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[Round 10] Peress Dolsan: Night Owls


Alleran Tan

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((Doctor Peress Dolsan's Lab, Bilire VI))

::The night sky, filled with countless stars twinkling above, made Bilire VI seem more tranquil than it really was. If it weren't for the incessant chirping and buzzing of insects, it could almost have been mistaken for a vacation planet. Perhaps the Federation surveyors had been so tricked by the planet's facade before they had handed it over to the Romulan refugees.

Peress wasn't able to enjoy the serene vista in her lab. Here, the night sky was obstructed by a heavy roof made of duranium alloy salvaged from one of the colony ships. She had to hurry now that Starfleet was here. It would only be a matter of time before the truth came out and with it, deadlier ramifications.

Peress had always enjoyed working at night. Night meant that most people were asleep, and when most people were asleep, they were unable to bother her.

Still, Peress was not the only night owl in the colony.::

Ketas: My dear child, still up at this hour?

::Peress looked up, startled a bit, but then relieved to see it was just the old man, Ivorsk Ketas. She could have sworn she had locked the doors to her lab. She returned her focus to the specimen in front of her.::

Dolsan: You know how restless we youth are, Mr. Ketas.

::The old man chuckled as he scratched his beard.::

Ketas: Yes, yes. Risanna was just like you, keeping me up until ungodly hours of the night working on her science projects.

Dolsan: A testament to her grandfather's guidance, I'm sure.

::Ivorsk pulled up a chair and sat next to Peress as she continued studying the sample.:

Ketas: More her mother, really, which I guess I did play a part in as well.

::He chuckled again, but Peress seemed to have her focus elsewhere.::

Ketas: Still trying to figure out the secrets behind the Wrath?

::Peress scoffed.::

Dolsan: A rather crude name for such a sophisticated disease as this. I don't know why everyone insists on using it.

Ketas: Oh, you don't approve?

Dolsan: My approval does not matter. I simply don't see how that term applies to this disease. It does not even drive its victims mad, for instance.

Ketas: I suppose the others have been calling it the Wrath as short hand for Hobus's Wrath. A way to kill the rest of us who weren't taken out with the first blow.

Dolsan: I suppose it is a rather insidious way to accomplish that task.

Ketas: So you think there is a motive behind it?

::Peress looked up from the sample at that moment and gave an uneasy glance at the old man.::

Dolsan: Motive? It's a disease. It has no motivation besides its own existence.

Ketas: I'm not much of a scientist myself, so I trust your judgement, Doctor Peress. I just thought I heard something this afternoon...

Dolsan: Oh? What exactly did you hear?

::Peress slowly stood up, taking the sample. The old man had revealed he knew more than she was comfortable with. She moved towards a cabinet to ostensibly store the specimen. Truthfully, she was looking for a weapon.

Ivorsk remained at his seat. He didn't seem to be on to her yet.::

Ketas: When you left the hospital this afternoon after our guests arrived, I thought I heard young Saj run after you and ask about the disease...

Dolsan: The boy is a foolish child. He has constantly been getting into trouble as boys are wont to do, especially after his father's passing.

Ketas: Yes, such sorrow, losing both parents, at such a young age.

::Ketas stroked his beard thoughtfully as Peress remained silent. She turned away and opened a drawer. Her eyes were drawn to a long, straight-edged blade. She usually used it for plant specimens, but it would cut through flesh just as well.::

Ketas: I've raised my own share of sons, so I know how they can be. But I could have sworn he said something about Dr. Miram suspecting that the disease was unnatural.

::Peress wrapped her fingers around the knife's handle. She turned her head back towards the old man.::

Dolsan: Mr. Ketas, I assure you, if Doctor Miram or I had found such evidence, I would have let the other colonists know.

Ketas: Oh, really now?

::The old man stood up and slowly walked towards Peress. Her grip on the knife tightened as it remained in the drawer.::

Ketas: As you said, it is rather insidious. And we are hardly in the company of the Empire's finest. Criminals, deviants, reunifications...pacifists.

::The man hissed as he said the name of that last group.::

Ketas: I know you certainly are no fan of any of them. You, the proud daughter of an admiral in the Imperial Navy.

Dolsan: Yes...

::Ivorsk smiled.::

Ketas: Yet, you are not so pure yourself, my dear. After all, it was on your father's watch that the madman Shinzon was able to assassinate the Senate with the military's blessing nearly a decade ago.

::The mention of her father caught Peress off guard. Her father had been one of the high-ranking officers on duty during the coup, but he was a scapegoat, never faltering from his allegiance to the Senate and to the Romulan people. He was a true patriot of the Empire.

After Shinzon was defeated, his supposed supporters were executed or imprisoned without trial, including Peress's father. When Hobus destroyed Romulus, her father died in a filthy prison cell.::

Ketas: You know, the last time I saw him...

::Saw him? Peress palmed the knife and turned around. She held her hands behind her with the knife hidden.::

Ketas: ...he told me how much he missed you. He wanted me to tell you how much he loved you and was proud of you.

::Peress's eyes narrowed in doubt and then anger.::

Dolsan: What are you talking about? You've never met my father.

Ketas: Oh, but I did, shortly before his death.

::The old man gave an apologetic look and shrugged.::

Ketas: Granted, his death at my hands.

Dolsan: What? He died from Hobus like every other-

Ketas: I wouldn't have minded you believing that for the rest of your life, but there are others above me who feel differently. After all, the only thing more dangerous than a traitor is the daughter of a traitor who believes her father was wrongfully imprisoned and then left to die.

::The old man used a finger to gently brush away some of Peress's hair from the side of her face.::

Ketas: Take heart, child, that when they drafted this mission, I insisted I partake in it. I felt it only honorable that I who had killed a man be the one to also kill his daughter.

::Peress's stern gaze wavered as tears began to form from the memories of her father. She gripped the knife firmly and swung at the old man. However, he had been anticipating her attack, grabbing her thin arm and snapping it against the cabinet edge. Peress yelled out in pain as the knife fell. Ivorsk kept his hold onto her broken arm, twisting it as he brought her close to him. He pulled a hypospray from his pocket and placed it to Peress's neck as she continued to fight him weakly with her other arm.::

Ketas: Shhh, my child. It will all be over soon. Just relax and think of happier times...

::With a hiss of the hypospray, Peress's eyes, still wet with tears, slowly fell shut as the poison paralyzed and shut down her organs even more efficiently than the Wrath.

Ivorsk looked around the quiet lab as he continued to hold the doctor's body against his. Such a shame, he thought, as he glanced back at the young woman in his arms, but at least he had been able to let her know her father's last thoughts of her, something she wouldn't have gotten from another assassin.

Now he needed to find somewhere to hide her body. He had just the perfect place.::

TBC...

Peress Dolsan & Ivorsk Ketas

Bilire VI

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