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Part of USS Themis: Volleyed and Thundered and USS Odyssey: Volleyed and Thundered

Volleyed and Thundered – 8

Betazed, Kalandra Sector, Alpha Quadrant
Stardate: 51721.3 (2375)
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Twenty-Five Years Ago

Tremt Hunsen was a young and bright student at Cataria Boarding School for Boys on his beloved Betazed. He cherished the privilege of receiving an education there. He felt content with his life until, one day, a sudden siren blared during a routine swimming lesson, and he and his classmates were quickly evacuated to a safe location within the campus. 

As they huddled together, they received the news that the Dominion had invaded their planet. Tremt’s heart sank as he thought of his parents, prominent figures in Betazoid society. Throughout his teenage years, Tremt’s relationship with his parents was characterised by a degree of turbulence. His mother, who had struggled with infertility before his birth, doted on him tirelessly, often referring to him as her ‘little prince.’ While her intentions were pure and well-meaning, Tremt often found himself feeling stifled and suffocated by her constant attention. On the other hand, his father had high expectations for Tremt, hoping he would follow in their footsteps and work for the Betazoid government. Seeking refuge in attending a boarding school, he found solace in the distance it offered him from his parents’ expectations. Yet, they knew how to reach out to him when they ‘needed’ him to attend significant public events to promote some political agenda they were involved with or to show off their family to others. 

His mother was the Head of the Eleventh House of Betazed, holder of the Blessed Sceptre of Rixx, and heir to the Divine Regal Sword of Betazed. The sceptre was a broken golden ball, while the sword had several missing jewels and some rust covering it. In Tremt’s eyes, they didn’t appear important, but to his mother (and father), they were vital to their family and the Eleventh House of Betazed.  

And now the Dominion were here. While at school, he and his friends had kept up to date with the war developments. The latest victory for the Federation Alliance in retaking Deep Space Nine had raised morale across many worlds. Nobody had ever imagined Betazed would be seen as a critical and strategic location to take. 

He knew that the Jem’Hadar troops, who had come to conquer the planet after Starfleet’s defeat, were a formidable force, and they could do little to fight back against them. Backed by their Cardassian allies, Tremt had enjoyed his exo-history lessons, especially the topics around the Bajoran occupation. Now he feared that Betazed would undergo similar trauma as Bajor did. His people weren’t inherently an aggressive society. How would they survive and defend their homes?

Despite his fear and confusion, Tremt refused to give up hope. He knew his people were strong and resilient, but he was just a teenager with no power to fight against the Dominion. So as he watched them march through the streets of his beloved planet, he felt a sense of helplessness and despair. He felt sick, and for the first time in a long time, he worried for his parents. Their positions meant they were important, and if the Dominion had their intelligence service name key people within the Betazoid government, he knew his parents would be on that list. 

Tremt felt increasingly powerless. He could only hope and pray that his people would someday regain their freedom and independence. When his headmaster approached him and told him that he had altered Tremt’s records so he wasn’t listed as the Son of the Eleventh House, successor to the Blessed Sceptre of Rixx and second heir apparent to the Divine Regal Sword of Betazed. Instead, he was now listed as the brother of one of his friends from his shared dormitory. Though he appreciated the protection, after hearing his titles were removed from official records, it made him feel more distant from his parents. 


USS Themis (NCC-76554), en route to Divinum, Deneb Sector, Alpha Quadrant

Stardate: 78194.2

“Tremt?”

Nothing

“Tremt?” 

Shaking his head, he realised he was not paying attention; Commander Tremt Hunsen looked to his captain and apologised for his lack of initial response. “Sorry, Bexa.” He shook his head again. “My mind was wondering.”

They sat in her ready room, reading the latest intelligence about this ‘Lost Fleet’ while the ship was flying with the others towards the Divinum Four colony. She had replicated some tea for them and Hunsen’s favourite chocolate. “What’s that old human saying? You know, the one that Max used to say a lot..” Cambil asked before she remembered it. “A penny for your thoughts?” 

Hunsen sighed. “It’s just the whole return of the Dominion is bringing up some bad ghosts. Also, Divinum Four has a large Betazoid population.”

Cambil reached out and grabbed his hand for support and assurance. She knew where he was coming from. “I know this is tough for you. You’ve told me before about your experience of the Dominion’s occupation of Betazed. Hopefully, this is not the same, and the arrival of one of the toughest and coolest squadrons in the fleet will make sure those horrors are not repeated.”

Smiling in appreciation, Hunsen nodded at her words. “Thanks, Bexa. I know it doesn’t compare to what Bajor went through, but-”

“It’s still your home,” She finished. “I get it. The fact these Dominion ships are from the actual war makes what happened over twenty-five years ago seem even scarier.”

“Yeah, I just hope we don’t lose as many people as we did back then,” Hunsen said, giving a huge sigh. Recently he had been in a better mood, especially since he and Louwanna had rekindled their romance, and the focus on her pregnancy had brought them back together. 

Cambil knew precisely what he was referring to. She had known Hunsen long enough. “Your parents, along with many other Betazoids, stood up to the Dominion and did something so brave that their memories will never be forgotten. Their sacrifice was not in vain. You need to remember that, Tremt, and keep defending what they gave their lives for.”

He agreed with her with a nod. “I know, and I will. But, I mean, my unborn child inherits some rusty heirlooms and becomes the heir to the Eleventh House of Betazed.”

“Don’t they take on Louwanna’s position within the Fourth House?” Cambil checked as she picked her mug of tea up. 

Hunsen wobbled his head. “Sort of, but with Louwanna’s mother still alive, the whole line of succession is more complicated. Plus, it gets messy as her older brother and nephew are mixed within it. It’s also linked to who marries who into their family.”

“And I thought the Bajoran caste system was difficult to comprehend,” Cambil noted with a slight chuckle.

“Us Betazoids are just as bad as Klingons when it comes to Houses and family honour,” Hunsen said, sharing her sentiments. “We do love our traditions!”

“Bridge to Captain Cambil; we are ten minutes away from the Divinum system,” announced T’Rani over the intercom.

Cambil and Hunsen looked at each other, putting their PADDs and mugs down before heading out to the bridge to see what awaited them and the rest of the squadron.

Comments

  • I'm really loving these flashbacks to the Dominion War. It's offering us such a visceral insight into what the return of the Jem'Hadar means to them. But I certainly never expected the Betazoid Boarding School for Boys!! Those must be some long summer nights, huh? You do such an interesting thing here, drawing a line from the past to the future. Not only do you honour the sacrifice of Tremt's parents but it brings his thoughts to his unborn child. That's going to be a hell of a thing for Tremt to fight for!

    May 19, 2023
  • The picture you painted through that flashback was so rich and vivid, and I loved the way it explored the experience of a child trying to understand what he was seeing of war through his youthful eyes.

    May 20, 2023