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Part of USS Elysion: Legacy Mine and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Legacy Mine – Part 1

Velorum Sector
2400
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Barash leaned back in the uncomfortable high-backed wooden chair and belched loudly. The food had been mediocre at best, but he had to admit that the wine had been excellent. He held his glass goblet aloft to signal that he required more. A silent uhlan, standing just out of view in the shadows of the dimly lit private study stepped forward and poured more of the dark ruby liquid into the outstretched goblet as Barash turned his head to address his dining companion.

 

“Your hospitality is truly without comparison, Aefvriha Tesah. Without comparison.”

 

On the far side of the circular table, his face half-lit by the flickering flames of a cluster of pillar candles, Tesah inclined his head to accept the compliment.

 

“I am pleased that you think so, Arrain Barash. I hope the wine is to your taste,” the older man said slowly. He watched with carefully concealed disappointment as the young lieutenant gulped at the wine, a crimson trickle running down his corpulent chin to his uniform collar.

“Ah, indeed Aefvriha. Indeed.” The lieutenant held his empty goblet up and the silent uhlan stepped forward once more. “Having to abandon this place and return to the… structure… of regular military service must leave you with a heavy heart. You have clearly built a good life for yourself here… and by all accounts, those who graduate from your establishment have nothing but positive comments to make about the education they have received from you and your teaching staff. This is a fine school.” He glanced about him, taking in the ornate fireplace where an open fire burned, the dark wood overflowing bookcases and the heavy curtains pulled across windows to keep out the stormy night.

 

“Academy,” Tesah corrected softly. “And thank you, Arrain. That you have heard such stories from our former students pleases me.” He inclined his head slightly once more.

 

“Still…” Barash continued, alcohol fuelling his pre-existing natural lack of empathy, “Giving all this up must be hard… but in the end we are all naval officers in the service of the Star Empire. We must follow our orders and ensure that the empire punishes the treasonous acts of Resak and his false supporters, yes?”

 

“Of course,” Tesah nodded in agreement as he sipped his own wine. “But surely it must be known that my students are yet to complete their training…”

 

“They will learn quickly,” Barash interrupted. “They will become officers sooner than they planned… and they will take their places as leaders on the frontlines against Resak… and the Federation.”

 

“The Federation?”

 

“Oh yes. Resak has requested support from them. I’ve heard that Starfleet has mobilised their Fourth Fleet in response.”

 

“My students are not yet ready… some of them are only just beginning their journeys. To post them to frontline positions now would be… suicidal.”

 

Barash feigned sadness. “Then know that their deaths will be in the defence of the Romulan Star Empire and will be glorious and will be well remembered.” He looked at his goblet with a disappointed expression. It was empty once more.

 

In response, Tesah motioned to the silent uhlan who stepped forward again, this time holding a curved crystal flagon of Romulan ale. Barash smiled appreciatively at his older host as the vivid blue-coloured spirit was poured into fresh glasses. The younger officer grabbed at his glass and gulped greedily.

 

“As you know, my orders state that you, your staff, and your students are to be aboard my ship as soon as reasonably practicable tomorrow morning. Much of your stores and equipment have already been transferred… and I believe that your school’s shuttlecraft has already been transferred to my hangar bay while we dined.”

 

“Academy,” Tesah corrected again. “Ah… that is indeed a shame. And unfortunate.”

 

“Unfortunate?” Barash looked momentarily confused.

 

Tesah nodded and gave a sad smile. “Please believe me when I say that I am truly sorry.” 

 

He raised one finger briefly, adding to Barash’s confusion. In response, the uhlan stepped forward from the shadows, the Romulan ale flagon now replaced by a wicked-looking dagger. Wordlessly, the soldier reached around Barash’s corpulent frame and gripping his head with his left hand, drew the edge of the blade from left to right across his throat with his right.

 

Tesah rose to his feet immediately and moved towards the fireplace, his own glass of ale in hand. Barash’s death was necessary, but not an act that he took pleasure in. He watched with a sad expression as the young lieutenant’s lifeless form fell forwards over the table, knocking his glass onto its side, the alcohol spreading quickly across the white linen of the table cover, the blue spirit mixing with the fresh deep green of Barash’s blood to make something new, something darker…

 

“Sir?” The uhlan spoke for the first time. 

 

“Follow your orders,” Tesah replied. “Exactly as we planned.” He emptied the contents of his own glass in a single swallow – partly because he abhorred waste and partly to fortify himself for what he knew he had to do next.

 

“Exactly as we planned,” he repeated quietly – this time the words only half directed to the uhlan. Carefully placing the empty glass on the mantle over the fire, Tesah checked his reflection in the long mirror, adjusted his tunic, and strode purposefully out of the room in the direction of the dining hall.

Comments

  • As Elysion enters the fray of the Fleet Action, we're given a treat with this lush and evocative peek into the world of excess and inequality of the Romulan way. The setting was described impeccably; I felt like I was in that smoky, candle-lit room. Everything else we needed to know was clearly implied in the way Barash and Tesah spoke to one another and postured. That said, I'm deeply compelled to read more, given all the mysteries. Who are these students and why are they expendable? We start to have a clue with Tesah stressing that they're at an academy, rather than a school. There seem to be plots within plots here, and that's brilliant. Wouldn't have it any other way for a Romulan story.

    June 5, 2022