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# 9 all of our tomorrows...
04-18-2013, 04:21 AM
"...the dream is always the same dream, I see my mother's face as she pushed me into the cargo lock, I see the doors close..."

D'Vra Mossk, Romulan Refugee poet, 2406

[i]" the term 'father' has many synonyms in the Romulan language. The hardest one is the one that translates as 'father of my heart'..."

USS Louis B. Puller, Stardate 2409.10.27, Orellius Sector...

Sa'ana sat in Cargo 2, with the bodies as the old Escort cruiser plowed through space, bound for the Sol system, where these dead would be transshipped to their loved ones.

all but one, and that one was why Saana was here on her off-shift, instead of in the Holodeck or crew rest areas.

"Huh, thought you'd be here." Lt. Leone joined her, sitting awkwardly beside her. "Counselor's worried about you, so is Commander Foxworthy."

"I will be fine." Sa'ana told him, "I just wish..."

"Why this one?" Leone asked, knowing the answer already, but trying to fill the silence.

"I was a refugee, a child, rescued from a leaking cargo-ship by a Federation operated freight-runner, El Hidalgo there, he saved the few of us that hadn't frozen to death or suffocated...he brought me home with him, to meet his wife, to live..."

she looked at him, "I couldn't believe it when I heard he re-entered Starfleet, it seemed so...silly..." she allowed the tears to come, "He saved me twice-as a child, and then, on...on that world...I have lost everything, Leo, I lost my planet, which I was too little to remember, I lost my family-people I vaguely recall if I try hard enough, and now, I have lost my FATHER..." she kept weeping for a time, then dried her eyes, "I have no home." she said.

"You have Starfleet..?" Leo countered.

she barked a bitter laugh, "Starfleet, right... they sent my father to the same war they sent me to, under the command of a woman who was too...incompetent for words to fully describe." she spat, "We had to be rescued by Klingons and...and he knew the Borg were going to attack, he KNEW..." she looked at the man she'd been friend to since the Academy, "did you know what they killed him with? nothing! he just kept fighting until his heart gave out."

"What are you going to do, then?" Leo asked.

"Resign." she said, "Resign, take him back to El Casa and bury him there, with his wife in the orchard...after that?" she shrugged, "I don't know. But I'm through with 'Starfleet'."

"You could always try New Romulus." Leo offered lamely, "Of course, you'd have to stay in long enough to get a transfer there, but you are Romulan...maybe-"

"Shut up. I thought of that." Sa'ana said, "What would I be? a puppet for the Federation's public relations, maybe? putting a Romulan face on bad policy?" she shook her head, "I'm not sure-but I KNOW I don't want to be anybody's puppet."

"You're still angry, Sa'ana, rest a bit, think a bit...maybe ask yourself what Enrico there would tell you you should do." Leo told her, "but don't cut all your cords before you know what you want, okay?"

Tau Dewa Sector Bloc, 2410/04/15, 1500 hours, USS Lewis B. Puller...

"Leutenant Sa'ana, what do you make of that?" Captain Ellen Domingo asked, "Hell of a sight, isn't it?"

"Looks like a D'Derex warbird...not exactly a new class, Sir." Sa'ana reported from her station, "Also looks like he's got engine trouble-too much Neutrino flux."

"I mean, he's hailing us as our escort, Leutenant." Ellen said.

"Could be a trap." Sa'ana responded instantly, "Somehow I doubt the 'Republic' lets their ships go that long between maintenance cycles, and he's not broadcasting visually."

Ellen frowned, "Raise shields to fifty percent, and start cycling them, we'll have to get closer-"

The 'warbird' shifted and beams stabbed out from the cluster of alien vessels revealed.

"Told you, sir." Sa'ana worked the tactical station, "I count three...four ships, they're using a holoprojection system." she reached over to Leo's science station and continued, as her right hand worked datafeed links by touch.

"Sa'ana!!" Leo snapped. She ignored him, and kept working the stations, "They're flying-fish, sir, I think the keldon in the middle is probably the viable target...Permission to explain to them that their second ruse is no more convincing than their first one?"

"Disable it, Leutenant-Piracy's a problem out here, but we don't go killing people randomly." Ellen barked.

"Your choice, Captain." Sa'ana manipulated the targeting console, and barked, "Ensign Collins, I want a freq spread off this data from my ping on their shields-modulate the directed energy from our Phasers along the fat portion of the curve, understand? Nothing on the fringes, we're going to plow through their shielding by brute force on my mark."

"Aye aye, Leutenant..." the Ensign was a new recruit from Starfleet's engineering programme, assigned specifically to assist the Tactical department.

She waited for the targeting pips to shift from red, to green, before triggering the Puller's Fore-mount Beam banks.

The group of raiders vanished, leaving only a lone, Cardassian built ship floating.

Sa'ana triggered a second strike off the plot data.

"Now's a good time, sir, their shields are down and I just killed their engines-if they've got a good engineer over there, it'll take about three minutes to restart either one..." she said.

"Take a Tac Team with you, and take that ship-whole if you can." the Captain barked.

"Aye Aye, sir." Sa'ana stood up, "See ya Leo." she said, "I'll be back by lunch."

the dash from the turbolift to the transporter was short-she stopped just long enough to pick up a Phaser rifle and set of Body armor before joining 'her' marines at the beam0out point.

The First real surprise was what was waiting for her on the other ship.

They materialized at her targeted coordinates-no point in fighting through an entire vessel when you can seize the unshielded bridge, after all.

"EVERYBODY ON THE DECK NOW!!!" Sa'ana barked it AS she was materializing-and it was a good thing she WAS only partially materialized as the plasma bolt passed through her pattern, giving a slight pain and burning in her shoulder.

Reflexes honed from a ninety day tour in the Defera invasion kicked in, she rolled and brought the rifle to aim, firing before she'd consciously identified her target.

Veterans of combat with the Borg tend to have certain set reactions-they become adept at switching from 'stun' to 'kill' in the same motion that their fingers press 'fire', they immediately begin cycling frequencies on their weapons after the first shot...

and they shoot anything that comes close.

In the ensuing gunfight, Sa'ana killed four Romulan officers with about the same amount of thought one reserves for swatting flies.

it wasn't thought, or intent-it was pure, honed reflexes.

The fifth one didn't die, because she didn't shoot him, he managed to rush her-so she commenced straight to melee fighting-trying to shoot a Borg drone that is in your face, is futility and the very definition of stupid unless it is a VERY slow drone, and you are VERY lucky-to avoid being assimilated, you have to knock him off of his feet, and back far enough to trigger your next shot...

"LEUTENANT!!! STOP!!!" Commander Schwarz was standing behind her, having beamed in behind the tac-team.

The Romulan on the floor looked terrified and held both hands up, pleading to her in the Romulan tongue NOT to kill him.

"Sir." Sa'ana realized her pulse was throbbing with Adrenaline, then, "Mu'ok, Smertz, arrest this man...take him into custody, Hamid, treat their wounded?"

"No wounded on the bridge, Ma' killed them all." the Denobulan medic said with a note of disgust, "What the hell is in you?"

"What about the rest of this tub?" Schwarz, the XO of the Puller reasserted his authority.

"Team two and four have the engineering spaces, and the rest of the crew either ditched in the pods, or surrendered, sir-Puller has the pods." Mu'ok was from a minor race in the Federation, but he was a superb NCO,having been raised in a militant culture.

Their prisoner was secured, and Mu'ok pulled at the man's tunic, exposing a mark that Sa'ana immediately recognized. "Tal' Shiar? REALLY??" she turned to the XO, "so, about writing me up for excessive force..?"

"Leutenant, I'm half a mind to recommend charges, because that WAS excessive force-jesus on a handcart..."

"Ninety days on Defera, and they pulled plas weapons." she countered, "What in hell did they THINK I would do? what ANY of us that were down there would do??"

"It's LITERALLY the only reason I'm not going to recommend charges, Leutenant, but don't push your luck." Schwarz told her, and gestured at their prisoner, then the damage to the ship's decking, "They had no way of knowing who you were."

"Sa'ana Vre T'geren." the prisoner said, clearly, staring at her, "You are Sa'ana Vre T'geren, and we made a mistake." then he looked at Schwarz, "The Empire wants you to know, we would welcome your skills back into the fold, you would be welcomed among your people."

"Hell of a first impression." Schwarz cracked.

Sa'ana sighed in agreement, "Why did you fire on my vessel? why did you make this necessary?"

"we didn't know you would be so...effective. My commander's orders were to take you alive...along with any OTHER lost children among your crew." he said.

"Whoever gave those orders was an idiot..." She looked at his tunic, "Subcommander, I suspect Captain Domingo is going to turn you over to D'Tan's authorities at our destination, I expect you'll be wanting a Consul to represent you...assuming, that is, that he and Obisek have agreed on Romulan legal theory predominating in their new Justice system, as opposed to Reman style punishments."

"Leutenant, see if you can't crack the ship's databases." Schwarz told her, "See what you can dig up?"

Sa'ana saluted and went to work.

Twenty one hours of work later, aboard the USS Lewis B. Puller...

"...over fifteen thousand names, descriptions, even service records, both with Starfleet, and the KDF. it's practically a gold mine of info on Klingon operations-not to mention OUR operations." Sa'ana paused, "what? You don't look surprised, Captain?"

"I am." Ellen Domingo said, "Actually, shocked and horrified by how detailed that information is-as WELL as being surprised...this had to be a plant, nobody with that level of information would be so...stupid as to try and run a bungled operation like this-the Tal'Shiar aren't a bunch of blind bumblers."

"Deeper plan then?" LtC Schwarz asked.

"I think so...Sa'ana, get some rest, you have an appointment with the ship's counselor in eight hours to undergo examination for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome-your moves might've been the right ones this time but all it took was some plasma-fire to send you into blind-killing-mode, if that had been a freighter with a nervous captain, during a routine stop..."

"Yes Ma'am..." Sa'ana replied.

"Get some rest, Leutenant." the Captain told her, "Sleep, and get some food down you before you go, Dismissed."

Cargo 2, USS Louis B. Puller, 1500 hours...

"You're supposed to be resting." Leo sat down next to her on the deck.

"I was Going to resign." Sa'ana replied, "SO, technically, I'm not even supposed to be here."

"Needs of the Service, you speak Romulan without needing a translator, and Starfleet's got those 'reserve activation clauses'..." Leo said, and passed her a bottle.

"This ****'s illegal." she reminded him, and drew a belt off the Romulan Ale.

"Not where we're going." Leo reminded her, "Maybe not much longer, anyway...what the **** happened out there?" he asked.

She sighed, "Leo...I'm not sure. One second I was on a ship, then next, I was back in Defera city."

"THAT much was obvious-what do you think triggered it?" he pressed.

"Not sure." she replied, "for some reason I can't fathom, I still want to finish that bastard in the Brig." she looked at him levelly, "what in hell's happened to me?"

The Betazoid scientist took his turn at the bottle, "Not sure, what do you think you were feeling while it was going on?"

"What do you mean?" Sa'ana asked.

He looked at her wryly, "We've been pals since the Academy, there's always been a little part of you that you kept walled off, some of it is damn scary-I know, I touched some of it that...night, on Risa, but tonight, your walls are a LOT thinner than they were, say, two days ago."

"I'm scheduled to talk to Korin about that, Leo." Sa'ana said, "Not my buddy from the Academy who chickened out the one night I got drunk enough to try and let him into my pants."

He grimmaced, then chuckled, "We're both glad I chickened out." he told her, "You know it, I Know it, Amanda knows it too."

"Got any letters from her?" Sa'ana said, spotting the opening to change the subject.

"She's doing fine, our Daughter's doing fine..." he shrugged, "Enough rotation points and I'll be able to join them at Starbase eighty-two."

"You've got, what, seventy more to go?" Sa'ana asked.

"Sixty five, I should be able to make it by next christmas...would've been earlier if they hadn't taken us off the front lines." He sighed, "To be honest, I think an extra six months where I'm NOT at risk of being Assimilated or plasma-bolted to death is a fair price-Little Sanna's just about three now, she's still young enough for me to be 'daddy' instead of 'that stranger sleeping with mommy'."

"I still think that was a dumb name-you could have named her something better than retreading mine." Sa'ana commented, taking the bottle from him, "My life's been bad luck since I was four, after all."

"Except Pops." Leo observed, "Gotta say he was good luck for you."

"He was." Sa'ana said, "Though, if I weren't all emotionally vulnerable right now, I'd make you eat that stupid nickname...I think he knew what would happen down there." she added, "everyone dies for me."

"not everyone." Leo told her, "but you really SHOULD think about why you went ape**** over there, somehow I don't think the old Cavalier would approve of you ducking whatever demons drove you."

2419/04/19, 31 hours out from New Romulus...

The sessions with Korin were about as effective as Sa'ana thought they'd be-which is to say, not at all. They'd gone over the fighting on Defera, her feelings in the Academy, her raising by El Hidalgo Enrico Montoya and his wife Dolores on Nueva Castile, every step of her childhood that she could consciously recall, and back to Defera again, with no progress whatsoever.

Not no progress... Sa'ana decided, looking at her journal. There was a list of names there now-people she'd known, people she'd loved...but nothing seemed to put the parts together in a way that made the events of the 15th make any sort of sense.

Captain Domingo finally relented after days of this, and she was back in 'her' station on the Bridge as they met their real escort from the Republic.

The ship was a battered looking, obviously heavily used, D7 cruiser-a ship from the batch the Klingons sold to the Romulan empire over a century before Hobus.

This one had 'telltales' of Reman re-engineering all over it, and the captain of the ship did not hesitate to show his pale, lumpy, somewhat mutant-looking Reman face on the comms.

There were no odd neutrino spikes around the ship, no mysterious emnations from her shields-which were up, no behaviours that triggered any of Sa'ana's well-honed instincts to read as "Hostile intent'.

"Welcome to the Republic, USS Louis B. Puller, I am Captain Shadrak, of the Republican Forces, we're going to escort you in."

Captain Domingo offered the Reman a tour of the Puller, and a seat at the Captain's Mess, and he accepted the Starfleet traditional courtesy with a rough grace.

"Leutenant, meet our guests at Transporter room 2, and try not kill anyone?" Domingo's tone was only half joking.

"Aye aye, Captain." Sa'ana said, and turned her station over to Ensign T'Choll, a Vulcan whom, like her new Captain, had NOT 'seen the elephant' at Defera.

Captain Shadrak was an impressive figure on the transporter pad, his officers cut a similar figure-they stood with a kind of "Kick me if you dare" stance, and made grumbling, dark jokes in Rihannsu.

"Jolan Tru" Sa'ana said, catching their eyes, "Captain Domingo sent me here to guide you to her ready-room."

The joking stopped cold, and she felt them staring at her..staring into her.

"Very good, Leutenant." Shadrak broke the silence, "Lead on."

As they walked, the Reman Captain addressed her, "Are there many refugees in Star Fleet?" he asked.

"A few of us." Sa'ana replied, "Most choose science fields, or engineering-the market once you leave the service is better for scientists and engineers. Very FEW choose military careers."

"Sensible, practical, which I suppose offers the next question, if it is not indelicate-why did you choose a Tactical path? was it for command opportunities?" He asked.

they reached the turbolift, and Sa'ana answered, "No...I was...inspired by a man whose family took me in-he was a Tactical officer who retired, then..." she sighed, "He re-upped for the Klingon conflict while I was in the Academy...he died on Defera, fighting the Borg."

"Dead-dead?" one of the other Remans asked-out of order.

Sa'ana ignored the breach of normal Romulan ettiquette and answered the question, "Yes. I brought his body to Nueva Castile to be interred with his wife in the vineyards."

"Good for him." Shadrak said, "better to be free of this life, than a slave to a collective."

"I agree." Sa'ana favoured them with a practiced smile, "but I miss him...he was the only father I ever knew."

She realized she'd spoken in Rihannsu, and worse, the honorific was...

Shadrak's reman face communicated something she did not expect-sympathy.

"You did not want to come here." he observed.

"I was did you know?" Sa'ana replied.

"That would be...complex. I think I may have known the man who...your biological father." he told her, "I a matter of fact, that a LOT of Remans knew your biological father."

"I pray that the memory is not a horrible one..." she said, "after all, there are four of you and one of me, and the turbolift is rather...tight quarters."

Shadrak laughed, a boom within the tiny lift, " you know your family?" he asked.

"no." Sa'ana said, "I know a name, I have...few memories of before the...flight, and sometimes, I dream..."

"You should spend more time with us, Leutenant, you would be...good for you." he told her, "It might help you-Starfleet has sent you where you most need to be."
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."

A Festival of Blood and Fire!

Last edited by patrickngo; 04-20-2013 at 01:13 AM.