Saturday, September 4, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241009.04 || "Morituri Salutamus" || Itsak tr`Sahen, T'Pelar, Sajel

And now, my classmates; ye remaining few
That number not the half of those we knew,
Ye, against whose familiar names not yet
The fatal asterisk of death is set,
Ye I salute!



<<Note: This is a slight BackLog taking place roughly a day before arrival at I'Rak Prime>>



[IRW Endless Sky]     


"What did you do with it?"


The only answer the graying V'Ket received was another blow that resulted in another small crack to his already badly damaged jaw. Not that he truly had expected differently. Still, it was noteworthy that their jailers were becoming increasingly … agitated.

"How do you access the data?"

"I must point out that even if I were inclined to assist, your questions are becoming nonsensical."

This time, the fist connecting with his battered body made a rib splinter and the sharp pain told Sajel it would be wise to take no deep breaths any time soon.

If there was any consolation whatsoever, it was that out of all the civilians available to them, their torturers had chosen T'Pelar as their favorite subject. Surprisingly logical in this abundance of irrational behavior.


Commotion near the door made the tall, thin Vulcan look up from his contemplative pose and he was only slightly surprised to see the rank on the uniform of the man who had just entered. What was astonishing however was the faint but unmistakable sense of something … familiar. He hardly needed to see the severe upswing of the man's ears or the chiseled features to confirm his suspicion, but it was interesting all the same.

"Well, now." Calm, violet eyes settled on the Vulcan who returned the appraising gaze with a mildly inquisitive one of his own. "That certainly explains why you don't know the encryption codes. Though I'm still interested to know why she would have them."

"Rekkhai?" The male who had been so insistent in asking pointless questions gave his superior a nervous, puzzled glance which earned him an impatient gesture.

"He is V'Ket. Even if he knew the codes I suspect he'd be the least likely to divulge them. Though it would of course be an interesting challenge. What a pity we are somewhat pressed for time."

Pointing his chin at the bleeding, unconscious woman strapped into the chair next to the thoughtful looking male, Itsak motioned for another bucket of cold water "Wake her."


With no small amount of glee the officer obliged and was rewarded with an icy stare out of teal eyes. Even dripping and pathetic in her tattered robes, the old crone managed an impressively haughty stare. "T'Pelar." Giving a mock bow, Itsak favored the old Vulcan with a razor sharp smile "I believe it is you I have to thank for the courteous delivery of Temep`Shar?"

"Tr`Sahen." Her voice was cold enough to rival Andorian polar caps and if stares could kill, the Vaek'Riov might well have dropped dead this instant. But he merely gave another insolent nod, toying with a crystal between his fingers.

"And you even had the foresight to leave us her schematics. The only copy I believe, unless we uncover the V'Shar agent who was so diligent about making the other … disappear."

T'Pelar's dry huff sounded close enough to a laugh to prompt an amusedly raised brow from her torturer "You think I was foolish enough to take one of the agency with me?"

"Oh but you were … though I'll admit there's a chance they failed to … inform you."

An expression. Barely there, come and gone so fast you could take it for a trick of light. But Itsak honed in on it with the relentlessness of a predator who has picked up the scent of wounded prey.

"Ah. Someone better at scheming than even you? Now I am really intrigued." Fast, too fast for the woman to do as much as blink her struck her across the face and then casually dipped his fingers into another water bucket as if to clean himself after the disgusting contact.


"You fooled Shiarrael. I give you that much, though I should possibly not go as far and thank you for that as well. But I had rather hoped you would have been cunning enough to at least point me in the right direction. I see I expected too much."

How delightful, the vile creature actually seemed nettled.

"Perhaps you should ask the traitor." A think line of emerald trickled from old, dry lips as T'Pelar spat the words, and immediately knew her shot had missed.

"Traitor? Tsk. For being loyal to her Captain? I thought you people value such things, as far as you are capable of it. But do not think I haven't … asked the Commander, as it were."

Truth be told – not that he would reveal his thoughts to the old one who looked even more pathetic with her luxuriant robes ruined and clinging to her withered frame – Itsak had pondered whether he had not already solved the riddle. Of course it would be slightly vexing if by killing the lady Vulcan's lover he had also eliminated the only other person capable of breaking the V'Shar encryption. Ah, well. It would have been an additional treat, no more.


What he needed was right in his hand, the badly hidden data crystal his security forces had uncovered in T'Pelar's sealed quarters. No annoying intelligence service had tampered with this, though someone had gone through the trouble of copying it. Someone who was as stubborn as she was … realizing he had allowed himself to be distracted once more Itsak frowned, clenching the pale red crystal in his fist.

Foolishness. She was just another vile thaessu, degraded to be a plaything for as long as it amused him. Prideful creature that she was she continued to defy him but that would change … sooner or later. And by that time there would be little enough left of the perfection that captured his senses or the mystery she hid behind the walls of those black, unreadable eyes.

Now however, the mere thought of her fired his blood and it was all he could do not to storm back to his quarters and …


The male Vulcan's gaze had become even more thoughtful, nearly taking on the same disquieting intensity he had come to associate with … her. Her. Elements.

Well, there was one thing he could do. Twirling around he struck the V'Ket in one smooth motion and the force of the impact was enough to let the man's head jerk backwards with an audible crack before he slumped in the chair.


Ah, and the old crone had even winced. Barely, but still …

The dark smile returned to his features and Itsak looked down at the cold teal eyes watching his every move. "No, old woman. There is no hope. Your codes are too easy to break. And though I would appreciate your helping to speed the issue - I do not need you."

It was all the more sweet for it was true, and to see the realization dawn … ah, this one at least knew when it was time to acknowledge defeat. Quite refreshing, to see the hatred, the fear, the despair, no matter how hard she tried to hide it under that haughty veneer.

He toyed with the crystal again, marveling at the subtle play of light over the polished surface. What he truly needed, he already had. The battered Vulcan ship's power would never be enough to open another wormhole, but who needed such things when one had an entire starbase's power at one's disposal? The calculations would go faster with the old woman's help but …


"Take her back to the others." If the Vaek'Riov's order surprised his underlings, they gave little enough sign of it. "Let the stubborn creature be useful in the only way she can. How is the virus adaptation progressing?"

"It is nearly completed, Rekkhai."

A brief glance confirmed the male at least would no longer be useful to anyone. One could assume he would have preferred this over what still awaited the rest of his species in any case.

"Good. Take him back, too."

The second he said it, Itsak wondered whether he was getting sentimental – blowing the old soldier into space would have been the easiest way to dispose of him. Instead, … no, let them see what lay in store for them. If that also gave his colleagues a chance to mourn their leader with ridiculous rites, so be it.

 "I will be in my quarters."

Subtle shuffling told Itsak there was some reluctance, unspoken protest. A silent glare out of violet eyes silenced it immediately, but he knew … ah, he knew. They were beginning to wonder if his infatuation was going too far, if his judgment was affected.

And it probably was. All the more reason to deal with the matter, one way or another.

"You will inform me once we are ready to depart."

"Ie, Rekkhai."


He casually tossed the little trinket to a waiting security officer, his thoughts already on the pleasure ahead. It would take them another day at least to arrive at Ralaar'laehval, and if they hadn't finished that calculations for a stable wormhole by then … he certainly would not mind a few more hours. Oh, not at all.



[End Log]



Vaek'Riov Itsak tr'Sahen

Fleet Commander



Vulcan Science Council