. So predictable. She paused in her gardening once more. The rivalry between them had existed as long as either could remember. Of the four children spawned by their parents (at least the legitimate ones, she considered), they alone had developed any real semblance of antipathy. Perhaps it was because they were more alike that either would openly admit. They were both headstrong, stubborn, and prideful. Ambitious went without say, of course, they were of the House of N’Dak. And that, as much as anything, had left a legacy for them both to live up to and under. From their earliest days they had competed with each other. In the beginning it had been just that, healthy competition between siblings, but as they had grown older the rivalry had turned personal. For her, she had never understood why her father favored Sheuji. Her mothers favoritism towards him had always made sense. He was far more like her than he would ever admit, though perhaps not as much as their younger brother. Still she could understand it, but her father? “Elements.” She finally said aloud, digging her trowel into the dirt a bit harder than she intended. She had followed her father’s footsteps, entering the Tal’Shiar. She had risen through the ranks, and in many ways even exceeded her father’s own accomplishments. Yet still, he favored the elder son, despite his many weaknesses. A thought, dark and sinister, had begun to slowly manifest in her mind. Perhaps all this time she had been taking the wrong target. While removing Destorie would certainly alleviate some of the issues, the real problem, the real obstacle was that of her parents. A thin smile crossed her face. She wouldn’t be here forever.
  5. As the Talon hunted for the captured t’Vatrix, worlds away, Destorie N’Dak began to stir. His eyes fluttered open. At first everything was hazy, shrouded in a blur of lights and sound. His lips were dry, and his throat felt of sand paper. Where was he? His last coherent memory had been … what had it been? As he took in air slowly, surely, his view began to clear, and the sounds around him began to take form. “Sheuiji,” he heard for the first time, “can you hear us?” It was the gentle voice of his mother. He had heard it in his dreams, calling to him, softly, reassuringly. “Ie,” he managed through parched lips, in a raspy voice. “Ie, ri’nanov” Taking him into her arms, Sevik embraced her eldest son. Kissing him lightly on the forehead, she smiled. “Welcome back, my son.” Behind her, Destorie had begun to make out the shapes of the figures. His father stood at the foot of the bed, a look of great relief upon his face. To the left, his sister Savu stood holding her eldest son Meyen; but where were the other two? “What, what happened?” “You were injured,” D’Lvon said calmly, as Sevik broke her embrace to look back. “There was an attack.” Destorie’s thoughts swirled. The last thing he remembered was he was... chasing someone... at t’Ksa’s wedding. “How … how long have I been here?” He had been injured enough times to know when he was in a medical facility. D’Lvon hesitated, looking to Sevik. Turning to her soon, she ran a hand through his hair. “It has been several months, Sheuiji. The injuries were significant, and there were complications.” Trying to set up further, he found the task more difficult than he anticipated, muscle atrophy he considered before settling back down. “What happened?” “The investigation is still underway,” Rasa said, “but...” D’Lvon cut her off. “But the authorities are doing everything possible to find out who was behind the attack.” Destorie shook his head. “I was... I was chasing someone... I do not remember who... or why...” “Ie. Au had gone to look for t’Ksa, they found au stabbed,” his father said. “Au nearly bleed to yy’a before they were able to get au to this facility.” “Where am I then?” “The Narein Imperial Medical Facility.” Destorie grimaced again as he felt a surge of pain as he tried to move his legs. “Don’t try to move too much,” his mother said. “Where is Kaelin?” he said invoking his brother’s fourth name. Looking to each other, his mother finally spoke for the family. “He is on assignment, rhae the Talon.” For a long moment Destorie said nothing. He had never considered that Issaha would be the io to put duty before emotion. Or perhaps he hadn’t? Whatever the case, Destorie was proud of his brother. Relieved, his mother stroked his forehead gently. “H’nah au should rest. The maeneken say au still have a long road before au.” “My legs,” he said as he tried to move them again. “They feel so heavy.” “Ie,” she said. “Muscle atrophy and...” “And?” “Au were without oxygen to au brain for several minutes...” “I was yy’a?” “Technically, ie...” she said. “They believe that there was some damage to the part of au brain that controls movements.” He frowned. Unsure how to feel about the revelation. His father continued for his mother. “Au will have to go through physical therapy to relearn some of au finer motor skills. It will na be easy.” Nodding, he leaned back in his bed. “Ie,” he said. “Then I have much work ahead of me.” “Ie,” his mother said. Closing his eyes, Destorie let his thoughts wander once again. His mind was a jumble of memories and fragments of memories. It was going to be a long time before any of this made sense.
  6. Kaelia ran her hand through her now shoulder length black hair. It had been nearly three months since she’d gone into hiding in the small port town of Ihen’Gal, and nearly as long since she’d spoken to anyone from her ‘former’ life. In some way, it seemed it had been even longer. She had, of course, spent longer in deep cover assignments, but this was decidedly different -- this was exile. Frowning in the mirror at her reflection, Kaelia picked up a silver hairbrush and began stroking. She’d never had long hair before and she sometimes found the routine soothing. It was strange to her, how such a simple, mindless task could distract her for even a few moments for her worries, doubts and frustrations. Yet in the end, it was only that. A distraction. And soon everything would come rushing back and she would remember... “I have bad news for you.” Savu N’Dak looked up to her friend, mentor and direct superior. Given just how turbulent, disappointing and frankly messed up the last several weeks had been, she wondered just how bad things could be that Chaelon tr’Naierth would address her in such somber tones. She steeled herself and took a deep breath. “What is it.” Chaelon grimaced. He had not wished to be the bearer of such news, even though he knew in the long run, the setback would be advantageous for the haughty young N’Dak. It might, he considered, even save her life. At the very least, it would teach her some humility. “You have been suspended from active duty, rhae the Tal’Shiar.” “Suspended?!” Her voice filled with fury, and her gaze iced. “On whose authority? And why? I de…” In a very even and measured tone, like a blacksmith tempering a red-hot iron, Chaelon held his hand before him. “It is only temporary, and on the authority of the Director himself.” Unsatisfied with his response, her rage continued unabated. “Unacceptable … unforgivable! I will not stand idly by and allow this! How can you?! You’ve betrayed me you… you...” She didn’t remember, later, that she started beating on his chest, or that she’d broken down in tears – though the pain in her fists told her that it was true. When she finally managed to regain a modicum of composure, and now even more embarrassed that she’d shown her feelings, she looked over to Chaelon. “I suppose I deserve this.” “You are an excellent agent,” he said reassuringly. “And you have always been loyal to the Tal’Shiar and our cause. However, you have severely compromised the mission. I suppose it’s as much my fault. I should have never let you go to the bonding. I should have just killed your brother myself.” Savu did not know how to even begin to respond. Her lips trembled with a mixture of fear, anger, and embarrassment. “And now we cannot even touch him.” “Ie, though he is the least of our worries h’nah.” “What shall become of me?” Chaelon placed a reassuring arm around Savu and squeezed her shoulder gently. In many ways, she had become his surrogate daughter, and he felt deeply sorry for her. “For h’nah, au must continue to lay low. The Director feels that because of the sensitive nature of this operation, au continued involvement would have only further jeopardize the mission and brought even more risk to the Tal’Shiar. When things have settled down, and when na so much attention is upon au family, au will be reassigned. In the interim au will continue to collect au duty pay. I have arranged for transportation for au to the city of Ihen’Gal. I have kept a small house there for many years, and au may consider it au home for h’nah.” “Hann’yyo,” she said sincerely. “Au have taken considerable risk to auself by not simply allowing me to be dishonored. If our positions were reversed, I am na sure I would do the same for au.” Chaelon nodded. “I know.” “And what of Issaha? He thinks he’s spying for me.” The elder Romulan pursed his lips. “We have decided to continue to utilize him -- so long as he doesn’t compromise our goals. With t’Vatrix back -- it will be more difficult to place agents rhae the ship.” She nodded. “I would ask that you not...” There was something in her voice that caused Chaelon a pause of his own. He had suspected that unlike the elder brother, she actually cared for the younger one. A pity. “So long as he does not get in the way of the operation,” he said, “he will na be in any real danger. The yy’a of another son would draw even more attention. Au father has begun to worry us. His loyalty was once unquestionable, but h’nah...” “Au think he suspects my involvement?” “I do na know,” Chaelon said honestly, “but he has been slowly distancing himself from his old associates, rhae the Tal’Shiar. There are rumors he may be looking to switch sides, as it were...” “That would be unfortunate … for him,” she added the last part quickly. “And my mother? She was always quick to speak out against...” “She has been surprisingly quiet. Perhaps because she has been at the hospital, but ie, she is not io to hold her tongue. We will continue to monitor her.” Savu nodded. She leaned back against her chair and exhaled, eyes shut. This entire operation had been a cluster from the beginning. She should have listened, should have let them do it their way; but she hadn’t and now she would pay the price for her pride. She was to be exiled. They could call it whatever they wanted, but that was what suspension in the Tal’Shiar amounted to and everyone knew it. “Vhri’mehnka,” she finally said. “I will gather my things. I take it you have prepared for me a cover in Ihen’Gal?” “Yes,” Chaelon said, handing her an ISD. “You will find everything you need there. Until things have calmed down, I would suggest not using any of your own funds. If your family becomes suspicious, they might begin looking into them.” Savu nodded as she scanned the document. “Kaelia t’Hseih,” she said her new name outloud. “Of course, though...” “Do na worry about money,” he said. “I have arranged for au to receive a stipend... it is all in the ISD.” Turning, she placed a hand on Chaelon’s shoulder and smiled, genuinely for what seemed the first time in ages. “Hann’yyo … for everything.” Kaelia tightened her grip on the hair brush and sat it down with a thud. She looked into the reflection and closed her eyes. Everything she’d ever wanted had been within her grasp, now here she was -- an exile. How long would she have to wait in the small, seaside town? How long would she have to keep her true name and nature hidden?
  7. A joint log by Laehval t'Temarr and Issaha N'Dak Issaha sat quietly in the lab, alone after Pexil had left him to attend to some other pressing issue that had arisen. Frankly, Issaha was relieved he was gone; while he didn’t have anything personal against the Daise’Engineer, he had found it awkward to work with him given that every five minutes Pexil brought up the stabbing in some fashion. The younger N’Dak closed his eyes and leaned back against his chair. He was going to have to get used to it, he supposed. Opening them, he looked back towards the analysis that Pexil had helped him program. They weren’t any closer h’nah to finding the origin than they’d been several hours before, every time they got relatively close to what seemed to be the origin -- there was na thing there. The nature of the signal itself did na seem to help either. Its short duration, combined with the fact it had only appeared twice, had made it very difficult to track. The Enarrain had given Laehval much to think on, but foremost in her mind was the ISD in her hand, with vital information that she knew Issaha could use. While the Daise’Science had done what he could to track the signal’s source, he’d been hampered by Galae’s security network. Now, with the codes that would give them access and open the way, she knew that he’d have a better chance of finding t’Ksa. Striding into the lab, her eyes drifted over the empty room until she found him, sitting alone with his work. A moment of sympathy crossed her face, thinking of his wounded brother, but she smoothed her features into an expression of neutrality as she approached him. They both had a job to do and lamenting Destorie’s demise would have done either of them very little good. She cleared her throat as she neared. “Daise, I have something that au will appreciate.” She waved the ISD for him to take. Issaha turned hearing her voice, startled at first. Unlike his brother, his paranoia was not such that he actively worried about someio creeping up on him, but perhaps it was habit that would suit him to adopt. Recovering quickly at the sight of Laehval, he tipped his head respectfully. “Rekkhai,” he said, “If I may, what is it?” “The answer to your present troubles,” she said cryptically. “The signal au have been tracking has na gone unnoticed by others within Galae. The Enarrain gave me these codes, authorized for our use in tracking t’Ksa. Hopefully we will be able to use them to track the signal further. Have a look.” He took the ISD and looked the information over cursorily. “Ie,” he said, “this will certainly aid our progress. I will na lie, it has been rather difficult.” Sitting the ISD down for a moment he glanced towards Laehval. It was so strange now to see her in what had been his brother’s position, and even stranger given what he’d heard. “Hann’yyo,” he added. “We will begin using these codes to try and further localize the signal.” “Au understand the implications of this signal, ie?” She wondered how much he’d been told and if t’Rexan had shared the rest with anyone else. Knowing that the ship’s Enarrain believed herself to be on a suicide mission was a difficult burden to bear. “We show that it was activated twice, but only in short bursts. It seems deliberate, does it na? t’Ksa attempting to signal, but unable to leave it for long for fear of discovery by her captors.” The thought had occurred to him. He knew why they were out here, and he was smart enough to be able to deduce why they’d be looking for a specific signal. “I believe I do, ie.” Though he wondered, silently, had it been his brother that had gone missing, if the Talon would have been mobilized so quickly. “Of course, I expect to be updated if au make any further developments.” She studied him for a moment, looking past the position to the man. Her voice softened a fraction. “Do au have everything au need? I know this position is na io au expected to assume. Recent changes have come as a surprise to us all.” Issaha felt himself suddenly very vulnerable. As his eyes met with those of Laehval, he had to consciously remind himself of his station. Swallowing back his emotions, he nodded. “Ie,” he said. “Though I have considered asking the quartermaster to assign me different quarters. The ones I have h’nah are awfully... big.” It was a rather silly request, he knew, especially couched in those terms, but he really didn’t want to say ‘Ie, ie, please get me out of my quarters so I am not constantly reminded of my near yy’a brother.’ Her brows knitted, but she nodded knowingly. “I will see to it. Do au have a preference as to where au wish to be moved? In these circumstances, au should be given a choice. Decide and send your request to me. In fact, if au need anything, departmental or otherwise, let me know. The science department has always been somewhat of a puzzle to me, so au are very much valued. There are few here that could do what au do.” Issaha tipped his head respectfully. “I am very thankful,” he said graciously. “I will send the formal request this evening once I have finished my work here. And also hann’yyo for au kind words, and for au support of the department. Science is not always valued in the Galae command structure, as au know.” He paused and looked towards her, wondering if she’d be so gracious under other circumstances. He put the thought away as soon as it formed. He’d known Laehval, or known of her rather, for as long as he’d been on Talon; and while she had a reputation of being a bit .. prickly, no one had ever accused her of being dishonest, either. Destorie certainly thought much of her, to be sure. “And,” he added, “if there is anything au require of me, I am of course at au disposal.” “The offer is most appreciated, if unnecessary. I am certain that au will do your duty to the best of your ability. I need na remind au that all of this rests solely upon your department for the moment. If au are unable to trace the signal, we have nothing to go on and our mission will fail before it ever begins. It seems a large burden to place upon your shoulders, but I have confidence in your abilities. House N’Dak has a certain reputation, as au well know. On the Talon, au have always been hidden within your brother’s shadow, but that time has now passed. This is your opportunity to show that au have something to offer.” It was the first outright mention of his brother’s name, though he felt they’d both been thinking of him for sometime, and it caught him his guard for a moment before he recovered. “Ie,” he said. “And I do not intend to fail. I am sure you may have heard of the motto of the House N’Dak, ie? ‘The Bold Endure.’ But I doubt au have ever heard the io of my mother’s family, House N’kedre?” Laehval shook her head. “Na, I know na of your mother’s family. Do au hold to their words as well?” “Ie,” he said, a tinge of pride welling in his voice. Of his mother’s four children, he had been the only io to hold much sentiment for them. While they were noble enough, they lacked the prestige and intrigue of the House N’Dak, he sometimes wondered if they were ashamed to have been from such a house. “The banners of her house bear the words ‘strength rejoices in adversity.’ I have always taken it as something of a personal motto myself.” She studied him thoughtfully. “I would say that those words fit au, especially now. Hold to them an au will have little trouble proving your worth.” Inclining her head, she offered the barest hint of a smile -- a rare show of emotion. “If there is nothing else that au require to aid au in tracking the signal, then it is time I return to the Oira.” “Of course,” he said, bowing his head respectfully. “Hann’yyo, again for everything.”
  8. "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. TELL NO ONE. I WILL CONTACT YOU ONCE I HAVE SEEN YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE AND ARE ALONE. 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…” “Stop.” “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...” “Stop.” “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.”
  9. A joint log with Aethal tr'Hjan (as played by Destorie N'Dak) and El'Riov Lerak tr'Pexil Aethal looked over the... El’Riov and wondered just how desperate the Galae had gotten. Frowning, he took a deep breath and spoke. “So tell me again,” he said, “Au had been looking for the Enarrain to ask him about some crewmember? “And how do we know that au did na find him, na like the response he had, and stabbed him?” Pexil twisted his expression for a moment, a bit of anger rose. “How do au suppose any of that? But na, I did not get any response as I arrived after he had been stabbed. Though au won’t believe me on another point either I don’t carry a knife...and have not for a long time.” He finished thinking he’s answer might not have been the best move. Lifting a brow, Aethal wondered if he’d struck a nerve. “Au could have taken it off N’Dak himself.” Pexil gave a nervous smile, “I couldn’t have gotten around the cape he wears. Come to think of it I never did see the knife up close. But..if au ask someone like t’Shia you’d find out my hand-to-hand skills are less than stellar. I doubt I could have gotten a knife off of N’Dak if I tried.” With a dismissive look, Aethal considered the response. It was true that he doubted this Pexil could get a weapon off a trained D’Heno like the N’Dak-brat, but that didn’t mean that Pexil hadn’t been lying about carrying a knife. He put his hands behind his back and walked behind Pexil, his boots clicking against the floor. “So, who do au think would want to hurt the Enarrain then?” This was a question he had not considered before. io perk of working in the bowels of the Talon is isolation from the ship politics. Pexil really had na idea, but took some guesses. “Could have been any number of people I suppose. He’s from a well-known and powerful family. He’s commanded many missions, in fact our last mission to that dreadful mining world. To be honest I rarely spoke to N’Dak, nor have I been invited to tea at his family home.” As he stopped speaking he considered some of his own engineering people and the whispers in the corridors. “So au did na know him then after all? Yet au felt compelled to track him down at a formal event to ask him a trivial question about someone?” “She is not trivial to me,” he said with a look toward Aethal. “Besides, before returning to ch’Rihan he had already bypassed communication security to read subspace correspondence and told me classified information. The proverbial door had already been cracked open.” Just who was this person? “So au were asking about someone of importance to au and were angry that he had read au subspace communications?” Aethal stopped behind Pexil as he finished asking the question. To say he was intrigued would have been a bit of an understatement. It was hardly unheard of for an Enarrain to monitor communications from senior officers, nor was it unheard of for said senior officers to be annoyed by it. Relaxing a bit, “I believe io other may have been more angry than myself. While I was angry at N’Dak then I will simply be more careful with my communications in the future. The information he gave me was worth my fleeting personal grudge. My attempts to contact my fellow engineer met with failure. He was the only person who could tell me more. The last thing I would do is make an attempt on his life.” Pexil stared at the table in front of him for a moment, then at the pitcher of water. For a moment Aethal wondered if he’d wandered into the middle of a love triangle or rhae a bad HIC romance program. “I see. Who was this other person au believe to have been more angry than au?” “Khre’Riov t’Rexan, or t’Vatrix now, his former commander. She contacted me herself on a much more secure channel. Actually a refreshing surprise to hear back from her.” He wondered if she ever arrived at the bonding. Better that she had not arrived to see the carnage he tried to stop. Aethal blinked for a moment. “Khre'Riov L'haiy t'Vatrix?” He asked out of sheer surprise. “Ie. I don’t know what became of it, if she had spoken to him. Na io tells me these things.” “And au think she could have … could have planned this attack?” Aethal was genuinely shocked at this revelation. He had na served personally under the Khre’Riov, but he knew of her and knew of her reputation from the War, and despite what rumors he’d heard about her and her new found youth, he was having trouble pretending she could be a suspect, even though she was going to be in attendance with her bondmate. “She could plan my demise if she so chose,” he answered with a head shake. “I don’t think this incident of the communication would deserve such a response as N’Dak’s death. From what I do know of her after all of these years is she’d not disrupt a bonding.” “Oh? Was there other difficulties between them then?” “Elements if I know. Up until her subspace comm she and I rarely spoke. There were a few times I caught a glimpse of disagreement on the oria, but they seemed to keep it under check. This would be a question better suited for her.” After saying those words it struck the engineer t’Vatrix may be questioned as well, and perhaps learn of what Pexil had told Aehtal. He felt himself wanting to crawl into a very large hole and place a very large rock on top of it. Aehtal took a deep breath. H’nah he was sure there was something to this. He could tell from the way Pexil squirmed. He had seen the look before many times when he was in the Galae and served at a prison in the War. After Pexil had finished, Aethal came back around to face him. “I think that is it for h’nah,” he said. “However, au must stay rhae the homeworld so that if we require further information from au, that we can. I am obliged to warn au h’nah that if au have played any part in this plot, this is au final chance to come forward with relative impunity.” “I played na role other than an attempt to keep N’Dak alive. Remaining on the surface will be na problem. I plan to remain at my home or that of my parents. I’m sure the authorities know both locations.” He did not mention he wanted to get out his cycle and ride it as fast as he could. Aethal took a very somber tone and looked directly into the eyes of the El’Riov. “I will ask au only io more time, did au or do au know the identity of the attacker? If au are lying, we will find out and au will surely be yy’a for it. The House N’Dak will surely want the blood of the io who murdered their kin.” “Is he yy’a? The first I’ve heard of this news.” Pexil wondered if Aethal slipped up. “To answer your question, na, I do not know the identity of the io who struck N’Dak.” If N’Dak indeed had yy’a, Pexil’s situation is grave. Very grave.. Aethal demurred. “I do na know for certain, though with the rather crude medical attention au gave it will not be surprising if he is.” “Very well then. Au may go.”
  10. Her heart raced. She could feel it thudding in her chest, just bellow her lungs. Had she actually done it? Savu Aethal Ye’Sho N’Dak nearly collapsed as she slid into the waiting flitter and turned on the autopilot. She had considered how she might feel at this moment many times over her lifetime, but she couldn’t have imagined this was how it would feel. She looked down at her hands. They were covered in blood. His blood. Her blood. She had killed before, many times, yet nothing had prepared her for having her own brother’s blood upon her hands. After everything that had happened between them, this is what it had come to? She had to admit, part of her was almost disappointed it had been so impersonal. Sighing, she leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes. When she opened them, the flitter’s autopilot navigation program had taken her to a small field near a cottage in the southern hemisphere that she would be using as a safehouse. Taking a deep breath, she popped open the canopy and exited the flitter. The cool mountain air filled her lungs and she headed towards the cottage. Opening the door she was unsurprised to see her mentor and superior, Chaelon tr’Naierth sitting near the fireplace in a rocking chair. “Jolan tru.” “Jolan tru,” she responded, heading directly for the sink to wash her hands off. “I expected to find au waiting for me.” “Ie,” Chaelon said. “I wanted to make sure au were okay. Cold as au are towards him, it is never easy when au have to end the life of io of au own family members.” Savu didn’t glance over, though she was curious if Chaelon was just saying that or if he knew from personal experience. She pushed the thought to the back of her mind and began lathering her hands with soap and water. “Well,” he said. “I think it could have been a little more surgical, but the operation seems to have been a success.” “Mehnka,” she said, turning the water off and looking for a towel. “Veruul was about to ruin everything -- again. It was mehnka that I was there. How he managed to figure out what was going on this time … “ “He is au brother, after all.” Frowning, Savu finally made her way over to the fireplace and sat down across from the Chaelon. “Was my brother.” “With any luck.” Savu’s expression darkened. “What do au mean?” Without a word, Chaelon reached to an end table and retrieved a small device and activated a holoscreen where the fireplace had been. On it, the INS (Imperial News Service) played. Details are still coming in the anchor woman said but we can confirm reports of an incident involving a senior member of the House S’N’Dak. Early indications are that while attending the bonding of io of his senior staff members, Enarrain Destorie N’Dak, the son of Deihu D’Lvon N’Dak and Kiith Mrevhoqq'ghi hru'Llairhi Ori’Na N’Kedre, has been critically injured by an unknown assailant. The anchor woman paused as her director presumably fed her more details. He has been taken to a local hospital for treatment, however, his status is currently unknown. We’re going now to Halen t’Kaneo, INS local affiliate who has more on the situation. The screen flashed a second before switching to a young female Rihannsu standing outside the colonnade of the bonding hall. Behind her, local and Galae security were escorting people out of the area. Thank you Gaesel. I am just outside the hall now, as local and Galae security have quarantined the area off. For our viewers, Halen, can you give us a little bit of a background about what was happening Of course, Gaesel. Enarrain N’Dak had been attending the So’Droz of his Daise’Maenek when he was attacked by a hooded individual. Eyewitness reports were limited, but the figure was believed to be a man. Though authorities were hesitant to speculate, as the investigation is very early, they did say that they believed it was not a random act of violence, and were proceeding with the theory that this was a targeted attack on the Enarrain... Chaelon clicked the control again replacing the holoscreen with the fireplace once more and looked to Savu. “He did na see au, did he?” “Na,” she said. “He did na.” She did na think so anyway, but she wasn’t telling Chaelon that. “And the murder weapon?” Her mind instantly froze as he reached for her hip holster beneath the cloak. It was missing. “Au did think to dispose of it?” Chaelon said, detecting the look on her face. “Didn’t au?” “I... I .. elements!” Chaelon took a very deep breath. “Au at least had the good sense to wear gloves I hope.” “Ie … but...” “But what?” “I do na think they will have any trouble tracking who the kaleh belongs to if they find it. At least my family will na.” “Elements Savu. What were au thinking!” “I did na plan on leaving it!” She said defensively. “I was interrupted by the meddling engineer...” Chaelon frowned deeply and looked away before looking to Savu. “I do na need to tell au what possible damage au have done to this operation. H’nah they do na know she is missing, but how long do au think it will take before they realize t’Ksa has been abducted? There were already ios who suspected our involvement in this affair, h’nah au dagger rhae au brother’s heart it will na be hard to connect to the two events.” “Nonsense,” she said. “They will think it was a personal attack on him by me. My family will certainly think that. There is no shortage of bad blood between us.” Shaking his head, Chaelon sighed. “Au had best hope so. If the Tal’Shiar is directly implicated in the abduction, au will answer for it to the Directors auself. I will na risk my own career over au carelessness.” “I would na expect au to,” she said honestly. “It was my mistake. H’nah I will be responsible for it. Besides, we maybe able to persuade whoever finds the weapon to return it anyway.” Chaelon frowned even more deeply. “You want me to risk further exposure by using our resources to monitor the investigation.” “What better cover for selling this as a separate assassination plot?” He opened his mouth to protest, but decided she was likely correct. “Very well.” “Oh, and I more thing,” she said. “We should find someio to pin the attack on. The news report said the eyewitness described the attacker as a male.” “I am sure au have a few ideas for that.” “Ie... never forget the first rule of assassination.” “Yy’a the assassin.”
  11. Everything was going according to plan and Savu N’Dak was not entirely sure she liked it. She understood, of course, why her superiors had decided to allow the Othan veruuls handle the operation, but that didn’t mean she had to like the idea. After all, it was the Othan veruuls whose imprudence had already botched the operation once already, could they really be trusted to pull off something like this with such high stakes? That was a question she did na have an answer for, and it certainly made her less than settled. Frowning, she finished working on the report she’d been messing with and closed her et’rehh station before shrugging on a light jacket on her way out of her office. She was more than a little surprised, though, when she was greeted at the door by her director superior, Sub-Director Chaelon tr’Naierth. Caught off guards, she’d nearly reached for her kaleh, before exhaling much relieved. “Chaelon,” she said, “Au should na sneak up on ios.” Smirking, the elder Rihannsu shrugged. “Perhaps au should na be so paranoid.” “Ie,” she said, “and then, when I am yy’a...” Chaelon simply shook his head and handed her a thick, white envelope with decorative ribbons. “What is this?” She said, taking it in hand and inspecting it. “Open it.” Doing so, she lifted an eyebrow, both confused and reviled at the same moment. “An invitation to …” “Ie. I think au should be there.” Wrinkling her nose and frowning ever more deeply, Savu shook her head. “I thought we were leaving this to the Othan to complete.” “We are,” Chaelon said, intoning something that Savu only vaguely picked up on at first. “Oh... oh... I see. So au think I should go babysit them.” She said, tucking the invitation into her jacket. “I suppose it would be good for me to be there to supervise them. Do they know?” “Na,” he said. “I did na see any point in telling them it would be au who would be watching. I did tell them that I would send someio to observe in case...” “In case Destorie gets in the way?” Chaelon nodded. “Ie. The Deihu does na trust au to handle him.” Muttering a string of obscenities beneath her breath, she glowered at Chaelon, though it was clear to him who the look was directed towards and he sighed. “H’nah,” he said. “I trust au, which is all that matters.” Softening somewhat, and marginally mollified, she nodded. “Hann’yyo. If Destorie interferes, he will be dealt with and I appreciate au letting me handle this.” “Your welcome,” Chaelon said, wondering if he’d just made a mistake. “I do na think I have to tell au to use extreme caution.” Giving him a look, she rolled her eyes. “Please. I am na some …” she made a motion with her hands “novice.” Grinning, Chaelon nodded. “Mehnka. Then I suggest au get going. There is a filter outside waiting for au....”
  12. A Joint Log Between Enarrain Destorie Ma’lyn N’Dak and Khre’Riov L’haiy ira-Rexan t’Vatrix As Destorie left medical and headed toward his quarters, he considered the conversation with his father. Their relationship had never been easy, but such was to be expected. Yet, for the first time, he actually felt somewhat closer to the man he’d always looked up to, but had been always somehow separated by an unbreakable wall. It was a strange feeling and with everything else that had happened, Destorie was even less sure of his footing than he had been when he’d walked in the door. Still, that his father had been supportive was something to be glad of, and he was na going to simply ignore that. So here he was, back on the Talon as her perspective long-term master. It was somehow an even stranger feeling than the one he felt towards his father after their talk. Lloann’na, he’d heard, often developed a strange attachment to their vessels and he supposed that Rihannsu did as well. Talon had been his home for over seven years. It had been the forge that had tempered him from boy to man. Yet there always seemed to be some distance between himself and the ship, and though he was now it’s master he couldn’t help but shake the feeling that the only true master of the Talon was below him, sitting along the ocean contemplating her future. Turning a corner after exiting the lift he headed for his quarters. He was playing a very dangerous game. The woman t’Rahks had informed him that his sister had been involved in dealings with the entire mess. Somehow she was involved not only with the Defloxo trade, which had cost him the life of a disheren; was apparently connected to the attempted kidnapping of Morgana; and was for some reason, tangled in the middle of the scuffle with the Othan and Klingon fleets in orbit of Dumok’azen. His contacts rhae the homeworld had confirmed that the Tal’Shiar were quietly supporting the Defloxo trade and were using their influence to keep law enforcement from interfering with the operations. He also knew that there had been some dealings with a network of weapons smugglers which had caused a small incident with the Federation, and that t’Rahks had been involved in it somehow. The woman had admitted that they had been moving Defloxo and other drugs along with arms shipments, to help raise funds for the weapons. That however, was about all he had been able to turn up using the usual sources. That was why he had brought t’Aehjae and her assistant into the mess. Normally, Talon D’heno could na be trusted with sensitive matters (for example, he had na intention of telling them he knew his sister was involved), but the time for sensitivity had passed. Na, he had needed to shake things up, and if t’Aehjae and her goons could be counted on io thing, it was to make just big enough of a mess of the situation that he might be able to draw out whoever was pulling the strings, be it his sister or perhaps someio above her. If he could do that, then perhaps he could get some clarification on just what the hell was going on with the whole sordid affair. He could understand the Tal’Shiar being involved in the trade of illicit drugs, especially one such as Defloxo. The ability to use it to control channels of power was fairly straight forward. He also understood why they’d be involved in various arms trading deals. Even their possible involvement with the Othan made a relative amount of sense. What did na make sense to him, was what did the disheren medic or t’Ksa have to do with any of this? They had captured the disheren, drugged him and then apparently infiltrated this vessel, but to what end? Had t’Ksa simply been in the way, h’nah whatever purpose the disheren was supposed to serve and … but no that did na make any sense. She had been drugged and they had clearly tried to take her with them. Elements none of this made any sense. N’Dak rounded the corner and almost did na notice the doors to the Enarrain’s Quarters were ajar. Almost. His instincts kicked in before good sense as he spun on heel to see who had broken into her quarters. Much to his surprise, he found the Khre’Riov finishing packing the last of her belongings into a bag. “Oh... it is au,” he said without much thought. L’haiy felt her blood pressure rise at the tone of voice used towards her and slowly glanced up from what she had been doing. She had heard boots approach, but had assumed it was tr’Shalor returning from the cargo bay, but this was obviously na the case. She had still not entirely decided how she felt about her last meeting with N’Dak, nor had she been prepared to see the boy again so soon. “Ie,” she replied in a dark tone, “These quarters are still mine. Though, I do na remember inviting au hrrau to invade my privacy yet again -- though I imagine au have already inspected my things while I was away.” She stuffed io more thing into the case before closing it. “Do na worry, I just came to collect some of my things, the large items I’ll have transported from the cargobay shortly. It will be au ship soon enough.” Destorie realized how he must have sounded by her response, and was also more than a little shocked to see her again so soon, and fahd rhae the ship, he blushed deeply. “Forgive me,” he said. “I just did na expect to see au again so soon.” “Mhmm,” L’haiy said, a look of deep disapproval upon her face. “I do na expect that au did. Though admittedly, I am rather surprised to see au aboard as well. I would have thought au would be deep in revelry, rhae au family’s estate. Did au go grow tired of au festivities?” “Festivities?” “Ie,” she said. “Na doubt that au father has planned a celebration for au, to mark au victory over his hated rival.” Destorie could feel the antipathy emanating from t’Rexan, yet, he was na entirely sure what do, either. It seemed as if his every word only stoked the embers of her hatred. Still, he could na help himself. “Na,” he replied. “There will be na ‘victory’ celebration hrrau the House S’NDak. My father is, I think, proud of me for my accomplishments, but there will be na celebration. I told au when I was at au villa that I did na wish to gain this position in such a way. H’nah, I had returned to Talon to attend to an issue, hrrau D’heno and was going to get somethings from quarters before returning. I apologize for the interruption. If au will excuse me, I will leave au to gather au things.” A mixture of emotions, L’haiy mentally went through the exercises tr’Aieme had given her to keep her temper hrrau check, attempting to na let him upset her once again. “Of course, au are dismissed.” She turned away from him to finish packing, but what irked her more than anything, was his continued attitude towards her. So much for his tearful, ‘I’d do anything to make it up to you’ speech yesterday at her home.” Na, instead what he gave her instead was, ‘Oh, it’s is au’”, na salute, na Rekkhai. Plain and simply, still na respect. She had na even left the ship yet, and he treated her as if she were only a common laborer or someone sent to make his bed, and na a Galae Khre’Riov. She would remember this. His continued disrespect shamed her, and she truly hoped tr’Shalor had been out of range of the small security listening device he had hidden rhae her sash. She was sure that if he had heard the conversation, that he’d report it to Var’lon as a potential threat to his bondmate. She should have listened to Var’lon. How many times had he warned her na to trust this io? How could she have been so very wrong about the boy? She was a verrul, to think she could change someone. Nothing but a verrul. Destorie nodded his head respectfully and left without another word. It occurred to him that he would almost certainly run into her again at the S’Rdoz ceremony and he felt himself becoming even more wary of attending.
  13. Aejier tr’Kaeolix smiled widely and closed the panel he’d been working on. He’d thought he would never get the task finished, but fortunately with everyone either on leave, or apparently on some sort of training mission, he was free to make the small adjustments to the transporter systems without interruption. Panel closed, he walked over to the maintenance log and ran a script to remove the log file the would show he’d been working on the transporter systems. Pausing, he considered for a moment that he might need more than just plausible deniablity if the device he’d installed had been discovered -- but who to pin this on. There was the incompetent Daise’Engineer -- but na io would believe he was involved. What about that t’Ditsy creature? Na. Even less likely. Na io would think she would be behind something like this. Stroking his chin for a moment, he mentally ran through the personnel he’d been briefed upon in the dossier for the Talon crew before deciding on a whelp without any familial connections and inserting his name into the maintenance log. There, that would give him a scape goat if he needed it. Of course he didn’t plan on needing it, but au never know. Content that he had completed his objective and that he had sufficiently assured that he would na be fingered for placing the small device in the transporter room, he headed out and towards his quarters. H’nah onto io more thing that needed to be done. Entering the quarters he shared with another engineering officer, he was rather pleased that his bunkmate had taken off for the weekend and that he had the place to himself. He headed first for the communications terminal that was situated between the two beds in the small state room and typed in an authorization code that would na leave traces of any such communication being made. After a few moments, the rotating t’Liss disappeared and was replace by the ominous symbol of the Tal’Shiar -- the profile view of another t’Liss. “Etre tr’Kaeolix,” a woman’s voice came. “I take it that au have installed the new components, rhae the Talon’s transporters?” “Ie, rehhkai. They should be fully functional, h’nah.” “Excellent,” she said. “Mehnka work. H’nah, I have two more tasks for au to complete.” “Two?” “Ie. First, I am uploading a datapacket of information. In it au will find reports filled rhae a member of the Talon’s crew who was formerly in our employ. Take it to the Enarrain and tell him au found it going through old logs for maintenance reports.” “Should I na take it to this tr’Pexil first. He is my ‘superior officer.’” The woman on the screen tipped her head, considering. “Na. If the Enarrain asks why au subverted the chain of command, tell him au did na think Pexil could be trusted, given how easily au were able to find this communications logs.” “As au wish.” “Mehnka.” “Au said au had two things for me?” “Ie...”
  14. In fairness to Mulgrew, it wasn't her fault the writers were bad and didn't have a clue how to write her consistently.