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About m_k_tksa

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    Maenak Evil
  • Birthday March 7

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    St Louis
  1. Who counsels the Kheinsa when they need guidance? I never felt the solitude of my profession as profoundly as I have felt it here. Of the few I would confide in, the io closest to me is lost. And the rest are sectors away. This leaves me with few outlets. The most palatable are electronic musings to help me process the changes in personal circumstances that have lately developed. t’Ksa has chosen to postpone for the foreseeable future any further plans of commitment until she is certain she can handle both the vulnerability and trust needed to pursue the bond. While it wounds me personally, I can na say I am completely unhappy with this decision. What I find when I apply my professional knowledge to the situation is that when she discussed it with me, it seemed to be a very well thought out choice that demonstrated maturity on her part. And I believe the break will also benefit myself as the past few weeks I have found it difficult to separate my professional and personal feelings when interacting with her, especially during her episodic outbursts. She hurts and I want to fix it for her. But I can na when my heart and mind are in conflict on what should be done. So we shall take a momentary pause for recovery, then reevaluate. My, that sounds clinical doesn’t it? In the meantime, to occupy my time and to perform the duties I assumed were needed with tr’Valtrix assigned me to this mission, I shall begin the crews psychological profiles for Galae dossier. Apparently there has na been a comprehensive shipwide examination since Kheinsa ch’Parr was assigned to this ship so long ago. I am na sure if this gross oversight was intentional or na, considering the current leadership. The time has come to rectify that situation. Besides, I’m a bored Kheinsa. What better task for me to complete than to mess with others minds?
  2. “I have an idea! I’ll be right back.” Maenak t’Ksa quickly grabbed her ISD and multicorder and bounced out the Khre’Riov’s private room in a blink of an eye, ignoring the woman’s protest in the process. Momentarily stunned at how fast she disappeared, Kheinsa tr’Aieme sat seemingly dumbfounded for a few moments before he managed to glanced at t’Vatrix. “Excuse me, lhhei,” he stood and followed t’Ksa out. He found her within a suiren in her office, standing over her desk and scribbling furiously on a ISD. She addressed him without even looking up, “So, what do au think?” “Menkha.” Maec leaned against the observation window of the Daise’Maenak’s office. “Au’ve gotten her to progress over seven or eight years, ie? It tells me that her memory might be redeemable after all.” “Thought a visual aid might help.” She motioned at the ISD with her stylus. “I’ll tap into the etrehh display on the wall when we go back in.” “Na hurry. We have a few suiren before we need to go back and question here again. Menkha exit by the way. I didn’t know you could move that fast.” He teased her. “Although might I offer io piece of advice? In the future, I would na use any further physical mnemonic devices. Especially after we release her from the restraining field.” “It worked, did it not?” Morgana glanced up smirking before returning her attention back to the ISD. “Ie, but au know as well as I her volatile reactions. I would hate to see her mar au’s beautiful hide.” “Na need to worry about that,” t’Ksa muttered under her breath as she feigned concentration on timeline now developing on her ISD. He knew she intended for him na to hear it, but he had. The wounds of her ordeal had run deep, na just physically but emotionally. While their friendship had resumed, the closeness they had shared prior to the abduction was slow to return. Her mutters only proved the point that they still had much to discuss. “And au know even if she remembers something that au do na wish to recall, au will have na choice to discuss it or au will confuse her further.” “Ie I know.” t’Ksa’s eyes remained on the ISD. “Perhaps we can--” “Na now.” t’Ksa looked up, picking up the ISD and holding it against her chest much like a warrior would display a shield. “We have a few suiren before we need return to the Khre’Riov. I’m sure an extra few suiren will benefit her memory recovery.” “Na now, fhaen.” She started towards her door. “Let’s concentrate on io thing at a time.” “Morgana--” He stopped when her stare turned hard. Maec then changed tactics, “Give her dev suiren then bring in some tea and something to eat. The next session should be shorter if possible. I’ll start questioning her this time. Au add it to au’s timeline projection. If all goes well, this time it’ll be my turn to call the break.” “And the restraints?” “Let’s see what she does.” “Agreed.” “Well, back into the fray.” He motioned to the door. “Menkha luck, Maenak.” “Menkha luck, Kheinsa.” She offered him a weak smile as she passed by him. Do na think au can avoid me for long, t’Ksa. Maec shook his head as he followed her. Au day will come soon.
  3. Is this real or is this another of t’Prin’s mind games? Morgana t’Ksa didn’t trust “Brain” any further than she could throw the woman and, given her current beaten and bruised state, that wasn’t far. However, the operative did present an opportunity for escape -- or a scapegoat if the woman’s plan went awry and t’Prin caught them. Of course the plan could go the other way and... well, even death would be preferable to this state of existence. Or perhaps this was another io of the Major’s little head games that t’Ksa had so much fun (ha!) picking apart. Just contemplating the web of lies made Morgana’s head spin - or was that from the latest beating? The damned rogue agent’s last attempt at prying information out of her with that evil little toy of his had left t’Ksa unconscious on the laboratory floor for a good fifteen minutes, if na more. Though she desperately wanted to, the maenak resisted the urge to lean against the bulkhead for support until the dizziness faded: It would not do to show any sort of weakness - not yet anyway. “Your diversion wouldn’t entail armed invaders, would it?” She asked as she followed “Brain” cautiously. Eviess t’Mahren, known to t’Ksa as “Brain”, glanced over her shoulder as they made their way down the corridor. “I’d rather hoped, of course, but one can never be too sure when dealing with a third party.” “And you don’t wish to wait to find out then?” “Waiting any longer is not the best of ideas, no. And if we wait now, all my other surprises are wasted.” “These surprises of yours...” Morgana glanced behind her to see if either the intruders or the crew was following the duo. ‘..they wouldn’t be apt to get us killed, would they?” “Not directly,” t’Mahren replied. “Though if we are caught, well... things might get interesting.” She paused before a panel that looked somewhat like a door. Pulling away a panel on the bulkhead beside it revealed an access pad. “Now let’s see if these codes I pulled were worth the hassle.” While she waited for “Brain” to fuss with the panel, t’Ksa took the opportunity to lean slightly against the wall to wait and pry further. “What about your friend? The tall beefy guy who spends too much time in the refresher and has mother issues? Leaving him behind as well?” “‘Pain’, as we know him, was an independent contractor, just as I was. If he doesn’t have his own escape plan, it’s his own short-coming. Given my...sponsors...getting you -- and by extension myself -- out has always been the priority.” Eviess paused, the door before her sliding open. “Especially once I discovered who you were...” “Who I am?” Morgana’s eyebrows arched. Now the maenak was worried that“Brain” was going to pass her off -- again -- like a hot potato. She was a Galae maenak of no other importance than having unwanted knowledge of these stupid nanogenes. “If you’re thinking that you will get some sort of reward from my House, or from the Galae itself, then you are sorely mistaken. I’m nothing but a maenakenn. A troublesome one at that.” In fact, Morgana resolved to become a thorn in ‘‘Brain’s” side if this was indeed the case. Morgana glanced down to her hands, noticing for the first time the tremors. Drawing them into fists and trying na to let her nerves win, the Daise’Maenak slipped inside the doorway as calmly as she could. “Troublesome?” A smirk twitched across t’Mahren’s lips. “I’ll grant you that, but I’m not seeking ransom or reward.” Stepping into the room -- recognizable now as the interior of an escape pod -- the operative flopped into the pilot’s seat behind a basic console. “Perhaps I should have been more specific and said ‘who you serve.’” She waved her hand. “No matter; you’re at least in for the escape now. Buckle up.” The maenak did as she was told. Her hands still shook as she latched the belt. “Who are you anyway?” “I used to be known as Centurion Eviess t’Mahren...but that was a lifetime ago.” The hatch behind them closed and a countdown initiated on the control screen. “Ten seconds. Let’s hope our third party is on their toes.” “And what are you called now?” Something told the maenak to keep the woman talking. If not for her nerves, then perhaps to keep herself alive. t’Mahren grimaced. “I am called only when needed...though, after this, I suspect I will need to lie low for a while.” “Au think?” t’Ksa answered dryly. Cutting her companion a sideways glare, Eviess felt the propulsion rumble to life, clamps releasing the escape pod. Finally disengaged from the ship, the sensor system activated. Her hands swept over the controls with practiced ease. “Now, let us see if someone will find us...” “And the right sort at that,” Morgana whispered softly, apprehensively as she glanced at the woman who was either the answer to her prayers or her worst nightmare.
  4. “I do na think physical force is necessary. Nor, in this case, effective,” Major t’Prin leaned back in her chair, steeping her fingers together and regarded the younger, brasher Tal Shiar agent as she stewed in the chair before her. t’Kayton squirmed, attempting to reign in her temper before her superior officer. “But the Maenak has made little or na progress in the last week. She’s moving too—“ “Au do realize work of this nature takes time, ie?” t’Prin interrupted, kept her voice held at the same conversational tone while regarding her subject. “Ie, but—“ “And we are to be merely the catalyst for change.” t’Prin lectured. “What does that—“ “It means we are to…” she paused for dramatic effect as if searching for the most appropriate verbiage. “…coerced…na. That’s na right. Ah…persuaded. Ie, that sounds better. Our job is to persuade the menkha maenak to perform the tasks necessary for the betterment of Rihannsu everywhere. However the behest will take a monumental amount of time. The task requires intricate details, planning and perseverance. We can na expect nor demand to see immediate results. In fact I doubt that au and I will see results at all. What we must do is to assist the maenak, motivate her to keep trying, and above all, stay on task before we reach our benefactor so that he, and the menkha maenak can continue their quest.” She tilted her head. “Do au think that physical punishment is an appropriate motivator for this guest.” “Ie. Ie I do. Au know that interrogation protocols include physical persuasion. I do na see how this is any different.” t’Kayton seemed to understand that her follow up response would make or break her career within the Major’s detail. However, she neither cared for the Major’s methods nor did she agree that maenak was worth all this trouble na matter what their benefactor had promised. Nor did she care for the maenak pushing her buttons every chance she got. If the woman knew that by doing so it would result in punishments of increasing severity, perhaps she would do what is required of her. “Au have na done much research into au’s detainee.” While t’Prin’s tone remained conversational, the implications that t’Kayton had na clue what she was doing hung in the air. “If au had, like I did, then au would know that the maenak is of the highest caliber Galae officer. Loyal to the end. Any amount of physical pain equates to martyrdom for the cause. The Empire. Not to mention damaging her will slow her productivity down further.” t’Prin shook her head sadly, thinking perhaps about t’Ksa’s fate, perhaps about another’s. “Have au introduced her to the children yet?” “The children?” t’Kayton raised her brows. “Ie, the children.” “Na, I have not.” t’Kayton scowled. “If au are so concerned about the maenak’s productivity, perhaps au should.” “Why?” “Au will see in time,” t’Prin smiled enigmatically. “That is all,” she waved a hand to dismiss the sulking Tal Shiar officer, refusing to waste the time to explain her working theory to gain the Maenak’s cooperation. She waited until the woman had fled her presence before remarking to herself. “Pity. I had such high hopes that she could be taught.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Io would assume that the Maenak was complacent in this hostile situation. As if she was unconcerned that she would never again return to her home, her life, her family. She did na fight back. The only weapon she used was her tongue which caused na more damage than a stomach cramp from the resulting good laugh. As a result, the guards were becoming more relaxed with the Maenak and almost sympathetic when t’Kayton chose to mete out her own form of persuasion. While na necessarily weak, they thought, she was completely harmless. They thought wrong. t’Ksa had several other non-traditional weapons in her arsenal, na that they noticed. And she continued to utilize them every waking second. From Pain’s snoring to Brain’s quasi-friendly conversations or from her guards’ idle conversations while she worked to t’Kayton’s rantings, t’Ksa listened and absorbed everything. She also watched, counted, touched, smelled and, if necessary, tasted just about everything within her reach. From there, the khiensa mind games she learned in Academy were deployed. It was na the traditional form of warfare, but t’Ksa was sure in time it would prove effective. Morgana just needed to remain focused and na give into the growing homesickness within herself. The longer time passed her hope of rescue by Galae forces decreased exponentially. But she could na afford to feel sorry for herself. Na yet. Na until she was free and safe. Because na all battles were fought fist to fist, disruptor to disruptor - and sometimes strength comes from within.
  5. Yeah - Waiting for Talon Morgana is as good as y'ya isn't she?
  6. t'Prin Bites Back, Part 3 Daise'Erei'Riov t'Ksa in Peril She would have prefered a beating or badgering by t’Kayton to this. Ie, she admittedly believed in her own heart of hearts, Rihannsu were quii menkha people. While she knew evil existed, had even fought against those who would harm the Empire and the Rihannsu people as the a member of Galae, never has she come face to face with Evil, been in the same room as Evil, as she had today. It had left Morgana t’Ksa standing silently in the middle of her empty quarters (or cage) in a shocked stupor. They couldn’t possibly..... But they could. She knew this. She witnessed this first hand. Yet her subconscious tried to scream out a denial. Oh Elements, what am I going to do? Accomplish the feat that they request of au. It was the only logical answer. And yet she struggled with it. For what they asked of her was not only dangerous, but truly impossible. To strike down innocents.... Morgana sat shakily down on the sleeping cot, grateful that neither her captors Brain or Pain could witness her breakdown. She could na wipe t’Kayton’s smug face from her memory as the woman told her the nefarious plan. Re innocent children infected by poison would die unless the Daise’Maenak programmed, or engineered, or magicked the Borg nanobots to respond the way the alien nanogenes had when she’d used them on the Khre’Riov and R’Mor. The same poison that t’Ksa was aware that required the venom of the very same creature the Talon had encountered some time ago to cure normally. Na venom, no cure. No nanogenes, na cure. And if those re y’ya’d, then there was a small stable of unwilling laboratory animals waiting in the wings to take their places until the Daise’Maenak finally got it right. They knew the Daise’Maenak’s io weakness and had perverted it beyond reason. Innocent Rihannsu would die unless she performed a miracle. She would preferred to be y’ya herself. Oh Elements, what am I going to do? Thoughts of escape all ready dim extinguished in her mind. Na rescue had come. She was entirely on her own with na idea what to do. To strike down innocents.... And all the while t’Kayton laid forth their plan, t’Prin sat back and watched the re officers as if they were entertainment in some perverse tea party. There was na way that t’Kayton was the architect of such a devious scheme. Morgana was certain that young Tal Shiar agent was too inexperienced, too impulsive and too wrapped up in herself to have spent the time and research to formulate a plan to garner the Daise’Maenak’s cooperation. Yet Major t’Prin took na obvious credit for such a dark purpose. Instead, she studied both the Maenak and t’Kayton as if they were scientific specimens. What was that woman playing at? What twisted plots was she creating for the two of them? Oh Fire. I don’t know what to do. Help me! Fhaen help me! The Daise’Maenak thought as she drew herself into a ball and prayed silently for the strength to find a way out for herself and the children before they all ended up y’ya at her hand.
  7. t'Prin Bites Back, Part 2 Status reports, communiques, personnel directives - Alura t’Prin was na found of the administrative documentation of a mission. She much preferred plotting and directing to research and logistics. Even so, with this new assignment came plenty of data to review. Complicated data that left the Major distracted with her ISD as she entered her personal quarters. Walking directly to the replicator and placing the order, she did na bother to address the woman reclining on the suite’s sofa until Alura placed the tea set, complete with re cups of tea down in front of them. “What? Did au expect to surprise me? I knew au were here.” Alura asked, na bothering to hide her amusement at her Dark Rinam. Any other officer, Tal Shair or na, would have been y’ya’d on sight for even attempting to invade t’Prin’s personal quarters, let alone allowed to lounge causally across to the sofa as if io owned it. t’Sahen was the lone exception to this rule. The dark ‘sisters’ had been working together since time began, or so it seemed. How they were connected to one another, not a soul but the two women knew. They kept it that way. Kal t’Sahen said nothing, leaned forward and poured tea for both woman. Whether she was perturbed or na about t’Prin’s smug satisfaction, she did na show it. “That was a 16-byte double redundancy code with self-sealing tamper proof stem-bolt hardware on that door.” t’Prin flicked a wrist dismissively at the offending object. “What did it take au? Three, four suiren?” t’Prin accepted the cup of tea and sat back. “Io suiren, 39 seconds.” “tr’Jomar is losing his touch. A pity.” She sipped her tea. “He is na the only problem au have.” Kal answered, cradling the tea cup between her re hands. When t’Prin’s eyebrow arched, Kal continued. “Au should have never accepted this mission. Au know that anything that Savu N’Dak touches is....trouble. The woman can na even complete a simple assassination properly. And au think that attaching auself to this mission is wise?” t’Prin grinned at Kal’s understatement. “Trouble indeed. But au know how I like a challenge.” “If au think this will redeem au for the Aegis incident--” Kal watched t’Prin’s good humor evaporate. “--I would suggest au rethink au’s position. Their plans are poison, and au will soon be infected if au are na more vigilant.” “And what would au suggest I do?” “Remove t’Kayton.” t’Prin scoffed, but Kal continued. “I do na care if whose pet she is, she’s too heavy handed with the Maenak. t’Ksa all ready knows in whose custody she’s in, therefore she will--” “What?” t’Prin sat up. “Who told her.” “t’Kayton,” Kal answered flatly, producing io of the re data chips with the interview recording on it. The second Kal personally kept for future use. “Right after the Maenak bit her.” Alura snatched the chip from hand, stalked to the desk and inserted it into the etrehh. Kal followed as she continued her explanation. “Granted, it wasn’t the maenak’s fault. t’Kayton’s fingers got in the way t’Ksa’s mouth as she was speaking.” “Taking t’Ksa’s side?” “It amuses me,” Kal smiled slyly, watching the video playback of the entire episode. It was after the unintended offense that t’Kayton’s wrath was directed at t’Ksa in the form of a fierce beating, in the process she revealed t’Prin’s name. When the scene finished and the battered maenak was dragged off-screen, Kal glanced at t’Prin who was visibly fuming. After listening t’Prin colorfully cursing t’Kayton’s heritage, Kal offered, “I can have her removed. Take out the garbage when I leave.” “Au are leaving?” t’Prin cast a sideways glance at t’Sahen, her ire towards t’Kayton momentarily forgotten. “Ie,” t’Sahen examined her nails, “The director has a new assignment for me.” “Oh?” “ch’Rihan. Hospital duty.” “Elimination?” “Na, observation only.....for now.” t’Sahen broke out into a scary looking grin. “And I get shiny new toys.” t’Prin turned pensive, drummed her index finger against her front teeth. “Hmmm, very useful indeed.” “I know that look, lhhei. Au are plotting.” t’Prin flashed a brilliant grin, “Of course, a’rhea. Don’t I always?” She cupped Ka’ls cheeks then patted them gently. “This could indeed work to our advantage. Keep in touch. I may have an additional order.....or two.” Kal knew better than to question what t’Prin had in mind. All would be revealed to her by her dark rinam in good time. She did, however still wonder what to do with the overzealous Tal Shiar agent currently failing to garner the information t’Prin needed. “And t’Kayton? Do au wish me to dispose of her?” “Na, she too may provide useful... in the end.” t’Prin glanced up. “I will deal with her on my own, for now.” “As au wish,” Kal gave a brief salute. To others it would have na been the same sign of respect as she had meant for her dark rinam. “I’ll be in touch, menkha luck, Alura.” “Ie, menkha luck to au as well,” All ready lost to her plotting, Alura answered quietly as her rinam slipped out of the room. “Menkha luck indeed.”
  8. t'Prin Bites Back, Part 1 “She bit me!” t’Kayton’s temper tantrum rivaled that of a toddler who’s cookie had been stolen. Which a screech loud enough to shatter glass, the hot tempered Tal Shiar agent threw t’Ksa’s half empty tea at the observation window. The surveillance tech jumped back as the flying crockery bounced back, splashing the surface with ink gray liquid. He was equally alarmed when he discovered that t’Kayton had disappeared from view while he’d been distracted by the liquid sloshing down his window. Within seconds she burst into the mechanical room and he suddenly feared for his equipment, if not his life. “She bit me!” t’Kayton repeated shrilly as if it was na clear by her tantrum in the other room. She punctuated it with a one-footed stomp. “Perhaps she feels better,” the young technician sarcastically replied as he carried on with his duties as of t’Kayton had na invaded his privacy. It was the first time he dared to show his contempt for the raving woman. Although he normally steered clear t’Kayton and her temper, this evening he was feeling particularly brave, especially knowing who was in the room with him at the moment. “Why au fvadt--” t’Kayton raised her hand to deliver a punishing blow only to find her hand caught firmly by the wrist. She whipped around, ready to y’ya the insolent verrul who dared to stop her from disciplining the crew only to come face to face with io of the Dark Rinams emerging from the shadows of the room. The hand on t’Kayton’s wrist tightened painfully. “Lhhei, I did na see au. I apologize.” t’Kayton calmed considerably. She’d learned to be cautious around the Rinams, especially the io who lurked in the shadows. The woman showed na trace of emotion on her face, almost to the point that io could mistake her for being a Dead Io had io na known better. And she studied t’Kayton’s face with such deep scrutiny that it gave t’Kayton chills. The woman did na release her wrist right away, but rather flicked her eyes towards the door - a clear non-verbal command that t’Kayton should leave immediately. The muscles in her jaw worked, debating the decision whether or na to test the Rinam resolve. There were stories about what the women did with those who disobeyed, did she want to be io of those stories? Only when t’Kayton relented with a nod of her head and “Of course, lhhei. As au wish,” did woman release her wrist. She rubbed her wrist to get the circulation of blood flowing again, fuming as she stomped out of the room. Impressed, the technician grinned at his mentor. “One of these days, au will have to show me how au do that.” The shadowy woman held up two fingers, then offered an open palm to the technician. Again, without uttering a word, the technician knew exactly what the woman wanted. He copied the interview recording twice, then placed both data chips into the woman’s outstretched hand. He looked up to see if she had any further orders. When he realized she had just done to him what he wished to learn about controlling t’Kayton, he shook his head. “Or perhaps I should just pay closer attention. The Dark Rinam of course just smiled, a creepy looking smile but a genuine smile nonetheless. With a mock salute, the Tal Shiar agent left the room, leaving the technician to stare absentmindedly at the liquid streaking down his observation window.
  9. Strength In Sickness Daise'Erei'Riov tr'Aieme/Daise'Erei'Riov t'Ksa Could there be anything worse than feeling this ill and na having the power to do anything about it? To na have the access to or ability to alleviate the pain oneself, instead depending on the mercy of others to assist au was humiliating. Pain and suffering made worse by maenaken staff that cared na io iota that io was suffering so greatly. Kheinsa tr’Aieme, interim Daise’Maenak, sat on the biobed in main medical waiting for yet another dose of the medication prescribed to him by Galae Medical to decrease the symptoms of his space sickness. He was told that eventually he’d become accustomed to space travel and that his symptoms would lessen over time. Pffft. It was his Erein years all over again. Who ever heard of a space-sick Galae officer anyway? An older woman, a nurse by the look of her uniform approached. Io he was embarrassed to find he could na place her name. His space-sickness so profound, tr’Aieme had na yet to be introduced to the all Talon’s medical staff, tour his new facility or had been able to do much ‘work’ since leaving port. If this was the Khre’Riov’s plan to neutralize tr’Vatrix’s advisor, it was succeeding surprisingly well. “Here again, Daise?” She smiled sympathetically. Maec responded by growling, both to indicate his discomfort over the situation and prevent any further loss of his stomach’s contents. “Au are on Dymendrynato, ie?” She took her time, scrolling through his medical history before pausing with a puzzled look on her face. “The Da--err..t’Ksa. She has treated au before too?” “Ie, twice. I came to visit while the ship was at station keeping.” She gave a little nod, then motioned io of the maenaken over. This io Maec recognized - Ura tr’Paine, who lived up to his House name very well. The smug fvadt man sauntered over with a grin on his face. He delighted in teasing the Khiensa over this perceived weakness in his ability to manage surviving in space. “Jolan tru, Kheinsa.” He grabbed the hypospray and started to prepare a dosage. “Did they na teach au that space-sickness is mostly in au’s head?” He teased the Kheinsa. “Wait,” the nurse laid a hand on tr’Paine’s should and shoved the ISD into his eyesight. Once he took the ISD from her, she disappeared from sight. He read a line or two in the area that the older woman indicated, his smug look fading to io of concern. “t’Ksa treated au?” “If au call jabbing me in the neck with a hypospray without so much as a warning and cursing Galae Medical in the process, then ie.” “Did it help?” “It worked considerably better than what the ch’Rihan bound maenakenn gave me, ie.” “Scopelmyre and Promezyne,” tr’Paine scrutinized the record. “Unconventional. I na have thought to put the two of them together.” He continued researching to find reference to how the former Daise’Maenak came up with such an odd pairing. “One for common allergy treatment, the other used as an antispasmodic.” Maec raised a brow, wondering if t’Ksa had been experimenting on him at the time or what. “Ah here, we go,” tr’Paine’s eyes scanned the ISD, his face turning from skeptical to acceptance of t’Ksa’s unusual treatment. When he was done, he passed the article over to tr’Aieme to read while he prepared the hypospray. “Erwi Journal of Medicine. I would never thought to read a civilian research initiative.” “Article is only three years old. But it has several suppo---OUCH!” Maec slapped his hand over his neck and glared at tr’Paine who just smiled sweetly before taking the ISD away. “Next dosage is scheduled for twelve hours. Fhaen let me know if this works,” tr’Paine made a notation in the ISD before handing it to the nurse on his way out of the room. “Pardon him, rekkhai. He’s a bit full of........himself lately.” She held the ISD to her chest as she watched the Kheinsa slip down from the biobed. “I’m sorry, I do na believe we’ve --” “t’Culli, rekkhai. Ro’Wena t’Culli. Lead shift nurse,” She bowed her head. “t’Ksa spoke of au. She seemed fond of au. Said au have been here quite a while.” Maec managed a slight smile, motioning for her to follow him to Daise’s office. “Ie, fifteen years.” She offered. “That’s a long time for a Galae officer to be posted on io ship.” “I’m good at my job.” She answered simply with na hint of arrogance. “Ie, I heard that too,” tr’Aieme took a look around what was once t’Ksa’s office, now his. He would have prefered to use the Kheinsa’s office down the hallway, but as temporary Daise, he was forced to use Morgana’s. It was an awful reminder her missing presence and he vowed to stay out of it as much as possible. It hurt to be in there. “I I have na had a chance for a full orientation to the medical bay. Would au be so kind to give me a tour when au have a moment?” “Of course, rekkhai.” She glanced around the room as if she too was hesitant to step foot inside. When she did so, she motioned to the various parts of room as she spoke. “As far as au’s office, fhaen be aware - the third drawer sticks.” She waved her hand to the fish bowl on the bookshelf, “tr’Walter should be fed twice daily. There’s an emergency escape hatch behind au’s desk in the console there and...” She waved her hand towards the seating bench. “And, if needed, this converts to a sleeping cot, the linens are stored in the drawer below.” “A sleeping cot?’ “She...she spent a lot of time here,” t’Culli answered hesitantly. “I see.” “She’s not coming back, is she.” t’Culli spoke quietly, watching tr’Aieme careful as if she was looking for some sign, io way or another. Maec closed his eyes, bowing his head. The odds of finding t’Ksa were decreasing exponentially by the hour, if not by the minute. Adding in the factor that Morgana had not activated the homing device by this point, the odds of finding t’Ksa alive were extremely slim. He’d be giving t’Culli, and himself, false hope if he told her Morgana would be returning. He shook his head slowly, “Na.” He added, “But maybe we’ll find those who did this, and bring them to justice.” mentally continuing ...eventually....if the crew united together instead of pursuing their own agendas. Given that the crew was captained by an irate Khre’Riov who could barely see past her own fury, and an executive officer who’d been prematurely thrust back into duty, he doubted even that would happen within the next decade. He would do his best to keep them on track, focused, if nothing else but for her. Morgana had lived for the betterment of the Empire, had been loyal servant for all these years, and would have liked nothing better than to bring those to justice that threatened the Empire. In her spirit, he would do whatever he could to do just that. To protect and serve the Empire. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Could there be anything worse than feeling this ill and na having the power to do anything about it? To na have the access to or ability to alleviate the pain oneself, instead depending on the mercy of others to assist au was aggravating. Pain and suffering made worse by maenaken staff that cared na io iota that io was suffering so greatly. Delirious with fever, the serum sickness made Morgana a next to useless prisoner until she recovered. t’Kayton, t’Prin’s second in command, was growing impatient. If she did na produce some results, her mistress would relinquish command of the integrations to far more adept officers. At this point, none of interrogation sessions had reaped much information. t’Ksa either confounded the new integrators (a conversation that infuriated t’Kayton when she watched the playback as as the Maenak back-talked her way out of a direct line of questioning), withstood a beating or, as in the case of the serum sickness, found to be too ill to continue (and those were her best shoes!) “Make her ready for another session. Dev suiren.” t’Kayton snapped at the underling manning the door. If this delirium was an act, the Maenak would suffer. If it was na, perhaps it would serve a useful purpose. She’d prove her worth to t’Prin. All she had to do was to change first.
  10. Apparently he now believes his own hype, hmmm? ::passes tr'Valtrix a rice bowl:: Bop him upside the head for Morgana, please.
  11. Alternations of Tactics, Part 4 Daise'Erei'Riov Morgana t'Ksa and Lannisal t'Ksa Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump...Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump...Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump Cursed with drumming fingers, she should have brought something to do while she waited. Remaining patient when waiting for others when she was angry or aggravated was not her strongest skill. The longer she waited, the more impatient she grew, the more her temper threatened to break free. She was all ready stressed from the ceremonial plans, all ready having difficulty managing her emotions after the failed kidnapping attempt on Talon. Now this? Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump...Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump...Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump With her free non-drumming hand, t’Ksa reached under her uniform collar to pull out the glass and metal pendant around her neck. She fingered absentmindedly. The pendant served two purposes in keeping the maenak calm. First its construction by tr’Aieme’s very talented rinam reminded t’Ksa of Maec and his voice of reason urging her to na over-react, to keep calm or simply be herself. The second was the small tracking device contained within, a lifeline that she could trigger if ever she was in trouble. Camouflaged within the glass artistry by t’Aieme, it was given to her by tr’Rylov to help ease her fears after tr’Valdrin’s initial conversation with the maenak about her dishern maenak’s defloxo addiction. She had na worn begun to wear it until after the kidnapping attempt on Talon. While she thought the incident was an isolated io (for whoever would want lowly maenak who had na degree of influence beyond the walls of the medical bay?), she had begun to wear it as more of a personal security blanket. She knew it was useless unless she activated it - but it did make her feel better, stronger. Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump...Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump...Thrump, thrump, thrump, thrump She looked up to see her younger rinam finally breeze through the doors of the cafe. Lannisal took a brief look around the crowded room before finally spotting Morgana at a table in the back. Juggling several packages, t’Ksa sat down in front of t’Ksa and grinned. “Jolan tru!” “What is this?” Morgana showed her rinam the ISD screen. Confused by the lack of small talk, preamble or curtsy, she glanced at the screen. “A message board.” “Na. What is this?” Lannisal sighed heavily, then began her story of how she’d been wronged by S’Bien. Morgana let her rant, knowing this was the only way to gain her cooperation later. It took a great deal of self control for t’Ksa to na yell at her rinam, even with the public setting they were in. At the end of her explanation, t’Ksa simply, albeit sharply, responded: “Au will remove it. Now.” “I will na!” Lannisal pouted. “Why should I?” “Because....” t’Ksa could na say ‘because I told au so’ to her rinam. So she used other tactics. Far exaggerating the situation if only to get her rinam to do the right thing and perhaps get her under control. “Because what au have done has far reaching consequences. Ios that do more than just sooth au’s wounded pride.” When her rinam looked as if she was going to object to her comment, she barreled over her. “Ie, au’s pride. This is na about honor, this about au’s stinging pride. As a result, au have called attention, unwanted, to a member of my crew.” “I have to work with these people, Lanni. I have to live with these people. I have to trust these people. I depend on these people with my life. The impression au have left is that io of the members of my crew can na do their jobs. A member of my own House. My own family has done this. To my own crew. To announce to all of ch'Rihan that they are na competent to protect me or the Empire. Do au have any idea the damage au have inflected on the Galae itself?” “I do na expect au to fully understand, as au have never served beyond the required conscription period and it was planetside at that. But this....this....”she waved a hand over the ISD. “this is serious and I need au to remove it, now.” “But au saw what he did, didn’t au?” Lannisal pouted once more. Morgana was begining to wonder if her exagerations were enough. Apparently she had na yet convinced her rinam. “Au should have brought it to my attention. That is my problem to deal with, na au’s. Of course, that would have meant au would have to tell me what au were up to,” She sternly stared at her rinam. “The only saving grace is that he was na the io to release the crew manifest to au. He would have suffered a far far far more painful consequence than the io he is enduring now.” she scowled, remembering Kalicia’s part in this fiasco, “As it is, I have my own rinam to blame for that io.” “I’m sorry, I only wanted to surprise au. To make sure we invited all those who are important in your life.” “Oh stow it.” Morgana pushed the ISD at her sister. “Save me the platitudes. Au will take down the site, now.” “But he--” “I don’t care. Remove it. Now.” “It’s not fair! He shouldn’t have--” “Lanni, now.” Morgana pushed the ISD at her rinam. “Or I will have it removed for au.” “But--” “Na buts. Now.” Something in Morgana’s tone of voice gave Lannisal pause. The Daise’Maenak was deathly serious about the removal of the offending messaging board. Rinam or na, it would be removed io way or another. Lannisal hesitated, then snatched the ISD away from her rinam. After a few moments of tapping, swiping and poking, the offending site had been removed. “There, it’s done.” “Hann’yyo.” Morgana took the ISD from her rinam, then typed a few commands into it on her own to make sure her rinam had truly deleted the site. Na that she didn’t trust her rinam, but, well, she didn’t trust her rinam. When she was satisfied that S'Bein's name was na longer being used in vain by her younger rinam, she then moved on to another topic, another list, another conversation that the two rinams needed to have. “Now, about these arrangements for the ceremony....” Morgana began.
  12. Alteration of Tactics, Part 3 Daise'Erei'Riovs t'Ksa and tr'Aieme "And that folks, is this week's #1 bone-headed move of the week! Join us next for...." Maec wrestled the holo-vid controller away from Morgana’s white knuckled grip and turned the entertainment set off. “I’m sure it’s na that bad.” “Look it up, I want to see what the verrul has done this time,” Morgana folded her arms over her chest. Her eyes bore holes in the viewscreen as Maec transition it from live entertainment to the civilian messaging system. Her eyes bounced from word to word as he set the search parameters. “I’m going to y’ya him.” When she muttered when tr’Aieme found the item in question. “I’m going to fillet him into teeny tiny pieces. Then I’m going to y’ya him again.” “This is quite funny.” Maec chuckled, reading over the information precipitating the reporters comical story of Talon’s Operations officer. The man had to pass a rigorous medical exam before posting, then again periodically during his tour. Most of these exams were conducted by the Daise’Maenak herself, so Maec understood why Morgana would be rather irked by the reporter’s assertions . “Are au sure he is na on recreational substances during leave?” He tried na to laugh, trying to offer an alternate theory to the El’Riov’s behavior. “Oh na. Oh na. Oh na, this is pure S’Bien. That nohtho dyypan kllhe.” The Daise’Maenak clenched her teeth and scowled hard at the screen, as if she could punish Koga with sheer mind power. “Should I na be the judge on whether or na he is nohtho?” Maec chuckled as scrolled further into the document. He was easily amused by the situation as he read the irate fan comments. That was until he reached the last io in the string - the io which started it all and recognized the author. “Fvadt. That’s na menkha.” “I’m going to y’ya her.” Morgana too recognized the name, “I’m going to disassemble her body parts puzzle pieces. Then I’m going to y’ya her again.” “I don’t think that is wise. She is family after all.” Morgana gave Maec the evil eye before leaping off the sofa and storming off to her desk, muttering about violent painful and embarrassing murders of S’Bien and her rinam. “What are au going to do, Maenak?” The Kheinsa leaned back on the sofa and watched her with an amused smirk on his face. “Something that will fix the situation once and for all parties involved; S’Bien’s dyypan and Lannisal’s meddling. And if I am lucky,” She started furiously typing, “Force N’Dak’s hand into resuming his role as Executive Officer sooner rather than later. I hate this job.” A string of curses followed questioning N’Dak, S’Bien and Lannisal’s parentage and their sanity. “Or au will do such a menkha job in the position he will never replace au. Perhaps he will become the Daise’Maenak in au’s absence.” Maec took another dig at the irked Maenak. “Daise’Maenak, ha! He better replace me or I’ll y’ya him. I’ll dice him up into millions of pieces and drop him in a pile at the Enarrain’s chair. Then I’ll y’ya him again.” She muttered as she typed. Rihan Star Empire Memo RES Talon Internal Communication Date: XXXXXX To: El'Riov Koga Nraku S'Bien From Daise’Erei’Riov Morgana t’Ksa, Executive Officer Effective immediately, au’s shoreleave has been canceled and au have been reassigned to retraining at the ch’Rihan War College. Report to the Academy parade grounds at 0900 for au’s new assignment. I will meet au there. From the Desk of Daise’Maenak t’Ksa Date: XXXXXX To: Lannisal t’Ksa, Mhiessan University From Daise’Erei’Riov Morgana t’Ksa, Executive Officer We to meet regarding a serious matter that has been recently been brought to my attention. As this may affect the future of the event au are planning, I believe it is necessary for us to discuss this as soon as possible. Fhaen meet me at the Eghadh Lagga at 1000. Hann’yyo, Morgana
  13. (This is not one of my best - but will give the crew at least some idea of what the floor plan is. Some of it is cut and pasted from the chatlog with a bit of embellishment. So in other words, it's a floor plan with a lotta other silly stuff thrown in for my amusement.) Alterations of Tactics, Part 2 Daise'Erei'Riovs t'Ksa and tr'Aieme “Elements. Could this place be any bigger?” Morgana stood apprehensively at the bottom of the grand stone stairs, staring upwards at the large marble building looming before them. The historic building, the Trapulerius, once housed the local assembly space until the local government outgrew the space and abandoned it for a more ‘modern’ architectural space over two hundred years earlier. With its stone pillar facade, domed glass rotunda, and marble steps, the building’s classical design lent itself well to some of the city’s most fashionable events. Maec’s eyes also travel up the facade, “I'm sure it could be. Although I am na exactly sure how.” “I think I'm going to vomit,” She inhaled slowly, pulling her outer cloak closer, as she started to climb the stairs. “Just na on my shoes, Khera.” tr’Aieme followed behind her, carrying the ISD of their rinams’ evil plans. The Khiensa had fulfilled his role in securing a tour of the building from io of the event planner’s assistants prior to the next engagement. It had only cost him two tickets to the Vindolanda Orchestra fundraiser and the unfortunate distinction of having to wear his dress uniform on io of his precious evenings off. Io where he’d have much liked to have spent time with t’Ksa - alone. “Oh Fire.” “Oh Fire?” Maec stepped through the threshold and halted behind the Daise’Maenak who seemed frozen in place. He whistled softly, “Looks like au's rinam is going after event of the season with this place.” As she skirted the edge of the large rotunda, Morgana cast a glance to Maec behind her, “Are au sure we can na just elope?” “I think we've both agreed, it's too late now. What do au think about it, if it was na to be the site of our impending doom?” he flashed a lopsided smile at her from the other side of the marble column. t’Ksa looked coyly at him, then at the building's ceiling, “It's beautiful. The architecture is fantastic. Do au na think?” She stopped short of batting her eyelashes at him as she realized she sounded more like she was flirting with him instead of fulfilling their mission. “So....” the Khiensa held the artist rendition...aka his sister's...vision before them, “What would au change?” “Is that really where they want to put the scroll signing ceremony?” Morgana looked over his shoulder to the animation on the ISD. “Apparently so. And over there, the reception dinner.” He motioned to the doors where presumably the banquet was located. “And the waiting areas?” “Over this direction, I believe.” The Khiensa strolled casually over. “See, through here.” He opened the door to a long corridor with several doors opening into it. “That one.” Maec looked at the map. “Is another conference room.” “Or look an escape clause.” t’Ksa pointed to the exit. “Hmmm...an escape clause. You're right.” He peeked out the exit, then flashed Morgana a wicked grin. “Can I help au?” The woman’s voice brought both the Kheinsa and the Maenak crashing back to reality. While Morgana smoothed her finest cloak down as per her assignment, the reticent bride-to-be, tr’Aieme turned to the young woman in the doorway and spoke. “Ah ie. I am Daise’Erei’Riov tr’Aieme. This is...” he paused offering Morgana an arm, “My sahe’lagge, the lovely t’Ksa, ” He said it with such gooey sentiment that t’Ksa had difficulty keeping a straight face. “We spoke to tr’Rehu about touring the facility.” “Oh, ie.” the woman relaxed a fraction, curtsying slightly. Clothed in all black with just a touch of green fabric on her high collar, the woman blended well into the background so na to be noticed by the invitees “Etre tr’Rehu assigned me to be au’s guide before the event. I am Eviess.” “Au’s house name?” Morgana asked about the omitted name as if she was more self-conscious about House and standing that she really was. tr’Aieme’s story to tr’Rehu was that while t’Ksa’s proxies had chosen the venue, it was t’Ksa’s approval that was needed to finalize the plans. It required t’Ksa to act like she was still formulating an opinion of the facility. She needed to be haughty and aloof at least initially. It was na an easy task for a Mhiessan girl who was used to saying what she thought when she thought i. “Na important.” She smiled, motioning to the re of them. “May I take au’s cloaks before we get started.” “Ah, ie,” tr’Aieme nodded. He turned to Morgana to assist her out of her outerwear. It was the first time he spied her manner of dress. The gown was a deep burgundy red with intricate gold embroidery along the sleeves, hem and drop shoulder collar. The fabric seemed to reflect and absorb the light at the same time. Around her neck was the hand blown glass and gold pendant that he gave her last year, resting just above the deep ‘v’ of her cleavage. He stared intently at her. It was na that he didn’t normally find the Maenak’s appearance as attractive. In fact, he liked her best when she presented herself as - herself. It was just that he’d never seen her in such an outfit and it left him momentarily speechless. t’Ksa took note at the Kheinsa’s apparent entrancement of her outfit. Morgana looked at him oddly, then elbowed him. “Au need to give her the cloak, Maec.” She whispered, her eyebrows raised. “Ie, of course,” the Khiensa recovered, hanging the garments over to the young woman before tucking Morgana’s arm in his. “So where shall we start?” “This way, rekkhai,” Eviess motioned, leading them through a forty-five siuren tour of the facility, completely with historical commentary. To the south of the main rotunda was a two story wing containing the main ballroom, kitchen, refreshers and four smaller meeting spaces on the first floor, and a smaller ballroom and six other meeting rooms on the second floor. To the north, was another two story wing containing more conference rooms, and refreshers. The facility operations office was on the second floor of this wing. It was also in this wing that two rooms had been set aside for the Ksa and Aieme Houses use the day of the ceremony to prepare. The door that Morgana had been admiring had na been an escape path, but access to a large formal courtyard gardens. “Why are we na using this as part of the event?” Morgana asked as they exited out onto the cobble stoned courtyard. The Daise’Maenak could tell that the Kheinsa was just as intrigued with the gardens as she was just by the way the muscles in his arm jumped and the way he craned his neck to see around the walled gardens. Eviess answered, “Au’s representative felt it was na appropriate for the seriousness of the ceremony.” “Can we have a moment, fhaen,” Morgana smiled slightly. Eviess bowed her head and left them to see to her other tasks. t’Ksa waited until she was sure they were alone before turning to Maec. “Well?” “Well, what?” Maec raised a brow. t’Ksa bit her lip before she answered. “If I could change io thing, I would move the scroll signing ceremony out here.” She swept an arm across the view of the garden. “Au too?” “Ie,” She grinned, following as Maec led the way to a pergola covered by a flowering vine near the center of the north wing wall. When they drew closer, she took note of the small water fountain anchored in the wall next to the bench seating. “I do na care of the banquet is indoors in the ballroom,” she waved a vague hand towards the south wing. “But I really like this. It suits us, do au na think?” “There is access to north wing at either end of this wall,” he motioned, then turned to face the other wing. “Looks like the same access is available over there. So the guests can be invited to come out here, and then enter the ballroom afterwards. Those who do na wish to attend the ceremony, can go directly to the ballroom.” He looked around. “It looks large enough to hold the crowd our rinams have managed to invite, although I suspect that most will come to attend the party afterwards instead of the ceremony itself. And most of all it has--” “Space,” Morgana completed his thought. “It is na closed in. I know how spacious that rotunda looks, but I feel constricted in there. This. This feels more natural. Ha, natural, outdoors. Of course it’s natural. But I think the point is I can tolerate a crowd here.” She looked around. “Or at least it will be less painful.” She smiled. Maec’s eyebrows arched playfully, “Au think bonding with me will be--” “Pardon me, rekkhai,” Eviess rematerialized nearby, interrupting their conversation. “But Etre tr’Rehu would like meeting au, Etre tr’Aieme, to thank au for au’s generous donation tonight.. Fhaen, if au do na mind,” She motioned back to the building entrance. The two of them shared a look for a moment. A shared thought without words. Then Morgana grinned. “Go,” she patted his arm. “Come find me when au are done. I’ll talk to Eviess about our plans, ie?” She slipped the ISD out of his pocket, and kissed him on the cheek before turning her attention to the event planner. “Eviess, au seemed to be a very competent, trustworthy and intelligent woman, would au mind if au and I speak frankly--” Then slowly, a new plan begin to emerge....
  14. Alterations of Tactics, Part 1 Daise Erei'Riov t'Ksa & tr'Aieme “If au could plan the event, what would au do?” It was na the question itself that stopped tr’Aieme at the door, as potentially provocative as it could have been. It was the tone of voice. Na accusatory as he expected, but instead it was curiously distracted. As if t’Ksa was all ready planning something. He turned, watching her walk across the room to a large viewscreen in the casual area of the quarters. He could na help hide the disgust in his voice as he responded, “It certainly would na be this monstrosity.” “That’s a given.” t’Ksa answered as if that was a given fact. She toggled the ISD in her hand to the viewscreen. She was most certainly planning something, it was in her facial expression. She had the same pensive look her face that she’d held the day she tripped him with her g’Olf club - only he failed to recognize it - he had thought she’d finally grown bored with his company. Intrigued, tr’Aieme followed her, “How did this get so far out of hand?” t’Ksa shrugged a moment, tapping commands on the ISD. The viewscreen in front of them flickered to life, the menu of their collective rinams’s work displayed on the screen. She clicked on io folder marked ‘Guest List.’ then froze when she saw the sheer size of the document. “Oh Elements.” He too had been surprised when he'd seen the list which rivialed a D'deridex Warbird crew manifest. When she did na move after several moments, Maec laid a hand on her shoulder to reassure her. “Morgana...” This seemed to bring her to her senses and she started to scroll through the manifest, “There. That is how.” She paused, highlighting a name. “The House of Lovok. My guess is they instigated it.” “The House of Lovok?” Maec stared at the name. He did na recall the name before. Morgana sighed softly, setting the ISD down on the table before her, “A distant cousins. Connected to Ksa through Thue t’Ksa who entered into a bonding with Kalabum tr’Lovok.” She scratched the top of her head, still connecting the details. “I think she’s one of my mother’s aunt’s grandchildren, or some other such nonsense. I was never clear on her connection. Only that she is rather ambitious whelp. A social climber who tried to attach herself to the back of my uniform sash after last year’s award ceremony.” “I canna stand her. She’s too ---” Morgana waved her hand vaguely as if trying to put a label on her feelings. When she could find no such vocabulary, she continued “Anyway, my guess is she somehow convinced Lannisal to go out all in the ceremony, challenging her to create something worthy of my perceived standing within the Galae. She of course thinks I’ll become the next Daise’Enarrain of next Galae flagship or some other such nonsense - or so she told me last year when we met again. So by doing so, it would elevate her own bondmate status - I hear he’s running for local office in the Riga providence.” tr’Aieme stared at the viewscreen, “Au rinam never seemed susceptible to such schemes.” “Neither does au rinam. Yet, here we are.” t’Ksa slapped her hands against her thighs. “Lannisal - she is only doing this for jol, but she can easily be swayed, manipulated even, to others whims when she’s excited about a project.” the Daise’Maenak turned to face tr’Aieme, “It is actually quite easy to do. I once convinced Lannisal that our youngest rinam was a foundling we adopted from a poor young dying mother based merrily on the fact that Kalicia was far more skilled at Khariat than we were.” “Au rinam thought Kalicia was adopted because she was better at stacking sticks?” Maec blinked. A teasing smile curled across t’Ksa’s features, “Ie. For two months she thought I was serious. She was too young to remember the Kalicia’s birth so she did na question my recollections of the event. The more she questioned me, the more elaborate the story I wove, thinking she’d finally discover the joke. At least Kalicia had the forethought to question this. She looked up her own birth records within a day of my storytelling. Lannisal on the other hand...” Morgana shook her head with a laugh, “It kept her well distracted as I practiced my own game. Well, we are very competitive. Au should know that.” She bumped her hip against his, teasing him about their own complex rivalry in medical school. He smiled, “But as au pointed out, my rinam would na or should na have been susceptible to such manipulations.” “Na but au rinam has na had the unlimited,” She waved her hand, “well, nearly unlimited resources to exercise her artistic ability, has she? Again, I do na think she did this to hurt au. More likely swept away in my own rinam’s enthusiasm.” She returned to staring at the list. “So, if au were in change. What would au do?” Maec’s good humor faded, “I do na know. At this point, I am so overwhelmed with what has been done against our wills. Besides, it’s too late--” Morgana turned to face him, cupping his face in her hands and giving his cheeks a gentle pat, “If au are going to be a Ksa, au must learn it is never too late.” She flashed a lopsided mischievous grin. tr’Aieme reached up and held her hands, “How?” t’Ksa released him, “We start with the venue. We may na be able to change everything, but we can at least we can alter it to our liking.” She kissed him on the cheek. “Au contact the proprietor, I will draw up the plan of attack. Tonight, we launch our own offensive.” “Au make this sound like a military maneuver.” Maec watched t’Ksa pick up the ISD and move towards the bedroom of her quarters. “We are Galae officers, ie?” She grinned. “And do they na say all is fair in jol and war? Or would au rather surrender au’s dignity to re civilian party planners?” “Na particularly,” he chuckled, activating his personal communication device. “Then get moving Khiensa, au have work to do.” She grinned at him as she disappeared behind the door.
  15. Resentment of the Irrelavant Daise Erei’Riovs t’Ksa & tr’Aieme “Fhaen, promise me au will na y’ya me but...” What a first greeting. Na ‘Jolan tru’. Na warm embrace. Na smile, na even a sheepish io. Instead ‘promise me au will na y’ya me...’ followed with a whithering look. When io’s potential mate greets io with these words, io can na help but be concerned. “What?” Morgana warily stared at Maec tr’Aeime as he ushered her into his private office. The two had been conversing on a more frequent basis as Talon drew closer to ch’Rihan. While the conversations themselves amounted to nothing more than idle chatter and gossip; they had been invaluable to t’Ksa’s sanity and perhaps the health of the Enarrain himself. For with ever comm call t’Ksa had she a slightly diminished need to pop the spoiled sulky man’s arms off like a demented Eikoow. However if tr’Aieme was about to deliver bad news, Morgana would have to rethink her position on reckless (although thoroughly gratifying) violence. “What?” “Apparently, like au rinam, my rinam also fails to keep secrets,” Maec abashedly winced as he offered the Daise’Maenak a seat. “What?” Na completely following the conversation, t’Ksa was confused until she realized what he was inferring. In io of their previous conversations, she’d had elicited a promise from tr’Aieme to na discuss the ceremonial plans with her rinams, especially Lannisal t’Ksa who was more than a little excited by her eldest sister’s betrothal. Apparently Morgana should have been more specific and excluded both Houses in their entirety. Morgana exasperatedly exhaled. “What happened?” “I was trying to reassure Mhai that the while the plans for the merger were temporarily on hold, they were by no means outright canceled. I told her that we’d spoken about it and that when au returned we would finalize any further arrangements.” “And?” Maec closed his eyes, furrowing his brows in process. “She told Lannisal.” Morgana pressed the palms of her hands against her eyelids hard. “And?” “And what?” “How much damage...?” She peeked out between her fingers. Maec slumped back to lean against his desk, “Perhaps we should both invest in anti-anxiety medications before the function.” “Fvadt. Fvadt. Fvadt, fvadt, fvadt fvdat.” ~~~~ Sandwiched between the re women, Maec glanced from io rinam (t’Ksa’s) to another (his own) as they conducted business in a language he was na at all versed in. Pomp and circumstance. This put him at a disadvantage every time he attempted to lookout for Morgana’s best interest. There was na manipulating the situation to a more positive outcome without overtly offending either the t’Ksa household or the tr’Aieme household. Any outright attempts to refuse the arrangements were met with withering glances from the two women, the promptly ignored as if he was a small child throwing a tantrum. So skilled were they at giving orders and directives that the Kheinsa felt that these women could give any Galae Enarrain a run for their latium. When the final deal was struck, the final preparations completed, Maec felt na joy and relief but sorrow and detachment from one of the most important events in his life. Na control over his personal life. What an odd sensation to have. ~~~~ Morgana made na move to greet the Kheinsa at the door. Rather she granted him access to her living quarters remotely from the etrehh console she was intently working at as he entered. She glanced up, waved with io hand, then returned her attention to the task at hand. She heard him sit in the chair adjacent to her desk. “I’ve nearly completed my task. Just io moment. “ She stole a quick glance at him, offering a apologetic smile before squinting at the screen before her. She noted his unusual silence and stole another glance at him. “What’s wrong?” Maec simply shook his head, offered a tense smile she presumed he meant to make her feel reassured, then picked up io of the quirky desk decorations that came with her rented quarters. While he twisted it around in his hand, studying each juncture, Morgana became torn between completed her task and devoting her full attention to her despondent looking Kheinsa. So she attempted to multi-task, attempting to type, steal glances at him, and carry on a conversation at the same time. She knew this was a mistake, something she would eventually pay for. But against her better judgment, she continued on just the same. “Bah, I’ve seen that look before. Au are lying.” She was rewarded with a sour look, io that reminded her so much of her own dour expressions when upset that she had to turn back to etrehh to keep from giggling at him. “Do na pull a face with me.” She admonished. “I too know the tricks of a Kheinsa. I have ways of making au talk.” She teased. There was na immediate reaction from the Kheinsa, which was highly unusual. What was more unusual was for her to be the receiving end of io of a soured attitude. She continued typing and editing, hoping he’d eventually wish to break the silence. When he did, it sent a chill down her spine. “It is too late to break the arrangement without compromising our honor. Yet, I am afraid we will resent each other when this is done if we continue down this path.” Morgana froze for a moment, then immediately directed her attention to the Kheinsa lounging in the chair across from her. This was exactly what she was afraid of, why she wanted to speak to him in person before the plans continued. But he had insisted that he was prepared. Now, this? She said nothing, the words having difficulty forming in her mouth. “I didn’t mean—‘ Maec began. “That is to say, I meant, well, I meant that…I don’t know what I meant by that. But I didn’t mean that I didn’t want to—Fvadt!” tr’Aieme stood pressing the palms of his hands into his eyes. t’Ksa took a calming breath (before she strangle the man) and folded her hands on the desk surface before her. She decided to try to lead with some sarcasm. “Should I na be the io stumbling over my words, pacing before au in a manic state. I wonder what brought about this role reversal. Perhaps the End of Days is soon to arrive.” She propped up her head with arm. At first, there was na humor in Maec’s reaction with a hard line to his jaw and the narrowing of his eyes. That was until he took notice of Morgana’s amused expression, drumming her fingers against her cheek as she waited for him to respond. “Do au na get frustrated with our collective rinams?” “Of course,” Morgana motioned for the pacing Kheinsa to sit back down. “Why do au suppose I refuse to meet with them any longer? And there is na issuing ultimatums with the pair of them. They simply do na know the meaning of the word ‘na’. I even tried sending emissaries to broker a truce.” “Oh?” “It did na work. They had na more success than I did. In fact, they were soon defected to the enemy, the weak minded verruls.” She paused thinking it over, “In fact, I believe if our rinams were enemy militia, my ambassadors would have been shot on sight. Family or na.” “I’m beginning now to understand my cousin’s trepidation of the bonding process.” Maec relaxed slightly. He continued to explain. “This was several years ago, I was a child when Anota was joined with her bondmate. An arranged merger between our House and io of a higher standing. Something advantageous to both parties, but more so to us in more ways that I realized as youngster. I remember speaking to her about, na understanding why she was so………” He paused. “I’m na sure I have the words to describe it now, I certainly did na know then how to describe it. She seemed lost the day of the ceremony. Removed from us in all sense of the word.” “And?” Morgana asked, wondering what the correlation was. “It is how I’m starting to feel. Removed. Irrelevant to the whole process.” “We are. I’m certain that our rinams can find body doubles to take our place if need be.” “Morgana, this is na funny.” “What do au wish me to do? Wail and beat my chest? I have to find the humor in this or I will completely lose my mind.” She watched Maec get up and start for the door. She called out after him. “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. I should have never asked Lannisal to be my proxy. But I didn’t know what else to do. I am na planetside long enough to complete these intricate tasks and…well…she was so eager to help. I did na know she would be this way.” “Ie au did. Au warned me before au left.” From the doorway, the Khiensa stared her down. Morgana leaned forward, resting her head in her hands, shielding her eyes from him. “I had hoped. I had hoped she would na live up to my worse fears.” “What are we going to do, t’Ksa? What are we going to do?” She looked up again, shrugging in defeat. “I do na know. I just do na know.”