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Ensign Lucien Landau - Alone In Myself, Part 1

Sedrin Belasi

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((Cell 5 Observation Room, Security Hub - Starbase 118))

::Lucien watched attentively as Toral, Tiam and the captain questioned the captive. Whoever did the man's makeup deserved an award, he looked every bit arkarian on the surface. He seemed despondant and unco-operative. Landau wasn't surprised; the man's home had died, and he'd seen enough war between his people and the Federation to last a lifetime - even a Romulan one. Now there he was, being questioned and trialed for killing four people. Luc found himself empathising with the prisoner; four people really wasn't a huge amount, in the grand scheme of things. But still, he hadn't killed them in a warzone or in ship-to-ship combat. They weren't the unfortunate price of war. They were murdered, in cold blood. Even the most hardened cynic had to agree that there was a difference.::

~~ What do you think will happen to him? ~~

oO He'll be tried, it won't take long to find him guilty. If he's unlucky, he might get as far as the prison before he finds a way to end himself. Oo

~~ You think he's a you'll-never-take-me-alive type? ~~

oO If course he is. Not only is he a romulan, but according to the reports he literally said as much before his little stunt with the fire suppressors. Oo

~~ True enough. Think you'd do that, if you got caught? ~~

::Landau was taken aback by the question.::

oO I wouldn't *get* caught. Oo ::He smirked inwardly, but that didn't play so well when the questioner was inside his own head.::

~~ Come on, you know that facade stuff isn't going to work with me. The only reason I know you're smirking is because I know you told your muscles to do it. You forget that I also know why. ~~

::It was a fair enough accusation. Sometimes he did forget. Ja-Shen felt so real that he often found himself vocalising his side of the conversation. It was still quite a staggering feat that he'd never been caught actually talking to himself out loud. There was one time a subordinate tactical officer had come close on the Indy, but the content of his outburst was easy enough to pass off as a yell of frustration. Most of it was unrepeatable to minors. He felt the voice inside him smile at him. It was an unsettling feeling.::

~~ I always did know how to get under your skin, Lu-Shen. ~~

oO To be fair, you have the advantage that you begin there already, biologically speaking. But you forget that I can give as good as I get. Oo

~~ Oh, really? ~~

::Lucien smiled, outwardly this time. He let his brother stew for a while and watched as the interrogation unfolded before him. It wasn't much of a spectacle, so far. Fairly mild questioning - it didn't help that Tiam was agreeing with the suspect half the time and telling him how terrible and useless the Federation had been to her people. He began to wonder if this was a tactic, or just genuine frustration.::

~~ She's right, isn't she? The Federation look after their own... when it's convenient. ~~

oO They've looked after us well enough, and miradorn aren't exactly first on the invitation list at all the cool parties. Oo

~~ They've looked after *you*. Because you've been useful to them. What have they done for father? ~~

oO He lives well enough here. Oo

~~ He EXISTS here. You wouldn't know the differene, I suppose. Always were our mother's boy. Father wasn't always a bitter, cynical shell you know. There was a time he was alive. A time he fought for what he believed in. ~~

::Lucien scowled, suddenly tiring of this exchange. He stewed over possible responses in his mind, before selecting a few choice ones and loading them into his mental mortar one by one. First salvo, fire!::

oO He got people *killed* for what he believed in. Half of those people didn't even believe in it themselves. He got *you* killed for what *he* believed in. You weren't even old enough to know what that was! Oo

::The constant pressure of his brother's presence in his mind lifted slightly, as if recoiling. Then it hit back, a thousand-fold.::

~~ I was old enough to know it was right! You wouldn't know, you never went on any raids. You stayed at home being coddled by mother. You were never a true miradorn. If you were, you wouldn't be sat in here watching. You'd be in there, stringing that Romulan frakker up by his 'nads and *bleeding* the information out of him. If you were a true miradorn, you'd be ashamed to wear that uniform. You don't even know how shamed father felt when he sat in that plush Federation embassy and filled in endless forms for asylum and settlement. To protect *you*. And how did you repay him? ~~

::Lucien inhaled, slowly, then exhaled. He wouldn't be beaten by his own concience. At moments like this it was easy to believe that his brother was dead. Easy to believe that nothing that happened here was real. His brain was overcompensating for the loss he felt. Making up a personality to fill in the gap. His brother was dead. This wasn't real. But even so, he couldn't help the slight welling-up in his eyes. The involuntary clenching of his fists.::

oO He's proud of me. He says so often. Oo

~~ He *tells* you often. People *tell* you a lot of things. Telling people things is easy. Has he ever *shown* you? ~~

::Lucien fell silent again, concentrating on his breathing. Without a word, he loaded the next verbal shell into his metaphorical mortar.::

oO You know the real reason I never avenged your death, brother? ::He waited briefly for a response, but the question was rhetorical.:: I didn't care enough. Oo

::This wasn't remotely true. And he'd forgotten that, sharing his brain as it does, his brother's conciousness would know this as much as Lucien did. The shell missed by miles.::

~~ You'll have to do better than that. I was there, remember? I know these things. But please, continue to avoid the real issues here if they get too difficult. ~~

::Another brief pause, while Landau mentally regrouped and loaded the proverbial silver bullet. The one he knew would always work, time and time again.::

oO What would you *do* with this body, Ja-Shen? If you could have it all to yourself? If you could operate the fingers and toes, the eyes and nose? Steal a ship and go raiding? Take father along for the ride as he used to take you? Like a "real" miradorn? Oo

::Lucien laughed. He wasn't sure if he'd vocalised it or not, but didn't particularly care. The room was soundproof. The interrogation carried on outside at a leisurely pace.::

oO I don't suppose it matters, really. You'll never get the chance now, will you? Oo


Ensign Lucien Landau
Security Officer
Starbase 118

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