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Truth And Prudence

Posted on 29 Oct 2015 @ 10:39pm by Valkis tr'Tellus & Commander Volus tr'Keirheol

Mission: Revealing Truths
Location: Deck 14 - Tal Diann Intelligence Centre
Timeline: MD1 - 1000 Hours

Although Valkis still did not understand what exactly had happened to Volus turning the DNA into something reptilian, he knew pretty well that all, the Guard, the Diann, the Shiar and the Prai'ex plus several senators and other factions would be interested in this as soon as they would learn about it. He himself had filed two versions of his report. He did not send any of both to his supervisor yet. At the same time he had made sure that no department except the other two Tals, where he had no influence, could send any report on this either. However, he needed to submit a report soon. The issue had to be resolved.

The optimal place for this was the Tal Diann Center. Although it was unusual, he had asked Volus to visit him there. Now he waited for the ship's commander to arrive.

The Lieutenant didn't have to wait very long. Following his encounter with Rejik in his holding cell on deck twenty-one, Volus headed up to deck fourteen to meet with Valkis. The Commander had already been told the reason behind the meeting and he wasn't too thrilled about having to discuss his transformation. He was very eager to put it all behind him. If it was anyone else other than Valkis, Volus would have likely declined, or at the very least, thwarted away any attempts to talk about events from a month ago. This was a request from Valkis, however, and he probably had a good reason for it.

When the Commander arrived outside of the Tal Diann Centre, he activated the door panel and then stepped through the entrance. Valkis was present, as he expected him to be. "Lieutenant," he said aloud upon entering. Volus stopped just in front of the desk and he clasped his hands behind his back. "You wished to speak with me," he said with a small amount of curiosity.

Valkis rose from his seat and saluted. "Commander, please have a seat." He signaled Volus to settle before he took his seat again. He looked at two PADDs resting in front of him. Handling the first one to Volus, he spoke. "I did not yet send the report on the last mission to Tal Diann headquarters. What I gave you now is the final version containing the truth, or at least what I was able to find out. However, if I would submit this one I am sure that we, and especially you, would be in the center of attraction of almost anyone interested in exploiting the mutation. I do not think this would be a good idea." He took the second PADD and handed it over to the Commander. "Personally, I would prefer this version. It states that you contracted a kind of influenza, which caused you being temporarily unfit to command."

Once he sat down, Volus quickly reviewed both of the documents on the datapads. The quality of both reports was exactly what he expected from Valkis. He understood the Lieutenant's dilemma though. It was true, that the revelation of his transformation to Galae Command would arouse the interest of the Ministry of Science. It was likely that he'd be relieved of his command and asked to submit himself to tests at the nearest science outpost. For Volus, the decision on what to do next was clear in his mind. But what of Valkis? "Are you uncertain as to which version you should present to your superiors?" he asked the Lieutenant.

"Yes," Valkis replied. "As a Tal Diann officer, I am ordered to report everything unusual to my superiors. Well, we agree that your mutation was unusual." He grinned. "On the other hand, I am patrician. As patrician, I should always find solutions which maximize mnhei'sahe. Surrendering you to scientific experimentation would reduce your mnhei'sahe. It would not lead to a gain of my mnhei'sahe and it would probably not serve anyone except those who already wanted to keep the knowledge at Anaeth secret. Hence, no gain of mnhei'sahe. Not reporting the truth would keep your mnhei'sahe intact, but if one finds out it would reduce mine. Good for you, but bad for me. However, if the secret would be kept, all of us would be fine. You see my problem?"

Volus nodded in understanding. There was no easy way to resolve this situation. Certainly, he could order Valkis not to file the report. Maybe it would come to that in the end. There was much to consider, one's mnhei'sahe aside. "If your duty and loyalty to the Tal Diann was not a factor, what would be your decision?" the Commander asked.

"Then I would of course send the report with the influenza story," Valkis replied without any hesitation. "Its outcome serves the greater good."

It was as Volus expected from the other man. Logical too. He wondered if Valkis enjoyed and even found it amusing to employ the thinking of their ancestors and cousins. It certainly didn't surprise him that the Lieutenant came to his conclusion the way he did. Volus took a deep breath. "The Romulan Star Empire isn't what it once was. We still do not have a Praetor. Our leadership argues and bickers among themselves in a futile attempt to determine the best ways to lead our people into the future. Meanwhile, every man, woman and child are left to fend for themselves. Yes there is some order out there, but it is the order that we create for ourselves. We do and act in ways that make us feel safer. I am guilty of that as well for I have not revealed to Galae Command that we have Rejik in our custody. He is wanted for having deserted the Guard. Where do we draw the line? Do we go back to how things were, or do we choose to do the right thing? There is no easy answer."

When he heard that Rejik's case was not reported yet Valkis took a PADD and deleted its entries. The case was now out of his files as well. Finally, he leaned back and it took him a moment before he replied. "Commander, I never bothered you with my religious beliefs. Yet, they are guiding me. My family never stopped believing in the old Vulcan gods. One reason may be that we have a very special relationship to Ket-Cheleb, the ancient god of war. The Vulcans feared him, they still call him the Destroyer. What they do not see, what nobody does, is that war is much more than just destruction. There is this kind of war, but also the inner war, where one fights his inner demons. A war for the truth, or one for the greater good of our people. Plus, war is always change. In the last centuries our ancestors tried to stop any change. They were afraid, and fear is guiding politics." He paused and looked directly into Volus' eyes. "I am not afraid. When I left the Tal Shiar, they could not discourage me. When I joined the Tal Diann, the Shiar could not intimidate me." He took Cheleb-mor, which leaned behind his desk and held it in his hands. "Legend states that this sword was given to the founder of my house, more than six thousand years ago in Vulcan's Forge, directly from Ket-Cheleb. It is a divine weapon, granted to the one who was worthy of the God's grace. My ancestors forgot about this, but I take this seriously. If necessary, I will fight to the end against all who want to keep our Empire in this state of chaos. At the same time, I am willing to give those a chance who are fighting on my side. As such, I am willing to forget Rejik's desertion, as well as I am willing to forget Uhlan Aelona's insubordination. However, if they ever do such a thing again, I will punish them as Tellus would have done."

The Commander smiled softly. He and Valkis had never really seen eye to eye when it came to the ancestry of the Romulan people. Valkis embraced the wisdom and history of the past, while Volus had always used science to help shape the future. There was no right or wrong way really. Each person approached life differently. What he had come to realize though in the short time that both he and the Lieutenant had served together, was that their moral compass often pointed in the same direction. That, Volus could appreciate, and count on.

"Rejik will be dealt with in due time," Volus told him. "Sienae, Isha and Varuh are currently exploring options for me in regards to him. The Uhlan has also assured me that she won't make the same mistake again. So, it appears as if we are moving forward and thus, a decision needs to be made. Do you know what you will do now?" he asked Valkis.

"Yes," Valkis replied and took the report with the influenza story. "This one is for me to submit. The other one belongs to you. Do with it what you think is best. It is the only copy. Unfortunately, this will cause me some additional work." He grinned and it looked as if he was sure to enjoy this. "We have to alter all files about your mutation."

Volus took the datapad and nodded. "I'm certain that all relevant departments will cooperate with you. If not, then the truth can be bent slightly to accommodate what needs to be done. The only problem I foresee is with Major Dar. I would not be surprised if she's already reported the events of the previous mission to her superiors. I suppose it is also possible that she has not. She is not a typical agent of the Tal Shiar. She's... unpredictable. I fear that her time among the Humans has made her less like one of us."

"Well, perhaps I should start with her then," Valkis said with a grin. "Especially as you made me curious now."

"I don't need to remind you to watch your back. I believe the saying goes something along the lines of 'curiosity killed the sehlat," the Commander said as he stood up from his chair.

Valkis grinned. "I never expected you to quote a Vulcan saying." He stood up as well. "But do not worry, I know this game."

"I know you do," Volus said. He turned to exit from the Intelligence Centre but stopped just short of the doors. He looked back to Valkis. "In regards to the sehlat, I thought you would have found the phrase amusing."

"It is good to see that you still have humour, despite the times." Valkis smiled gently. "And I found it amusing indeed."

"Good. Maybe this arrangement will work after all," Volus said to the Lieutenant. "Keep me apprised of your situation. Jolan tru." With a nod, the Commander left the room.

"Jolan tru, sir." Valkis watched Volus leave the office. Now all depended on their Tal Shiar representative's reaction. Maybe his knowledge about the agency would be advantageous. Only the Gods knew.


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