"The Kevratas Run – Part Two"
by Lieutenant Nimue Andraste
and Ambassador Aerv Laehval tr'Ahalaen
= Three Years Ago =
= Kevratas Colony =
Aerv was beginning to learn that even the best laid plans went awry
when they involved Nimue Andraste. It was almost as if the girl had
some kind of anti-logic emitter built somewhere into her lithe frame.
Around her probability seemed to have no meaning – unlikely events
unfolded rapidly and with alarming frequency, throwing years of
familiarity and security into absolute chaos. If she ever went to
Vulcan, Aerv had no doubt the whole planet would unravel. It
He had initially intended to put the cadet on the first transport back
to Federation space. Nimue, however, had demanded - and with that
petulant, pouting lower lip of hers the request was impossible to deny
- first a shower, then food and then a tour of the grounds of the new
Ahalaen estate on Kevratas.
On said tour, they had run across Aerv's father: Tal. A former
member of the Tal Shiar, Tal Vriha tr'Ahalaen had always liked silence
and solitude. After his retirement and the deaths of his two eldest
sons, his recent fall from grace in Senate politics, that preference
had become Tal's way of life. It was said that you could have Gorn
mating in the gardens - if the Gorn did indeed mate in the traditional
sense of the word - and the head of this particular family would walk
by without blinking, as if nothing were out of the ordinary, so that
he could return to his private study. However, not only did Tal speak
with Nimue, he actually *liked* her - which was an honor no alien, to
Aerv's knowledge, had yet been able to claim – and had invited her to
In the short time tr'Ahalaen had been away, assuring Xanthe Andraste
her daughter was safe, the Ahalaen women had gotten their hands on
Nimue and whisked her away to Elements knew where. For the first time
since being relocated to this godforsaken world, dohhae Ahalaen was
alive. Watching his family dote on the girl was a little irritating.
The only person who was supposed to get that kind of attention around
here, after all, was him. Aerv had never thought he would be upstaged
by a mere girl.
As he stood in the door way of the main dining hall, watching Nimue
teach Ael some strange human game that involved the patting of
invisible cakes, tr'Ahalaen had to admit that it was impossible not to
fall in love with this particular mongrel, even if just a little.
However, that was also not part of the plan. This was a road he had
gone down before...it ended in an ugly place.
That was when Aerv noticed that Sharien was standing next to him.
He smiled at his sister, "Problem?"
"Are all humans like her?"
"No. Not at all." He replied with a chuckle, silently thanking the
"Good," Sharien laughed, "Otherwise, it would be quite impossible to
adequately despise them."
"They are our allies, e'lev."
She shrugged. "For now...."
tr'Ahalaen sighed. This was true. However, it was also quite sad.
Would it always be so for the Romulans? Always thinking about the
next war.... Where were the thoughts of peace, the thoughts of
beautiful things? They had lost so much over the last few
decades...why were his people never content to just build and paint
and be free?
It had to do, he suspected, with this whole business of being 'the
Declared.' The Rihan were convinced of their destiny: Romulus would
prevail, they believed.
Yet at what price had the Rihan bought this certainty? The beauty of
the Old Ways had begun to fade. The lessons of the Old Home were
forgotten. Honor had become a rare thing. There were rebellions,
corrupt rulers, weak leaders...and none of them realized how much
their constant fighting was damaging the Empire.
Like termites eating the inside of a home, these fools did not realize
that they were destroying the very thing that sustained them, that
defined them, that made them who they were. Immortality and Destiny
were dangerous things...especially when a people began to think that,
no matter what their actions, they had already had these things. Then
every soul became a viper, every face a snake....
"She is beautiful, isn't she?"
Sharien smiled and back looked at Nimue, who - along with Ael – was
caught within a fit of giggles.
"Yes, Dianvm. There is something gorgeous about her...like I have
never quite seen before."
"She's uncertain, Sharien." Aerv whispered, as if revealing a great
truth that had just dawned upon him, "She knows very little. She
makes no plans. She lives, she breathes, she laughs...as if every
moment all of this could be taken from her. There is no great destiny
awaiting her...and even if there were, she wouldn't care. We all
dote on her, Sharien, like adults in a room, captivated by the
innocence of a single child...because she still has what we have
forever lost. The ability to not hate because of what we fear will
come...the ability to trust, despite the knowledge that there will, at
some point, be disappointments and betrayal. This single human is
better than the sum of us."
He laughed softly at the shocked look on his sister's face. "Do not
fear, Sharien. Your precious Empire will prevail...all the well made
plans will succeed. Yet despite all that, I think, years and years
hence, we will look back and realize that this one crazy girl outlived
= Later =
The Ahalaen home was sprawling mansion that had been crafted using the
finest black marble. Lavished with expensive rugs and plush carpets,
rare paintings and beautifully detailed sculptures, scented candles
and blooming flowers of all kinds, it was indeed a beautiful place in
which to live. It was completely Romulan.
Except for the rooms of Aerv tr'Ahalaen.
A man of eclectic tastes, Aev had put together a stunning collage of
luxury for himself. Carpets from the Orion slave city of Plundar,
stunning abstract sculptures from Risa's artistic Urbaynia, rare
Andorian texts of ritual and mating bound with soft human leather,
bladed weapons from every imaginable place in the world - a rare delta
quadrant Hirogen blade, a human katana, a Klingon bat'leth embedded
with a black diamond from Cardassia, a dagger fashioned out of a rare,
now extinct El-Aurian metal, a Jem'Hadar sword from a fallen First
and, of course, several Romulan weapons along with a few replicas of
the famed S'harien swords of Vulcan, knives with hilts embedded with
Endari glass beads.
And there were books - actual paper books of every description brought
on a trip to the vast information center of the greatest of all
Yridian cities. Volumes upon volumes on tactics written by Zakdornian
generals, texts detailing the sexual secrets of the Deltans and
Orions, literature from across the universe including Earth, Vulcan
and Trill. Detailed readings about religion, philosophy and painting -
covering everything from the alchemists of Earth to the Passions
Priests of Andor. Ferengi texts on commerce, rare Gorn discussions of
aesthetics, Naussican drawings of combat techniques…. And there were
rare wines and spirits, colognes and fragrances, Romulan clothing made
from materials of different planets - all things difficult and
expensive to acquire, sometimes even purchased off the black market.
Nimue Andraste strode into the midst of all this splendor in a simple,
short, white cotton summer dress, looked around once and declared,
"Pretty." Then, apparently losing interest, she drifted towards the
balcony leaning out from the room to look at the stars from Kevratas.
Aerv followed and stood in silence, watching her, until she turned to
him with a quick smile and said, "What?"
"I believe it is time you told me what, exactly, you are doing on Kevratas."
Nimue grinned. "I came with a manual on espionage. Once I'm doing
reading it, I'm going to go all superspy on your ass."
tr'Ahalaen gave a dry look. "Thrilling."
"I'm a pilot," she said with an easy shrug of her slender shoulders,
"I came for the Kevratas Run, of course."
"I will admit I have been…slow to embrace the traditions of this
planet," Aerv noted carefully, leaving out the reasons for his
reluctance in establishing a connection with his world, which was the
site of disgrace for his family, "However, if there were some kind of
event being organized…."
Nimue rolled her eyes at him, "It isn't an event. Well, it is an
event, I guess. It just isn't an official one. Happens every year
though. Lots of people come into the system for it. Most of them
don't stop on Kevratas though, no surprise. Ten bricks of gold
pressed latinum for the pilot who gets through the asteroid belt
Aerv frowned. There were no asteroid belts around Kevratas itself
that were hazardous enough for an illegal race to be interesting at
all. The nearest such belt would be beyond the sixth planet of the
system and that was….
"The Akhiy Aevr?" tr'Ahalaen asked, his frown deepening, "That is
ridiculous. There is no one insane enough to race the Black Flight."
"Hey. I'm Nimue. Nice to meet you."
Aerv shook his head. The Black Flight was a series of closely packed
asteroids that were considered nearly impossible to navigate. In
order to fly through the Akhiy Aevr, you actually had to fly through
the bodies of the larger asteroids, while avoiding the smaller, ever
shifting ones. Worse, the metallic composition of the asteroids made
sensors ornery, so picking up other ships or debris was a challenge.
It had made the belt a hub for criminal activity and the Galae was
aware of the same, though they did not care enough about this region
of space to actively do anything about it.
To race through those rocks though….
"Do you need the latinum?"
Andraste laughed, "I don't care about the prize. I'd make the run for
free. It's going to be great. Did you know they call it the Black
Flight? You can't even see those rocks coming without a visual. How
awesome is that?"
"Awesome is not how most pilots would put it."
"Yeah," she insisted, "It is. You are thinking of drivers. Cabbies.
Chauffeurs. Those guys wouldn't call it awesome. But any pilot
would. I mean, come on, Aerv, you've got all this fancy pants crap
lined up here. All these paintings…pretty as they are, they are all
dead and stale. When I'm out there flying, I'm like totally alive and
my art is alive with me. It isn't permanent, but is exciting."
"The same thing could be said about one's life."
"Not if you don't make the Kevratas Run," Nimue joked. Then with more
concern, she asked, "You aren't going to try and stop me, are you? I
mean, you know I am just going to come back next year and do it
anyway, even if you ship me back to Starfleet."
"I assumed as much, yes. No, far be it from me to deprive an artist
of her canvas. For your sake though, Nimue, I hope you are a genius
at what you do."
"I'm a mad genius."
"Indeed. It would be impossible for you to be any other kind…."
= End Log =