[USS Charon, Sickbay]
Humans. Andorians. Betazoids. Even Klingons. And Rihannsu. A bit distanced, the latter, though no less fascinating. And what an astonishing number of hybrids.
Ignoring a nurse's well meant protests, Havor hobbled towards a young engineer getting treated for a small laceration and gave an outright friendly nod of greeting.
The old metaphor of 'kid in a candy store' applied to the young Vulcan exploring sickbay, clutching a cane borrowed from a healer whose cranky demeanor failed to hide a genuine concern for his crewmates, and sticking his aquiline nose into practically everything.
What an astonishing ship. What an interesting crew. One barely knew where to begin.
Well, the noise level certainly was something one needed to adjust to, however … oh, another Rihanha. Injured, how terribly unfortunate. Oh, not just any …
The young scientist felt it prudent to keep out of the healers' way, and not only because the scowl on the Captain's face promised an increase in the noise level within the next four point four seconds.
[ some time later]
The tall, graying Vulcan strode soundlessly through the doors and realized he need not have bothered to remain even more quiet than was his wont – this place was a veritable beehive. Technicians and medical personnel, apparently engaged in maintenance tasks, and very few patients, all of them quite content to interact with each other and the staff.
And first among them … well, it was certainly gratifying to see young Havor so … active. One should think that the loss of a leg would at least slow the inquisitive scientist down. Obviously, it did not. And the engineer who had the good fortune of having drawn Havor's interest seemed not only amicable, but pleased to have an eager assistant.
A brief exchange of wordless greetings, and Sajel found a nurse willing to direct him towards his other injured crewmember. In a pocket of relative silence, V'Lin was resting on a Starfleet biobed. clean, warm sheets and a dark haired human hovering nearby, monitoring the readouts. Were he not a Vulcan, Sajel might have found the contrast to what they had experienced during their desperate voyage almost surreal.
Even so, he allowed himself a slow exhale that spelled relief to anyone capable of reading such subtle signs. Although still unnaturally pale, the young woman appeared to sleep peacefully and the tall Vulcan was about to leave when his dark gaze fell onto another biobed not far from V'Lin's.
"Shiarrael t`Rehu." His bow could not have been faulted by the most stern of matriarchs.
"Sajel." Shiarrael deadpanned- although alive her pallor was subtly paler than normal. Her expression was neutral but the torrent of anger she felt was merely being held at bay by a mental dam which was slowly cracking at seams as time went on. Someone tried to kill her- again, the theme was old and worn. She could do without these bursts of deadly excitement aimed at her person. Pushing off the biodbed she gently shoved one of the nurses aside. It had been long enough- too long for her tastes and aside from an army of medical technicians she wouldn't allow herself to be voluntarily subdued any longer. She had given them time to mend her wounds- and she was mended. Her expression went frigid as one of the nurses came to urge her back onto the bed. The woman quickly retreated and Shiarrael turned her cold glare onto the Vulcan "do you blame me for the less of the Temep-Shar?"
It had been a lingering questions, but until this point she had been too busy...no, too despondent over the entire situation to seek that answer . No doubt it was her decision to try to save the Vulcans that caused the Temep-Shar to fall into her cousin's hand. Although that susse-thrai aided the development by disabling the Charon's weapons. If she could do it quietly and without fanfare Shiarrael would have killed her already for that treachery and the other headaches caused since t'Pelar's arrival. Though she had to give the Vulcan woman some credit- it was certainly something Shiarrael's people could respect. A cunning Vulcan? How ironic.
One certainly could not fault the Captain's directness.
After a moment of silence, Sajel gave a near imperceptible shake of the head.
"Blame is illogical."
Not to mention no Vulcan would allow themselves such a highly distasteful emotion.
Hands loosely clasped behind his back, the tall V'Ket studied the subtle and less so signs of aggravation radiating off the violet eyed Rihanha.
An attempt to kill the CO. Virtually unheard of on Vulcan vessels and certainly not common practice in Starfleet. It was quite a puzzle. What was perhaps not surprising was that Shiarrael t`Rehu was still very much alive. If Sajel was any judge, even a disgruntled Le-Matya would be wise to think twice before engaging this one.
"Your tactical reasoning was sound. Your insistence on rescue, while unnecessary, in compliance with Yel-Halitra regulations. I cannot find a flaw in your logic, Captain."
Though the same could not be said for she who had chosen to betray her own.
"Logic, such subterfuge." Shiarrael sighed- Vulcans were certainly irritating creatures. "To think we were once the same people. How frightening." She tossed the Sajel a second glance to see if his features had changed at all with her comments. She frowned, he might as well have been carved in bronze "follow me Sajel." She turned and marched out of sickbay uninterrupted by the weary medics. Once in the corridor she continued her thought "I on the other hand do regret my decision. Allowing my people access to such a weapon..." She mentally shivered at the mere thought. "My time among the hevam has diluted my senses. Had I been the commander of the Aylhr I would have let you all die and destroyed the Temep-Shar before they could retrieve it."
"It would have been easier at least." She paused long enough to compose her second thought. As they stopped in front of the lift doors to wait she spoke "Do you recall the events of 2368- specifically an event that occurred near the Galadorn Core between the Empire and Starfleet? I was merely twenty-six then and still in the Phi'lasasam. Although I did not hear about it until much later- it is something worthy of memory."
If he would have allowed any such thing to be obvious to an offworlder, Sajel would have radiated equal amounts of mild concern and amusement at the way the Rihanha stormed out of sickbay – and his near instinctive reaction of falling in step, the silent V'Ket shadow following she who commands the vessel. What a fine irony indeed.
"Easier? Perhaps." The deep, even baritone had the same inflection as that of a patient teacher, or a monk conceding the vastness of the universe. "Appreciated by those who would have chosen such an end over … the alternative? Certainly."
He did not feel it necessary to point out that regrets were illogical. Nor that while the V'Ket would have preferred a quick, merciful death over losing their ship this way, they also would have grieved the lives of the civilians on board. Not for long, as most species reckoned such things. An eternity, if one considered a Katra perishing in agony.
"Kaiidth, Shiarrael t`Rehu. What is, is."
A thoughtful nod commented the Captain's latter question. It had been a bold though ill conceived plan, ending in a terrible waste of lives.
"When the Enterprise discovered that Commander Sela had hidden Romulan soldiers aboard those stolen Vulcan transport ships my people did not hesitate to kill our own men to prevent them from being captured." She looked at Sajel as they continued to wait for the lift "at one time I would have been as ruthless- but not now. I hope my weakness does become the end of us all. As history has provided us with many examples- my people are persistent and dangerous." She stared at the floor for a moment "let me ask another question. What will become of that foolish woman who cemented this circumstance?"
How ironic indeed that a woman who had chosen the more difficult path would then deny that it took more courage to dare and lose than to be … ruthless. For a moment, the graying Vulcan's features seemed to soften, turn from the implacable emptiness of a sun scorched desert into something the Rihanha might have recognized. But any such thing evaporated at the mention of she whose name Sajel refused to speak.
"I do not know, Captain. She was powerful once, and perhaps still is. Though one may assume that … questions will be asked."
Dark eyes looked down at the slender woman whose dejected mood and recent injuries had not managed to overshadow the proud bearing nor the grace that seemed inherited rather than learned.
"You may anticipate that your testimony will be asked for as well."
Hardly unexpected, she seemed not satisfied with that answer.
"Patience, Shiarrael t`Rehu. You wish for retribution? Entropy has a way of returning to those who unleashed it."
"Retribution?" Shiarrael smirked at Sajel humored by his comment "an interesting description but inaccurate. Retribution is reserve for short minded fools- however, justice, is universal." Her eyes hardened "and what justice will she be served by your people I wonder? How much damage has she caused? How many lives have been lost and will be lost because of her actions?" She scoffed "for treachery justice should be swift and permanent. Ael t'Rllaillieu killed her only son." And could I kill mine? Shiarrael instantly wondered...
"If it is justice you seek," the Vulcan's voice was almost mild, though his face was as chiseled marble "it is done. For the deed is its own punishment for one whose Katra is burdened by the lives you spoke of. And the more she denies the truth of it, the more she will find that peace eludes her, and the power she sought will taste as ashes."
The Sundered's approach in such matters was … compassionate. To be granted death by the hands of a beloved rather than live with a soul slowly withering away in agony.
"It is c'thia." Unperturbed by either the fleeting smile nor the scoff, Sajel held Charon's Captain in his calm regard "And before the end, she may wish that a code as swift, permanent and merciful as mnei'sahe existed on the world of her birth."
"I should only hope that will be the case." Shiarrael said. As the lift doors opened she stepped inside "you are quite talented in hand-to-hand I am led to believe. We should spar" her smirk grew as she wondered if the Vulcan would accept her invitation "if what I am led to believe is true- it is not often I have such talented opponents aboard this ship."
"While I cannot comment on the correctness of the information you have received, you are of course welcome to attend our training exercises. Your operations officer has kindly allocated one of your cargo bays for this purpose."
He followed silently, not having been asked to do otherwise, and found himself hovering behind the energetic Captain like a Shavokh over his adolescent nestling.
"On that matter, I wish to express our gratitude to you and your crew, Captain. Your hospitality is … remarkable."
The doors closed and the lift jolted imperceptibly as it ushered the pair off.
Hospitality? Shiarrael smiled at the Vulcan masking her thoughts on the matter. In reality she wasn't much of a host- in fact this was the first time she could recall ever speaking to Sajel since the botched mission to retrieve the Vulcans the Temep-Shar. At least this crew is good for something, she thought while still smiling at the Vulcan "I have things I must attend to. I trust that we will speak again Sajel." As if timed perfectly the lift stopped and the doors parted. Shiarrael stepped out, turned around, and bowed her head slightly in a respectful nods directed at Sajel "Jolan'tru" she stated simply just before the lift doors closed separating them.
Captain Shiarrael Rehu
Vulcan Dude (apb Chaya of course :) )