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Gathering Of Faces Old And New

Posted on 20 Nov 2016 @ 8:36pm by Commander Volus tr'Keirheol & Rejik tr'Nansalaem & Subcommander Dhael t'Anaka & Centurion Lyirru tr'Illialhae & Lieutenant Terrh tr'Sahen & Sublieutenant Varuh tr'Krell & Sublieutenant Durnak Khev & Decurion Ikan ir'Aihai

Mission: The Choices We Make
Location: Starbase Sei - Hhaes Kunhri
Timeline: MD1 - 2100 Hours

Hhaes Kunhri; it wasn't the fanciest of drinking establishments on the Starbase but it would serve its purpose for what Volus had planned for tonight. Following his meeting with the Admiral, he'd sent out an invitation to the lengthy list of crew who were going to serve under his new command. Volus recognized many of the names on that list. There were many he did not recognize. His new ship was larger and as a result, so was his crew. He wasn't unaccustomed to this. The starship class was one he'd served on three times prior. If anything, it would be like returning home for him. Regardless of the numbers, Volus was looking forward to seeing faces old and new. The loss of the Imperiax weighed heavily on his mind but this was an opportunity at a new start. Such things did not come very often.

"Do you anticipate that many people will be coming?" asked Rejik tr'Nansalaem. He'd become something of a traveling partner to Volus as he had nowhere else to go. His Borg physiology assured him of that.

"Yes. There may be hundreds," the Commander replied to him as they walked towards the bar. "It depends on how many have already arrived. Even though my request was last minute, the owner of Hhaes Kunhri could not refuse to grant us the place because of those numbers. One way or another he will make a profit this eve."

Rejik nodded in understanding and shortly thereafter they arrived at the bar. It was everything that a person would expect it to be based on its location near the main docking ports. It wasn't especially clean, nor dirty, but it was very clearly a place where military men and women spent their nights regaling long lost tales in a drunken stupor. It wasn't an ideal place for a meeting between officers held of high standards, Rejik believed, but perhaps the Commander had no choice. It was better than nothing.

The two men walked up to the counter and were immediately approached by one of the bartenders who would be working for them for the next couple of hours. "Commander Volus," he greeted the older Romulan. When his gaze fell upon Rejik he froze for a moment, not really knowing what to say to him because of his large eye implant. He cocked his head to the left and motioned towards the former drone. "Your friend's condition here isn't going to be a problem is it? You never mentioned him to me."

"I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about. He is harmless... unless I give him a reason not to be," Volus told him with an amused smile. "And jolan tru by the way."

"Jolan tru," the bartender replied nervously. He never took his eyes off of Rejik. "What'll it be then?" he asked them.

"Ale," Volus requested.

The bartender nodded, pulled out a couple of tall glasses and filled them with the blue liquid. Volus then paid for the drinks with some talons and that was that. The evening was just beginning. All that was left was for everyone else to arrive. If the chronometer on the wall was any indication, the room was probably going to start filling up with people very, very soon.

"I'll have an ale too." Lyirru said as he joined Volus at the bar. "Good evening, Commander." He said with a nod and smile.

"Centurion," Volus greeted in turn with a nod. He motioned to the bartender to fill up another glass with ale.

"Another." Dhael approached the group as she signaled to the barman. "Gentlemen." she nodded to the gathered group as she took a seat at the bar and crossed one shapely leg over the other.

As the Romulan behind the bar poured them their drinks, Rejik leaned in towards him and spoke. "It may be prudent for you to simply continue dispensing the refreshments. I do not foresee that the requests will be ending any time soon." He pointed back towards the door to show him that many more people were starting to arrive.

"What are you, a wise guy?" the bartender replied. He pushed a tray towards him and placed four ales atop it. "It's your gathering... make yourself useful."

"That isn't what I had in mind," Rejik muttered but it was too late, the other man was gone. His protests went unnoticed. Serving drinks was so beneath him but at least it would pass the time and allow him to interact with some of the crew. The former drone took hold of the tray and ventured out to the floor to pass out the beverages, much to his dismay.

Hidden from sight in a separeé at another table Varuh looked into his set of circular cards and evaluated his options. He had a nine of fire and a nine of earth paired as high cards and the dealer's dice matching it. He paid the risk cost and threw his counters into the central pot. Then he scratched his chin and noticed a dent on one of the option cards in his neighbor's exchange zone. As far as he remembered, this was a nine of air. "Exchange" he announced and swapped the open card in the exchange area with the said card from one of the 3 face down stacks. After that he gently gave the table a spin making it face the same direction as before. "Acquire." the next player, a young Uhlan announced. The player to his right, a nice-looking Decurion from Starbase personnel hissed through her teeth while a grizzled Sublieutenant from Infantry just shook his head and declared "Not so fast, child. Confront!". Two others folded, but Varuh chose to stay in the game and nodded. "Well, gentlemen?" he asked.

The young Uhlan revealed a pair of 7s matching the floor to enhance to a triple. The Sublieutenant snarled as he revealed a hand showing a six and a four matching the floor cards resulting in two pairs - not enough even with the dice matching the 6. Varuh made a depressed face and as the Uhlan stretched out his hands to collect the pot he unveiled the two 9s matching the one on the floor and the dice. "A set of four." he declared. "I am sorry, but I believe this is the strongest hand. The Uhlan was up to foul-mouth when Varuh threw him a dark glare with his bionic eye. With his shaven head and the scar 'decorating' his face he more looked like a crime-lord than an officer - or at least a war-veteran (which was more of the truth, however). This was enough to intimidate him. A beep remembered him of other important meetings than playing a game of Tongo.

"Milady, Gentlemen - I have other business to do. Please enjoy a drink on my behalf." And left a couple of Talons on the table while he took his winnings out of the pot. Leaving the separeé and looking around he found a group of well-known faces sitting at the bar. He approached them and greeted Commander Volus. "Jolan tru."

Then he dropped the stash of blinking talons onto the counter and saluted properly. "Reporting as ordered."

Volus smiled upon seeing the much younger officer. He grasped the man by his left shoulder in a way that a friend would. "Varuh! I was wondering when we would see you," he said.

"Oh, I was here for some time, Sir. Just happened to find out they were holding a game of Tongo in the separeé over there so I dropped by and...well, looks like good hunting. Glad to see you too, Dhael, Lyirru and Rejik." the Sublieutenant replied happily recognizing the heartily reception of his former commander on the Imperiax.

"Ale?" Rejik offered as he held out the tray to the Sublieutenant.

"Very astute of you, Rejik, thank you." Varuh answered and picked a glass from the tray. He sniffed at it. "I hope this is not replicated."

"You would have to ask the owner of this establishment," he replied. "I would hope, for his sake, that it isn't."

"I doubt it is replicated, this place has been here years. The regulars would have killed the owner by now." Lyirru said. "It's good to see you all after so many months. I hope you all have interesting stories to tell." He said as he glanced around the gathered officers and crew.

Heads turned as the older looking Cardassian walked into the establishment; a few double takes seemed necessary for them to pick out his decidedly non-Cardassian looking pointed ears, as dramatic as they were. His standard officers uniform placed him correctly amongst all the other military personnel here, his gray mottled skin made many uneasy though the pair of mek'leth cross-sheathed at his lower back did not help. He walked a little slower and looser than the typical officer yet the distinctive military swagger was clearly the kind earned through long, veteran service. His steely gaze swept the room, his eyes almost seeming to look straight through it's patrons. Across the sea of Romulans in uniform, he picked out the right group thanks in no small part to the distinctively non-standard Borg ocular plate fashioned across the face of one of them. He strode his way over to the table, almost sauntering in leisure, yet clear to purpose; like an old man on a young man's mission.

Lyirru noticed the man's arrival and distinct Cardassian features. "What the Areinnye do you want?" Lyirru said surprised that a Cardassian was even allowed in Romulan space let alone be on a Romulan Starbase and wearing a Romulan Uniform.

Durnak didn't even flinch, he just pulled up a nearby chair and joined them. His life was a lesson that taught him to bear such comments with grace if not at least indifference. Additionally, he was simply too old to care about passing remarks made blindly. "Sublieutenant Durnak Khev; I'm the guy in charge of the really big guns." He said, almost threateningly, but was really just a plain-faced delivered ribbing. Still, the light-reflectance of his eyes made them virtually glow in the low-light conditions, those bright orange circles staring back were enough to make anyone at least a little uncomfortable.

Varuh faced the new arrival. The bionic eye whirred silently out of the socket and focused on the newcomers face.
"Rhede'hwaiæ." he stated noticing the unusual ears. "Sublieutenant Durnak is not a pure Cardassian. I guess he would be dispersing atomar matter otherwise, and not a fellow Galae officer. I reckon, you have an official invitation to this party?" he continued while stacking talons.

The Centurion looked closer at the mans features. Indeed, there was Romulan blood in his veins. "Or perhaps he has simply gone to the wrong table." He said, still eye balling the Sublieutenant.

"The Sublieutenant is in the right place," Volus chimed in following a swig from his ale. "Mister Khev here is our new Leader of Weapons. Appearances aside, he does have an impressive military record." Considering what he and the others went through months ago at the hands of the Cardassians, it wasn't easy to allow someone with tarnished blood be amongst them. As open minded as he was, Volus did his best to look past that and at the qualities he would be bringing to them in the days to come.

"Impressive military record but for which side?" Lyirru grunted before a swig of his ale.

Varuh took a swig of his ale. If the commander has selected this half-brood, then D'era commands to cooperate with him. I will not question his decision but will keep an eye on this one. he thought. "Then allow me to apologize and introduce myself: Sublieutenant Varuh tr'Krell. I am in charge of charging your toys and keep them loaded and maintained." he spoke to the newcomer.

The one with the mouth was speaking of a man that Durnak was not and so he had no cause to part any words his way. The more respectful of the two, however, spoke of facts albeit unearned flattery as it was. That said, he identified himself not by mere rank nor bluster of pride but by the simple fact of what he does. His lips parted, his gravely voice answering in a quiet, level tone. "Then you and I are cogs in the same machine. If you keep turning..." He ended the sentence with a small nod of acknowledgement. "...then so shall I." No matter the cause for the Centurion's attitude, Durnak could only assume it was an attribute of the past. As an old war horse, it was the days ahead that occupied his emotional machinations. If this old man rose to meet every bygone wrong, he might never take seat again.

"I can drink to that, then." Varuh answered and toasted into Khev's direction. "Just be informed, that we are all a bit in a reserved mood - or worse - concerning our last experiences with Cardassians. Nothing personal, I hope. I would reckon, being of mixed breed does not help your cause in any way and even more in these days, doesn't it? Pray tell me, I think I might have seen your face somewhere, but I cannot fathom where. But you look familiar and your name has a ring..."

Durnak quietly nodded with respect; while military actions were hardly reported in civilian news, there was enough out there to highlight tensions with Cardassians. "Romulus has never really been a good place for the ssouh amongst us; so it's nothing new to me.". And then Varuh had to go and drag up that embarrassing piece of history that Durnak didn't like to talk about but dodging it now would make it worse in the future. Instead, he was content to keep it vague. "I've been in the service long enough to have seen the older Romulus; the brighter, more upbeat one if rather heavier with the war propaganda. Back then, it was common place for some of the actions on the front to be written up in pseudo-fictional war stories; sometimes, they would even copy the names as well." With the ever so slightest sense of discomfort, he continued. "In my case, they copied over my record of deeds, my name as well, but they adjusted the characters race to a Romulan pure blood because they did not want to complicate the issues. Some of the books had the likness of the character on them, essentially my face though as a full Romulan." And with that, Durnak bowed slightly, for etiquette, before getting up to fetch himself a drink.

The Centurion took another swig of his ale, perhaps he was being too harsh on the half breed. He rose to his feet and held out his hand for the Sublieutenant to shake. "Centurion Lyirru, Leader of Warbird Control, of whatever bucket of bolts command gives us next."

Durnak returned to the table with drink in hand, just in time for the Centurion to offer his hand; Durnak held out his own to return the shake. "Officially; Sublieutenant Durnak Khev, Leader of Weapons Control." He also offered his own thought. "And if you are concerned with your words, worry not. I am used to far harsher treatment from my fellows..." Ending the handshake, he re-took his seat; the pungency of his Kali-fal now close enough for others to notice. "...Besides, I prefer to judge people by their actions." He took a sip of his drink. "Were I to judge others by words alone, the Tellarite race would be long extinct by now." He said, with deadpan expression of his joke.

Varuh chuckled. Then gave a hearty laughter. "This reminds me of that one: A Tellarite and a Klingon enter a bar. What do they order? Well: I do not care for the Tellarite, but the Klingon will order a cloth to wipe the blood off his bat'leth after the Tellarite opens his mouth."

Lyirru chuckled as he too returned to his seat and took a gulp of his ale. It would soon be time for another.

It always seemed a little... odd, perhaps more so now given Varuh's new visage, to hear him make a humorous comment, but it made Volus smile nonetheless. It wasn't until now that he realized he'd missed that over the last several months.

A younger Romulan sat within earshot of the joke. He seemed to react to the mention of Klingons by clutching his glass and taking a large swig of ale. For Decurion Ikan ir'Aihai, the mention of the topic brought up old memories.

He tried to wash them away, but memories didn't work like that. Neither did life. But Ikan was happy to be getting off this Starbase. He had been working security for the past few years here and felt like his career was going nowhere. He had been in the transfer process for several weeks.

It was all culminating with the invitation to this party with a new crew. He had spent the past few minutes observing the group, searching for his place within it.

An officer wearing a Romulan uniform approached the gathering. Everything on him, the cocky self-esteem, the perfect uniform, the way he moved, shouted 'fighter pilot'. And especially the badge at his belt showing he was a flying ace verified this. "Lady, Gentlemen, are you the officers of the cruiser Imperiax?" the man asked, "Or rather the once existing cruiser... anyway."

"The former Raptor Imperiax." Lyirru said with a nod.

"Aye, we happen to be mostly what is left of her." Varuh added then taking a sip of his ale.

"And those of us new to her ranks." Durnak chipped in, in his usual gravely tone; in between sips of the Kali-fal he was nursing.

"Are you too waiting for our new junk-bucket - whatever it's name might be - to fly like the Imperiax, our last one?" Varuh asked, his remaining eyebrow raised, his bionic eye whirring, while focusing on the newcomer. "There are no other ships currently docked on this station than that D'deridex, if I recall correctly - I wonder, what Command has pulled out of our junkyard this time."

"I was just pulled out of retirement for this post." Durnak replied. "So I don't know much more than you, at this point." He took another sip of his drink. "I just go where I'm told." If he was the type to shrug, he would have; but he wasn't, so he didn't. Still, his tone somewhat implied a figurative shrug. "Still, I suppose the fleet is getting desperate if they're dusting off old folks like me.".

"There is much to be said for experience." Dhael commented as she sat at the bar, sipping her drink and listening to those around her.

Feeling as if now was the time to explain to everyone why they were gathered here today, Volus with his ale in hand, moved to a better vantage point so that he could address his crew. "I think that we are mostly here," he began as he overlooked the sea of Romulan officers, and the handful of Remans, in the bar. "It is no coincidence why we have been summoned here. Many of us served together aboard the Imperiax months ago. What you will notice beyond the familiar faces is that there are many new ones at our sides. Yes, our numbers are greater and for good reason. Valkis, who was previously the Imperiax's Tal Diann Master and is now a Senator, has imparted us with a gift." He turned and regarded Dhael. "Subcommander, if you would do the honors."

With a nod, Dhael picked up the small datapad at her side and stood up from her chair. "Commander Volus got some news today and we wanted to share it with you all." she looked around at the assembled group and smiled. "I think the best way of telling you is to read this out loud." she wiggled the datapad then cleared her throat, "All hands, attention to orders. From Galae Command, office of the admiralty. To Commander Volus tr'Keirheol, as of this date you are requested and required to take command of the I.R.W. Imperiax. Signed, Admiral Evelyn t'Sernak. Date, Second day of the fifth month of Earth, year one thousand nine hundred forty After Shipfall." she smiled at them all then gestured to the large windows in the bar that looked out into the cosmos. "For those of you who want to take a look, you can see her berthed at the docking arm if you look to the left."

Good, Durnak thought to himself; he almost smiled at the news, albeit a rather poker-faced one. There were many types of ships in the fleet, old and new. While there were newer, more advanced vessels than the aged D'deridex, it's long record proved that it was a powerful, capable vessel. As a slightly older model, it has stood the test of time; it had its bugs straightened out decades ago and over time it had been upgraded and further polished to meet modern standards. Durnak couldn't have picked a better class himself.

Varuh sipped at his ale thoughtfully. He had once served on the Terix under Commander Sirol, but as a lower controller. If nothing would change he would now be chief engineer on a ship far bigger than the old Khellian-class Imperiax. He was still very young and there might be many elder peers in his new department eying him closely. His rather low rank was also not quite reason to command respect or intimidate elder officers of equal rank being overlooked for promotion. He sighed. At least, a D'deridex was a class of her own and far more powerful than a Khellian. His job would be an interesting albeit demanding one. He was content with the assignment.

"Excellent, a D'deridex!" Terrh exclaimed. "Much better arrangement of moments of inertia than with the Valdore!" He had liked piloting this class. His last assignment, however, had been a Valdore and it had reacted not as well to his flying as the D'deridex did. Actually a surprising fact, considering the more modern propulsion and hull of the Valdore-class.

"I'll drink to that." Lyirru said raising his glass. "To the Warbird Imperiax, may she be feared by all of the Galaxy."

"To the Warbird Imperiax!" Dhael raised her glass too and grinned, happy that they were soon to have purpose once more.

Volus smiled as others shared in the toast as well. He spoke to them once more, "We will be leaving the Starbase in three days time at 0900 hours. I would suggest that everyone conclude their affairs prior to then and report to your superiors as soon as possible. We have much work to do in a short span of time. For the senior officers, report to your posts tomorrow morning at 0900." Managing a starship of over one thousand people was much different than many of them would be used to. Volus had confidence in their abilities though. Through hard work and perseverance, they'd pull through and before too long the Imperiax would work like a well oiled machine.

"In that case, Sir: I request permission for myself to leave at once." Varuh spoke. "We are talking about roughly more than one thousand souls on the ship. If my numbers are still true most of them work on keeping the ship in shape - which is my department's responsibility. I need to familiarize myself with that new situation and learn about my teams and direct subordinates. The earlier I start with that - the better."

He couldn't really fault the Sublieutenant for his request. Career-wise this was a very giant leap for him. "Nobody is aboard the Imperiax yet," Volus told Varuh. "However, an information packet has been delivered to your lodging here regarding personnel and anything else of importance. That goes for all department heads," the Commander said while looking to all of them. "I suggest, if anything, that you get your rest tonight. It will be a long day for all of us tomorrow. The doors to our new ship will be opening at 0600 in the morning."

"Lieutenant Varuh, I may need to talk to you later," Terrh said, then looked at Volus. "With your permission, sir, I'd like to modify my personal Aen'rhien fighter. Also, if possible, I would like to construct a bomber vessel from one of the Vreenak-class shuttles. Based on my experience as a squadron leader, this will prove valuable." Looking at Varuh again he continued "If you feel you have the time for this, of course."

"Just Sublieutenant. And you are...?" Varuh asked, puzzled by the request - which might make sense - after he would have sorted the most important things out. He asked himself, whether he got the name of the newcomer.
His bionic eye whirred and zoomed in on the fighter ace before him.

"Lieutenant Terrh tr'Sahen, First Imperial Fighter Wing veteran and transferred to this ship as Leader of Flight Control." Did he really forget this? Probably he did. He really had to remember introducing himself.

"I admire your enthusiasm Lieutenant, however, let's focus on getting the ship ready to leave first," Volus said to Terrh, one of his newest senior officers. "There'll be plenty of time for special projects in between destinations." Travel by warp was quick, but it wasn't instantaneous. It still took time.

"Sure, whatever you order," Terrh replied.

A fairly young Romulan of about fifty years appeared next to the two who had been conversing. He had just finished a glass of ale and had spent the last few minutes staring out a window at the new Imperiax.

"Decurion Ikan", he said in a low tone. "I can help you convert the shuttle. I'm a weapons controller. I can work the installation of several systems."

Terrh nodded. "As soon as we are on flight. The Commander is right with this," he replied in a low tone.

Varuh collected his Talons and secured them in a pouch. Then he drank up his ale. He was eager to return to his quarters to study the data the commander had provided him with. No doubt, there was plenty of work ahead.

Deciding to stay and finish her drink, Dhael smiled and nodded at some of the people who began to filter out of the bar. This was the beginning of a new era and she truly hoped that the future of the new Imperiax was going to be much brighter than her predecessor for all of their sakes.


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