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Topic: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam (Read 157 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
[ Samala | Public Baths | Deck 06 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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"Almost done. I just need to double check the power relays are secured properly and run some simulations and diagnostics and the Apache will be ready to fly once more," Samala thought to herself as she walked the hallways of Vector 02. "After that, I just have to build a new cloak and then I can leave." The thought of leaving the Theurgy brought about a resurgence of the feeling of foreboding that Samala had been feeling off and on ever since she had finally spoken with her brother two days ago. They had almost come to blows when Lorad had told her that he intended to remain aboard the Theurgy. He had of course wished that she would remain as well; that they could go into the future together but that he understood if she felt the need to leave.

And that is what aggravated her the most. He had manoeuvred her into a position where it would be her fault if she left, rather than his for staying. That she would be leaving him instead of him leaving her. He had placed the burden on her to decide what happened next between them. And she felt that that wasn't fair. Or rather, she had felt that.

After having had time to think about it, she could understand his point of view, and the argument he had used to validate his reasoning for wanting to stay. How he felt he owed them for saving both of their lives and that he believed that he could show them that not all Remans were like those that had been with Shinzon. That they could also be valuable members of the Federation if given a chance. That it might provide a safe haven away from Romulan space for their people. And she found that she couldn't fault him in his reasoning. But she couldn't understand his choice. The Klingons had offered them the same thing and yet he felt that Starfleet and the Federation was the better option.

"Samala, there you are!" a familiar voice called out. Turning, Samala saw Teya Gaunt hurry after her. She'd met the woman a few days before and much like with meeting Sinead, Teya had managed to worm her way past the hybrid's standoffish attitude; some much so that they had met up for breakfast that morning.

"Teya," Samala said, addressing the Human. "I thought you were on duty tonight."

"I am on my way there now. I just needed to tell you something," Teya said as she came up next to Samala, her breathing hurried. Sparing her a moment to calm herself, Samala waiting until Teya was ready to speak. "You remember how we were talking this morning about why someone would join Starfleet and I told you that there were even Romulans in Starfleet?"

"I remember saying that I bet they would have had an interesting time proving themselves to not be Tal Shiar spies," Samala commented, recalling their conversation. "Also, that their stories would be pretty interesting, what about it?"

"Just that if you wanted to ask one of them about their story, you could," Teya explained. "I just saw Drauc, the male Romulan, headed into the Public Baths. Odds are, he is about to chase everyone out of the steam room. If you wanted a quiet conversation with him, now would be as good a time as any."

"A steam room?" Samala wondered. "I don't think that is a good idea."

"Why? It's not like you are shy or anything," Teya prodded. "Look, I have to go. Breakfast tomorrow. Same place and time and you can tell me how it went."

"Sure," Samala mused as Teya dashed off down the passageway. The Human had a point though. From what she had heard, Drauc seemed to avoid people like the plague. Which given the rumour she had also heard that he was telepathic, made sense. But it also increased the danger of her interacting with him, or even coming near him. Still though, there was the nagging need in the back of her head that wanted to know why a Romulan would want to join Starfleet. As if the answer could give her some insight into her brother's own decision.

"I risk exposure for the chance to understand," Samala thought to herself, weighing the risks mentally as she stood in the passageway, forcing several crewmembers to go around her. "Both my mother and father told me that family is everything. I owe it to them to try to understand my brother's choice." Resigned to her choice, Samala looked around for a moment to regather her bearings before heading off down the passageway. As she headed for the baths, she brought her mental shields up as high as she could to try and prevent any telepathic intrusion.

Entering the communal locker room, Samala grabbed one of the readily available towels and quickly stripped out of the coveralls and t-shirt that she had been wearing while working on her ship. Wrapping the towel around her, more to protect everyone else's sense of modesty rather than her own, Samala finished disrobing and headed out of the room towards the showers. A quick sonic shower cleansed her body of the day's sweat and grime. Wrapping the towel tightly around her body once again, the hybrid stepped around the corner into the steam room and looked at the male Romulan that was present.

"May I join you?"

  • Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 04:13:25 PM by Stegro88
Lorad [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG Donna 'Chance' Petterson [Show/Hide]
PO1 Mickayla MacGregor [Show/Hide]
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Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #1
[ Drauc T'Laus | Public Baths | Deck 06 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Stegro88
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Finding places in the shipyards and on the Theurgy that allowed him some peace and quiet, with less minds to impose upon his own, proved difficult depending on the due repairs of the day. Instead, Drauc T'Laus had frequented the Beyond - outside of Aldea Prime - but that usually ended with him having to dissuade brigands and pirates from attacking him, or having to save unwary tourists from being robbed or taken away by the pirate gangs.

That evening, after having been forced to physically dissuade brigands in a mountain range overlooking the city, Drauc had gone to the gymnasium, changing in the communal locker room. There, he'd shed all his frayed clothing into one of the lockers, snatched up a towel, and walked towards the adjacent public bathing area. Specifically, to the steam room. It was one of the places aboard the Theurgy which he found relaxing, since the people there didn't generally stay for long, and thus allowed his mind to remain his own. Even that evening, perhaps upon seeing the state of his knuckles, the occupants had left.

Drauc did not remain alone for long, however, as a young woman entered. A Romulan? No, he was uncertain what her heritage was. Politely enough, she asked to join him, even though the room was of public use, and he had no say in who might use it.

"Of course," he rasped, his voice reverberating inside the steam while his eyes traced her movements through the tresses of his burgundy hair. While partially shrouded by the steam, his senses needed no sight, inadvertently absorbing whatever might escape her. The close confines of the area and the lack of anyone immediately close by made whatever gleaned from her stand out more, and she bled into him like blood to paper.

He remained seated on the top shelf of the farthest wall, with his towel wrapped around his hips and his scarred hands flexing. It soon became clear... that she had come for him specifically. In quietude, he watched her. Waiting for her to bespeak her purpose of seeking him out - guarded as he found her mind to be.

Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #2
[ Samala | Public Baths | Deck 06 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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"Two words. Short, to the point. No wasted effort," Samala observed as she moved to sit on one of the shelves against a side wall. Close enough that she could see and hear him but far enough away to give her some security and time to act in case things didn't go to plan. She could feel more than see his eyes following her through the room; the steam and his own burgundy hair serving to obscure him just enough. 

"Thank you," Samala acknowledged calmly, crossing one leg over the other once she had sat and leaning back against the warm wall as the room's heat began to make her sweat. "I wasn't sure if you wanted to be alone or not. I was told that people generally avoid you when you are in here. Some even said some unpleasant things about you. Not sure why though, you seem nice enough." 

Perhaps not the whole truth but Samala was still feeling out the Romulan. Despite being half Romulan herself, she found them, as a whole, repugnant. There were exceptions of course; her mother had been at the top of that list, but it was a short list in her mind. The tally of Romulans she had killed was much longer.

"I can feel you watching me; probably trying to decide what I am," Samala surmised casually, closing her eyes for a moment to enjoy the steam before reopening them and looking up at the man. "I'm half Romulan. And half Reman."
Lorad [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG Donna 'Chance' Petterson [Show/Hide]
PO1 Mickayla MacGregor [Show/Hide]
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Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #3
[ Drauc T'Laus | Public Baths | Deck 06 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Stegro88
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What the young female was saying was no surprise to Drauc. Not necessarily because he picked up on what she might say before the words left her mouth, but because he knew what kind of impression he made. He was not personable because the Tal'Shiar had left him bereft of too many emotional indicators. His demeanour was that of a husk of a man who'd seen too much, and lived through more. He could not pretend to be else than he was.

"I unnerve most in my presence," he rasped in the steam, and looked down towards his scarred hands. He was still flexing them, doing it out of habit to keep the fingers limber despite the abuse they'd been through over the years, and he could barely feel the pain of his blood-coated knuckles. He had no inkling what the young woman was getting at with calling him 'nice', so he made no comment towards the compliment, what little he could sense of her mind making him doubt how genuine she was. There was even something about her having killed a lot of Romulans... which put her next words - about her heritage - into a clear light.

Halfblood Reman, who'd killed her oppressors. She had likely been with the Remans rather than the Empire. The woman seemed at ease in his company, even closing her eyes and leaning against the wall where she sat. On his part, he was grateful that she seemed to have an ability to guard her mind a bit, since just a little of her thoughts bled into his own.

"I was Romulan before the Tal'Shiar made me less, fleeing as a mere child, and I used to be Starfleet," he grated in his deep voice, turning his stare away from her profile. "If that doesn't tell you anything, I might add that I don't condone what my people did to the Remans."

Just as the sweat began to bead upon the skin of the woman in the steam room, it had long since begun to trickle down Drauc's taut skin and scarred musculature. The heat made the pain of old battles fade. "I wish Remus fortune in the civil war."

Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #4
[ Samala | Public Baths | Deck 06 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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Samala listened silently as the Romulan spoke, remembering her father's lessons on listening to more than just the words that were said. He had taught her that how a person said something, and what choice of words they used, could sometimes tell you more than just what they said. He had also cautioned her against overreacting or being paranoid; most people were not particular about what or how they said something.

"A Romulan taken by the Tal Shiar as a child," Samala wondered, glancing at the man in question through the steam. "Mother told me stories, even warned me not to be captured after my abilities awakened. That I could be tortured and conditioned into a weapon for them because I look more Romulan than Reman. I guess I never believed them fully, until now," she considered, unsure how to continue without giving away her own abilities. She did realise though that she might already have because she was shielding her mind, trying to block any form of intrusion.

"I thank you for your words," Samala acknowledged evenly. "Remus will need all the fortune it can get, stuck between the Romulans and the Klingons as it is." Yes, the Klingons siding with the Remans was a good sign and of great aid, but Samala had wondered several times what the aftermath would be if the Klingons were victorious. Would the Klingons then turn on Remus and conquer it? Time would tell.

"My mother told me stories," Samala began, having decided that some truth couldn't hurt if used correctly. "Of the Tal Shiar taking people, children, and experimenting on them for different reasons," she continued, choosing her own words carefully. "Feel free not to answer, but may I ask, what were they trying to get from you?"
Lorad [Show/Hide]
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Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #5
[ Drauc T'Laus | Public Baths | Deck 06 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Stegro88
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Outside the steam room, Drauc could vaguely sense other people, since the mind of the halfblood Reman was so quiet. Again, there was a couple in one of the sonic showers, taking advantage of their found privacy. Drauc weathered the carnal passions rising in that short distance, focusing on the conversation at hand. Samala would be his focal point, knowing that such occurrences were usually brief.

"Thank you for being considerate towards my old plights," he rasped in answer to begin with, when she asked what the Tal Shiar had done. He slowly raised a scarred hand to rake back his hair from his forehead. He bared 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. "They preformed experiments upon me and my brother, cutting our heads open to harness the latent psionic powers of my people's Vulcan cousins. They were not gifted with what the Remans have either. Perhaps that is a source of contention on their end. This, I do not know."

Drauc dropped his hand, the steam rippling over his torso and features. "Since then, I have sensed emotions, thoughts, intents... Always. I cannot silence it - your very reaction to what you see bleeding into me if you don't guard your thoughts. Something I am grateful that you do. I wish I could do the same. I absorb, without pause, all the time... and yet I still try to retain a will and purpose of my own." His face lowered in introspection, memories of old surfacing in the whirling steam. He could see it all still. Haunting him forever, even if he'd grown numb to the horror.

"The other children in the Tal Shiar training facility either died from maltreatment, or they lost themselves in the maelstrom of input from others around them. They became mere 'mirror children' that thought, felt and reacted on what others made them sense. There was nothing left of their own will. They were puppets on invisible strings." Not willing to linger on the sights of the mirror children when they were disposed off, deemed useless, Drauc was able to glean something in her thoughts, and readily answered the unsaid. "I am both an exile of Romulus and a deserter of Starfleet, 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... is worse than the Empire."

The perverse imprint of that... sickening madness returned to him in other memories, the heat of the steam room reminding him of the battle against Captain Hawthorne in the burning command centre of Starbase 84. The man had been... and all-consuming chaos personified. Worse, the implications, that lent credence to Captain Ives' claims, and suggested that a new galactic war was due - instigated by these Infested. They meant to tear down everything...

"I have sensed... that which will end us all, lest we fight it," he rasped deeply, his scarred hands flexing into fists. He looked at her. Some vague impression of her purpose had bled into him, like blood to the edge of parchment, and he answered her. "There will be a battle waged. This ship... is just a means to carry me to the battlefield."

The couple in the sonic shower outside had yet to finish, and the blood that stirred them stirred his own, yet it merely fed the quiet passion of his words, and the timbre of his stare.

Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #6
[ Samala | Public Baths | Deck 06 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy | Aldea ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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Samala felt horror, and pity, for the Romulan male before her. That someone, anyone, could to that to a child was monstrous. That the Empire was capable of it, of course, was no surprise to her; but the level they had descended to and the sheer brutality of it was almost unimaginable. Opening her mind just a little, she skimmed the male's thoughts and almost instantly shut herself off again as she felt the tidal onslaught of the nearby minds.

From couple engaged in the shower nearby to the multitude of swimmers in the water and all the other crewmembers in the decks above and below them; Drauc could feel them all. And he felt them all the time. She wasn't sure of the extent of his range; she hadn't stayed long enough but even if it were only 20 meters, on a ship like this, would be a dozen or more minds, all the time. He would never have any peace. And yet here he was, functional, if not personable.

"But why?" Samala wondered. She had known other telepaths that either lost or never had control of the abilities to begin with and to a being they had all shunned civilisation and fled into the wilds where they could find peace away from other minds. "Why stay here, aboard this ship? What hold do they have over him to make him stay without imprisoning him?"

Her control of her shielding must have slipped as the Romulan began to answer her unvoiced questions, explaining his exile and deserter statuses yet his desire to walk a righteous path. And how he had found an enemy worse than the Romulans. Samala almost scoffed at that thought; no one could be worse than the Romulans. But then she thought of the Dominion and some of the things she had heard Lorad and her father tell her of them. Or the Orions and the whispers about their conduct. Or the Borg. The universe was a big place and Samala couldn't even fathom the depths of the evil that it might hold.

"He has found his purpose," Samala thought, staring at the scarred Romulan before her. "This enemy he speaks of, he seeks to oppose it with all of his being. And he believes that this ship is the best place to allow him to do so." Samala had heard the stories and had read what she could of the Theurgy's flight from the Sol system and their pursuit by Starfleet. Or rather, their pursuit by a Starfleet guided by those they called 'the infested'. "Could I make their fight my own? Should I?" Samala asked herself, looking down at the floor as she considered her options. She had been so focused on leaving the ship and returning to her people when she had woken up aboard this ship. But after her brother's proclamation to her, she needed to understand why he would do that. What purpose could be greater than freeing their people from slavery?

"Can you tell me of this enemy?" Samala asked Drauc.
  • Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 02:37:19 PM by Stegro88
Lorad [Show/Hide]
Lt. JG Donna 'Chance' Petterson [Show/Hide]
PO1 Mickayla MacGregor [Show/Hide]
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Re: Day 07 [1900 hrs.] Questions In The Steam
Reply #7
[ Drauc T'Laus | Public Baths | Deck 06 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Stegro88
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The question from the young woman was very simple. The answer, not so much.

Drauc was not one prone to speak at lengths, and much less of matters that were beyond him to verbalise. He merely had his experience to rely on. What he'd actually felt, along with what the reports had said of this enemy. He raised a scarred hand to his cheek, and rubbed the stubble while he pondered how to best phrase himself. When he spoke, he was staring into the whirling steam in the room they shared, trying best as he might to shut off everything else - even though the couple beyond the bulkhead was making it hard.

"Everything comes to an end," he rasped in his deep voice, and likened the whirling mist to the darkness beyond their plane of existence.

"All species strewn across the width of this galaxy develop, furthering themselves within and beyond their territories. Like rutting animals, we become more and more, and we believe ourselves superior in our right to develop in our diverse societies. We spread, as a constant, because we are the result of our existence. Our nature is to grow, and become more than we were before. We are insatiable in how we seek to either include or exclude, yet regardless our chosen method, we deplete and seek more resources to consume. A mere few of the civilisations that grow today actually seek a sustainable form of life, and give back as much as is taken from the planets we settle upon."

Drauc shifted his stare towards her - unblinking while he regarded her from behind the tresses of his hair. "Collectively, we represent life in all its variety," he grated, having experienced the minds of countless races and individuals. "The enemy... is the end of it all."

And just like that, like a hidden emphasis, the couple finished - the roar of passions falling silent.

"Our creation is built upon order. Structure. Our civilisations rise on the knowledge and understanding of those that came before us," he rasped quietly as the steam shrouded his unmoving frame. "What now seek to consume us all... is the cessation of everything. The path towards uncreation seem to be through chaos... and the Infested act to raze everything we've collectively built for millennia. We face a conflict that ends all other petty skirmishes we believe to matter. This is the final battlefield, upon which we will either perish... or prevail."

Drauc could but hope he made sense to the young woman, for he had no other means to best explain what he'd felt through Captain Hawthorne. He looked away, forelorn and weary, but nonetheless resolute.

"Knowing this... what other battlefield is worth seeking?"
  • Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 12:26:04 PM by Auctor Lucan