His breath was ragged. Each short intake of air into his battered body brought with it biting pain. His shoulder, ruthlessly pierced by a Romulan blade, throbbed beneath his blood stained hand. The pure white of his ambassadorial uniform was gone caked with dirt and grime collected from traversing the Charon's underbelly. Dark green splotches of Romulan blood adorned the fabric as did his own red blood. Half his uniform was a sticky and sickly dark red as his wounds seeped the ambassador's life blood.
The ambassador grimaced with each breath his own face covered in sweat and dirt. Swollen cheeks bore the dark hues of black and blue and his injuries slowly manifested themselves. A split lip and a bloody nose only added to a picture of violence the Romulans had skillfully painted upon the white canvas that was Ambassador Ian Lamont.
Yet despite the terrible scene that had been crafted by ruthless, violent hands the ambassador was oddly at peace. The fear that had utterly paralyzed him had vanished. Romulan soldiers which had once struck fear into his soul seemed but mere hollow, soulless, puppets controlled by some unknown, faceless master. They had already done their worst and yet somehow he was still alive. They had failed to break him thus far and if they pursued the matter further there would be nothing left for them to obtain. Lamont took comfort in the knowledge that his death would help safeguard the secrets within him and that he had performed his duty and obligations to ship and crew to the end.
He had always wondered if he had the right stuff. His family history was replete with individuals whose mettle had been tested and who had prevailed against the odds. As a boy he admired his family elders and their feats of bravery and courage. As a man he wondered if he himself possessed the same qualities. The answer to such questions had eluded him until now. Adversity had given him an answer though it had come with a high price.
True to the Lamont line he had endured his own test of character and passed. The Lamont family line would die with him, but as its flame faded from the universe Ian felt a sense of contentment in the knowledge that like those before him he had stood against adversity and shown courage in the face of danger and death. His decisions carried a high price, yet he had no regrets.
He closed his eyes and attempted to locate the peaceful, quiet place within him that Commander Sakarra had revealed to him. He had tried several times on his own to find the correct door. He could open the door yet without her gentle presence and support he had been unable to step through the threshold into the deepest parts of his own consciousness. Time had no meaning there. Thoughts were free to sprout, take root, blossom, and wilt into others formlessly flowing one into another like droplets of water rushing, forming into a stream splashing against rocks and becoming individual drops once again.
He found himself once again at the door. He reached out and opened it and looked beyond. Confident he could at last pass through on his own, Ian stepped through the door successfully and just as he felt the wonder of his own mind begin to envelop him he was forcibly ripped from its embrace and thrust once again back into the world of the living.
"YOU! You worthless slug! Your codes were useless and you have made me look the fool before my superiors! I'll not be played the fool twice!" Lamont was lifted into the air by the Romulan commander and slammed into the top of a nearby desk. "I do not care who you are or what rank you hold. Neither will save you. You could be the Federation President and I would still shove your intestines down your throat as I am about to do now!"
The Romulan brandished another sinister blade. Lamont could only look on his beaten and wounded body far beyond the capability of resisting. His face was expressionless betraying nothing which only seemed to infuriate the officer more by denying him screams of fear or cries for mercy.
The officer flipped the blade so that its tip was poised just above the Ambassador's torso. Ian's eyes met the officer's which were filled with rage, anger, and hatred. He felt nothing but pity for the man who was about to end his own life.
Kharifv Lhaerrh tr`Terik was trying to catch his breath, he had been running the entire length of the base to stop this before there was another war. He didn't even look at the guard on the door before he rushed into the room and was shocked to see the base Commander holding his K'Hosht on the human chest.
"Commander, please tell me that you are not about to kill a member of the Federation Diplomatic Corp," Lhaerrh asked as he entered the room.
The commander abruptly turned upon hearing the chastising comments only to see another diplomat enter the room. Clad in a Romulan uniform the Federation officer whom he held in his arms had his counterpart standing at the entrance to the office. Diplomats, no matter their loyalty, were always trouble.
"I was considering it", the commander hissed refusing to lower his weapon. "He is responsible for rallying these hevam against us! He was asked to keep the peace by issuing a plea to his fellow crew who continue to resist! He chose to incite them to violence. If he had simply complied with a reasonable request he would not be in this position! He made his decision by defying us. Now he will suffer the consequences for endangering our soldiers and prolonging the inevitable. He is a devious Federation operative and diplomat or not should suffer a thousand times over for each and every drop of Romulan blood spilled as a result of his words and actions! Leave before I have you arrested for interfering in military matters that are none of your concern."
Lhaerrh knew he was alone on this base but he was still the ranking member of the Kiith Mrevhoqq'ghi and he would damned before he allowed this kllhe to start another war.
"Rivo, do I need to remind you that it became my concern when you murdered the Tal'Shair and Tal'Diann operatives that it is only my access codes that keep you alive," Lhaerrh replied as stepped between the base commander and his prey, "You seem to forget your place when it comes to my arena, and I will remind you if I have to."
"My place is to see to the safety and security of the troops under my command! This Faelirh ch'susse-thrai chose to endanger them with a call to arms! He is supposed to be a man of peace and has chosen a path of violence! He deserves a proper interrogation ending in execution for his actions however as you said there are no Tal'Shiar operatives present so am forced to skip certain measures. He is a weakling hevam who has sealed his own fate!"
The two men glared at each other with menacing stares.
tr`Terik took a moment to slow down his heart beat as his moved his to his own K'Host and looked that man in the eyes, this was the moment of truth, "Now unless there is anything else, I will be taking this man to the Daise'Hiifvehi'Saehne and then I will try and end this peacefully unless you want more Rihannsu blood on your hands when we have another war with the Federation because you couldn't control your TEMPER!"
"War with the Federation would be glorious! The Empire could finally settle too many old scores that have been quietly swept away by politicians and political puppets like yourself", the commander sneered. "I have no fear of war. I hardly believe this worthless waste of flesh is important enough for the Federation to risk war. Why else would he be on a forsaken ship in the middle of nowhere if his career was not at an end?" The commander finally relented and withdrew his blade. "But if he is worth so much to you then take him. He isn't worth my time and I have no desire to foul my blade with the stench of human blood." The commander motioned for his men to follow as he headed for the door to the room. "I would watch myself ambassador. You might find a knife in your back one day for choosing the wrong side. Let's go", the commander barked turning and leaving the room and the two ambassadors alone.
Taking a moment to collect his breath, tr'Terik had to lean against the wall for a second before he felt at peace. He knew he didn't have long to live on the base, but there were some line not even he could cross and this Rivo was crossing them. Turning around, he looked at the Federation Ambassador for a moment before laughing, "Well Ambassador, you look like shit, let get you to medical."
Having pulled himself upwards onto his good arm, Lamont sucked in air one ragged breath at a time. He could not believe he had just been rescued by a Romulan – and fellow diplomat. Perhaps some values transcended race and allegiances. Coughing, he nodded. "You..you have my eternal thanks", he said his voice weak and unsteady.
Lhaerrh gave grim nodded as he walked the man out of the room, Its' not your thanks I want, but I do need your help.
=/\= END LOG =/\=
Commander Ian Lamont
Kharifv Lhaerrh tr`Terik