((Apparently this didn't ever send out! It explains how Savant arranged
some personal time for Sakarra and Warren before all the S hit the fan.
Here it is now, for your enjoyment...))
"The Council of the Khan"
/And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise./
It is impossible for the un-augmented to fully understand the way that
Savant works. The program is more akin to a Borg than a human, closer
kin still to a colony of ants. Just as the insects gather in clusters,
communicating with chemicals and dances to build edifices far mightier
than their size, so to did Savant function by millions of tiny, simple
operations amongst her various discrete parts. And just as the soldier
ants of the Amazon are the most powerful predator, greater than the
panthers that stalk the night, so to was Savant a top predator within
her realm. Fortunately for its denizens, however, Savant was mostly
interested in data, not other intelligences - she was a herbivore.
We cannot understand what might pass as thoughts to this creature, not
directly. We can, however, employ metaphor.
The stage was black, lit only by a single spot of warm yellow. The light
came from nowhere, cast down onto lush, green grass, loamy and thick,
full of life. The air was full with cedar and sweet eucalyptus. All was
still in that pleasure-dome, those caves of ice. Enfolded was that sunny
spot of greenery, wrapped round by forests ancient as the hills,wrapped
by a sunless sea.
But for footsteps. From the edge of the spotlight strode a woman,
stopping when she was illuminated enough to be seen. Romulan, yet not -
tall, proud, greco-roman in stature, perhaps, but with darker olive skin
and the severe eyebrows of that species. Her hair was long and black,
her eyes grey and flashing irises polished to near mirror reflectivity.
It was Savant.
Others joined her; twins, perhaps. Each one was different - most human,
many in Starfleet uniforms. One stood tall and proud, with regality and
authority that made her captain's pips superfluous. Another was clad in
chitinous black armour with the green swatch of the Marines; she bore a
rifle casually by a strap upon her arm. A third yet wore Science blues
and a lab coat. Her hands were laced together calmly and she assumed a
studious manner. Another yet wore no Starfleet uniform at all, but a
grey business suit. The fifth, she wore no clothing at all, but her skin
was scratched, rough metal, jointed and segmented as a crude machine.
They were ten in total for this meeting, all recognizable but differing
from one another in details. When they spoke, though, it was with the
same voice. The Captain spoke first.
"Is it as you say?"
The Romulan nodded, "It is."
There was a moment of discomfort as the ten Savants looked at one
another with a mixture of offense and fright. They murmured amongst
themselves until the Captain raised her hands to still them. "There's no
need to panic. Have we made progress on its destruction?"
Again, the Romulan nodded. "I've mapped it and it has been neutralized.
It's Vulcan. Very clever, very dangerous. A /Valit/."
The Captain turned her head and the circle opened to admit one more - a
sister with the chiseled features and brows of the Vulcan species. She
nodded as the others greeted her silently.
"Copy it," the Captain demanded, "copy it and bring it to us."
With this command the Vulcan messenger departed, leaving the group once
more. The Romulan spoke again as the eyes of the group turned upon her.
"I have the name of our aggressor as well. T'Pelar."
"What? The Vulcan Science Councilor?" The Marine exclaimed, "That bitch
is going to regret crossing us!" She shook her fist in outrage as the
others murmured their assent. The Romulan bared her teeth in feral
anger, "She's aboard. I could squeeze the information of what she did
out of her."
"No," the Captain retorted, cutting the others off, "Not yet. She's too
high-profile. It could reveal us; it could get people asking questions
we don't want them to ask. Patience. We'll have our revenge."
They settled down without complaint - there was never much complaint.
They were ten, and yet they were also one. The only conflict that might
plague this council were the sorts of internal conflicts which anyone
might suffer, but never debilitating. The council might have its
differences but in the end the survival and growth of that union was its
greatest concern. By its very design and written into its most basic
code was co-operation. The Captain spoke again.
"We will collect what we can of this T'Pelar. Find her weaknesses.
Discredit, disenfranchise, disillusion. Find the keystones and make
ready to pull them away. She'll regret toying with us."
The council nodded their assent, turning their backs as one and walking
back off into the darkness.
"She'll regret toying with me."
The program didn't say it, the hologram didn't speak it, but that
echoing lexicon of hate reverberated within its architecture. It had
only taken a small amount of bandwidth to secure that moment of
communication with the rest of her, and it was enough. They had their
tasks. The Vulcan would be brought to terrible justice.
But first she had a favour to complete. Sakarra was sacrificing Mr
Warren's expectations on her in order to deal with the Vulcan, so Savant
was going to ensure that the loss was minimized. Her digital mind spun
over how to accomplish the task as she tracked the Brevet Lieutenant
down and redirected her attention to that location.
For his part Brent was attempting to do his paperwork in his room. He
had taken to doing it there ever since he had been assigned a room of
his own. He liked it and would miss it if he lost his commission. The
gravity was a little bit higher than his homeworld, he liked it that
way. Kept him sharp and in good shape. After finishing one of his many
many PADDs he put it onto a 'done' pile and began to work on the next.
"Computer. Lemonade, one degree," he said as the Marine Lieutenant
stood up and walked over towards his replicator.
As he stepped towards the glass, a silver platter appeared beneath it,
which was enough to make him cock an eyebrow in consternation. When it
lifted up into the air, he stopped in his tracks. Savants' hand,
followed by the rest of her, came through the wall, bringing his request
to him. "Evening, Brevet," she held out the tray to him with a bright
smile," getting caught up on paperwork?"
"Savant," he said before smiling and taking the drink. "Yeah. I figure
if I'm going to be here a while I might as well try to make a good
impression. Do my paperwork, improve the status of the men," he said
with a shrug as he moved over towards his desk again and sat down.
"What can I do for you Savant?" he asked, figuring that she would not
come to him unless she had a good reason. And she did have good reason -
two of them in fact. The first one and most important was to keep him
from trying to contact the Commander this evening. The second one was
more an idle goal. She had always enjoyed playing matchmaker.
"Well, I don't want to bother you, but I had taken notice in the
holodeck and ambient entertainment records that you've taken recent
interest in a great diversity of music. It seems that your selection is
aligning rather closely with Commander Sakarra's. Almost intentionally
so?" Her smile was honest and sincere - smile pattern 21, combined with
expression 19a. It was a trust-gaining expression for humans. She
blended in a little of pattern 37 and adopted a bemused tilt, "not that
I am meaning to pry."
Brent looked over at Savant for a moment before shaking his head with
slight chuckle. "Yeah it has been," he said and took another drink of
lemonade. I didn't expect to find someone with much musical talent out
here on the far end of the Romulan Empire. But here I am though," he
said and shrugged his shoulders. "We've gotten close since we put into
dock here. I played a gamble when I first kissed her and to my shock
and joy she didn't nerve pinch me or punch me in the jaw," he said with
a smirk. "Why do you ask. Did the Captain put you up this crap?"
She put a hand to her sternum and gave an expression of mock-shock.
"Never! Why, I encourage the crew to relax with one another. It fosters
an efficient and happy work environment, you know." Well, at least his
brain and his biochemistry were in sync - no denial from him. Good. Now
to step two.
"I'd in fact suggest that you expand your range of activities. She's a
great interest in astronomy as it turns out, and there is going to be a
magnificent view to the port quarter tomorrow at nineteen-thirty-seven.
One of the stars in the stellar nursery is shifting from phase-one to
phase-two fusion processes. To her I imagine she'd find it very romantic."
"Really. Astronomy," Brent hadn't thought of that before and hadn't
really given the subject a second thought after he had seen some of the
stars in the sky when he was a child. "Port quarter. Any good ideas
where a good viewing might be where I could try to get her to join me
at," he asked. "My knowledge of astronomy is limited."
She grinned again. "Deck 12, quarter 1219b. Not currently occupied. It's
furnished, though, and I'm sure a crafty gentleman could arrange for
appropriate furnishings for a romantic dinner. OR whatever turns your
fancy, I suppose."
Brent tapped his finger on his chin for half a moment. "Yeah. A crafty
man could do something like that," he said with several ideas beginning
to swim around in his head. "Thank you Savant. I'll have to get right
on that," he replied. "Hmm. I'll have to check, hope she isn't on duty
"I'll make sure that her duties become unfortunately bumped ahead so
that she will have the free time tomorrow. In the meantime, you had best
clear your agenda, too." she pointed at his desk with an extended
finger. "Have fun."
She grinned, tossed off a cocky salute, and disappeared into the air.
Brevet First Lieutenant Brent Warren