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Farewell, Part One

Posted on 10 Nov 2016 @ 6:56pm by Commander Volus tr'Keirheol & Subcommander Dhael t'Anaka & Sublieutenant Varuh tr'Krell & Valkis tr'Tellus

Mission: The Choices We Make
Location: Estate of House Tellus, Rator III
Timeline: Evening, 4th d. of 2nd m. of Air, y. 1940 AS

A few weeks had passed since the Imperiax had been destroyed, and Valkis had used them to think about his life. His entire life he just wanted to serve the Romulan people, but things had changed. He had learned a lot from the katra of Tellus. He had studied philosophy. And, finally, he accepted what the Gods had planned for him. He was the Lord of Tellus, the Head of Clan S'Terion, Vulcan Duke, Vulcan Count, Sword-Bearer of Ket-Cheleb. He was born to lead, not to serve. It was his birthright, and his duty. There was no more room left for doubts.

He could leave the military any time, without telling anyone but his supervisor in the Tal Diann, but he decided otherwise. Some of his fellow officers had earned his respect, or even friendship. He had invited those to his new estate on Rator III, the current Romulan capital. Now they were sitting at the large table in his dining room, him at the end of the table.

Valkis was dressed in his civilian clothes, the silky blue robes of a Vulcan duke. Rising to his feet he raised his glass. "Welcome, my dear comrades and friends. I am honored that you found the time to visit me."

Varuh enjoyed the clear design of the surrounding room. He had heeded the invitation of his friend and there he was, wearing the tael and white robes of house tr'Krell along with the sash showing his stance as Hru'hfihr. He still wore his mourning tattoes on his cleanly shaven head. In fact, he added some more to remember comrades, he served with: s'Herol, Beraturik, t'Nalseem and others who have perished with the Imperiax. The scar on his left face side - going through his eye still itched. He had refused restorative cosmetic surgery as he deemed it fit to carry his battle scars proudly. His left eye glowed greenish, however as it had to be replaced with a bionic one from the injuries he had suffered. A polished duranium socket was seen, where the flesh and bone was beyond repair. He simply nodded to Valkis' speech.

Dhael too stood and raised her glass, her long hair tumbling around her shoulders instead of being scraped back in her usual 'on duty' way. Dressed in a red silk flowing robe, she was far removed from the officer that she was day to day.

With the demise of their beloved ship, and being in between assignments, in a way there wasn't anywhere else that they needed to be. Galae Commander, for the moment, seemed to unsure about what to do with them. And so, Volus and the others found themselves here on Rator III. For what reason, he didn't know although they were certain to find out soon.

"You may wonder why I invited you," Valkis started his explanation, "And you have a right to know, of course. The reason is important, very important. Commander," he looked at Volus and placed a small box on the table in front of his former commanding officer, "Please take these and keep them for the next one who is worthy to wear them."

Volus arched his eyebrow in curiosity and accepted the box. He opened it, revealing the Lieutenant service rank that was inside. The gesture, and what it meant, was evident in itself. Having come to know Valkis as much as he had over the last... almost a year now, Volus was not entirely surprised. Although he always performed his duties efficiently and meticulously, his ambitions always seemed to be personal in nature, and they were great in scope. "You are resigning then?" the Commander asked even though he knew the answer.

"I do not need them any more, as I will stay here, in the capital," Valkis stated, "And take the position of Senator, as all my ancestors did. It is my heritage, which I should have taken immediately instead of letting my sister carry this burden. It is up to me to take responsibility and lead by example." He exclaimed "Long live our holy Romulan Star Empire!" and took a sip of the from the green wine in his glass.

For a moment, Volus was unsure if Valkis was performing some kind of tribute, but he decided to follow suit and he drank from his own glass of wine as well. After taking a sip and setting the glass down, he closed the box and put it back on the table just in front of him. "Your service to myself and the crew of the Imperiax is noted and appreciated, Valkis. I wish that you would reconsider, if only because we could still use your talents and expertise, but I believe that I understand why you have chosen this new path for yourself."

Valkis gave Volus a respectful nod. "Thank you, Commander. For all those years I have been afraid to take my seat in the Senate. Finally, I overcame my fear. It is time to fix the damage inflicted to our Empire in the last centuries. And who, if not the descendants of those who founded the Senate should do it?" he added, smiling with full self-esteem.

Somehow, Varuh expected this. Valkis' actions of the past carried political importance. The Tal Diann was a kind of chain to the goals he might have. Valkis could archieve much more as a politician than a mere Lieutenant in intelligence. He solemnly nodded and took a sip of the exquisite wine indulging in rich fragrances of red fruit, cinnamon and cloves with a long aftertaste of old leather and pepper.

Saddened that they were to lose a man that she had come to know as a friend, Dhael sipped her wine, eyes downcast. But it was yet another change. Since the Hobus star went nova, all there had been was change after change and here they were, facing it again. "You will be missed." she finally raised her eyes to find Valkis and inclined her head graciously for now was not the time to object.

He would be. Even Volus felt this way. "I have not always agreed with your methods, however, when you look at our current leadership at the highest levels, I do find it... reassuring that you will be counted among them now," Volus said. "While it is important to hold onto those things that make us Romulan and superior to all other races, perhaps a fresh perspective on our way of life could reinvigorate our current governing body. They have made too many questionable decisions in recent months. In this, you already know my feelings all too well. The Romulan people need stability and something positive to year for; a direction that doesn't involve war or our extinction."

Valkis sighed. "If Ket-Cheleb is still on my side." Being the religious man he was, divine support was something he strongly believed in. He settled in his seat again, the signal for his servants to bring in the food.

Dishes were placed in front of everyone, and plates filled with food were placed in the middle of the table. These were the starters, fried clams in seaweed from Mhiessan's coast, Romulan bread as well as Vulcan bread, supported by different dips, from spicy to mild, all Romulan and Vulcan, roasted hlai strips, and a few more Romulan specialties.

"I hope you enjoy the starters, feel free to try whatever you find appealing."

Varuh admired the professionalism and detail the food was prepared with. Although these seemed like a humble dish like bread and some seafood they were quite delicate and resembled the elements in harmony. The bounties of the sea were married with those of the earth and prepared with fire. The bread looked crispy and yet fluffy resembling air quality. It also bore the significance of the Duke of the Forge. All was prepared with fire yet sustaining his subjects and friends. Valkis' cook was extraordinaire - or Valkis showed remarkable skills as host.

"My compliments to your arthhi, Valkis." Varuh spoke.

"He will be informed," Valkis replied with a satisfied smile. The planning of this dinner had taken quite some effort, but with his excellent personnel and his father's lessons on being a perfect host it was not a big problem. He just had to remember the lessons, especially the most important one: Trust in the professionalism of your staff. If carefully selected, they will not let you down.

As a Commanding Officer, Volus was used to eating meals more or less like this one although it had been some time since he had. The luxuries of command, he mused. While Zhanduk was a surprisingly excellent cook, he'd never made anything of this quality, which was of no detriment to him. The food he prepared was edible and it sustained him. That was all that mattered in the end. Volus grabbed a couple of pieces of the Romulan bread and the hlai. The two did seem to go extremely well together.

Reaching out to pick up a piece of bread, Dhael nibbled on it absent mindedly as she pondered the fact that life had a habit of pulling a rug out from underneath you just as you thought you'd found stability. The occasion was grand to be sure but she couldn't help but feel like it was a last supper. A last page in a book and the last time that they'd all be together like this.

While placing a piece of Vulcan bread and some spicy Romulan dip on his plate, Valkis asked "And, how are things going since we lost our ship, my friends? I hope life is going well?"

Although lowest in rank but in this informal occasion of highest social standing otherwise Varuh answered first, following standard protocol.

"I live to see another battle, Valkis. I am in debt to Uhlan Mardek for stabilizing me. I lost much blood when the console blew up next to me. Now I am recuperating and adjusting to my new eye goes better each day. Maybe I should talk to Rejik about that. However, the enhanced IR/UV range comes in quite handy in certain occasions. My house is gaining influence back in senate but to truly secure our situation I should go out and marry to produce a heir. My near-death experience taught me just this." he ripped off a piece of Vulcan bread and grabbed a piece of roasted hlai with it, dipping it into a mild, yet salty dressing made from sea-fish.

Valkis nodded thoughtfully. Being hru'hfihr of a Great House with only very few members, he should marry as well. Yet he had a feeling that it was not the right time yet. "If you need any support, feel free to ask. Maybe it will help to be appointed official rianov of House Tellus. At least I can introduce you to a few influential senators. Friends of mine." For a second he thought of arranging a date between his sister Ariana and Varuh, but he rejected this thought. He was already at odds with Ariana. Interfering with her private life would make things worse.

"I am honored, Valkis, but I must decline the honor of rianov - for now. It would be seen as a sign of weakness if I would accept. My house's enemies could be thinking that house Krell is too weak to recover without external help. I would, however, accept this offer to a later time - if it is still a standing offer. However, meeting new acquaintances would be a splendid idea. Maybe new trade partners or just contacts for socializing and evaluating who would be a valuable ally and who might be a potential enemy. Careful political maneuvering seems to be the wisest idea in such turbulent times."

Varuh responded politely. He was not quite happy to turn down his friend's generous offer but already being hru'hfihr thanks to Valkis' intervention and chosen sword-bearer of s'Tellus earned him already some enemies within the Tal Shiar who were very glad to keep house Krell under duress. Getting involved more with house s'Tellus would be a dangerous step to make at this time - for both although Valkis might not think it. He might upset more rivals and get into the spotlight and worse - they might think that house tr'Krell could not live without protection of s'Tellus. In that case he would not easily be able to protect his friend from out of the shadows. The tr'Krell were not a shining sword like the s'Tellus - they were a concealed kaleh. The sand scorpion was part of their heraldry. Dad spoke much about this, Varuh mused. So let's live up to it. He truly hoped, his friend would understand his choice.

Despite not wanting to do so, Valkis caught some of Varuh's thoughts. His friend was right. It would probably be dangerous to be too obviously allied with House Tellus. Valkis was following the old ways of ancient Vulcan warlords now, although less aggressive than Tellus in person did. Still, this meant he would get some new - and powerful - enemies. Enemies House Tellus could withstand, but probably not House Krell. "Never even appear weak when dealing with senators. They would crush you and your House.," he admitted, "Hence I understand your decision. Do not worry, there is no offense taken."

While they were talking, the dishes were removed from the table to get space for the main meal.

arthhi - kitchen chef
rianov - weaponsmaster
kaleh - dagger

 

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