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Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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On the third day of repairs in the Azure Nebula, Drauc T'Laus was still undecided on what he ought to do - trapped as he remained on the Theurgy. Although 'trapped' might no be entirely accurate. He did not feel confined upon the multivector dreadnought.

The majority of his thoughts were centered around two things, the first one being whether he would seek out the Chief of Security and ask if they were prepared to reinstate him in their ranks, even though he had deserted the fleet a long time ago. He had done what he could to help Commander Wenn and his officers, but from the shadows, in saving Nurse Jovela and others from the Devoted. Yet he had not remained to claim any recognition for his acts. He'd even hid in Jovela's quarters after he saved her. He was hesitant to come forward because of what he did back in Starfleet Medical, killing a Klingon in an act of pent-up rage, because the Klingon had tried to violate Jovela. He had poured all the grief he held about loosing his older brother into the act, and Jovela had saved him from court martial, giving him clothes and access to the shuttle bay. At the time, the alliance with the Empire had been brittle, and he would have been made a scapegoat to ensure continued diplomatic relations with Gowron and his ilk.

The second thing was... New.

He had found another child of his lost mother, and learned of his mother's complete abandonment of him and Kraun. Nathaniel Isley had been given all that which he and Kraun lacked. Instead, their father had meant to get rid of them. The only reason they had lived was because the Tal Shiar had taken them into their care instead. Yet considering what he and Kraun had to endure... perhaps it had been more merciful if they had been killed instead.

Isley had been... quite taken with the revelation as well, clearly having thought himself Vulcan instead, since that was the cover "T'Mei" used. It irked Drauc that he didn't even know their common mother's real, Romulan name. All he - and Isley - had now was that false name, worn by a mother whom neither of them truly knew.

Standing there, on the Observation Deck, leaning against the railing by the wide viewport, Drauc watched the repair shuttles and their crews toil away at repairing the separated hulls of the ship. And unbeknownst to him, it was as if his thoughts had summoned the aforementioned brother. This one that was nothing like Kraun.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #1
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Emotions were a difficult beast. Sometimes they were content to lie in your lap and let you do the talking, and sometimes they reared up like some great beast defending their young. He could almost understand why his mother was so restrained. Almost…

Nathaniel was walking down a hallway, his eyes on the toes of his boots, but not really focusing there either. His mind was filled up like a water balloon, and it made his jaw clench. He needed to go find someplace quiet to sit, to think.

His mother had been on his mind a lot lately. He kept going over old memories of her, reliving his childhood, watching her face in his mind’s eye. He wasn’t a child anymore. Her memories were faded and eaten away at the edges, but as far as he knew, she was his foundation. For all the hell he had because of her, she was the core of him.

Now, knowing that he knew, well, nothing at all about her? It made those too-human emotions rear back up again. Where was his foundation now? His core? That woman whose love he sought after so much, who was she anyway? Was she even real…?

The worst part was the implications that his Romulan heritage held. It meant she didn’t withdraw from him because she was Vulcan. She withdrew because…? Was he too brash? Too loud? Was he not good enough?

Or was it something wrong with her? After all, not only did he have two older brothers, she abandoned them. Was anyone good enough for her? Did she have a choice but to leave? Why did she become a Vulcan?

His feet were bringing him someplace he thought nobody else visited. He had the assumption it was his own little secret place for wrestling with feelings. Instead, the doors quietly opened, and before him stood the back of...his brother.

It left a bitter taste in his mouth to even think the word. He just felt a gut reaction, a sudden ‘you shouldn’t exist’. And yet, he did, and he was here. In his private thinking place.

Perhaps they were more alike than he wanted to admit.

“...That’s my spot.” He frowned. Though, he had to reign in the sudden emotions. Just like their last meeting, he felt outrage and fury. Stay out of my life, he thought, but he had his time. The feelings had settled just enough that he allowed Drauc to exist in his ‘spot’, so to speak, and he approached the window. Though he did not look at him, he stood by his side.

“You like to stare at the stars or the ships?” He mumbled, trying to make...well, peaceable small talk. The resentment still stood, but...he was trying to be an adult now. Key word: trying.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #2
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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Hearing the voice behind him, Drauc T'Laus turned his head a little, his peripheral vision picking out the figure that approached him. The gait and the voice revealed who it was, yet it was confirmed when the man stepped up to the railing next to him. Drauc made no comment on taking his spot, interpreting it as a rhetorical accusation. Nathaniel Isley's mind seemed more... settled than last they spoke in the shuttle bay. The feelings less raw, or surprised in nature. Apparently there was a modicum of acceptance towards what they both had learned.

Drauc offered no greeting, feeling that the comment about stealing a specific, public space didn't offer the opportunity. Instead, he was posed a question that held little weight. Small talk. An olive branch? No, that would be going to far.

"I stare not upon the ship or the nebula for sake of staring at them. They are merely the scenery provided with the quietude of less minds in this area of the ship," he rasped, his scarred hands protruding from the frayed sleeves of his Romulan robe as he leaned on the railing - hard fingers locked in front of him. "Here, I usually can think for myself, without the influence of others to direct my thoughts. It is, regardless, a worthwhile scenery."

Turning his dark eyes back towards Isley, glancing towards him through the tresses of his hair, he had a question of his own.

"I take it you are a fighter pilot once more, having returned to these 'Lone Wolves'?" he asked, what little he knew about Isley offered as a means to continue the conversation - avoiding the awkward reality of their common parentage. Not too awkward for himself, though, but because of the adverse reaction this half-brother had held to knowing the truth about his mother. Drauc's loss and abandonment issues were not so fresh, those particular scars too old, and too rooted in his being for him to still feel the pain.

The only cicatrix that was new, was learning how this traitorous mother had given Isley all the things that Drauc and Kraun had been denied. The years had lessened that blow, even though it did pick at the stitching.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #3
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

This guy...talked. He did more than talk though. It was like he was trying to show off how many words he knew. Nathaniel’s brows knitted, trying to figure out if that was on purpose or not. It got on his nerves either way.

He wondered if his mother would hold Drauc’s hand sometimes. It made him feel bitter, bitter betrayal anew.

This is why he chose small talk though. He could come back to it and leave the pains behind for a few moments. It was getting his feet wet without being swept away by the river of emotion.

“Yeah. I’m a fighter pilot. Callsign’s Icarus. If you hear them talking about some guy who flew too close to the sun, that’s me, and I haven’t actually flown too close to a sun before.” He leaned forward, eyes not really meeting Drauc’s, but he stole glances at him from the side. He’s still getting used to the idea that he’s related to...that. Big brother was not a title he bestowed on him easily.

“and you, uh...” Nathaniel trailed off and hoped Drauc would pick up. He actually had no idea what Drauc did. Maybe he stood around and made other people feel better about themselves.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #4
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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The broken off query was understandable. Drauc had not told Isley what his ambitions were. He had just told him that he'd aided the Deputy and the officers in her boarding team when they stormed the command center on Starbase 84, how he had fought the Captain Hawthorne until the bitter end, when Kendrick crashed the aerowing into the EOC tower to contain the blast of the warp core. The Resolve's Captain had transported him out of there, sparing his life, and he had ended up on the shuttle that Krystal Tancredi piloted. This was why he ended up on the Theurgy, but it didn't quite settle what he ought to do. All he knew was that his days as a mercenary was over - his conscience preventing him from further work of that kind. A conscience that had returned to him since his desertion. The minds of others making him see his own in a mirror, and not liking what he saw.

"I do not know," he said to Isley. "I suppose I am uncertain about what the Chief of Security will do, if I step into the Security Center. Will he just see how I deserted the fleet, or will he see the merits of my recent actions? Serving in Starfleet was... remedial after Kraun and I fled the Tal'Shiar. Perhaps serving in Security might prove the same once more."

Turning his head a little, he watched his 'new' brother's profile, seeing the resemblance of his own face in his countenance. "You have briefly served Commander Cinn, after you 'flew too close to the sun', I gather? Do you have any advise to offer, in the regard of what might happen, should I decide to meet him? All that I have gathered is that he allegedly died, and then returned to this ship in some fashion. That, and how he fought in the Bajoran Resistance against the Cardassians before the war."

Truthfully, he wasn't entirely sure if he wanted to serve in full once more, but in lack of other purpose, perhaps it was the best option. Returning to service, he didn't even care which rank he'd been given, having been a Junior Lieutenant at the time of his desertion. What held him back was the requirement of being exposed to so many people, preferring to avoid crowds as he did.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #5
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Flew too close to the sun. He’s getting sick of those comments and the callsign was still new. He wished he had known what Icarus actually meant before choosing it…

Drauc asked him about Cinn, and he felt like not giving any answers. Why should he? Drauc may only be using him for information. In fact, he was certain of it. Why should he expect Drauc to treat him like family? With any sort of kindness?

Yet, he came here, and he was determined to offer an olive branch, however grouchy he was about it. He was nothing if not stubborn to the very end. He scratched his chin, wondering what sort of advice Drauc wanted. Well, what sort of advice would Nathaniel want…?
“...He’s kind of a stick in the mud. Classic kind of leadership style.” He stopped scratching, fingers just under his lips.
“...Don’t hide anything from him. Tell it like it is. I get it--” He grimaced, trying not to make his tone sound bitter, “There’s apparently a lot of lies and secrets around, and I get how easy it can be to just omit something or tell a fib to save your bacon. Just don't, and face it like a big boy."

The irony...would have been lost. But he picked up on it just before the moment passed. It was a lesson he should have taken to heart a while ago. He supposed he’d done some growing up.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #6
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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The distrust was plain, Drauc's intentions questioned, a notion about him exploiting Isley for information. All of it expected, more or less, judging by their last encounter. While not surprised, Drauc certainly wasn't hurt either, the feelings of this new-found brother the least of his concerns. He certainly wasn't anything like Kraun, and Drauc didn't entertain the slightest of notions that this half-breed on his traitorous mother's side would be any kind of substitute for his late - true - brother.

Yet to his surprise, Isley did opt to tell him something about the Bajoran that Isley had served under during the boarding action on Starbase 84. In his brief stint in Security, the fighter pilot spoke of Wenn Cinn in a way Drauc had expected. At least there was no contradiction to what he'd already heard, and he nodded quietly.

"My thanks," he rasped, even though knowing what a resumed duty in Security would entail. He would likely have to tell the Bajoran what he had been doing since he deserted. "If I am to serve in the fleet once more... or rather this ship alone... I can but hope my recent actions weigh more heavily than my past. I will, nonetheless, share it all, if I do decide to report for duty once more."

Having said this, his eyes followed a repair shuttle on it's way down to the Stallion. "I have heard that the squadron you used to fly in, here aboard the Theurgy, has gained a lot of new pilots, both from the Resolve, as well as the Orcus. I am sorry that your comrades-in-arms have been lost, yet I hope these new fighter pilots will bring you and your... wolf-pack further victories. I met one of them this morning. Someone who you'd call 'Meony'. Young woman, yet she seemed to have the spirit of a daring pilot."

The loss of squadmates might not be ideal conversation material, though Drauc surmised that omitting losses were hardly conductive to win more battles. Did not a score of pilots learn from mistakes, and make sure to not repeat them, just like any other warriors worth their merit? He could but hope this younger brother wasn't too sensitive to bespeak the fallen.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #7
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

“He’ll be pretty fair on you. Whatever you did, just hope it wasn’t too evil.” He leaned his head onto his hand, watching the view outside. It made him feel so big, and yet, so small.

He listened to Drauc talk, and he snorted. Him and Meony...like a match made in hell. She had enough spirit to cover both of them, which was good, because Drauc didn’t have anything at all. It was such an amusing idea, he had to stop himself from laughing too much.

It wasn’t too hard. Drauc managed to bring up a touchy topic. Normally, he’d be inclined to speak of his fellow pilots with pride, brag about the things they’d done, share their stories. Drauc, though...he wasn’t quite the sort of person Nathaniel trusted. After all, the dead were to be honored, and he didn’t know enough about Drauc to be sure he’d honor them.

“You wanna know more about the dead wolves, you’re gonna have to show me you deserve to hear about them. If I tell you, and it turns out you’re a jerk about it, then I have to fight you, and I’m already on shaky ground. I don’t need to get grounded again.” He tried to sound casual, as if he wasn’t insulting him. But he was, he knew it, and he was not ready to share yet.

“But you and Meony--” He grinned, “Oh man. You’re gonna like Meony. She’s the opposite of you.”

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #8
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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Since he had already made an opinion of his own about Krystal Tancredi of the Lone Wolves, Drauc made no comment when Nathaniel Isley spoke of her, and said he'd like her. That she would be the complete opposite of himself? Drauc didn't know one could quite make such a bold distinction. Especially since Isley had no idea who he was.

"I seek no quarrel with you or the late pilots in your squadron," he rasped quietly, finding his younger brother paranoid about his intentions. He could, however sympathise with his stance on putting his closest companions on a pedestal. In the battlefield, you did grow close to those you fought alongside with, and Drauc was no exception in that sense. "Nor do I seek to earn any right to know them. Instead, I thought speaking of the dead might lead you to ask about our lost brother."

As high a regard as Drauc placed Kraun, he knew he should not expect the man beside him to care. Isley did not know Kraun. Still... that he had cared naught about Kraun suggested an arrogance that Drauc had little patience for. Rather, he did not wish that arrogance to impose upon his own mind - tainting him with it.

"Yet perhaps I should share your sentiment, and not speak of your brother, until you have deserved to that knowledge. Perhaps you will be 'a jerk' about it too, and I will have to strike you down where you stand." Saying this, Drauc turned away from the railing, convinced that Isley had no interest in continued conversation, and that there was no purpose to lingering. He began to walk away through the Observation Lounge.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #9
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

He was really starting to dislike Drauc. There was another brother, apparently, his name was Kraun, and he was lost. Either dead or Drauc managed to lose him on a ship or something, but Isley assumed he meant dead. Privately, he wanted to know more about all these strange people he was apparently related to—but maybe not yet. This situation was way more than he could handle and he’d be taking it slow until he was comfortable. Rushing in certainly didn’t help him the first time.

But like a real brother, Drauc knew which buttons to push. Using his own words against him like that...it seemed so randomly aggressive. He wondered if his half-brother was always like this, or if he was just crabby today.

“Whoah, hold up,” He started, showing Drauc the palms of his hands as he made a calm-down type of gesture, “Are you actually getting offended because I didn’t bring up your dead brother within five minutes of talking to you—come back here!” He started after Drauc, because he realized he was actually leaving, not paying attention to Isley, “Are you on your fucking period or something? Did you think maybe, just maybe, I was trying to get to know you instead of your dead brother? I mean—let’s face it, he’s fucking dead. He’s not going anywhere.”

"you know what--" He stopped, having a sudden realization. "If this is what you act like, then fine. Go. Whatever." He waved his hand, and he didn't chase after Drauc too much. In fact, he suddenly felt ashamed he went after him at all to begin with. Obviously the romulan wasn't interested in him, so why should he be interested in Drauc?

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #10
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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Perhaps he had passed judgement too soon, Drauc realised, even if Kraun was a sore topic of his. He had already mentioned Kraun to Isley in the shuttle bay, but should he really hold it against this young brother that there had been quite a lot to process when they first met? Could the mentioning of Kraun have escaped him entirely, given the revelations about their mother?

Drauc paused his step, taking a slow, deep breath. Overcoming his Romulan instincts, of paranoia and suspicion, had taken many years of constant subjection to other minds. It was rooted deep within him, and the Tal Shiar had fed to it because of their torment. As much as he did not like to, he realised he had to cede this point to Isley, and accept that Kraun meant nothing to this new brother. In fact, it was plain that Isley did not think much of Drauc either. The key question was if it mattered to either of them.

"My apologies," he rasped, turning his head a bit. He flexed his scarred hands inside the sleeves of his threadbare robe. "I judge too quickly, my expectations too high. You do not know Kraun like I did, and I err in thinking you'd care."

He turned back, and even if he loathed the way in which Isley spoke of Kraun, in how he wasn't going anywhere, his words held true, and Drauc appreciated honesty over cursory flattery and deceit. The later was always quite plain to him. "Getting to know me is also learning about Kraun, I realise, since we were never apart. The Tal Shiar gave us both this ability, so we functioned as each others' anchors. When the minds of others encroached upon our own, the other brother was the reference towards our identities. I recognised myself through Kraun. In my youth, it was essential, lest we'd loose ourselves in the impression of others."

A brief frown creased his seasoned face. "Other children, without a sibling... slowly became catatonic. Slaves to the impressions of other minds, without need for their own. They were first erratic. Inadvertently puppeteered by others. Following the incentives, reacting as they were absorbed. Then... the incentives were not enough to compel action, and they just grew still. Breathing. Staring. Until they were removed from the facility. Discarded."

Drauc did not know if the significance he put in Kraun could be told in mere words, but at least he had tried.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #11
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Just as Nathaniel settled in, taking up his spot in front of the viewscreen, Drauc decided to join back in again. He was in a sour mood and not willing to take him back, but...it sort of seemed like Drauc was also in a sour mood. Maybe this entire revelation was just as frustrating and confusing and upsetting to him as it was to Nathaniel himself.

Even as he went on, Natheniel found himself feeling a little more empathy for the guy. Everyone knew the Tal Shiar was fucked up. To add to that, he started to understand more about his family; turns out his mom didn’t care much for her first children either, if this is the fate she left them to. Maybe they were in the same boat then.

He crossed his arms and chewed on his cheek as he thought. It was so much easier to run into this situation with guns blazing, anger aflare, and yet...he really couldn’t muster that up anymore. He wished he could, because things were simpler when Drauc was the bad guy and Nathaniel was the good guy. Now, here was Drauc, hurting over someone he lost. Wasn’t that just so familiar?

As capricious and as dumb as Drauc was for acting like this, and for as frustrated as Nathaniel was...he just couldn’t summon it up. That ability to say ‘fuck you, fuck that, and fuck this’, it just wasn’t so easy, not when he started to realize Drauc has experienced something rather potent that Nathaniel couldn’t even dream of. He found his forehead in his hand, a deep sigh running over his lips…

“...Drauc, quit acting like a douche and come back here. Tell me what it’s like having a brother then. You obviously want to talk about him.” He asked, not without a modicum of embarrassment. He was being vulnerable here, with the hope he’d be rewarded and the expectation he’d be attacked instead. But really...he’d always wondered what it’s like to have a little brother. Maybe he could settle for a big one?

He knew Drauc was somewhat empathetic, and tried to hide those feelings that came from thinking about all the things he missed. What he could have had. Not only was Drauc not supposed to see them, Nathaniel wasn't ready yet.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #12
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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Upon invited back to the view of the repairs, at the railing, Drauc might not have cared for Isley's arrogant phrasing, as if he was doing him a favour by agreeing to listen to his words. Snide generosity, that's what it sounded like. Drauc had encountered the term 'douche' before, in the non-literal sense, and he was tempted to tell this little brother that he was just as guilty - the scene in the shuttle bay still clear in memory.

"You school your thoughts, not wishing me to learn who you are. This is expected, and if I could stop myself from sensing what may come to mind for you, I would," he rasped as he stepped towards the railing. "I have tried to medicate myself so that I can be left alone in my own thoughts, to little avail. Please understand that I do not pry on purpose."

He wrapped his scarred hands around the railing, standing next to Isley, and when he spoke, it was not of Isley's thoughts, but his own memories.

"Unlike me, he always wore facial hair, like yours, only he had my complexion. My hair. Besides this, he was quite similar to you and I. Same stature. Same build. More solemn than I, yet just as efficient in the battlefield. We fought alongside each other in the Dominion War - while you were still in the Academy, I've learned - under different names. Protected from the Tal Shiar, our whereabout and service in Starfleet hidden. This became more difficult when the Romulans joined the war, yet we remained unnoticed."

Drauc paused, thinking that it would be fair to speak of how Kraun died in one of those battlefields.

"In the end of the war, we were fighting back to back in a border skirmish, when a Jem’Hadar kar'takin pierced my left side and went into our brother, severing his spine. So chaotic was the fight... that I did not notice for a few moments that Kraun had fallen. I do not remember the silence of his mind." Drauc's hoarse voice reverberating in the railing through his grip, and his eyes followed another shuttle. "By the time I reached him, Kraun was dead. The next few hours are... lost. I cannot recall what I did, but the records said I kept fighting. At some point, I must have cauterised my wound with my phaser. I must have been screaming, with the madness of loss, because since then, my vocal cords have remained damaged. I know little else from that day."

Pausing, Drauc frowned a little, since despite the years, he was still not at peace with this turning point in his life. "My next memory was from a sickbay, on some starship. I asked for Kraun, before the fact of his demise returned to me. I relived the despair a second time, for I had lost the other half my mind. As I told you, we depended on each other to remain sane. Never apart." His scarred hands shifted on the railing, and he turned his head a little but in Isley's direction. "Thus, I soon became like those children that the Tal Shiar discarded. The Chief Medical Officer was at a loss, so I was taken to Starfleet Medical on Earth. I still said nothing, with nothing in my mind save the whims and notions of others. My mind was not whole, so I did not know how to depend on it. The minds around me were whole, so I let them wash over me... like waves of the sea."

The short tale was at an end, for he had already alluded to what happened next when the'd spoken in the shuttle bay. "Jovela's plight eventually stirred me. Making me take an action of my own to preserve her modesty. I killed that Klingon in grief over Kraun. I already told you the rest. The years that followed, after my desertion, were unkind, though I learned to function without our brother."

Drauc did not expect much of a reaction, or comment from Isley, but he wondered if his mind would take him to the present, or to the past, and ask questions about either. He already had his own.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #13
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Drauc was insufferable. He wished he could remove himself, but it was hard to do so when he literally just invited Drauc back to talk. Olive branch, he kept reminding himself, extend the olive branch.

He listened to Drauc talk, privately trying to imagine someone who looked sort of like him. Sort of like mom, maybe, but male...facial hair, but...a pale, scarred complexion, apparently. Drauc didn’t talk much about what he did before he died. He explained when he died, noting that the strange brother of his used ‘our’ brother, as if inviting Nathaniel to take part in this family mourning. No, he decided, not my brother. Very clearly, this entire emotional event was Drauc’s. To say Nathaniel’s brother died would be a lot like saying Drauc’s fellow pilots died; disrespectful.

It illustrated a problem Drauc constantly had, though. He was lost, not able to find his path without Kraun. As Nathaniel scratched his chin, he wondered how similar Drauc was to him after all. Despite how much he wanted to kick the scarred weirdo’s ass, he kept finding parallels. Was he looking for them, maybe?

The ball was in his court now, Drauc was done talking. Now Nathaniel would determine where this conversation would go.

“You’re not hoping to find another Kraun in me, are you? Sounds like he was a big guy.” He asked, half predicting and half hoping the answer was no. There was no way he could possibly make himself Drauc’s idol and anchor—and really he didn’t want to. Drauc was as crabby as he was.

“What was...what was mom like, back then? Did she...I dunno, hug you two, hold you or anything?” He ventured out, hoping to solve some of the mystery that was his own mother. As much as he resented her, he still thought about her often, wondering what he missed out on was starting to get to be too much.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #14
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
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The notion that Isley would somehow replace Kraun was so preposterous that Drauc blinked twice. "I have no such hopes."

Thankfully, the man did not linger on that oddness of a suggestion, but asked about the mother they had in common.

"One of my earliest memories... are of osol twists," he rasped, looking out at the Azure Nebula once more, mentioning a commonly known Romulan sweet. "After all the things done to me and Kraun, only her false name comes to mind. A codename, which father was supposed to use to contact her, after she left Romulus behind. I do not know if he tried, or how many times he tried. She is... a fading face to me now, and that false name. T'Mei."

Frowning, Drauc continued. "All I know is that Romulan children born with physical deformities - that impede their ability to serve the Empire - are not allowed to live. The development of a child is monitored closely until the age of five. If the child is fit, then they enter a rigorous training program of schooling, cultural indoctrination and physical training for fifteen years. I know this, and I suspect our father decided that it was... convenient... to dispose of Kraun and I, since we had just turned five years of age. I do not know if it was because he was unable to raise raise us on his own, since T'Mei never returned, if grief drove him to madness, or if he never cared for us to begin with. I do know, that our lives would have ended that day, unless a tall Romulan pulled us out of the termination program. A man working as a collector for the Tal Shiar, hand-picking subjects that no one would miss."

The image of the sweets in his hand lingered still. "He offered us osol twists... and asked if we wanted to play."

Drauc had already told Isley of the time that followed. He believed he had answered his younger brother well enough about T'Mei, since he had nothing more to offer in her regard. "You told me, in the shuttle bay, that she had not been unkind to you. Perhaps she held your father quite dear, more so than my own. I admire her sense of duty... if she still remains an operative of the Empire, and can still raise a child during her mission. I admire her will, if she was willing to forsake everything for the Federation and for your father. I admire her capacity for deception... if she is a double agent for both, and managed to fool you that you were Vulcan. Any way I look at it, she can both be admired, and loathed, for the same qualities."

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #15
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

The way Drauc spoke, it made Nathaniel wonder if the man ever had a good moment in his entire life. It was sort of becoming irritating, listening to the same thing over and over. Misery.

He mentioned twists, something Nathaniel had only fuzzy memories about. Had he tried them before? He didn’t think so. He didn’t think his mother really endorsed sweets for him. In fact, if he remembered right, sweets were supposed to be very bad for vulcans, and half vulcans like himself.

Not a half vulcan, he reminded himself. Not even a single quarter vulcan. Romulan. All that time, he could’ve had as much candy as he liked. It was a silly thing to be bitter about, but he couldn’t help himself.

“She’d been kind enough. I mean, we weren’t beat or abandoned, so there’s that.” He shrugged, wondering if Drauc really was a good source for information about his mother if all he ever talked about was misery. “But she was Vulcan. Or, we thought she was. I don’t remember bedtime stories or a hug when I got hurt or something. I still don’t know if she ever really loved me. She didn’t hate me, at least.” He made a face out the window, as if the stars would see his confusion and sort things out for him. He certainly didn’t want to share his feelings with Drauc, essentially still a stranger, but they poured out like a bleeding wound. Confusion, discontent, anger, guilt...a salad of negative emotions that he’s sure was far too loud for someone who could feel surface feelings. Both out of a sense of privacy and politeness, he tried to quiet that down.

“...guess I should’ve known something was up that one time I ate a whole chocolate bunny and didn’t get drunk." He commented, trying to focus more on his positive memories to anchor him. It was a tasty chocolate bunny. He should replicate another one just to relive the feeling, if he wasn't Vulcan after all.

"Well, I guess the other question I have is what're we going to do now?" He went on, still remembering the chocolate. It mellowed the chaos in his mind considerably. "I mean, we're half brothers, and our mom's a liar and abandoned her kids. Now we're grown, you're down one brother and gained another. What's that going to mean for us?" He leaned on his hand, pondering his own question. He had no answers. He sort of hoped Drauc had some.

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #16
[ Drauc T'Laus | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @FollowTomorrow 
[Show/Hide]
The negative emotions, while tightly controlled, were expected when Drauc felt them coming from Isley. Drauc, if anyone, knew his story was not a source of joy. It did not inspire conversation either. It was one of those things he might tell someone once, and then not having to revisit the topic again. Unfortunately, with Isley, they had a shared past - a common denominator - which made the topic hard to avoid.

It seemed, however, that Isley managed to focus on something less troublesome than the implications surrounding their mother, and Drauc's story. A peculiar memory, about a sweet. Like his early memory of osol twists, but in a far more positive context. While he knew what chocolate was, he had never encountered the sweets in the shape of animals from Earth. It was true, that while their native people enjoyed things like osol twists, their Vulcan cousins had - somehow - developed a strong aversion towards it. Why, or how, Drauc did not know.

He did not comment on the chocolate animal beyond nodding quietly, but the next set of questions were more complex to answer. He leaned forward, and folded his scarred hands in front of the railing.

"Personally, if we make it through this, I request your permission to speak to T'Mei, and ask why Kraun and I were left behind. The fault is not hers, directly, that my father chose to have us disposed of, but it has irked me... not knowing if she left because of him, or for some other reason. It would be," he rasped, pausing, "for sake of closure. Not knowing has been... a detriment when struggling - each day - to remember myself whilst sifting through the thoughts and emotions all around me. Knowing the truth about the family and life I lost, might help me remain sane, now that Kraun is gone."

He realised that it was only half the answer, since it left whatever might happen between the two of them unspoken. Unfortunately, it was too early to say much in that regard. Only the day before, Drauc had not known about Nathaniel Isley of the Lone Wolves.

"As for you and I," he said, and looked back towards the Azure Nebula, the light shimmering across his face. "I think whatever we might become... will neither be of our choosing, nor aided with forced companionship. If you find the time, however, I could use a sparring partner, since being an instructor to Nurse Jovela will hardly keep my skills in the battlefield honed."

 

Re: Day 03 [1200 hrs.] Brothers

Reply #17
[ Nathaniel Isley | Observation Deck | Deck 10 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan

Well, it was an answer. Not one that he liked, he hated ‘wait and see’ type situations, but it was an answer nonetheless. He leaned on his arm harder, frustrated, but there’s not much he or anyone else can do. Fuck this situation, honestly.

“Sparring, that’s no big deal. We could do that. But about talking to mom...” He grimaced, thinking about how that confrontation would go.
“I haven’t spoken to her in a long while. Partly because we’re fugitives, but also...” He couldn’t find the words, but he felt them. Bitter, he was very bitter, and he wanted to know why she did—well, everything. Why did she act Vulcan, why did she abandon a whole family, why did she edit his genes, why why why.

“If we get through this, I think we both better confront her. After that..." He shrugged, "Guess we can keep being sparring partners after that."

- FIN

 
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