Literary Challenge #42 : I Am the Legacy of Romulus
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Join Date: Jun 2012
04-16-2013, 07:05 PM
(Somewhere close to the earth year 2390)
Governess Ynala Hvalli steepled her hands in front of her face and rested her hands against her palms staring at the picture in front of her. The afternoon sun had peaked through the ordinarily dismal gray clouds that shrouded Hraja, the Capitol City here on the Romulan agrarian colony of Colius II, and glinted off the glass of the picture frame, creating a halo above the smiling face of Kim Sharp. Absently, she reached to the back of her neck, and the wisps of raven colored hair that had freed themselves from their captive bun and tickled her flesh defiantly. It was as though the warmth she felt from this cold, distant world was the warmth she had felt that day among the spring-kissed mountains of the Ildaareen province. The day when she snapped this photo when Kim wasn't looking.
She was smiling softly at something Ynala had said, her eyes loving, but bashfully aimed at the grass, and her delightful European cheeks blushed with the flattery of a woman's love. A Southern wind had kicked up around her and wild strands of her wavy golden hair had come loose in a graceful fashion that was a betrayal to the strong, military character that Kim projected outwardly. It was a side of Kim that she loved to see, and only she knew.
The reflection of the high clouds moving in from the East and the gloomy, darkened hull of a cargo hauler descending from orbit in the glass brought her back to the reality that she now found herself in. She felt numb for a moment, half hoping and half wondering if she was merely trapped inside the worst kind of nightmare. Any moment, Kim would turn over and wake her, and she would look over and listen to the wind jostle the vines in the yard and the fences y the Kali-Fal distillery. Safe, at home.
Ynala turned to the bay window behind her and watched the cargo ship make its way to the landing pad at the granary. Its shadow grew smaller the closer to the ground it got, and the trees nearby began to flail wildly as she turned on her thrusters to maneuver in position. Whoever was at her helm was a bad pilot. If Kim were here she'd have something to say.
But she wasn't here, and she would never be. She was gone. Swallowed into the fire along with Romulus, and to be remembered only through a photograph.
She was angry and heartbroken all over again, and the tears came just as they had been for the past six months. She closed her eyes and rested her forehead against the glass . Horrific images flooded her mind, and made her want to cry out in anger. She balled her fists, and looked at her reflection in the window, only Kim stared back at her.
"How could you?" She whispered through a clenched jaw.
The sound of the door chime knocked her out of her thoughts and once again back to the reality of cold, dismal Colius II. For a split second in her pent up rage, she was tempted to overturn the desk, but then suddenly seeing the ridiculousness of that action couldn't help but laugh at herself, only it wasn't light laughter, it dripped with sadness and self-loathing.
"Enter." She said amidst her laughter. She wiped her eyes with the thick, dark blue fabric of her tunic, and hoping that somehow that mere gesture would disguise the fact she had been crying, looked up to meet the familiar, tall, demure figure of her favorite Orion, Captain Janei Nori.
Captain Nori raised a brow quizzically, and cautiously entered the room. She wished that she could say she had seen this sight before from Ynala. The tall, gracefully framed Romulan woman, clutched the back of her gray, plush chair as though she were about to murder it. Her eyes were green and puffy, and the corners of her mouth curled in that of sad laughter. She wore the same midnight blue tunic with silver piping, and matching robe bottom that seemed more like an elegant dress than a robe, that she had worn the day before and the day before that and the day they all had landed here on Colius.
Recognizing that this was not the state that she wished her guests to see Governess Hvalli in, she turned to the two women standing behind her, on the other side of the door, and gestured quickly for them to remain outside a moment.
Turning around, Janei curtsied slightly and addressed her. "Mistress," she said in cautious tone. She moved forward, allowing the door to hiss shut.
Ynala frowned suspiciously, and glanced at the door.
"Who was that?" She asked.
"Governess, I need you to take a moment to comp--"
"Janei, I asked you a question?" Ynala asked sternly, feeling raw anger bubble to the surface as she looked back at her long time friend.
"--And what? You were told not to bring people here without my authorization!--"
"--If you woul--"
"--If I would what? If I would just capitulate to you--"
"--YNALA TR-ILDAREEN T-ILURREEN S'HVALLI SHARP! Stop."
Stunned, Ynala was quiet enough for Janei to finally speak.
Captain Nori's heart thudded in her ears, and she stared across the dark, mahogany colored desk and glanced at the drawer in front of the Romulan woman where she knew she kept her disruptor pistol. She wasn't moving to it.
"I have an explanation, and you have no reason to be alarmed."
The suspicious scowl remained on Ynala's fair complexion. Much had changed in the weeks that had gone by since she last encountered her employer. The Ynala Hvalli she knew of old had been so kind and gracious on Romulus had never been so tormented. She had been filled with hopes, dreams, and the silly notion that the darkness in the Universe could be overcome by the flick of a light switch. Like so many people, Ynala Hvalli seemed to have died with her homeworld.
Janei knew more sorrow than good, though, like Kim Sharp had been taken in by Ynala's infectious love of the brighter side of life, and had even gotten to a point where she had begun reconsidering her salty view of the Universe. That was all past, but unlike Ynala she knew how to cope with the heartache, the disappointment, and the shocking imagery that came with death and destruction. She also had never really known what it was like to have a gun pointed at her head everywhere she turned. In spite of the coldness which she prided herself on, she felt a measure of sorrow.
"Governess, if it were anyone but me you'd have a right to be suspicious." Janei said in a disarming tone. "We have been friends far too long, and I have shown you nothing but loyalty. Why would I start trying to betray you now?"
Ynala kept her cool, green, almond-shaped eyes on Captain Nori, but relaxed her posture.
"Before I get to that, I brought back the figures from Dentan II, and Alhala Prime as you asked."
Ynala watched the Orion reach into a pouch about her Klingon utility belt and procure a PADD. The leather of her "borrowed" Klingon defense uniform creaked as she set the PADD at the end of the desk.
Ynala met Janei's crystalline gray eyes which were contorted with a mixture of exasperation, hope, and exhaustion. She felt a measure of regret at how she had behaved and recalled the request. She picked up the PADD and frowned angrily at the figures.
"This is telling me a third of our shipments to them are making it through."
"Yes Mistress, and according to Governor Vrrhai the Tal'Shiar are extorting him. Maybe a third of that make it to his people. The Alhalans are in similar shape, but they have some semblance of a Navy that every now and then gets a lucky punch in. I also made some trips to Lvhhei, Mol'Vrhia, Orhheu, and some of the colonies closer in. Seems as though the Tal'Shiar is getting their hands on what they can and just hoarding it for themselves."
Ynala sighed in frustration and straightened her posture. She ran a hand through her dark hair and felt the rage return.
"Our people just had their world wiped away, and yet they wish the suffering to go on."
"You know, Ynala, we've had this talk before. We're not shipping Hvalli Label Ale anymore. These other worlds look to you, because you are the only one giving them a chance to survive. If we were to band with them...I could certainly use the Alhalan Navy's numbers. We've been lucky, Governess, but we can't live on luck. I know the Tal'Shiar's tactics well enough to stay ahead of the game, but you know they adapt quickly."
"Why doesn't Dek do it? You know General Vrrhai is capable."
"He's not the leader your people need."
Ynala skewed her lips and her eyes went to the photograph she had been lamenting over earlier.
Following the Governess, Janei added. "We both know if she were here she would have already done it."
"Yes..." Ynala said, her voice distant. "I always envied her strength, and her devotion."
"And she envied yours."
Suddenly remembered Janei's direction for the two unknown guests to remain outside. "What about--" She gestured to the door.
Janei smiled. "I was just getting to that. If I may?"
Governess Hvalli nodded. "By the way, it's 'Hvalli', not 'S'Hvalli.' Don't mistake us for the stodgy aristocrats of the past."
She gave Janei a humorous smile.
The door hissed aside revealing the familiar, husky figure of Janei's younger sister, Tevnu, and a tall, lithe, dark haired Trill wearing the tattered remains of a Starfleet Commander's uniform.
Her eyes went wide and she went to Janei.
"Don't be alarmed, Mistress." The Trill spoke, bowing her head slightly.
"My name is Zadari Iminei, in case you don't know me I am the former First Officer of the USS Majestic. I'd like to help."
Last edited by stellardrift; 04-17-2013 at