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Doctor Saveron: There, but for the vagaries of chance, go I


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((Vireinn Colony, Federation Space))
 
::Images of the ships involved flashed up on the screen as the Andorian news anchor reported on the attack. Unexpected, unexplained and apparently independent of any known government or terrorist group. The slipstream starliner, the Charles Lindbergh, had been carrying the Trill Chief of Staff, Anaria Kthria, on her way to some important negotiations, along with three hundred tourists enjoying a cruise through the exotic Menthar Corridor. Suddenly, they were all involved in something none of them could have anticipated.::
 
::One of the ships on the screen was very familiar.::
 
Vorana: You served aboard the Garuda, didn’t you?
 
::The Commandant of the Romulan refugee camp gave him a sidelong look from dark eyes.::
 
Saveron: Affirmative. ::The Vulcan acknowledged.:: However I – and the majority of the crew that I served with – transferred to the Invictaalong with Fleet Captain Kells.
 
Vorana: The Menthar Corridor seems a volatile region of space.
 
Saveron: An accurate summary. ::He allowed.:: It lies beyond Federation space, and is politically volatile.
 
::Nearby two Romulan youngsters were teaching Saavok a game of chance, but Saveron knew that his son would be listening. Like his father, the boy had friends in the Corridor.::
 
::His companion snorted in amusement.::
 
Vorana: I think, Commander, that you are a master of the understatement. Between the Cardassians, the Tholians and the Breen, they are caught between a rock and two hard places. Never mind the Kubarey and these other new powers beyond them.
 
::Refugee she might be, but Shatil Vorana made it her business to keep abreast of galactic events. One never knew when her people might be able to take advantage of them. In their current situation, they could not afford to miss an opportunity.::
 
Saveron: The galaxy is volatile; we impose a regularity upon it. ::He observed.::
 
::Turning away as the news report wound to a close, he surveyed the bare-bones community hall where many of the children were being supervised. Vorana moved ahead of him and stepped through the door into the late afternoon sunshine. The star was a yellow main-sequence primary, the light slightly yellower than on Terra, less orange than on Vulcan.::
 
::Around them squat pre-fab dwellings were being arranged in pie-segments by teams of Romulans using a small crane, whilst the larger buildings were being assembled from kits. A cold wind blew and Saveron tucked his hands into the voluminous sleeves of his heavy robe. The buildings were square and grey, the ground barren, the wind biting.::
 
::Commandant Vorana regarded the scene in silence for several long moments.::
 
Vorana: Your Federation wasn’t exactly the epitome of generosity when they gave us this world. ::She observed dryly.::
 
::The Vulcan gave her a bland look.::
 
Saveron: You would consider something else more preferable? ::He queried.::
 
Vorana: I’ve seen Federation worlds, they are luxurious. You could have given us the same, and all the comforts you enjoy.
 
::The Vulcan knew well that there weren’t any fully terraformed temperate worlds entirely unclaimed in Federation space. This planet had been a deliberate choice, in more ways than one.::
 
Saveron: And made you dependant on, and indebted to, Federation generosity? You would not have thanked us.
 
::Vorana gave a humourless snort and looked away, knowing that he spoke the truth. Romulans were a proud people, and found taking charity difficult. And always there was the paranoid suspicion  that they would be forced to reconcile – and blend – with the Vulcans. Here they had freedom to be themselves. This Vulcan man, who was nothing like what she’d come to expect from their distant kin, seemed to know them all too well.::
 
Vorana: Be careful Saveron; if you prove too apt you may find your posting permanent.
 
::That earned her a look from grey eyes, thoughts uninterpretable behind the customary mask.::
 
::To his eyes Vorana was the classic Romulan, from her forehead ridges and sallow skin to her instinctive mistrust of the Federation and his people; yet she was also a talented leader and cared for her own. Saveron knew that it was imperative that the Romulans have space to preserve their culture. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.::
 
Saveron: That will not be the case. ::He told her simply.:: I received my transfer orders two hours ago. I am to return to the Corridor. My transport arrives in the morning.
 
Vorana: Then I guess this is goodbye. ::She said dryly.::
 
::He nodded.::
 
Vorana: Not everyone will miss you, but you helped give us something many others wouldn’t have; a place of our own. I think that many of your fellows would have seen us absorbed into your population, but we will not be Vulcans! ::She looked again at the unprepossessing sight of the plasticrete pre-fabs and the dusty plain they sat on.:: It’s more than we would have done.
 
Saveron: That is one of the reasons that you are here, and not on t’Kashi. We would not be Romulans.
 
END
 
Commander Saveron
Acting Ambassador
 
Romulan Colony Vireinn
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