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[2005: APR-MAY] A Romulan tale


Devlin
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Somewhere in the alpha quadrant, against the backdrop of a purple florescent unnamed nebular, three ships sat seemingly dormant, in what can only be described as an eerie conference. In all the twilight of time and all the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as deep space it would have been difficult to imagine the three ships in question being together with not so much of a hint of aggression. The face of Space by its mere completion seemed to add calm to the conference, for although each tactical officer waited in anticipation no shields were raised and no weapons were charged. From afar the Galaxy class vessel seemed to dominate the meeting, but to say that, the Klingon and Romulan vessels flanking it were of no importance would have been a mistake.

On board the Galaxy class vessel known as the USS Ulysses, around the conference table sat three men equivalent to the rank of Captain each distinctive in looks and uniform. Each Captain had three of their most senior officers behind them. Behind the figure of Commander Tomalak, stood the Aylhr’s Sub-Commanders. Two of them had been best friends for all of their adult life, it is fair to say that Talvek and Rein’k had been inseparable for the last ten years, graduating the War Academy together, being post on the same facility, rising through the ranks and then joining the Aylhr. Litha on the other hand had been on the Aylhr since its commissioning and because of her humble family background she had to work twice as hard to become the Chief Engineer but once she got that position she performed excellently and despite have the opportunity to replay her with a more experienced officer Tomalak saw how she had made the Engine room how own and had decided to keep her in the position.

The Starfleet Captain placed the Padd down, and with a smile “well it seems like a promising proposal. The trade agreement will benefit the whole of the alpha quadrant.” Litha and Tomalak nodded along with Talvek, but Rein’k seemed to have reservations and the tall handsome Romulan was not the only one. The Klingon slammed the Padd down shattering the glass top of the table in an awesome displace of strength. “This is not acceptable, you talk of trade and uniting the alpha quadrant when your ships continue to violate are space.” The Romulans looked at each other with bored faces before tuning their attention to the Klingons, Litha was the first to speak up. “We are not your enemy, your enemy is your own lack of imagination.” The Klingon rose from is seat. “Surly even a Klingon could think of something better than that,” She Continued. The klingon pulled out his blade and took an aggressive stance, if was only when looking at him standing did they comprehend his fall size. He was a giant of a man, towering over them with a look of pure hate on his face. The Four Romulans in reaction all trained their disruptors on the Klingons. Within a second every single person around the table had their weapons drawn and within four seconds there was a squad of Starfleet security personal around the table with phase rifles aimed at the two groups.

Within the hour the talk had broken down and the three ships were heading in separate directions out of the Neutral territory. Talvek steadied himself as he ordered another Ale, he had already downed three so he decided to make this his last one. Three Romulan Ales may seem like too much, but when talking to his best friend and the ship’s Third Watch Commander Rein’k it was sometimes necessary. In his ten years in the Empire Talvek had spoken with a lot of officers and even for a stereotypical Romulan, Rein’k was incredibly rightwing and too conservative, the only thing he seemed to care about were tactical updates and positions of fleet movements. Talvek looked at his friend, “You have got to lighten up, there is no need to be concerned with such matters.” Rein’k put his glass down and looked back all most shocked at what he had said. “There is need. Combat has kept the Empire strong, during the war the Empire was at it’s high…” his face dropped down and when it returned he had a frown that could have killed, “now look at us… negotiating trade agreements. Even are half witted Captain should now how glorious battle is.” The bitterness in his voice was clear but unwittingly or not he had offended Talvek. Still drunk on ale, he started pointing his index finger at Rein’k and poked him repeatedly while he talked, “As you’r commanding officer, I will not tolerate such talk about the captain. He is a great combat leader and ever more importantly a great negotiator. He led three campaigns against the Dominion and Breen, winning them all. He has secured the second stage in the scientific exchange agreement with the Federation.” With his anger fuelled by drink he continued, “How dare you even consider talking out of tone against him, if anyone else had said that I would have them up on changes.” A silence ensued. Both men continued drinking until Rein’k’s watch was due, at which time he left without saying a word.

Some say that an Engineers life is a lonely one, but as Litha did not think so. She saw the engine room as the heart and soul of the ship. There would be times when she seemed to get lost watching the blood pulse, it was in these moments that she remembered that a ship is not just a assortment of bulkheads and power conduits but is a comrade in arms. Apart from the racing of the warp core and other systems, all seemed quite, there was only a small number of crew working in the room. It’s a strange concept that things only happen on Alpha shift. But that’s the way the shifts were setup, which is one of the reasons why she had requested to take command of Charlie as well as Alpha. The Charlie Shifts Chief Engineer was, well, he was a little weird. His nick name was Storm Trooper, in fact nobody knew his feel name as far as Litha was aware, she certainly didn’t. He did not get his nickname because of this tactical ability but because when he was not on duty he seemed to be jogging around the ship, he never seemed to sleep. He also had a stutter, Litha had never met a Romulan with a stutter before him, she thought it was a human condition. The bizarre thing was he didn’t have a stutter all the time, only when he said the word ‘warpspeed,’ then he would stutter without fail. The Doors of the Engineering room opened, disturbing Litha’s trail of thought.

With Firm steps the ship’s first officer made his way towards her, she smiled lovingly at him but there was no reaction, Litha was sure something was wrong. Talvek stopped an arms length from Litha, took a very imposing stance and without breaking concentration started talking, “Sub-Commander Litha, Chief Engineer of the RFS Aylhr, serial number 103-209-298/B. It is my duty to inform you that your recent Command exam was a success.” His face broke out into a smile, “As of two weeks time, you will be placed onboard the RFS Panilca as the Ship’s First Officer. Congratulations Sub-Commander.” She had been so worried when he had approached her but now she grappled him by his uniform and pulled him forward for a passionate kiss, much like the first one they had shared two months ago. She pulled back from him, “Do you think long distance relationships can work?” He looked down at her smiling, “Of course. You have done well to get this far, I am very proud of you and I will not let a few light years stop us from seeing each other.” This was one of the reasons she had fallen for him, he made her feel so loved. She moved forward and kissed him again.

Rein’k sat in the Captains chair, it was his shift and his command for the moment. His heart was racing and sweet was running down his face while thinking of what he had said about the captain. Something wild was about to happen that would reshape the life of the crew and perhaps the Alpha quadrant. As he sat in the chair contemplating his actions an explosion rocked the whole of the ship knocking people from their stations, Rein’k was no exception. He was flung out of his chair and landed hard on the floor under a dark red halo of sparks. As he got up he looked to the Tactical officer who was also rising from the floor, “report!” shouted Rein’k as he wiped a trickle of blood from his face. The officer looked up in a total state of confused, “Sir, I don’t… there’s nothing out-there.” Before anther word could be said, an explosion erupted from the second backup generator located behind the officer, this sent the Tactical officer flying though the air burning from the antimatter. Vacuum or not that mans screams could be heard in space it’s self as he trashed around on the floor burning alive from the plasma. Rein’k stepped over him, pulled out his disrupter and aimed it at the burning wreck. “I’m sorry,” said Rein’k again wiping the blood away from his eye. The shoot echoed around the bridge, before the echo passed the body of the young man was still and at last peaceful. Rein’ swiftly moved to the Tactical station and in a frantic panic started bashing the consol. After a second and two more explosions he got the results that he wanted and punched the image up onto the main view screen.

Two hours later the ship had returned to normal. It the briefing room, sat three Sub-Commanders, watching a recording of what Rein’k had placed on the Main Viewer during the attack. It was only ten second long and showed a single Klingon ship decloaking and lanching three valleys of disrupter fire at the ship before recloaking. The recording disappeared and in it’s place was the face of a old, grey hair, Romulan officer. He shook his head in disgust before speaking, “I served with Commander Talvek during the war, he was a good man and we will moan his loss. But now we must strike back in his name.” The man slammed his hand down in a closed fist, “We have identified a lightly defended Klingon Base only six light-years away. The Aylhr will join-up with the Vendrca and the Kilonta for a first strike on the base. Once there you will hold that position and wait for Taskforce 21, who will when use that as a staging base for further operations into klingon space. Once we have the Station we will officially declare war on the Klingon Empire. The face disappeared, he was clearly not one for good luck messages even if Romulans had believed in luck. The newly promoted Talvek stood and faced both his friends, “This is not how I wanted to get my first command, but wants done is done.” He paused he a moment and then continued. “I need both of you at the my side,” Rein’k and Litha both nodded, “Okay lets get to work.” Rein’k patted Talvek on the back as he walked out of the briefing room. Litha walked up to Talvek and ran her hand down his arm before walking out. It was understandable that he was shaken, his captain had died placing him in command, they were going to be the first strike in a war that could engulf the Alpha quadrant and he had almost lost his life during the attack. While talking to his partner in engineering a section of bulkheads came loose from the ceiling and flee towards them, it was only the quick reactions of a Officer knew as Storm Trooper who had saved them. He on the over hand had not been so lucky, the bulkheads he crushed his right side, obliterating his right arm and leg along with most of his ribs, it was a wonder that he was even alive.

Later that day Federation and Klingon long range sensors picked up three Romulan ships violating the neutral zone. Back on the Aylhr this was not missed by their new Captain or by Litha. Litha was standing at the blackened Tactical station. She felt very uneasy with what had happened happened and there was many things on her mind, like why would a Klingon ship attack them unprovoked and why would it leave them after only doing minor damage when it could have destroyed them. “I’ll be in engineering.” Talvek nodded, “we will be engaging the station and it’s support craft in under two hours. I need the shields and weapons running a maximum efficiency.” She nodded as she walked off the Bridge, “Yes sir.”

Litha sat at a quite station in the engine room, it seemed as if there was nobody else on duty. Although strange this was not surprising, one of the explosions had taken out a lot of the engineering crew. Litha bitterly smiled to her self, “had it not been for Storm Trooper all the command officers would have been killed expect for...” Her blood ran cold, “Computer display standard Klingon tactics for first strikes.” The computer made a series of strange noises before the screen displayed her request. Litha began reading aloud, “Impulse engines, the Bridge, the sensor array are primary targets, weapons and shields are secondary targets.” Computer view the attack Patten of the warp bird, does in correspond with these tactics. “Negative,” said the monotone voice. “Computer if this video recording was disregarded, “what would be the likely curse of the explosions?” She was almost shaking in the chair, Litha already knew the answer, “Sabotage,” replied the computer.

Litha shot up from her seat and turned around to see Rein’k standing directly in front of her holding a disrupter. “Sorry,” the words uttered from his mouth as he fired a shot into her stomach, the blast ripped a whole straight though her planting her firmly on the ground like a rag down which had been mishandled by a small child. Rein’k slowly approached her as he tried in vein to scramble to her feet, it was as if she had no power over her legs, they just did not want to move. “It’s no use, that shot has served the nerve needed for you to stand. You’re legs are not getting the messages from your brain.” Said Rein’k calmly. Rein’k kneeled down to her and slowly ran his hand over her face, “I loved you first you know, I was even willing to leave both of you alone. That’s how much I loved you.” Rein’k put his hands around face and with one swift motion there was a sharp snap and she was dead, her neck broken. Rein’k leaned forward and he kissed her head. “Goodnight my darling.” Then as he got to his feet he saw some thing that troubled him, it was the station that Litha was working at, the screen had changed. It now said something disturbing, ‘Information sent to RFS Command.’ Rein’k looked down at the dead female, hatred filled his eyes. “You half bread, I wanted to make the Empire strong, my quarrel was not with you!”

Rein’k was so taken over by rage that he did not notice the fimilar haze of a transporter beam behind him. “YOU!” shouted Talvek. The two Romulan friends stood looking at each other, not making a move but both fuelled by anger. Talvek felt like his heart was going to rip out of he’s rib cage, he grapped he Combat Knife ready to reap revenge. Rein’k looked at him still holding his disrupter firm, “You think you can kill me with that?” Talvek didn’t even blink, he stood ready to pounce, “You have disgraced this vessel, there you and the vessel must be destroyed along with it’s captain. But one will be the only one eternal dammed.” As he Finished his sentence, the ship was rocked by the Disrupter fire from the two flanking Warbirds. Romulan command had decided that the only way to avoid war with the Klingons was to hand them a sacrifice. As the ship rocked Talvek dived though the air, two shoots from Rein’k intercepted him but there was no stopping him. Talvek pinned the traitor down as he landed and in the blink of an eye plunged the blade into his chest, “That was from Storm Trooper.” He pulled the blade out and looked into the dying man’s eyes as he lay under him. “This is from Litha!” Almost in slow motion the blade travelled across the Neck of Rien’k. The room was now on fire, smoke was filling rapidly, Talvek knew he only had a few seconds left. Slowly he crawled with all his energy to the peaceful body of his soulmate, he held his wounds as he sat up next to her, “in death as in life, we will be together.” Talvek wiped his mouth and gave her a small kiss on her forehead as he embraced her. “I love you.”

The final shot from the Kilonta engulfed the ship creating a beautiful orange explosion against the cold backdrop of space, with in a moment the worth from the explosion died leaving only the cold vacuum of space

--

A tale from Lt. Michael Soul

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