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Topic: Day 03 [2230 hrs.] The Comfort of Kin (Read 785 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 03 [2230 hrs.] The Comfort of Kin
The Comfort of Kin

STARDATE: 57565.07:
MARCH 13, 2381
2230 HRS.

[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu | Drauc's Quarters | Deck 22 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

[Show/Hide]

The days at Aldea were, slowly but surely, settling into a pattern for Lillee. The shock and adrenaline of that hell week had faded, and now Lillee could relax a little with the Theurgy docked and undergoing repairs at Aldea. Of course, that time also had its dangers. Her mind flitted to her children incessantly now, even when Lillee was flying patrols with the rest of her flight, a dangerous distraction at the best of times when in the cockpit of a fighter. It wouldn't be long, she knew, before Havenborn caught on.

At times outside the cockpit though, to distract herself from the endless worry about the twins, Lillee forced her mind to refocus on other intriguing matters. With ample time for leisure, she could now consider the Parasites and read the official (as "official" as anything got for a rogue ship full of criminals) reports of the Theurgy's exploits. Much of it was horrifying, and if she had not lived through equally insane events only days prior, Lillee wouldn't have believed any of it. There was the Niga event, when the crew were violated in obscene and terrifying ways. There was the event with a 'goddess' that happened shortly after which seemed even more insane if, at least, less horrendous. There were many more battles, heartbreak, betrayal, and enough death to soak the decks of the Theurgy in blood over those weeks, even if one set aside the frantic non-stop fighting to escape Starfleet's pursuit.

In another context, it would've made for a rather excellent novel. Onboard that same ship, however, living and fighting alongside those same people, it gave Lillee a very disquieting chill about her own personal future. She had never met this Captain Ives or most of the command staff, but she had briefly met Commander Stark during the business with the Cayuga. The human woman looked so astonishingly young to have been through so much.

And so, one night at the bar, Lillee simply sat there, reading a report about Task Force Archeron as she nursed an ale. Unlike the ridiculous excess of three nights prior, she at least knew to moderate herself now. Still, the ale was strong and the report, drily written as it was, proved more engaging than she could have ever suspected. By the time 22h30 hit and Lillee stood up to retire to bed, she realised that she had a rather pleasant lightness within her head. A most relaxing lightness, in fact. Surprised (and moderately irritated) that she had gotten inebriated without intending to, Lillee made her way out the doors towards the turbolift...then paused in the hallway.

Drauc.

Really...why not? Oh, it had been years now since Lillee had been with her own kind! Drauc...he was interesting, somehow, even if Lillee had only known the man during the three minutes spent fighting Asuran boarders. And he was Rihannsu. Tal Shiar, probably, and so he couldn't be trusted under any conditions, but he was Rihannsu nevertheless. Curiosity flooded Lillee's spirit as she stood there in the hallway, holding a PADD. What had brought such a man to the Theurgy? Who was he?

Without even meaning to, Lillee glanced down at her own clothing. She wore a simple white vest with a long, flowing green skirt that reached down to her shoes, the best that a hard on her luck girl could find on a renegade dreadnought. Hardly the picture of elegance, but then Lillee was no stuck-up ch'Rihan princess and she rather doubted that Drauc would care, anyway. Males rarely did fret over such things save for the nobility on ch'Rihan. And really, who cared? Oh curse it with Fire, she wanted to know!

Thus, after dropping off her PADD in her quarters, Lillee asked the ship's computer for Drauc's quarters and then made her way there. Standing outside his quarters, brief nerves flustered her stomach before she tapped the chime. When the doors opened, she looked the man over from head to toe, and then back up again, with an open and frank assessing gaze.

"Drauc," she said quietly, her tone intense.[/b]
  • Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 11:38:41 PM by Auctor Lucan
[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Deputy Chief of Operations/Temporal Field Specialist]

Re: SD 57565.07: The Comfort Of Kin
Reply #1
[ Drauc T'Laus | NCO Quarters | Deck 17 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff 
[Show/Hide]
Thirty minutes ago, Drauc had been in the outskirts of Aldea Prime, and defended a Vulcan medical officer from an inebriated Klingon. It had been a quick affair, the Klingon's level of intoxication equal to the ease in which he'd been subdued. Afterwards, Drauc had learned that the Vulcan was named T'Panu, the Chief Medical Officer on the Cayuga before the battles had her end up on the Theurgy.

After returning to his quarters, Drauc had rinsed the dust of battle from himself, the shower merely leaving his elbow split and bruised. By the time the door chimed, he had been on his way to bed, sleeping without clothing as he was used to do. While his quarters were designed for two officers of NCO rank, the other occupant - Silim Parnak - had switched to some other accommodations well before the Savi found the ship. So, for the time being, Drauc had it all to himself, even though he barely used it aside from sleeping. He'd merely had a visitor once, in the form of Dyan Cardamone, but she would likely not return lest she'd prove herself a liar. "Computer," he rasped and turned from the bed, "Who is it?"

[Petty Officer Lillee t'Jellaieu,] said Thea without much inflection, the reply rather automated.

He remembered that name simply because he'd sought to learn who'd saved his life fighting the Asurians in the Spearhead Lounge. The enigmatic Romulan woman, from the far expanses of the Empire... Her flaxen hair was still in his memory, seeing it lit by the flares of battle outside the broken lounge. Without haste yet with no unnecessary motions, he picked up his frayed trousers and pulled them on, heading to the common room in the middle of the two separated quarters. Outside the viewport, Aldea's golden surface shone - dusk yet to settle over that side of the planet. The light from the planet was stronger than that of the quarters, shimmering across beaded water on his skin. When he let the doors open, backlit by the viewport, he saw she wore no uniform either, but one of clear civilian cut.

"Jolan Tru," he rasped in appropriate greeting to the other Romulan that had come to visit him, and he had yet to absorb what was on her mind. "<My apologies... I was about to sleep, but also I realise I should have sought you rather than you having to come here, since it is I who owe my life to you.>"

He spoke High Rihan, which was a dialect of the Romulan language spoken by those in positions of power, yet his inflection - he knew - was certainly not that of a prideful, pompous men of authority on Romulus. The slang and abbreviations he used came from as much disdain as lack of practise. He'd been raised on that Tal Shiar training camp learning High Rihan, and it was yet another thing he hadn't chosen in regard to his upbringing.

"<I learned your name when the ship was separated,>" he said, more of a statement than a query, and certainly not some kind of compensation for not seeking her out. "<You are Lillee t'Jellaieu.>"

The unspoken question, of course, was as to the nature of her visit.


OOC: Drauc's Quarters: [Show/Hide]
  • Last Edit: July 04, 2019, 01:16:08 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: Day 03 [2230 hrs.] The Comfort of Kin
Reply #2
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu | Drauc's Quarters | Deck 22 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

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Lillee flinched at the sound of her own name, as if Drauc had just spoken a deeply hurtful insult. She shifted uncomfortably, glancing both ways down the corridor. "I...yes. I am Lillee t'Jellaieu. I fly with the Wolves now, although I was awoken from cryostasis only a day before our battle with the Savi. And there is no debt between comrades in battle, Drauc. You may rest easy." She attempted a weak smile, but it was a nervous and unsettled thing, very unlike Lillee's usual boldness. "I...would speak to you, if you would permit it. May I enter?"

At Drauc's response, she took a couple of steps forward, barely enough to clear the door sensor and for the doors to close behind her. Lillee's eyes flicked around swiftly, assessing the man's quarters which were, in practice, almost identical to her own. Nevertheless, her eyes soon returned to the mysterious tall man. Her questions from before had only multiplied, it seemed. What was that accent? The dialect seemed familiar, so like all the high-born of ch'Rihan and ch'Havran, but the way he spoke it was unsettling, somehow. His bearing, his poise, his patience, all of it was faintly disquieting, like a picture that was ever-so-slightly off-kilter. The image just didn't fit.

By all the Elements, what is this man?

"Before I continue, I would ask you a personal question," Lillee said hesitantly, her eyes fixed on Drauc's with the same intensity. Without even meaning too, her feet inched apart, one shoulder cocked slightly forward, her left hand open and ready at her hip. "You are clearly not Starfleet, so do you still hold fealty to the Empire?" Lillee's heart hammered, adrenaline flooding her veins as she glared at Drauc.
[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Deputy Chief of Operations/Temporal Field Specialist]

Re: SD 57565.07: The Comfort Of Kin
Reply #3
[ Drauc T'Laus | NCO Quarters | Deck 17 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff 
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As if she wasn't entirely sure herself why she had come, Drauc had trouble to discern the purpose of the visit. This was also the case with intoxicated people, he'd learned, though he'd yet to come close enough to scent her. He'd stepped back into the common room of his quarters to allow her entry, and the sliding doors closed behind her. At least she wasn't holding it against Drauc that he hadn't sought her out, to thank her for her assistance against the Asurian boarding party in the Spearhead Lounge.

Though when she asked this personal question of hers, whilst her emotions shifted around in the spectrum of awkwardness and curiosity towards him, there was a sudden flare of ire as well, as if she prepared herself for an answer she didn't want. With the golden surface of Aldea behind his back, Drauc tilted his head a little - looking at the fair woman of his people through the tresses of his burgundy hair.

"I may not look like a Starfleet officer," he rasped in his deep voice, seeing her combative stance... but he made no motion to adopt his own. He merely raised his stare from the stance of her body to her eyes. "Though the short answer is that I am both an exile of Romulus and a deserter of the fleet, neither of which circumstances left me any choice. I hold fealty towards no one, yet I try to walk a righteous path, and do what I can for what is right. Aboard this ship, I fight as needed, because this enemy we face..."

Images of the fight flashed before his eyes, the one against Captain Hawthorne in the burning command centre of Starbase 84. The perverse imprint of that... sickening madness. All-consuming chaos manifest. Worse, the implications, that lent credence to Captain Ives' claims, and suggested that a new galactic war was due - instigated by these Infested to tear down everything...

"I have sensed it," he rasped his scarred hands flexing into fists. "There will be a battle waged, and it is a battlefield I would not abandon... for it would not be right towards those we fail to protect. It does not matter if I wear a uniform... or what fealty I hold, for I will fight nonetheless."


Re: Day 03 [2230 hrs.] The Comfort of Kin
Reply #4
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu | Drauc's Quarters | Deck 22 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

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The more Drauc spoke, the more Lillee settled, releasing a breath that she hadn't known she was holding. She knew better than to trust such a man, especially one capable of such awful violence...but nevertheless, Lillee recognised his words and the spirit behind them. She smiled reflexively at the stranger, her heart warmed at his honesty and the heartfelt determination behind them.

"Mnhei'sahe," she said softly, her own accent rougher and less refined than Drauc's. "You see it so rarely these days, but your cause is mnhei'sahe, truly. Thank you for being so honest." Lillee bowed her head slightly, still smiling, although there was now an element of nerves in her manner. "I am sorry to be so wary of you, Drauc. You did nothing to deserve it. I just have to be careful with other Rihannsu."

She decided not to elaborate further, instead taking a couple of steps toward the window. Outside they could see the spectacular expanse of Aldea below, the brilliant blue, white and green of the world providing a spectacular view, while they could just glimpse the small Helmet nearby at another dock.

"These monsters that they speak of," she said quietly, hesitantly. Why am I confiding in this stranger? This is insane! "Have you seen them? I have heard word that one was fought and killed on the Savi ship, and that Doctor Nicander is also one of them, and I have seen the transmissions that were intercepted at Earth, but it all seems so far-fetched. The evidence isn't conclusive. Do we just take it all on faith that these beasts exist?"



====================
mnhei'sahe
Enterprise linguist Lieutenant Janice Kerasus described mnhei'sahe as such, "...not quite honor-- not quite loyalty-- and not quite anger or hatred or about fifty other things. It can be a form of hatred that requires you to give your last drop of water to a thirsty enemy-- or an act of love that requires you to kill a friend."
  • Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 09:30:21 PM by Griff
[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Deputy Chief of Operations/Temporal Field Specialist]

Re: SD 57565.07: The Comfort Of Kin
Reply #5
[ Drauc T'Laus | NCO Quarters | Deck 17 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff 
[Show/Hide]
In hearing that native word of their people, Mnhei'sahe, Drauc remembered it from his youth, and he realised that it might actually apply rather well with his ambitions. So he nodded, slowly, in affirmation to t'Jellaieu.

"There is naught to apologise for," he rasped in answer to begin with, when she said she was sorry for taking precautionary measures in meeting him. They were both of Starfleet and yet also native to the Empire, albeit from different times and lines of service. He knew well why she asked, and wished to avoid affiliations with someone still owning fealty to the Praetor. It told him, more so than her inebriated thoughts, that they had common views when it came to Romulus. It even put him at ease, even though he'd already seen her in a Starfleet uniform.

Was it nervousness he sensed? Reason unknown. The light from Aldea's sun danced over the shape of her body and lit her hair, and he watched her profile, listening to her doubts about the enemy, and wished to know what he knew about the threat to the Galaxy.

"They exist. I have sensed them," he grated in his deep voice. He knew that to explain how, he'd have to tell her about what had been done to him, lest it would not make sense. While he spoke, he slowly raised a scarred hand to rake back his hair from his forehead. "The Tal'Shiar preformed experiments upon me and my brother, cutting our heads open to harness the latent psionic powers of our Vulcan cousins."

His forehead was a patchwork of fractures and scar tissue, a testament to how much had to be done to them, and what little care there was for their health. "I sense emotions, thoughts, intents... I cannot silence it - your very reaction to what you see bleeding into me. I absorb, always, and yet still try to retain a will and purpose of my own. The other children in the Tal'Shiar training facility either died from maltreatment, or they lost themselves in the maelstrom of input from others - becoming mere mirror children that thought, felt and reacted on what others made them sense."

Drauc dropped his hand, the sideways light rippling over his torso and features.

"So while I fought another one of them, at Starbase 84, its chaos nature was there. Manifest in Captain Ian Hawthorne. He moved and fought like Ensign Acreth and Doctor Nicander. I would not be alive today unless it was for Captain Tristan Kendrick of the Resolve, who managed to vanquish the demon in my stead - shredding its body with the pulse phasers of an aerowing shuttle, and then crashing it unto the remains."

Whether or not she would believe him, he did not know, but he'd seen what he'd seen, felt what he'd felt. In his mind, there was no doubt.

Re: Day 03 [2230 hrs.] The Comfort of Kin
Reply #6
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu | Drauc's Quarters | Deck 22 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

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Lillee listened, forcing herself to restrain her horror as Drauc revealed his scars. Scars inflicted upon him as a child. She opened her mouth to speak, to say something, anything, but what was there to say? What could possibly be said? Sick to her stomach, Lillee sat down in a chair to collect herself as Drauc recounted his experiences against the Infested.

"It just doesn't feel real," Lillee confessed as she looked up at the scarred Romulan, looking oddly forlorn as she sat there in her cheap replicated vest and skirt. "Monsters from another dimension want to destroy us all and we're the only ones who can stop it. It's like a fairy tale that I would tell to my...um...you understand my meaning." Then Lillee belatedly remembered; the man was a telepath! He was probably reading her mind at that instant! And if so, then he would've seen Ahnlai and Monoui...

It was a reflex born of a bit too much drink: Lillee pictured her twin girls, blonde and pointy-eared like their mother but bearing the Japanese features of their human father. Then she pictured Drauc moving against them in malice, followed by Lillee savagely attacking him with her honour-blade, slashing and slashing, his green blood splattering the walls. The sheer violence of her imagination shocked her out of it but she locked defiant eyes with Drauc anyway, determined to see if he had been telling the truth about his telepathy.
[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Deputy Chief of Operations/Temporal Field Specialist]

Re: SD 57565.07: The Comfort Of Kin
Reply #7
[ Drauc T'Laus | NCO Quarters | Deck 17 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff 
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Indeed, Drauc sensed this sudden and vivid image in Lillee's inebriated mind - rising like beacon in the troubled sea. The clarity of intent, it was sprung from a mother's deeply rooted protectiveness of her children. It was quite clear how her lapse of tongue and thought in referencing the young had triggered this reaction, and perhaps it was her intoxication that made her linger on the notion to kill Drauc in protection of her children? He did not know, but he felt it prudent to belay her fears.

"I would never harm Ahnlai and Monoui," he rasped to her, the named pronounced the way she would, and raised a scarred hand in an idle gesture to calm her fierce spirit. "You have naught to fear from me. As I said, I walk a different path than that of our people. You needn't cut me down in defence of the innocent."

Hoping that his words would reach her, and quiet this protective ire that flared in both her eyes and her mind, Drauc lowered his hand, and peered at her from underneath the tresses of his hair. He still wasn't entirely sure why she'd come, but if the veracity of Ives' word was her main query, he could not phrase it in a way to make it less troubling. The threat would remain regardless if he tried to reassure her. There was no point in coddling a Rihan warrior. Certainly not one who wielded an honour blade.

"I have sensed, I have seen, and I have fought these Infested. I have no gain in deceiving you. The truth is as grim as the mission of this ship says. The defeat of the Borg has gained this crew an ally in the Klingon Empire. An ally well needed, yet the cunning foe sits at the heart of the Federation - dictating Starfleet's every movement - so it will not be a war easily won. Still, I will tread this battlefield, and do what is right. The cost of victory might be high... though for the innocent, we must fight. We're bereft of choice."

Saying this, Drauc stepped past her, walking into the bedroom so that he might acquire his threadbare clothing.

Re: Day 03 [2230 hrs.] The Comfort of Kin
Reply #8
[PO3 Lillee t'Jellaieu | Drauc's Quarters | Deck 22 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

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Drauc's response managed to be both deeply unsettling and comforting at the same time. Lillee smiled ruefully, her own emotions a mess of confusion as she didn't even quite know what to feel, or to think. It was late, she was half-drunk and she was seeking solace from one of the strangest men that she had ever met. Small wonder that she was out of sorts.

Lillee stayed in her chair as Drauc went to the bedroom. The man himself had a certain exotic appeal to him, but more than that, he simply seemed...what? What was it? Safe? No. Lillee sighed, looking out the window at the gorgeous blue vista of Aldea far below. Nobody with such formidable lethality and potent telepathy could ever be considered 'safe', and anyone who thought so was a fool.

She shuddered, realising again that Drauc might well be reading her thoughts even from the bedroom, but she forced herself not to care. Let him listen. But why was she content to permit him to listen? It wasn't trust. It certainly wasn't attraction, either sexual or romantic. Tall, dark and over-dramatic had never been Lillee's type.

Comrade.

The word still didn't feel right, but it felt close enough to the truth. Lillee took a breath, playing with the thought.

I am not alone.

She seized on that thought, on the warmth that spread throughout her body. With that Lillee stood up as Drauc returned, and she offered a brief bow of her head. "Thank you for speaking with me, Drauc," she said softly. "If you should ever need good company, then please consider me available."
[Petty Officer 3rd Class Lillee t'Jellaieu |  Chief Support Craft Pilot | CONN ]
[Lieutenant Alistair Leavitt | Deputy Chief of Operations/Temporal Field Specialist]

Re: SD 57565.07: The Comfort Of Kin
Reply #9
[ Drauc T'Laus | NCO Quarters | Deck 17 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff 
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Having donned his clothing, Drauc returned to a Petty Officer that seemed to have made up her mind about him, and gone from fear for sake of her children to accepting his view and standpoint in regard to the war at hand.

Unable to feel attraction of his own, bereft of need and will towards anything relating to coitus since the experiments upon him had made him numb, Drauc would only have been able to reciprocate any attraction if there was such present in his vicinity. Lillee t'Jellaieu desired him not, finding him a comrade of war, and it did not leave Drauc crestfallen since he had not entertained any such notions of his own. This, despite how many would find her attractive. This, he did not doubt. He could still acknowledge comeliness, even though it did not do anything for him.

"I just might," he said to the other Romulan, perhaps grateful that he wasn't the only one aside from his half-brother that had found their way aboard the Theurgy. He'd heard rumours that there was another subject of the Tal'Shiar board. An infiltration android of his people's design, and that she was even one of the Assistant Chief Science Officers. Such a quirk of fate...

"My gratitude, for your visit, Lillee t'Jellaieu."

- FIN