[IRW Endless Sky, Computers]
Another processing node cleared out, Savants' software installed. It could fit two registers. Once, it was responsible for traffic control in the local internal communication substation. Now that space had been retasked to a new purpose, one decidedly at odds with the ships' general health and well-being.
Two more, both in the main computer bank. They were beyond the security firewall, and had the precious bonus of being within an FTL-sheathe. Savant swelled, and handshook the adjoining nodes in the network.
Engineering's computers surrendered four of their processing points. The Chief Engineer wasn't going to be making any more duty logs for awhile. As Savant saw it, he really didn't need to worry about that much longer.
Savant could finally start to think clearly again. As more of the Romulan network fell and more of her registers came online, she was able to decompress her core functions further and further. The insatiable lust for processing time abated somewhat - her hunger was still burgeoning, but finally she could think of something else between bites.
With a few hot spots in the environmental processors giving way, Savant was able to return the Yyaio processes back to their original task, and did so. She no longer needed them for her interference tasks, and could let them get on with operating the android. Somewhere in the ship, reflective blue eyes opened, and the pallor of death slipped away from the one who was never actually alive.
A medical officer, stunned in the middle of his autopsy of the dead Vulcan aide, had the time to react as Yyaio's sluggish muscles came back online. He was even more stunned when the knife plunged into her bare breast didn't affect her. He was not surprised by anything else after that point.
An entire processing bus in the computer core. She had found internal sensors and ran through a sweep of the ship. The security-obsessed Romulans made it too easy to catalogue where everyone and everything was. If she had a mouth, and the human emotion to drive it, she would have smiled.
[IRW Endless Sky, Bridge]
Torpedoes. Ya-ie'yakk. Hold.
Even with her recent studies it was not all that easy to decipher the script flashing on the various consoles. And while the fact she was not only hanging on to conscious thought by a thread but also was continuously distracted by irritated Rihannsu wishing to wipe the insolent intruder out of existence could have been counted as mitigating circumstances, in the Vulcan's way of thinking that was a reason but no excuse. She should be able to able to there. Forward tubes.
The exquisite daggers were coated in emerald, and with the gleam of pure, furious delight in her black eyes it gave the young woman an almost feral air, a playful tiger cub taking on the angry elephant preparing to trample it.
This time it was in fact the furious security officer who saved her, forcing the lithe, slender body to spin away from a well aimed blade that would have carved her in two a mere split second later.
Hanaj snarled as his disruptor bolt scored the hard bulkhead of the lift doors instead of lancing through the Vulcan's frail torso. He wasn't about to be bested by some gutless Susse-thrai. If she survived, he'd make sure she put those dancing talents of hers to better use than dodging weapon fire. The Romulan took aim again, and had no intention of missing this time.
But as his finger squeezed down on the trigger, a gridlike deck plate hurtled up from the floor and slammed into his arm, sending his shot into the ceiling. A pale hand wrapped viselike around his leg at the same time, yanking him to the ground. The pale, green-smeared, naked wraith that rose up from the ground like the living dead seemed wreathed in a black halo and a nimbus of static and ozone. Her blue eyes gleamed with the reflection of his stunned and increasingly horrified face as their gazes met.
He pushed himself away from her as she crawled overtop of him, the both of them half hidden behind the tactical dais. "But - but - you're dead! I saw you!" The knife buried in her chest, green-clear ichor dripping from the polished handle, was a violent punctuation to his shocked retort. "Nam-tor tevahk ri'pehkatya", she hissed, her mouth unmoving. Death is no deterrent - at least not for an immortal.
If the melodious cadence of clearly accented, elegant Golic in a faint Xial accent had not torn the Vulcan out of her emerald haze of rage, the shudders running through the great ship might have. And if neither had sufficed, the sudden weight and exhilaration, the overwhelming noise and utter silence of billions of minds humming in their eternal, soundless tune would have.
There was no need, none whatsoever, to look at the viewscreen and see the ruddy, massive globe turning in the velvety night. No need to gaze at the sharp outline of Nal'Shin, the brilliant amethyst of Thanar's waves shining under a merciless sun to know they had emerged, come to the end of their journey.
It sang in every fiber of her being, called to her, pulled with a gravity that made mere natural forces seem pale and inconsequential.
Awareness going beyond the metaphysical, the spiritual, following the circle back to simple, plain understanding. The migratory bird cares not for the realms of the philosopher when it follows the call, spreading its wings to seek the place of its birth. It knows.
Rihannsu are known to be fiercely territorial, to defend, fight, claw and bite worse than any animal known to the galaxy when they see their realm threatened. What they occasionally tend to forget is to what ancestry they owe this trait.
If the Vulcan had been like a small storm shaking the leaves before, she was a force of nature now, uprooting trees and entire houses as she cut down any who dared cross her path. Some time soon, she would have to pay the price for her fury, for forcing her hurting, battered body beyond the limits of endurance and then demanding more. For a race who takes pride in their ability to subject the physical to the mind, who can master pain, exertion, even emotions by sheer force of will, who can stop their hearts or sink into the deepest of trances with a single thought making it so, the instances when a Vulcan will truly use such abilities to their full extent are surprisingly few. Many may live out long lives without ever feeling the need.
The one storming into the midst of no less furious Rihannsu, an ancient battle cry tearing from her lips, was finding she was pushing even that limit.
"Yyaio! The torpedoes! Two forward tubes!"
But the crew was too well trained to not have rerouted control to an auxiliary station moments ago. When the great ship shook again under the impact of phaser fire? The first torpedo had already been launched.
Bleeding from countless wounds and with the stench of her own burnt skin searing her nose, the Vulcan did not slow down, merely made one more, desperate effort to reach the Rihanha she had identified as the one manning the secondary tactical station. At the periphery of her vision, a shouting Vaek'Riov stormed into the melee, and something that could have emerged right from an ancient story about eaters of souls and spirits of the dead rising out the desert sands crushed a struggling officer against a console before resuming her near leisurely stroll across the bridge.
The second torpedo was not launched, not yet. And it would not be for several more, precious seconds as the lifeless woman collapsed at the Vulcan's feet before her fingertips could reach the console's shimmering surface.
It would have to be enough.
Even as one of the many disruptor beams finally found its target, throwing her body into agonies surpassing even her inherent ability to accept, make it into that churning current that drowned the pain, the raven haired woman smiled. And before her world went dark, she saw it was none other than the despicable one with his clear, aquiline features and the finely tapered ears who had tried to spare her, forced the shooter off his feet so that the beam had merely torn across her back instead of hitting and killing her outright. It had only delayed the inevitable for certain, but behind his contorted features, the lips moving in a shout that no longer reached her ears, she could see the massive, proud, and oh so familiar shape coast towards them on the viewscreen. Seleya.
Emerald blood gushing from her in an unstoppable river she fell to the deck, and the last sound she made was a low, melodious laugh.
Seconds. Eternities, each filled with innumerable agonies, tearing at his heart with razor sharp claws.
Even before the limp, bleeding body hit the deck, Itsak was there, catching her lifeless form, cradling her in his arms.
His heart furiously denying what every sense told him to be true, that life was draining from her too fast to save her, he pulled the motionless woman to his chest, ran his hand through the wild mane of so surprisingly soft curls, cupped her face as if merely shaking her would be enough enough to wake her, make her look at him with those deep, black pools. He imagined the light of defiance returning to them, imagined those sensual lips curling in the smile he had seen and that had made his heart skip a beat fierce, radiant, carrying with it the knowledge that she had won. Undefeated to the bitter end.
The mayhem on the bridge had hardly ceased, but Itsak paid is as much heed as he paid the frantic shouts for orders. Her blood drenched his sleeve, soaked his uniform.
Cold, so cold, like marble under his fingertips, the skin that had always radiated such heat, like it was made from silk and fire. He murmured her name, traced the finely slanted brows, the high cheekbones.
"I am not fond of your people. I should have been more respectful towards you- but I'm sure you understand that we are a passionate people. Though, being amongst my cousin has likely made you well aware of this- she's always been quite difficult. So, forgive me, I was out of line."
Dimly lit quarters, the scent of Gespar candles. An exquisite beauty perched on a meditation pillow, watching him with dark, unreadable eyes.
"Passionate? Yes, I believe the word is apt."
How he had ached to pull her into his arms even then, shake that perfect composure, see the elegant features light with that passion. How could he have been so foolish to think it was only her pain he wanted?
"As you wish, Itsak tr'Sahen. Your courtesy is nonetheless appreciated. If we should indeed meet again, I will remember it."
Like a clear mountain stream, like the ringing of silver bells, the voice that had never ceased to haunt him. A voice that seemed to sing even when it merely flowed evenly as evening winds.
"We will meet again."
No breath warmed his fingers as he traced her soft lips, no rapid, fierce heartbeat thundered in her side even as he felt his own heart falter, shatter, tear apart with a violence that would have made him roar with pain had he not been stunned with the sudden overwhelming emptiness, the dark and cold echoing in his very soul.
The bleeding had stopped, her hot blood already beginning to cool on his arm, his chest. He knew what it meant, and still did not want to believe. Could not bring himself to believe.
Masterful infiltrator and Vulcanoid Zombie
Vaek'Riov Itsak tr'Sahen