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Hard Decisions

Segolene LeMarnix

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I had been pacing up and down the big house office, which was belonging for ages to my beloved. ‘Beloved?’ I thought to myself. I never truly loved him, so why am I lying to myself and everyone else about having loved him. 'He was true Rihannsu; pretentious, vain, sadistic and self centered. I mostly had good life with him and I respected that, but I never loved him. So why am I calling him beloved, I’m owner of everything, matriarch of the family, there’s nothing to lose if I admit it, except maybe the devotion of our children. Yes, that will always keep me from admitting the truth.’

“Where are they, why there are no updates from the team? They should be back already.” This was just another of easy missions, get in the lab, steal the information from computer, erase everything and burn all the samples they have. Nothing new, nothing different than 100 previous actions we did.

‘Only difference is I’m not there because of stupid flu.’

I was always there, because I knew there is no way I can cope with waiting and lack of information. I can’t cope with inactivity and now my legs hurt from pacing up and down the office, though I should be resting in my bed.

“They are probably celebrating the success and forgot to turn the comm. system on.” Halisa was my nanny, helping hand and secretary for over 50 years. She always knew what to say to make me feel better, how to get me out of trouble and hold me together when I was losing my mind over whatever stupid problem occurred in my life since my arrival to household of Rihannsu, Rendet Ter’th.

As always her comment made me smile and calm down a little. Was it her age, my respect for her or her soothing voice? No matter what it was it was always working. “Halisa, my dear.” How many times I wanted to ask her what she is still doing with me. She earned enough for cozy retirement and really don’t need to cope with nervous and panicking me all the time. ‘I will never ask her that, I can’t live without her.’ She’s my anchor in this rough Universe.

Halisa rise from a sofa and hugs me. As already mentioned, she always knew best thing to do to make me feel better. Rendet never knew how to treat me. He was never good in treating anyone, so why would I be any different than others? “What bothers me is how hard it was to get the information on this lab. We never had so much trouble obtaining whatever we needed. What if...” Halisa hugged me harder shushing me. “Then you’ll figure out how to save them. But first wait to get the information from them, without inventing that worst case scenario. You should lay down a little or this flu will get worse and you’ll have to stay behind and wait next time all over again and be as jumpy as now.”

“No, I have to be here when they call...”

For the call that never arrived. I was right, it was a trap and my most trusted people were sitting in Federation prison.

First news I received arrived whole week later... whole life later...

Kolari, my first officer and trusted friend got 140 years in Federation high security prison. Hubin, his only child will join him for 120 years.

Gailu and Raala, Ferengies in my team got both 120 years, but they were to return and by the agreement between Federation and Ferengi Alliance serve their time in prison on Ferenginar.

Ondu Kussi, our good doctor. Bajoran I bought out from Syndicate. Always like a puppy, caring and loving. Young and innocent... 120 years in penal colony.

T’Lun, shady Vulcan, quiet and dangerous demolitions specialist and gadget master. Invaluable member of the team. Even when we couldn’t buy the codes to get into the facilities she was always able to crack them and get us in. She got 140 years in high security prison, still she’s probably the only one who will ever see her family again.

Before I could read all the information in first message, new one arrived. Sent by unknown sender. Probably one of the messages from the people I pay for information, no need to open it now. I don’t have team to continue my revenge run.


They killed Rendet Ter’th, my “not so” beloved husband...

Why am I doing all this?

Faces of my trusted people flew in front of my face. Sudden realization that they would never be assigned prison time if they revealed the person in charge makes me tremble. They revealed nothing; they protected me to the end.

I screamed in rage and impotence. Romulan woman entered the office attracted by my screaming. “Halisa, help me. Tell me what to do!” I’m tossing the padd with a message in her direction.

“What can you do?” She asked as calm and logical as always.

“I don’t know Halisa, I don’t know. I can’t leave them to rot in prison for me.” Can I? If I do that it will be as I accepted Romulan ways. Did my life as a Romulan servant, wife, matriarch turned me in that. Have I lost heart or can I be saved.

I’m 264, a lot for many, but young for El-Aurian. It is not how I was razed; it is not what I was destined for. Or maybe it was my destiny, maybe I had to live all the hardships to can handle this in the way best for my family.

“I’ll make you raktajino, Lotte. Whatever you decide, it requires lot of thinking to can make good decision.” I just nod, though she already left the office.

Second message... I have to open it. Why the feeling I have to open it when I know there’s no way I will gather team in time for it to be important. I’m still opening the message.

‘You can save your people if you surrender and confess your crimes. When you respond to this message it will open the channel to the negotiator who has permission to accept the deal deemed best for everyone. We’ll be ready whenever you call.”

Halisa entered office and run to me aware that something is badly wrong. I’m trembling, rather shaking violently. “What’s wrong?” I’m showing her a message and again as always end in her bear hug. I’m crying, first just tears falling down my silent face then sobbing and shaking turning into a cry, scream, desperation.

I wanted to save my people, my family. So why am I so afraid now? It’s Federation; they are weak and too nice to be vicious. I can deal with them... can I?

I’m afraid.

No, I’m frightened and my body knows that... I’m shaking and crying unstoppably.

Halisa is carrying me to the sofa, covering me with soft blanket. As warm and soft as it is, it’s not helping me to feel any warmer. My chest hurts from hyperventilating; my eyes burn from tears and body hurts from emotional rollercoaster. “Leave me; I don’t want to be disturbed. Don’t let anyone in till I call you.” Halisa bowed and left the office.

Three days later, after lot of tears, fear and changing my mind over and over again I made my decision. “Halisa, gather my children and Commanders, I made the decision.”

Waiting for them to gather I took a shower and changed in fresh clothes. Three days in same clothes in closed office made me smell worse than lab dump. Refreshed and in clean clothes I brushed my hair and returned to the ventilated Office. Of course, as always and with everything Halisa took care of that.

Speed with which everyone arrived was fascinating.

“As you all know last action of my secret team you all knew everything about was a setup.” Her team was not public thing, but Romulans behaved as Romulans and she was getting information on who investigated the team from T’Lun regularly. Even her sons rather investigated it, than to ask her directly. “My people decided to keep quiet and save me, but I can’t leave it that way. Lab and factory to can work properly needs our connections in Orion Syndicate. Orions hold family to the highest regard and if I let my people, who are as much my family as you are to rot in prison when I can save them, would surely destroy respect we have in their orders and make further cooperation impossible. This is not up for debate, I made decision to surrender and I’ll negotiate terms as soon as you all leave the office. Dismissed!”

As always they accepted my order and left the office, but as soon as the doors closed the discussion started and it obviously was not friendly since I could hear them yelling at each other for some time. It made me chuckle, actually.

I will have to ask Halisa what it they were so passionate about was. I made a good point explaining my decision to my family, it was not my personal real reason, but my family needs strong and logical matriarch and not emotional mother who can’t leave her people to hang for her.

Less they need an El-Aurian fed up with life among Romulans.

Now the message...

Negotiations took the best of me, after two days I was drained and almost ready to give up, when they came up with best offer ever. My people will be pardoned but have to stay out the Federation Space. My 120 years in high security prison was changed into service in Starfleet. After the Academy I will have to serve for at least 50 years in the Fleet before I can ask discharge from service. I can’t leave Federation space till my full 120 years of fine pass, but I will be allowed to travel freely throughout the Federation Space.

Fair deal? No, not really. Two of my sons are serving in Romulan Military. They can’t visit me and I can’t visit them. After finding them fight who will be taking me there I decided to go in Family yacht. They escorted me to the Neutral Zone, both, with their whole fleet.

I kissed Tapaul and Takath and beamed from Family yacht to Starfleet vessel waiting for me in Neutral Zone to take me to my new life...

Lieutenant JG Vid-Lotilija Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer

USS Apollo


~Newsletter Team Facilitator~

People say you can't live without love...

...I think oxygen is more important!

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Done and done! I'm not sure if they'll send you a confirmation, but I have entered your story :-)

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