The Tenth Fleet

Task Group Gamma => USS Amalthea => Topic started by: Tess tLhoell on December 09, 2021, 05:09:58 am

Title: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 09, 2021, 05:09:58 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Their new mission took them deeper into the Gamma Quadrant to pursue the only clue that might give them hope of opening the wormhole. At their past meeting with the Atrosians, Governor Wye had mentioned a kind of primordial whale that, according to Atrosian legends, possessed special powers in relation to the Bajoran wormhole. Tess knew that there were quite a few critics of this theory among her crew. She herself was more skeptical than convinced, but she also knew that there was a grain of truth in every legend. While previously to her assignment in the Gamma Quadrant she would have doubted the existence of 'space whales', she now knew from her own experience that these Ooroyan really existed. The only question was, how could they be tracked down? They didn't know very much about this species. While they had data from 'Urulei', the astrocetus that had been genetically and technologically modified by the Atrosians to function as something they called a 'Finder' to track down and catch criminal escapees, the question was how representative that data was to apply to the rest of the individuals in the species. At least they knew that it was possible to communicate with them telepathically. That was probably their best approach.

Two other things that weighed on her mind was the change in discipline and behaviour of her brother, Benjin. He became noticeably tardy in his duties and seemed overall drawn back and distanced. Tess wasn't sure what was wrong but hadn't gotten around to have a quiet conversation with him yet. Nor was she sure she was the one who should be talking to him. Rayek probably was the more appropriate person to deal with him regarding this.

The other thing was the still ongoing investigations about the explosion of the shuttle that had Lared still not recovered, Rayek severely injured and Verlok even dead. She hoped the cause would be found out soon.

All this was on her mind while waiting for Rayek, whom she had asked to come to her Ready Room. She wanted to discuss her approach with him before calling a meeting with the senior officers.

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 10, 2021, 12:45:58 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 16 - Cargo Bay Level 1]

Weeks had passed and Rayek's injuries from the shuttle explosion had healed into a new set of scars.  The weakness he'd experienced from the blood poisoning had all but left him; there was only just the barest hint of toxin still showing in his medical scans and this didn't seem to be something that was going to go away easily.

Presently, Rayek was just finishing up another set of scans of the shuttle debris.  The engineer investigatiors had found nothing conclusive among the wreckage.  Yet Rayek wasn't willing to give up on the search for answers.  He owed it to Verlok to discover the truth of how and why. 

He would have remained longer pouring over his detailed scans if not called away a short while ago by Tess.  She'd given him 10 minutes before he needed to report to her Ready Room, and he'd spent 5 of that already doing the last of his scans.   Saving the scans to his datapadd, Rayek looked over the cargo bay with its floor covered by the organized piles of shuttle wreckage. 

The temptation to remain longer was strong but Tess while he was certain Tess would understand the growing obsession to find answers, he recognized that he had a stronger obligation to the continued operation of the ship.  Turning away from the debris, Rayek exited the cargo bay and sealed the doors, nodding to the security officer stationed there.   He then set off for the turbolift and Tess' Ready Room.

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Rayek stepped through the automatic doors that opening in response to the Tess' order.  He'd made it to the Captain's Ready Room with a minute to spare.  A quick yet thorough glance over the room showed that it was just he and Tess in the room.

"You called for me, my Captain?" The way he said her title was like an endearment.  A subtle way for him to state his affection for her despite the need to remain professional.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 10, 2021, 09:39:59 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Hearing the door to the room opening, Tess looked up, a smile immediately settling on her face when she saw her husband. The way he said her rank made her chuckle softly. "Indeed I have, Commander", she said in the same manner. Standing up, she walked over to him and sneaked a kiss from him.

"How are you feeling?", she asked as she gently caressed his cheek. The residual traces of the poison didn't seem to affect Rayek but it still worried her. She had him visit the sickbay more frequent than he probably liked. But she wanted to rule out any long-term effects on his health. "Any news from the cargo bay?"

She then walked to the replicator. "Do you want something to eat or drink? We have quite some things to talk about." She glanced at him over her shoulder. "Have you eaten?" She ordered a ginger tea and a chocolate chip muffin for herself.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 11, 2021, 03:54:42 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess' smile and her returned endearment of his rank brought a grin to his features.  It made his day that she would greet him with a kiss.  His arms found their way around her waist as she caressed his cheek and asked after his health. 

"I feel fine, e'lev.  I am back in top form." he assured her, then being a little risqué he continued on to suggest in a quieter more private tone, "Would you care for a demonstration of how fit I am?"  His smile and eyes said clearly said it wouldn't take much prompting to make his teasing a reality.   

But it wasn't meant to be - not at that moment - as Tess changed subject asking about the shuttle investigation progress. She then stepped out from his light hold to walk to the replicator, querying about food.  Rayek tried not to have his sigh of disappointment be audible.

He answered her questions in the order she asked, as he followed her to the replicator.  "Unfortunately no, nothing new.  Though with engineering's help I've increased the scan resolution by 34%.  I will be reviewing those scans once we are done here." he added. 

The question of something to eat or drink had him considering various options as she ordered herself a ginger tea and a chocolate chip muffin.   The temptation was there to merely reply 'I'll have the same as you'... but her earlier comment about having much to discuss suggested that she was in a work frame of mind at present... play would have to wait, so he kept the words to himself.  "Chai tea and an osol twist, will be sufficient for me." he answered, nodding his head at her final question.  "I stopped by our quarters to check on Fvienn and your brothers, earlier.  They had fresh soup and bread made." One of the perks of their quarters was that they'd had a kitchenette installed.  "It was impossible to resist."

Once his tea and twist were in hand he moved to take a seat in one of the chairs placed in front of her desk.   Though he was curious about what topics they needed to discuss, he sipped at his tea and waited for Tess to broach the subject first. 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 11, 2021, 10:04:24 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess was pleased to hear him say he was fine. His following comment made Tess grin; she knew he would follow through on his offer if she just so much as hesitated to decline. Her extracting herself from him wasn't to say in any way that she didn't like his offer, no, she liked too much and she didn't trust herself to resist her husband once they took a step further. Reality was, those meetings were pretty much the only 'alone time' they got in the day. So the notion was very tempting. But she didn't joke when she said they had much to discuss.

Tearing her thoughts away from what might have happened if she had agreed, she focused on Rayek's reply to her question. "An increase of 34% sounds very promising", she commented while the replicator worked on her order. Once that was done she ordered a chai tea and an osol twist for Rayek before she turned to him, smiling as he told her of his lunch with her brothers. "Oh, I hope you guys have left something of it for me", she teased with a grin. "How did you get along with Rah'ul today?", she asked. Ever since Rayek had demonstrated his telepathic abilities to the Ba'ku, he had been extremely wary of his brother-in-law. It seemed to be getting better only slowly.

With both their snacks and drinks ready, Tess returned to the chair behind her desk and carefully put the mug and plate down. On hit sat a rather big muffin, melted and hardened chocolate peeking out of the fluffy baked dough here and there. Not touching either of it Tess leaned back in her chair and crossed her legs as she looked back at Rayek, considering which topic to breach first. She decided to go with the quicker one first, although it also was the one that concerned her most.

"I wanted to talk to you about Ben", she began with a serious face. "His work morale is on a low, I feel it had been deteriorating ever since we came on baord the Amalthea. I'm not sure what's up, I feel like he's avoiding me. But someone has to speak to him. Only yesterday I heard that he showed up an hour late to his shift." Her forehead furrowed with concern.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 12, 2021, 03:25:47 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

While Tess was ordering his Chai tea and osol twist, she commented on his lunch with her brothers, first asking if there was any left over for her.  To which he answered affirmatively with a nod.

"Of course we did!  And Tamonar was even going to bring a bowl of it to your father and one to Benjin as well." he assured her. 

Her follow up question regarding Rah'ul was not as pleasant though for her sake he did his best to highlight the positive.   "There was some tension - as always.  But we manage to get through the meal without him needing to leave the room."  Rayek didn't offer up that Rah'ul had remained warily silent the entire time he was present. 

The Romulan hoped that the fact that the Ba'ku man had stayed rather than leaving to the other room was good sign.  Previously, Rah'ul had taken to hiding out in the bathroom or hallway whenever Rayek stopped by to check up on Fvienn, after learning that Rayek's ability was limited not only by distance but by line of sight.   Maybe that he stayed meant that Rah'ul was coming to some eventual understanding that Rayek had no intention of reading his brother-in-law's mind ever again.  (EVER!  Even if invited!)

He sipped at his tea, and waited for Tess to bring up what she'd called him in for.  She seemed to be either hesitating or prioritizing which topic to bring up first.  When she did speak, he understood the hesitancy.  He nodded slowly.

"I apologize, Captain." This time there was no inflection to the title.  "I was aware of this yet have not acted on it.  Lared... before his injury, had remarked to me, on Benjin's inattention and more frequent displays of attitude.  He had indicated he was going to attempt to deal with it - quietly out of respect for your position." Rayek informed.

Staring down at his tea, Rayek recalled how Benjin had initially stood fast by his comrades following the holodeck incident.  The others had taken far more prompting to tell the truth than Benjin.  Whereas Benjin had previously known Rayek to be reasonable and fair, his fellow cadets only saw a Romulan officer scowling at them every time they opened their mouth to protect one another.  They each kept silent refusing to speak until the threat of dismissal was raised.  That it took that level of coercion to get the cadets to talk was a mark against them.

In the end, Rayek had each confined to quarters for two weeks (compared to Benjin's one).  He wondered if that had something do to with Benjin's 'low morale'.

Rayek lifted his eyes from the drink in his hand to meet with Tess' blue eyes.  "It should technically fall to the interim flight chief to deal with issues of tardiness before things of this nature are brought to the XO.  But... Benjin is family.  I will speak to him.. see if I can determine what is troubling him and perhaps help advise him on a better path."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 13, 2021, 02:09:12 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Hearing that Tamo'nar was taking care of her father did something to Tess. While she was grateful, immensely grateful, for it, she also felt a twinge of guilt. She didn't have the time to look after him like she would like to. An acknowlegding smile showed on her face. "I really need to thank him for that later."

Hearing that Rah'ul had stayed and had lunch with Rayek present was an improvement indeed. "We're taking baby steps, but even those mean progress." She smiled at Rayek. She knew it was unpleasant for him as well. They just needed to continue to be patient and give her brother the time he needed.

Tess started sipping at her tea after she made her comment about Benjin. To learn that Lared had intended to tolerate her brother's behaviour surprised her. "Out of respect for my position?", she asked. "I'm not sure what that means." She watched then as Rayek looked down on the beverage in his hand. She knew that it was the Flight Chief's task to take care of these things, and Tess half expected Rayek to point that out and let him do it. But to her surprise, when he eventually spoke, he took on the task himself. And that Tess grateful for.

"Thank you. I believe it's the best option at the moment." She paused for a moment as she stared a random point behind Rayek. "You know ... I feel like it's not only things going on with him regarding his duties. I feel like he's drawing away from us. I don't know when was the last time he joined us for a meal. Or even just visited us. Or my dad. You know that he used to hang around with us all the time." Shifting her gaze again she looked at Rayek, concerned. "So ... maybe it's good to have someone talk to him who is also his family ...?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 14, 2021, 12:34:28 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Hearing that Tamo'nar was taking care of her father did something to Tess. While she was grateful, immensely grateful, for it, she also felt a twinge of guilt. She didn't have the time to look after him like she would like to. An acknowlegding smile showed on her face. "I really need to thank him for that later."

Hearing that Rah'ul had stayed and had lunch with Rayek present was an improvement indeed. "We're taking baby steps, but even those mean progress." She smiled at Rayek. She knew it was unpleasant for him as well. They just needed to continue to be patient and give her brother the time he needed.

Tess started sipping at her tea after she made her comment about Benjin. To learn that Lared had intended to tolerate her brother's behaviour surprised her. "Out of respect for my position?", she asked. "I'm not sure what that means." She watched then as Rayek looked down on the beverage in his hand. She knew that it was the Flight Chief's task to take care of these things, and Tess half expected Rayek to point that out and let him do it. But to her surprise, when he eventually spoke, he took on the task himself. And that Tess grateful for.

"Thank you. I believe it's the best option at the moment." She paused for a moment as she stared a random point behind Rayek. "You know ... I feel like it's not only things going on with him regarding his duties. I feel like he's drawing away from us. I don't know when was the last time he joined us for a meal. Or even just visited us. Or my dad. You know that he used to hang around with us all the time." Shifting her gaze again she looked at Rayek, concerned. "So ... maybe it's good to have someone talk to him who is also his family ...?"

When Tess repeated back to him the phrase 'out of respect for my position' stating she didn't understand, Rayek wondered if he'd misunderstood the saying and thus used it wrongly.  "What I meant is that, rather than correcting him openly, and possibly embarrassing you by reprimanding Benjin in front of others, Lared intended to keep the disciplinary measures quiet, and out of the official records."

Unfortunately, as such Rayek was reliant on Lared's verbal report to know what measures the flight chief had taken to address Benjin's poor attitude back then and that conversation was still pending due to Lared's unconscious state.   Given that there had been a continual decline in Benjin's performance, Rayek suspected that Lared hadn't yet spoken to Benjin.

After his offer to speak to Benjin himself, Tess offered her own thoughts on her brother and how she viewed the situation.  Rayek nodded his agreement of her assessment.  "I will keep that in mind and look for ways to include him more in both in mission and personal time."

Rayek pulled his padd from it's holster at his back, and began scheduling a meeting with Benjin for later that morning. He wasn't going to put off the task.  It was best addressed sooner rather than later.   It took but a moment to rearrange his schedule to make suitable time for the planned intervention; after which Rayek fired off a meeting notification to both Benjin and the cadet's interim department chief to inform the latter that Benjin would be excused from his duties during the meeting time period. 

"Was there anything else you wished to discuss?" he asked as he set the padd down and picked up his tea to take another swallow. Tess' earlier statement had made it sound like there were going to be a number of topics to be addressed during this meeting. 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 14, 2021, 02:21:45 pm
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess frowned slightly at Rayek elaborated his statement. She leaned back in her chair, thinking. "So, he let the fact, that Benjin is my brother, influence how he treats his subordinates." She grimaced. "I don't know ... This is what makes it difficult to have family on board. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful to have him here. But he should not be treated differently." Tess was really concerned about that. So far, she had not heard of any dissatisfaction by other crew members, but that didn't mean it didn't happen.

Then she faltered as she wondered if she had just contradicted her own statement when she had asked Rayek to speak to Benjin. She glanced at her husband. "That being said ... You still good about talking to him?" Why was this so difficult. In this case she thought it was alright because a talk needed to happen both regarding duty and private life.

Tess took a bit off the muffin and began to eat it. At Rayek's question for further topics, she nodded and answered after she had swallowed. "Yes. Our mission. I've been studying the data we have collected back on Katra of the Ooroyan since Governor Wye had hinted on a probable ability of these creatures that they have an effect on the wormhole. We should try to find that certain astrocetus. Which is more like finding a needle in a haystack." She sighed. "But one detail I remember is that there is the possibility to make contact with these creatures telepathically."





Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 15, 2021, 01:48:39 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess frowned slightly as Rayek elaborated his statement. She leaned back in her chair, thinking. "So, he let the fact, that Benjin is my brother, influence how he treats his subordinates." She grimaced. "I don't know ... This is what makes it difficult to have family on board. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful to have him here. But he should not be treated differently." Tess was really concerned about that. So far, she had not heard of any dissatisfaction by other crew members, but that didn't mean it didn't happen.

Then she faltered as she wondered if she had just contradicted her own statement when she had asked Rayek to speak to Benjin. She glanced at her husband. "That being said ... You still good about talking to him?" Why was this so difficult. In this case she thought it was alright because a talk needed to happen both regarding duty and private life.

Tess took a bit off the muffin and began to eat it. At Rayek's question for further topics, she nodded and answered after she had swallowed. "Yes. Our mission. I've been studying the data we have collected back on Katra of the Ooroyan since Governor Wye had hinted on a probable ability of these creatures that they have an effect on the wormhole. We should try to find that certain astrocetus. Which is more like finding a needle in a haystack." She sighed. "But one detail I remember is that there is the possibility to make contact with these creatures telepathically."

Rayek regarded Tess with a bit of an amused expression.  She didn't want Benjin treated differently yet she had just asked him to break the chain of command to speak to her brother on the topic of his recent poor behavior and attendance.  Despite how it seemed, Rayek didn't view this as favoritism.   He knew he had engaged in similar private talks with other wayward officers during his time serving as Katra's First Officer.  Rayek looked at it as: he was doing what was required to ensure the smooth operation of the ship.

At her question confirming that he was still good with speaking to Benjin, Rayek nodded.  "He is not the first that I have called into my office to have a candid conversation with." Rayek assured, continuing on to state.  "He is not receiving anything I would not do for any other struggling crewmember."

The topic then turned to their current mission - to find means to reopen the worm hole and how the search for a specific Ooroyan might help.   He nodded. "Yes, they were. Lieutenant Falleg was capable of making a connection with the species rather readily.  I would suggest that our first step in attempting to locate one would be to contact Katra to see if  Urulei has returned." 

To Rayek's knowledge the astrocetus was last seen during the Wanderer's attack on Katra when Urulei had saved the Wonderland and their son.  Afterwards, Rayek had attempted to find the space whale, in order to thank him, but it had appeared the whale had migrated elsewhere.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 15, 2021, 09:52:24 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Rayek's amused expression actually made a little insecure, but knowing that it wasn't meant in a bad way, she couldn't help but smirk back in amusement about herself. This was actually one of the good things to have your husband as your First Officer. They knew each other so well. At his assurance, Tess consciously tried to relax and nodded back at him. "That's all I want. Khnai'ra", she thanked him and offered a small smile.

At the topic of finding the astrocetus, Tess nodded slowly at Rayek's suggestion how to go about their mission first. "Good idea. Please see to that." She paused for a moment. "I think telepathy would be our greatest chance to make contact with the creature once we found it. ... Do you think you could communicate with it with your abilities?" While she knew about Rayek's telepathic abilities very well, she wasn't sure about this, though. He would be able to gauge the chance better than her.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 16, 2021, 12:26:48 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Rayek's amused expression actually made a little insecure, but knowing that it wasn't meant in a bad way, she couldn't help but smirk back in amusement about herself. This was actually one of the good things to have your husband as your First Officer. They knew each other so well. At his assurance, Tess consciously tried to relax and nodded back at him. "That's all I want. Khnai'ra", she thanked him and offered a small smile.

At the topic of finding the astrocetus, Tess nodded slowly at Rayek's suggestion how to go about their mission first. "Good idea. Please see to that." She paused for a moment. "I think telepathy would be our greatest chance to make contact with the creature once we found it. ... Do you think you could communicate with it with your abilities?" While she knew about Rayek's telepathic abilities very well, she wasn't sure about this, though. He would be able to gauge the chance better than her.

The way Tess thanked him in Rihan brought a warm smile to his lips.  He loved the way she added touches of his culture to their every day.  They often spoken Rihan in Fvienn's presence at home, but to have her do so between just them - during a meeting - was a rarity, yet was really appreciated by Rayek.  He dipped his head acknowledging both her thoughtfulness and her excellent pronunciation.  He almost wondered if she were getting lessons from others on the language. 

Later during their discussion of finding an astrocetus - ideally the Ooroyan, Urulei, since Starfleet had a good rapport with the space whale after having freed it from captivity by the Atrosians -  Tess put Rayek in charge of contacting Katra regarding the last known whereabouts of the astrocetus.  He nodded.  "I will do so right after this meeting."   

Unfortunately given their distance from the station, several weeks away at warp, it would take  several hours for any message he sent to be received by Katra and likewise several hours again for him to receive a message back.   But that would give him time to speak to Benjin.

Tess' follow up question was less easily responded to.  She wanted to know if he could communicated with the Ooroyan once found.  "It is possible, I suppose.   My ability however is limited in terms of viable distance.  Unlike Lieutenant Falleg, I cannot initiate a mental connection beyond line of sight and within 50 ft.  Making a connection to the Ooroyan might be beyond me unless I were almost in physical contact with it." he answered honestly.

Rayek however wasn't one to let a bit of a challenge keep him from doing his best. 

"I will look over our roster and speak to those of known telepathic ability and birthright.  There may be others better suited to the task about the ship. If so I will find them and enlist their assistance."

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 17, 2021, 08:27:47 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]


The smile Rayek gave her said more than words could have said. The small gesture - a dip of his head - was something so typical for him and she had learned to love that. Smiling back, happy at his acceptance, she took a sip of her ginger tea.

While Rayek then replied to her question of if he would be able to communicate telepathically with the atrocetus, she took another bite of the muffin. She chewed slowly at his assessment of his ability and the situation. At his suggestion, to go through the roster and see if they had any crew members on board that possessed telepathic abilities also, she nodded. Her first choice was still Rayek but it was good to have a back-up if they should find they needed one.

"We could also try to send out a message that can be picked up by the creatures." She sighed. "I wish we had an idea about how big the astrocetus population is. Do they live in schools in a certain part of the quadrant? We should make an effort of interviewing any ships we might meet on our journey." She took another sip of the warm tea that warmed her up from inside. "I was also thinking about reconfiguring long range sensors to astrocetus life signs."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 18, 2021, 01:18:39 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Watching Tess eat her muffin as he answered, reminded Rayek that he had a confection of his own to enjoy; or more importantly, which he could share.  The osol twist could be cut in half so that he could offer half to his wife.  He tried to recall if she'd tried the rather tart treat before.  Given it's notoriety as a Romulan favorite, Rayek suspected she had, though he couldn't recall to mind any specific instance.  Carefully, he snapped the twist in half.

He was relieved that she accepted his answer regarding the use of telepathic abilities to communicate with the Ooroyan, once found.  On top of that she offered some suggestion of her own.  Rayek nodded in agreement.

"Yes, I do believe there are several recordings of Urulei's 'song' that we could transmit out." he remarked.  It was strange that in all the time that Katra's linguists had studied the Ooroyan 'song' that they hadn't been able to come up with a translation matrix for it.  The song eluded Federation understanding.

Tess' pondered questioned were shared by him and many of the xenobiologists who studied the sentient creature since their 'discovery' nearly a year prior.  Her suggestion of questioning other ships in the quadrant was a good idea.. with one caveat.  "I would recommend having something to offer in exchange for information.  Rarely are things given for free - information included.. having something prepared in advance that we are willing to exchange may save us from having to decline outrageous requests." he proposed as he took one half of the osol twist and placed it on the napkin on which she had the remains of her muffin, while she sipped at her tea. 

He smiled, and took a bite of his half.  The Romulan treat was so tart, his cheeks drew sharply inward nearly meeting in the middle of his mouth.  Oh! that was good stuff!  It had been quite some time since he last enjoyed an osol twist.  It was a nice counter to the warm spice of his Chai tea.

He glanced up from his treat when Tess mentioned reconfiguring the long range sensors to better search for astrocetus life signs.   She seemed to have all the best ideas today.   "An excellent idea, my Captain." Again the title spoken more as an endearment than true recognition of rank... but Rayek was certain Tess knew how much he respected her and her role as Captain. An endearment in private could be permissible.

"I'll have Mitumba and tr'Hava work together on that once we are done here."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 18, 2021, 01:08:31 pm
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess nodded when Rayek mentioned Urulei's songs. "Let's do that." Her eyes were drawn to his hands as he snapped the Romulan treat in half. She acutally had never had one, although she had heard Rayek mentioning it now and then.

Rayek then commented on her suggestion to ask ships they might encounter, and then it showed again why they made such a good team. Tess probably would have thought to offer something in exchange too late. And for Rayek, it was the first thing on his mind. "Good thought. Please prepare a good selection of things we could offer in exchange for information." While she said that, Rayek placed one half of the osol twist on her napkin in clear gesture. Tess chuckled. Muffins and Romulan treats for lunch. She was living a five-year-old's dream. "Thank you, ciccino." Curiously, she leaned forward and picked up the Romulan treat. It looked fruity, but she wasn't sure if that meant it tasted like it. She watched as Rayek bit into it and his face then turned into a grimace. She started to laugh. "What? Is it sour?" It looked like it, but if the happy expression on his face was any indication, it was a nice kind of sour. Casting a playful wary glance his way she lifted the treat up to her mouth and took a bite. It was tart, so much so that it was hard not to make a grimace. But that moment passed and then a pleasant sweetness replaced the edges of the tartness and gave it an overall very nice taste.

She looked to Rayek and commented before she even swallowed her first bite. "I like it."

Returning to the topic of their meeting, Rayek seemed to agree with her suggestion to re-configurate the long range sensors. Again, the way he said her rank made it sound more like an endearment and Tess had to admit to herself how much she liked to hear it. There was something to it. "That's what I want to hear, Commander", she grinned back.

They actually had gone through the talking points quicker than she had anticipated. She took a second bite of the osol twist and chewed it calmly. "I think that was it." She licked a few crumbs off her lip. "Is there anything you want to talk about?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 19, 2021, 01:50:35 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess nodded when Rayek mentioned Urulei's songs. "Let's do that." Her eyes were drawn to his hands as he snapped the Romulan treat in half. She actually had never had one, although she had heard Rayek mentioning it now and then.

Rayek then commented on her suggestion to ask ships they might encounter, and then it showed again why they made such a good team. Tess probably would have thought to offer something in exchange too late. And for Rayek, it was the first thing on his mind. "Good thought. Please prepare a good selection of things we could offer in exchange for information." While she said that, Rayek placed one half of the osol twist on her napkin in clear gesture. Tess chuckled. Muffins and Romulan treats for lunch. She was living a five-year-old's dream. "Thank you, ciccino." Curiously, she leaned forward and picked up the Romulan treat. It looked fruity, but she wasn't sure if that meant it tasted like it. She watched as Rayek bit into it and his face then turned into a grimace. She started to laugh. "What? Is it sour?" It looked like it, but if the happy expression on his face was any indication, it was a nice kind of sour. Casting a playful wary glance his way she lifted the treat up to her mouth and took a bite. It was tart, so much so that it was hard not to make a grimace. But that moment passed and then a pleasant sweetness replaced the edges of the tartness and gave it an overall very nice taste.

She looked to Rayek and commented before she even swallowed her first bite. "I like it."

Returning to the topic of their meeting, Rayek seemed to agree with her suggestion to re-configurate the long range sensors. Again, the way he said her rank made it sound more like an endearment and Tess had to admit to herself how much she liked to hear it. There was something to it. "That's what I want to hear, Commander", she grinned back.

They actually had gone through the talking points quicker than she had anticipated. She took a second bite of the osol twist and chewed it calmly. "I think that was it." She licked a few crumbs off her lip. "Is there anything you want to talk about?"

Tess' agreement with Rayek's suggestion to transmit Urulei's 'song' was noted and Rayek planned to see to that getting done just prior to his meeting with Benjin that afternoon.

Likewise his suggestion to have prepared items for exchange was approved by the Captain, and Tess put Rayek in charge of planning the selection of said items to be offered in exchange for information about the astrocetus.   Rayek would give it careful thought. 

Having shared his osol twist, and taken his first bite, Rayek was a mildly embarrassed by Tess' laughter.  Her question of if it was sour was answered with a nod, since his mouth was still puckered and his glands still salivating too much to speak properly.   He watched with smiling eyes as she cast him a wary glance before taking a bite of her own portion.  He was pleased to see her reaction in line with his own. 

Her declaration that she liked it, warmed his heart.  "I thought you might" he replied back after a moment having swallowed his first piece.

The talk once again returned to the task at hand of searching for the Urulei, and the re-calibrating the sensors to look for the Ooroyan species.  His manner of emphasizing her Captain's title as an endearment seemed to be welcomed, because she did the same to his rank.  Which he too enjoyed.  It made him wonder if she were to call him by 'Number One' like Solluk was penchant to do... but in that same endearment tone, whether he would be less adverse to being named a number? 

He'd spent nearly a year known only as a prisoner code while he was on the mining penal colony Faicol-lhui.  Rayek somehow doubted even Tess' warm and soothing voice could make him forget how de-individualizing being 'numbered' was in that place.

He was grateful Tess spoke then, asking if he had anything else to discuss - because it interrupted his unpleasant train of thoughts and memories.  Mentally reviewing all that they had discussed up until then and aligning it to what he still needed to inform her about, Rayek nodded.  "Actually yes, though perhaps it is more a personal discussion and less ship business.  I received yet another reminder from the Ambassador's aid, tr'Hei.   I've been preoccupied with the shuttle investigation and still haven't met with Ambassador and his aide to have our 'informal talk' to see how well I am 'adjusting to life' amid the Federation."  Rayek didn't bother keeping the sarcasm from his tone.   

"I feel the only way I might be inclined to do this, is if you were to insist and if you were by my side during the interrogation... I mean 'informal talk'."  He smirked at his 'slip' and wondered what Tess would say.   
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 19, 2021, 11:27:28 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

As Tess took another bite of the osol twist - this time it was still very tart but she now was more prepared for it - she observed Rayek, who seemed to be lost in his thoughts for a moment. Tess was clueless what occupied his mind at the moment. That moment passed though when she asked if there was anything else they needed to discuss.

The sarcasm and the 'accidental' slip of his words made Tess smile a little wryly. She knew where he was coming from and where this mindset came from. She surely couldn't blame him. Although she had to take a different opinion on this. Putting the half-eaten treat down, Tess wiped her hand at the napkin as she pondered how to answer him. Eventually she sought his eyes.

"I understand you", she began. "I know what your reservations are. I won't push to persuade you to participate in this talk. If my presence makes it easier for you, then I will be there." She smiled mildly at him. "I believe this is important in regards to the diplomatic relations. I view this as the Romulan Government making an effort. And I wouldn't want to discourage it." She lifted her hand. "I know, you think there are ulterior motives. But as long as we have no proof of that, I would like to shed a good light on these talks. The crew looks up to you, especially you as a Romulan in this case. They will watch what you do. I would prefer to give a positive signal to everyone." Tess wasn't being reprimanding or lecturing. She spoke quietly with a good-hearted glint in her eyes, sharing her opinion with him and still leaving it open for him to decide for himself.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 20, 2021, 01:55:23 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

As Tess took another bite of the osol twist - this time it was still very tart but she now was more prepared for it - she observed Rayek, who seemed to be lost in his thoughts for a moment. Tess was clueless what occupied his mind at the moment. That moment passed though when she asked if there was anything else they needed to discuss.

The sarcasm and the 'accidental' slip of his words made Tess smile a little wryly. She knew where he was coming from and where this mindset came from. She surely couldn't blame him. Although she had to take a different opinion on this. Putting the half-eaten treat down, Tess wiped her hand at the napkin as she pondered how to answer him. Eventually she sought his eyes.

"I understand you", she began. "I know what your reservations are. I won't push to persuade you to participate in this talk. If my presence makes it easier for you, then I will be there." She smiled mildly at him. "I believe this is important in regards to the diplomatic relations. I view this as the Romulan Government making an effort. And I wouldn't want to discourage it." She lifted her hand. "I know, you think there are ulterior motives. But as long as we have no proof of that, I would like to shed a good light on these talks. The crew looks up to you, especially you as a Romulan in this case. They will watch what you do. I would prefer to give a positive signal to everyone." Tess wasn't being reprimanding or lecturing. She spoke quietly with a good-hearted glint in her eyes, sharing her opinion with him and still leaving it open for him to decide for himself.

Rayek watched Tess' actions after he spoke noting the reminder.  She didn't answer immediately.  This was one of those moments she seemed to carefully consider her words.  When she did speak, she said many things.  She was understanding of his distrust, but she chose to believe this was a positive effort by the Romulan Government.  She would not make his attendance an order, but did prefer for him to be a good role model to the others.  Yet most important of all to Rayek was that she would be with him if that was what he needed - which he did.

Rayek nodded, understanding where she was coming from as well.  He took a long swallow of his chai tea emptying it, and realizied their meeting was fast coming to a close and that soon he'd need to begin to work on attending to things that they'd just discussed. 

"Thank you, e'lev.  With you there, I believe I can set aside my distrust long enough to answer a few of their questions.  I will contact tr'Hei and arrange a time that fits both our schedules." he stated as he set his drained teacup back to rest on the edge of her desk.   

"I believe that was the only thing I needed to discuss, other than to maybe ask if you had a specific preference on what you may want to have for dinner tonight or if the soup would be sufficient?  Perhaps if you like, I could make us a nice light tossed salad to go along with the soup your brothers made?" he suggested.  Rayek rather enjoyed preparing meals for his wife.

Then recognizing that he had a lot to do before his shift could be considered over, Rayek finished the last of his osol twist and gathered up his teacup - leaving Tess' since she wasn't quite done and he had no desire to rush her from her much needed afternoon break -  to walk over to the replicator and set the unit to recycle mode so that the teacup's materials could be broken down and used again for some other replicated item.

He returned then towards Tess' desk, though this time he dared to walk behind it to where she sat and leaned down to give her a lingering kiss.   His lips murmured against hers. "If I may be dismissed, my Captain, I have much to see to."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 21, 2021, 07:07:50 am
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess gave him an appreciative smile when he agreed to attend the meeting. "Thank you."

She took another sip of her tea while Rayek remarked, that this was all he wanted to talk about. She nodded at him and then was asked if she would like to have something else for dinner, beside the soup her brothers had made. At the suggestion of a tossed side salad Tess smiled. "That sounds amazing. Thank you, ciccino." She loved that Rayek enjoyed cooking for her and them cooking together whenever they got the time.

Taking another bite of the Romulan treat she watched as Rayek walked around the desk to stop right beside her. She turned with her chair to look up at him with a grin. At his murmured words, she chuckled into the kiss. She loved his playfulness. "You may be dismissed indeed, Commander", she mumbled with a smirk. "I'll try not to miss you too much", she said as her eyes followed him to the door.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Benjin had inwardly rolled his eyes when he had gotten the notification for a scheduled meeting with Rayek. Well, maybe he should have known better than to be surprised. Surely, his interim superior had run directly to the XO to complain. Lared had been fairer in that regard.
Benjin frowned a little though when he noticed that his interim DH wasn't scheduled for the meeting - he was just put as CC to know about the meeting, but he would not be attending. He didn't know if he liked it better that way or if he would prefer to have someone else with him and not be alone with his brother in law.

No matter how it was, he was standing in front of Rayek's office now - again. It had only been a coupule of months since he had been in there because of the holodeck incident. Benjin didn't like thinking about it. With a sigh he lifted his hand and palmed the plate at the door frame and would step in as soon as he was called inside.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 21, 2021, 04:37:50 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Bridge]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess gave him an appreciative smile when he agreed to attend the meeting. "Thank you."

She took another sip of her tea while Rayek remarked, that this was all he wanted to talk about. She nodded at him and then was asked if she would like to have something else for dinner, beside the soup her brothers had made. At the suggestion of a tossed side salad Tess smiled. "That sounds amazing. Thank you, ciccino." She loved that Rayek enjoyed cooking for her and them cooking together whenever they got the time.

Taking another bite of the Romulan treat she watched as Rayek walked around the desk to stop right beside her. She turned with her chair to look up at him with a grin. At his murmured words, she chuckled into the kiss. She loved his playfulness. "You may be dismissed indeed, Commander", she mumbled with a smirk. "I'll try not to miss you too much", she said as her eyes followed him to the door.

Leaving Tess when she was so receptive to his amorous attentions was always difficult, but Rayek knew he had much to do, and time was short.  Reluctantly he released Tess' lips from his kiss and stepped back.   He then gave her a half bow acknowledging her Captain's dismissal before he headed towards the door and out onto the Bridge, completely oblivious to the fact that he had a slight smudge of Tess' lipstick on his lips, hinting at their activities.

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Bridge]

The first thing Rayek need to do was send off a message to Katra Station inquiring if the Ooroyan known as Urulei was in their vicinity.   The Romulan headed to his seat and opened an audio recording.   He briefly greeted Captain Solluk and Commander Saxon before promptly getting to the point of his call.  He passed on the late received information from the Atrosians regarding the folklore ability of the Finders (or one in particular - known as The Great Gate Keeper) to open the Gates of Hell which Tess and he suspected may be an old Atrosian name for the Bajoran wormhole.  Lore had it that it was through the Gates of Hell that the destruction of Atros would come, so ancient Atrosians began hunting the Ooroyan species and eventually enslaved them.

After sending off his message, since it would take 3 hours for it to be received and another 3 hours minimum before any response could potentially be heard, Rayek moved on to his next task.  He looked about the Bridge.   

"Ensign Mitumba, please open a channel to Engineering and get Ensign tr'Hava on the line." It was odd to call on the Science officer to open a channel but as every station had the capability, there was no reason it couldn't be done.  Once that was established Rayek addressed the pair.   

=/\= "Ensign tr'Hava, Ensign Mitumba...  I'm assigning you both to the task of reconfiguring the long-range sensors to better detect astocetus life signs.  This is a high priority.  Call in replacements to take over the rest of your shift with whatever else you are doing.  I'll want a detailed progress report of your work if this is not complete before end of day." =/\=  The implication being he wanted it done and finished before then.  =/\= "Get started" =/\=

That was two items off his 'To Do' list.  Rayek turned to address the eldest of the tr'Movel children.  "Cadet t'Movel.  Locate in the database the Ooroyan 'whale song' recording from a year and a half ago."  Rayek even gave the approximate stardate to aid in her locating the file.   "Once you have it, I want it to be transmitted out in a general spread as strongly as our comms are able to send out the song.  We are attempting to 'call' the Ooroyan, Urulei, to us using its own song.  Then while that is on loop, I want you to closely monitor all band widths for any reply.  Contact myself and Captain if that should happen.  You will inform the Ops personnel relieving you at the end of your shift to do the same.  This continues until we get a response.  Understood?"  Her nod was acknowledged.

Rayek glanced at the time.  He had a half hour before his meeting with Benjin and therefore time to contact the Ambassador's aide to book a time later that evening for his 'Interview'.   Rather than call and have his meeting with the Ambassador widely known by the Bridge crew, Rayek pulled out his PADD and messaged the Ambassadorial aid.  In his message Rayek, politely apologized for the delay in responding and inquired when would be a good time to meet for the Ambassador.  Rayek didn't bother to offer any excuse or justification for the delay because Rayek was still doing his best not to tell falsehoods and he knew truthfully the only reason this hadn't been done weeks ago was that he had been avoiding them - as they were representatives of the Romulan government - a government he had turned his back on.  Yes, true it wasn't the same one that had incarcerated him on a prison mine for failing a single mission.  Nor was it the same government that had planned to assassinate him 5 years earlier,.. but it was potentially the government that had given permission for an assassination attempt on his life but a month earlier... if what his friend Latihk had told him was correct.   

The quick response he received back stating that they would be very happy to meet with him this evening if that was convenient, hinted that this meeting was highly desirable by the Ambassador.   Rayek agreed to meet this evening and queried as to what time to meet.  Included in his missive was the statement that his wife, though not Romulan by birth, would be in attendance as well.   He stated this matter-of-factly, not as a request, because for Rayek it was a deal breaker.   

The reply back was notably slower this time but acknowledged Tess' presence would be welcome.  Rayek was then provided a time and directions to the Ambassador's 'meeting room' - obviously a standard response back to any confirmed Interview meeting and not any personal missive that he needed to reply to.  Rayek closed the text message function on his PADD.

With that done, Rayek sat back in his seat and rubbed at his temple.  He could feel a slight stress headache developing after just that brief interaction.  He had little hope of making it through the evening's meeting without being in need of some analgesic.  He made a note to take 'a Tylenol' later, prior to the meeting. 

Then with twenty minutes left until his scheduled meeting with Benjin, Rayek passed off the Bridge to one of the junior officers secure in the knowledge that if anything serious were to happen Tess was but a room away.   He then took the ramp down to the next level where his office was.   The next fifteen minutes were spent reviewing Benjin's official file  (and the many complaints that never made it into his official file).
 
(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Benjin had inwardly rolled his eyes when he had gotten the notification for a scheduled meeting with Rayek. Well, maybe he should have known better than to be surprised. Surely, his interim superior had run directly to the XO to complain. Lared had been fairer in that regard.
Benjin frowned a little though when he noticed that his interim DH wasn't scheduled for the meeting - he was just put as CC to know about the meeting, but he would not be attending. He didn't know if he liked it better that way or if he would prefer to have someone else with him and not be alone with his brother-in-law.

No matter how it was, he was standing in front of Rayek's office now - again. It had only been a couple of months since he had been in there because of the holodeck incident. Benjin didn't like thinking about it. With a sigh he lifted his hand and palmed the plate at the door frame and would step in as soon as he was called inside.

Rayek considered a good sign that Benjin had arrived at his door on time.  Many of the complaints from Benjin's fellow crew was that he was rather consistently late.   Rayek wondered if his previous reprimand of Benjin, during the holodeck fiasco, was aiding in keeping the young officer from acting out with him now?

"Come in." Rayek called.  He was seated at his desk and looked up from Benjin's file as the young man entered.  Unknown to him, he still had that smear of lipstick faintly visible upon his lips.

"Thank you for arriving promptly, Cadet Moreno.  That informs me you are capable of it when it suits your needs."  Rayek's tone was wry - driving home his point with an arched eyebrow.  "Your ability to do so during your scheduled shifts however has been called into question by numerous fellow crewmen."

Rayek tapped the screen of his PADD - causing it light up.  "Ten lates. Several reports of poor attitude...  These reports read like a teenager's rebellious phase through high school" Rayek remarked, recalling the times when he'd dared do something similar.   

"The difference however is that you are a Starfleet cadet and this isn't highschool.  The work we do on this ship is not something to be taken lightly... and you know this more than most other cadets having been witness to a number of the threats we face... as such I'm reading these lates as a real plea for help not merely a child's rebellious phase.   So we're here now to discuss why this is going on.  We can either do this as superior to junior, or as brothers.   The choice is yours.  Please have a seat."   

Rayek motioned ambiguously towards the various seats he had available in his office.   There was a loveseat along the wall beside his replicator.   An uncomfortable looking metal chair placed across from his deck, as well as cushioned armchair placed to the side of his desk so that a person seated there could talk to Rayek without having to talk across a desk.

While Benjin made his choice of seat and manner of discussion, Rayek stood up and went to the replicator and ordered himself a Chai tea.   He looked over to where Benjin had chosen to sit.  "Would you care for a beverage?" he asked.   These choices were all social tools, designed to help put a person at ease - a trick which he'd learned from a dear doctor friend of his on the USS Challenger.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 22, 2021, 08:58:32 am
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Rayek considered a good sign that Benjin had arrived at his door on time.  Many of the complaints from Benjin's fellow crew was that he was rather consistently late.   Rayek wondered if his previous reprimand of Benjin, during the holodeck fiasco, was aiding in keeping the young officer from acting out with him now?

"Come in." Rayek called.  He was seated at his desk and looked up from Benjin's file as the young man entered.  Unknown to him, he still had that smear of lipstick faintly visible upon his lips.

"Thank you for arriving promptly, Cadet Moreno.  That informs me you are capable of it when it suits your needs."  Rayek's tone was wry - driving home his point with an arched eyebrow.  "Your ability to do so during your scheduled shifts however has been called into question by numerous fellow crewmen."

Rayek tapped the screen of his PADD - causing it light up.  "Ten lates. Several reports of poor attitude...  These reports read like a teenager's rebellious phase through high school" Rayek remarked, recalling the times when he'd dared do something similar.   

"The difference however is that you are a Starfleet cadet and this isn't highschool.  The work we do on this ship is not something to be taken lightly... and you know this more than most other cadets having been witness to a number of the threats we face... as such I'm reading these lates as a real plea for help not merely a child's rebellious phase.   So we're here now to discuss why this is going on.  We can either do this as superior to junior, or as brothers.   The choice is yours.  Please have a seat."   

Rayek motioned ambiguously towards the various seats he had available in his office.   There was a loveseat along the wall beside his replicator.   An uncomfortable looking metal chair placed across from his deck, as well as cushioned armchair placed to the side of his desk so that a person seated there could talk to Rayek without having to talk across a desk.

While Benjin made his choice of seat and manner of discussion, Rayek stood up and went to the replicator and ordered himself a Chai tea.   He looked over to where Benjin had chosen to sit.  "Would you care for a beverage?" he asked.   These choices were all social tools, designed to help put a person at ease - a trick which he'd learned from a dear doctor friend of his on the USS Challenger.

Benjin took a couple of steps into the office as he regarded Rayek sitting at his desk. While this was a serious matter, the young man frowned slightly when he noticed the smear of lipstick on Rayek's face. He put two and two together immediately. Urgh. What had they been doing?

Rayek's wry tone as he pointed out the poor work attitude he had demonstrated the past weeks made Benjin lower his gaze to the ground which outwardly might give the impression of reason and understanding; but inwardly he felt defiance.

His gaze remained low as Rayek went on to compare him to a rebellious highschool kid and then brought home the fact that he should know better than to take his duties lightly. Benjin didn't react to any of this. Only when Rayek then stated that they were here to discuss the reason for it either as superior and junior or as brothers did Benjin look up, just in time to see Rayek gesturing around and invite him to have a seat. The boy felt angry now at the clear evidence that he was in fact treated differently.

It wasn't the first time Benjin noted that Rayek had all sorts of different sitting options and he couldn't help but assume it was some weird psychological thing the Romulan liked to pull off. Benjin hated it.
Trying to think what would be the least expected choice for him, Benjin pointedly moved over to the uncomfortable metal chair in front of Rayek's desk and sat down. "No, thanks, Commander", he replied in response to the quiestion of if he wanted a beverage.

With this he thought he made his point clear. He thought.

Adding nothing further, he just sat in silence, waiting for Rayek to tell him what he wanted to know.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Bridge]


Tess had taken her time to finish the osol twist, the muffin and her ginger tea and was now feeling satisfied enough to make it through the rest of her shift until he would have dinner with Rayek.

When she returned to the bridge, Rayek was gone. The young Flight Lieutenant sat in the command chair. Upon seeing her, he stood up to vacate it for her immediately. "No new developments, sir", the young man reported and Tess nodded at him. "Thank you, Lieutenant."

She noticed that not the Caitian sat at the Science station but someone else. Rayek had mentioned that he planned on assigning him and tr'Hava to work on configurate the long rage sensors. They were probably down in Engineering or in one of the science labs.
Her gaze stopped at Tordel. "How are we doing with Urulei's song?", she asked friendly. Tess was amazed how well the Romulan young woman was holding up despite her father being more on the verge to death than life for so long now.

"I was able to find the data of it and have fed it into the communication's system to send it out on all known band withs, sir", Tordel reported readily. "For anyone out there hearing us we're an astrocetus for them now", the Romulan chuckled.

Tess did so as well, but was interrupted from a call.

 =/\= "Sickbay to Captain t'Lhoell. Mr tr'Movel just woke up." =/\=

For a moment, Tordel's gaze and her own met for several seconds. "Carry on", Tess said softly, then touched the button to reply.  =/\= "I'm on my way." =/\= As she got up she nodded at the Flight officer. "Lieutenant." With that she left the bridge.

On her way down to sickbay, she sent a quick message to Rayek to keep him informed that Lared woke up and that she was on her way to the sickbay now. She send a text message because she knew he was in the meeting with Benjin at the moment.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 23, 2021, 01:09:21 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Benjin took a couple of steps into the office as he regarded Rayek sitting at his desk. While this was a serious matter, the young man frowned slightly when he noticed the smear of lipstick on Rayek's face. He put two and two together immediately. Urgh. What had they been doing?

Rayek's wry tone as he pointed out the poor work attitude he had demonstrated the past weeks made Benjin lower his gaze to the ground which outwardly might give the impression of reason and understanding; but inwardly he felt defiance.

His gaze remained low as Rayek went on to compare him to a rebellious highschool kid and then brought home the fact that he should know better than to take his duties lightly. Benjin didn't react to any of this. Only when Rayek then stated that they were here to discuss the reason for it either as superior and junior or as brothers did Benjin look up, just in time to see Rayek gesturing around and invite him to have a seat. The boy felt angry now at the clear evidence that he was in fact treated differently.

It wasn't the first time Benjin noted that Rayek had all sorts of different sitting options and he couldn't help but assume it was some weird psychological thing the Romulan liked to pull off. Benjin hated it.
Trying to think what would be the least expected choice for him, Benjin pointedly moved over to the uncomfortable metal chair in front of Rayek's desk and sat down. "No, thanks, Commander", he replied in response to the quiestion of if he wanted a beverage.

With this he thought he made his point clear. He thought.

Adding nothing further, he just sat in silence, waiting for Rayek to tell him what he wanted to know.

Benjin's choice of seating was interesting and it spoke volumes to the Romulan.  That Benjin would choose to sit on the most uncomfortable chair suggested that Benjin was punishing himself, that he felt perhaps unworthy of anything more comfortable and perhaps was a hint to Rayek to keep the meeting brief.   Sadly, for his brother-in-law, Rayek had no intention of rushing through this. 

That Benjin stuck to the formality of ranks when he declined Rayek's offer, told the First Officer that Benjin was distancing himself.  Rayek let out a slight disappointed sigh.  He had thought they had moved past this awkwardness back when they had their talk on while on the Klingon officer exchange program.   He'd thought things had improved.  Benjin's attendance and work ethic on Katra had never been an issue so far as he knew.  Tess had certainly never indicated a problem with it.  So why now? 

Stepping away from the replicator with his tea, Rayek chose to take a seat on the loveseat rather than his desk. 

"Well Cadet? Your record previous to this assignment has been notably clear of any issues at all.  Now, however, it seems you can't be bothered to treat your work or fellow crewmates respectfully enough to arrive on time for your shift and with the proper attitude.  So what has changed for you?"

The answer was rather obvious to the Romulan.  Tess had been XO while Benjin was on Katra... and there had been no issues then.  The new variable was himself. 


]Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Bridge]

On her way down to sickbay, she sent a quick message to Rayek to keep him informed that Lared woke up and that she was on her way to the sickbay now. She send a text message because she knew he was in the meeting with Benjin at the moment.

From it's place on his desk, the XO's PADD vibrated with an incoming message.  Rayek glanced over towards PADD briefly, but for the moment the muted notification was of lesser importance.  Rayek glanced back towards Benjin and waited for his reply.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 23, 2021, 03:48:16 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

It wasn't that Benjin had forgotten about their talk in the shuttle. The young Ba'ku had enjoyed it. Though the situation had changed. A lot.

For one Benjin was still slightly apprehensive regarding Rayek's Telepathy. Though it wasn't as bad as Rah'ul behaved, from what he had heard. He barely spoke to his older brothers at all
And second Rayek didn't realize what was going on and how he and Tess acted wrongly in this.

Benjin watched as Rayek chose to take a seat at the sofa near the replicator. At the question Benjin snorted to himself, shaking his head as he looked back down on the floor.

Everything.

Simply everything had changed. He chewed his lip as he thought, much like Tess would do when she was nervous. "I apologize for my negligences", he eventually spoke and lifted his gaze from the floor to meet Rayek's gaze.

"May I ask you a question, too?" His face petrified. "Do you offer all of your subordinates to have these talks either in a formal or informal setting?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 24, 2021, 01:58:06 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

It wasn't that Benjin had forgotten about their talk in the shuttle. The young Ba'ku had enjoyed it. Though the situation had changed. A lot.

For one Benjin was still slightly apprehensive regarding Rayek's Telepathy. Though it wasn't as bad as Rah'ul behaved, from what he had heard. He barely spoke to his older brothers at all
And second Rayek didn't realize what was going on and how he and Tess acted wrongly in this.

Benjin watched as Rayek chose to take a seat at the sofa near the replicator. At the question Benjin snorted to himself, shaking his head as he looked back down on the floor.

Everything.

Simply everything had changed. He chewed his lip as he thought, much like Tess would do when she was nervous. "I apologize for my negligences", he eventually spoke and lifted his gaze from the floor to meet Rayek's gaze.

"May I ask you a question, too?" His face petrified. "Do you offer all of your subordinates to have these talks either in a formal or informal setting?"

It troubled Rayek that Benjin kept averting his eyes, looking down.  While he recognized the human trait of avoidance,  for the Romulan is was very much a show of submission and Rayek didn't want Benjin to be submissive towards him.  Respectful - yes.   Submissive - not so much. 

One thing he did note that was actually amusing, was that Benjin had the same habit as his sister - both tended to gnaw on their lips when nervous or in deep thought.  Rayek waited patiently, sipping on his chai tea, for Benjin to answer his question. 

However when Benjin spoke, it was first to apologize - that was a good start.  If sincere - the averted eyes gave him some doubt about that.   

Then as if aware of Rayek's mental assessment, Benjin raised his gaze to meet with Rayek's and asked if he might ask a question of his own.   It was an odd request but Rayek nodded, even as Benjin face turned stony and distant before asking his question.

That Benjin felt the need to ask such a question, suggested to Rayek that there was the perception that Benjin was getting special treatment.  He wasn't necessarily wrong... but at the same time he was.

"All my subordinates?  No.   There are times and individuals with which I would not feel it appropriate to make such an offer.  But you are by far not the only one I have attempted to set at ease, by making myself more approachable.   However, if you prefer a more formal air, I can easily do so as it tends to be more in my nature, but I don't see how that would help the situation any." 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 24, 2021, 05:47:21 am
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

At the reply Benjin regarded Rayek slightly taken aback and insecure. He had not expected that kind of response. "It would help if you would treat all of us the same way!", the young man burst out, but made an effort to contain his frustration immediately afterwards.

His face turned into a frown as he doubted his brother-in-law's words. "So you tell me you treat some crew members like they were related to you and some not? Is that not favoritism?" There was a deep crease between his eyebrows as he looked at Rayek. His gaze kept flickering down to the smudge of lipstick on Rayek's lips.

Yeah, that only confirmed his point of view. Neither he nor his sister were able to separate work from family.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

When Tess reached the infirmary, Phara was with Lared as well as Roberto. Karinne was probably with the younger children, Cemee and Jinsux. The Romulan in the sickbed had his eyes closed, but his vital signs showed he was awake and no longer in a coma.

Roberto approached her as she entered the isolation room. "I gave him a mild analgesic. Other than the typical things that come with such a long coma, he seems to have taken it surprisingly well."

"Is he responsive?" asked Tess quietly as her gaze rested on Phara, who had barely left his side, as she had from the minute her husband had fallen ill.

"If you're asking because you want to question him about the explosion, I'd hold off on that for a little while. Until we're sure his condition is stable. How his memory is, however, we'll have to see."

Tess nodded. "I'll wait to question him until Rayek is available." At Roberto's answer, she almost thought she heard something like a suppressed groan.

"Sure." Their eyes met. "Will you stay here for now?"

She nodded. "Yes. I'll try to talk to him a little. No questioning. Just talking."

Roberto nodded. "Have you eaten? I can get you something", he offered.

"That's very kind, but I just had lunch. Thank you."

At that Roberto turned toward the door to leave.

Tess walked slowly toward Phara and put a hand on the shoulder of the woman who had become a friend to her and gave her a friendly smile.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 25, 2021, 03:38:57 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

At the reply Benjin regarded Rayek slightly taken aback and insecure. He had not expected that kind of response. "It would help if you would treat all of us the same way!", the young man burst out, but made an effort to contain his frustration immediately afterwards.

His face turned into a frown as he doubted his brother-in-law's words. "So you tell me you treat some crew members like they were related to you and some not? Is that not favoritism?" There was a deep crease between his eyebrows as he looked at Rayek. His gaze kept flickering down to the smudge of lipstick on Rayek's lips.

Yeah, that only confirmed his point of view. Neither he nor his sister were able to separate work from family.

Benjin's outburst caught Rayek by surprise and he tensed, his instincts spurring the Romulan to almost leap out of his seat before recognizing the lack of actual threat.  Rayek's frown matched Benjin's especially at the cadet's words criticizing his manner of dealing with the crew.  Rayek took a moment to consider his words and let the frown ease from his features - somewhat curious why Benjin's eyes seemed to focus on his lips rather than his whole face or eyes.

"I feel that's rather naive thinking.  Individuals do not react the same to the same stimulus.  Imagine me shouting out orders in Romulan to the crew without the use of a translator.  Only some of the crew would understand and be able to follow orders, right?   My treatment of the crew is the same, it is but one part of that translator.. I use various approaches when dealing with individuals to best to get across what I need from them."

Rayek settle back into the couch seat, releasing some more of his earlier tension.

"My goal as First Officer is not to treat each member of the crew exactly the same, but find a manner in which we all can work together cohesively, with respect and honesty.   That is not to say I have been at all successful in the past.  Far from it as a matter of fact, but it is what I strive for."   

Rayek sat back further onto the couch at this point. "How would you have preferred this meeting to have been addressed?  Should I have foregone any attempt to dig into its cause because you are the Captain's brother and merely issued out a reprimand?  Would that have rectified the problem you are having?" he asked, then sipped on his tea watching Benjin's reaction.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

When Tess reached the infirmary, Phara was with Lared as well as Roberto. Karinne was probably with the younger children, Cemee and Jinsux. The Romulan in the sickbed had his eyes closed, but his vital signs showed he was awake and no longer in a coma.

Roberto approached her as she entered the isolation room. "I gave him a mild analgesic. Other than the typical things that come with such a long coma, he seems to have taken it surprisingly well."

"Is he responsive?" asked Tess quietly as her gaze rested on Phara, who had barely left his side, as she had from the minute her husband had fallen ill.

"If you're asking because you want to question him about the explosion, I'd hold off on that for a little while. Until we're sure his condition is stable. How his memory is, however, we'll have to see."

Tess nodded. "I'll wait to question him until Rayek is available." At Roberto's answer, she almost thought she heard something like a suppressed groan.

"Sure." Their eyes met. "Will you stay here for now?"

She nodded. "Yes. I'll try to talk to him a little. No questioning. Just talking."

Roberto nodded. "Have you eaten? I can get you something", he offered.

"That's very kind, but I just had lunch. Thank you."

At that Roberto turned toward the door to leave.

Tess walked slowly toward Phara and put a hand on the shoulder of the woman who had become a friend to her and gave her a friendly smile.

At the touch, Phara looked up from the face of her sleeping husband.  That he was no longer in a coma but rather just resting now was such a blessing.   She offering a wavering smile towards Tess, the ship's Captain but more importantly to her, Phara's dear friend.   A tear that she'd been holding back, escaped and rolled it's way down alongside her nose.

She wiped at it with a free hand - her other was holding onto Lared's - while shaking her head in slight embarrassment.  "I don't know why I'm crying now.   This is a good sign, right?"

Lared's dark eyes opened at hearing his wife's voice and he turned his head slightly to look towards her first and then noted the Captain's presence behind Phara.   Raised in a society that put duty above family, Lared acknowledged Tess' presence first, though he gave his wife's hand a weak squeeze. "Captain." His voice was quite dry and quiet from disuse.  "I'm honored you would check on me personally."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 28, 2021, 09:32:08 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Benjin's outburst caught Rayek by surprise and he tensed, his instincts spurring the Romulan to almost leap out of his seat before recognizing the lack of actual threat.  Rayek's frown matched Benjin's especially at the cadet's words criticizing his manner of dealing with the crew.  Rayek took a moment to consider his words and let the frown ease from his features - somewhat curious why Benjin's eyes seemed to focus on his lips rather than his whole face or eyes.

"I feel that's rather naive thinking.  Individuals do not react the same to the same stimulus.  Imagine me shouting out orders in Romulan to the crew without the use of a translator.  Only some of the crew would understand and be able to follow orders, right?   My treatment of the crew is the same, it is but one part of that translator.. I use various approaches when dealing with individuals to best to get across what I need from them."

Rayek settle back into the couch seat, releasing some more of his earlier tension.

"My goal as First Officer is not to treat each member of the crew exactly the same, but find a manner in which we all can work together cohesively, with respect and honesty.   That is not to say I have been at all successful in the past.  Far from it as a matter of fact, but it is what I strive for."   

Rayek sat back further onto the couch at this point. "How would you have preferred this meeting to have been addressed?  Should I have foregone any attempt to dig into its cause because you are the Captain's brother and merely issued out a reprimand?  Would that have rectified the problem you are having?" he asked, then sipped on his tea watching Benjin's reaction.

Benjin's face turned into a scowl as Rayek spoke. The Romulan confused him. That he mentioned him being the Captain's brother in his question had him, in his point of view in that moment, suspecting Rayek did that on purpose to provoke a reaction.

"As far as I'm concerned any attempts have been foregone before now. I can't believe anyone but me would have gotten away with 10 lates. And I've been and will be hearing about it from everyone!" He was alomst wriggling about in his chair from the frustration he felt.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

At the touch, Phara looked up from the face of her sleeping husband.  That he was no longer in a coma but rather just resting now was such a blessing.   She offering a wavering smile towards Tess, the ship's Captain but more importantly to her, Phara's dear friend.   A tear that she'd been holding back, escaped and rolled it's way down alongside her nose.

She wiped at it with a free hand - her other was holding onto Lared's - while shaking her head in slight embarrassment.  "I don't know why I'm crying now.   This is a good sign, right?"

Lared's dark eyes opened at hearing his wife's voice and he turned his head slightly to look towards her first and then noted the Captain's presence behind Phara.   Raised in a society that put duty above family, Lared acknowledged Tess' presence first, though he gave his wife's hand a weak squeeze. "Captain." His voice was quite dry and quiet from disuse.  "I'm honored you would check on me personally."

Tess gave Phara's shoulder a gentle squeeze when she saw the woman crying. "It is a good sign", Tess reassured her. "It's the tension that eventually finds release."

Her gaze was drawn to Lared then when he turned his head and opened his eyes. "We all have been worried about you. You're an incredible fighter for your life. Everything is going to be okay, now." She offered a smile towards the Romulan and then turned to get a glass of water for him from the replicator. She handed it to Phara.

Tess realized that he didn't even know yet that Verlok had died in the attempt to save them. There were so many questions she wanted to ask. But realized that she should grant him some peaceful moments now the first time he's awake since his coma. She checked her PADD briefly, wondering if she had missed Rayek's reply - he always at least gave a brief acknowledging response to her messages. But no, not this time. He probably had his full attention on Benjin, if it was still going on. She had not expected for it to be this long.

Turning her attention back on Lared, Tess said, "How are you feeling at the moment? As you can imagine, Commander tr'Lhoell and I have some questions we want to ask you." She watched Lared's reaction when she mentioned the shuttle incident.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 28, 2021, 11:03:45 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Benjin's face turned into a scowl as Rayek spoke. The Romulan confused him. That he mentioned him being the Captain's brother in his question had him, in his point of view in that moment, suspecting Rayek did that on purpose to provoke a reaction.

"As far as I'm concerned any attempts have been foregone before now. I can't believe anyone but me would have gotten away with 10 lates. And I've been and will be hearing about it from everyone!" He was almost wriggling about in his chair from the frustration he felt.

That Benjin would dare scowl to him, and complain that he hadn't been reprimanded prior to now was almost ludicrous to the Romulan.  His dark eyes narrowed a bit as he regarded his brother-in-law who with his words took advantage of the informal to criticize his treatment.  "I agree -  and perhaps if the ship wasn't crewed by fresh Academy graduates or if Romulan protocol and Starfleet were more inline then yes this wouldn't have happened." Rayek stated coolly.  His eyes continuing to stare at the jittery boy.

"Let me clarify something for you, Cadet." Rayek put emphasis on the rank.  "Ensign tr'Movel, like myself, served his military time amid the Romulan Star Navy where discipline was strict - far stricter than anything that Starfleet has.  Yet at the same time those in Command had far more leeway in how they run their ship.  It was normal for the Riov of a ship to favor certain individuals and those individuals would be almost untouchable except for by the Riov."  Rayek explained the difference between the two calmly, without showing a preference for one practice over the other. 

"Prior to the Amalthea responding to the distress call from the Karemman freighter over a month ago, tr'Movel approached me in regards to clarifying how he was expected to discipline you, the Captain's brother.  On a Romulan ship, without a direct order from the Riov that would be tantamount to asking to be demoted and likely punished yourself.  Now while this is not a Romulan ship, he was hesitant to take action without checking with me first, as her XO."

Rayek glanced away wondering now if it might have been best to have just dealt with it then himself, like he was doing now - after just the first couple lates.  Benjin would have been corrected and this perception of 'favoritism' would not be the problem it had developed into.  Rayek set his tea down on the side-table and regarded Benjin once more.

"I informed him that there was to be no exception to the rules and that I would support whatever reprimand he deemed you deserved.  I assumed afterwards that he had spoken to you immediately... but it seems that was not the case.  That day was the day your father was injured.  I'm guessing Lared chose to pick a less sensitive time to discuss your behavior with you. Shortly after that the shuttle blew and your Chief was put into a coma.   At that point you should have seen the gap in your department and stepped up to offer assistance.. picked up shifts and lent more of a hand."

"But you didn't.  Instead your attitude worsened and your tardiness increased.  But even then cadet, to be honest,.. your tardiness to sit your station wasn't a priority of mine.. I've had much more pressing things on my plate." Like recovery and investigating the explosion, a prime directive mission.. high priorities never ended.   "That the acting flight chief is inexperienced and has mistakenly taken Ensign tr'Movel's initial hesitation to mean that you were exempt from the rules, is unfortunate... but also ultimately inaccurate.  What was initially a couple of lates has now developed into a troubling pattern that no longer is the jurisdiction of your Department Head but now falls to me." Rayek summed up.

Rayek stood up and strode over to stand in front of Benjin with arms crossed, and a scowl now forming on his own face. "That you don't like the way that your reprimand has been mishandled and how you are now being picked on by your peers because of favoritism is rather laughable.  My orders are not intended to make your life easier, the opposite would be more true.  Not once have the Captain or I recommended you for something you didn't earn.  Likewise, I have never held back a reprimand.  Your holodeck incident should have made that clear.  You were not given special treatment then, other than I dealt with you in a manner in which I expected would prevent it from happening again."

"If anything, I would say, I expect more from you - not because you are her brother but because I've seen your Academy record and know what you are capable of.  I've worked alongside you and up until you set foot on Amalthea, you never needed a correction much less a reprimand. So what is the problem here?!" Rayek demanded to know. 

"Are you acting out because your sister and I are in Command?  Or because your father is paralyzed now?  Do you honestly think that your sabotaging your career is going to do anything to make either situation any better?" he bluntly asked.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess gave Phara's shoulder a gentle squeeze when she saw the woman crying. "It is a good sign", Tess reassured her. "It's the tension that eventually finds release."

Her gaze was drawn to Lared then when he turned his head and opened his eyes. "We all have been worried about you. You're an incredible fighter for your life. Everything is going to be okay, now." She offered a smile towards the Romulan and then turned to get a glass of water for him from the replicator. She handed it to Phara.

Tess realized that he didn't even know yet that Verlok had died in the attempt to save them. There were so many questions she wanted to ask. But realized that she should grant him some peaceful moments now the first time he's awake since his coma. She checked her PADD briefly, wondering if she had missed Rayek's reply - he always at least gave a brief acknowledging response to her messages. But no, not this time. He probably had his full attention on Benjin, if it was still going on. She had not expected for it to be this long.

Turning her attention back on Lared, Tess said, "How are you feeling at the moment? As you can imagine, Commander tr'Lhoell and I have some questions we want to ask you." She watched Lared's reaction when she mentioned the shuttle incident.

Phara watched her husband as he listened to the Captain offer supportive words, assuring him that 'all would be well'.   She was glad for such comments because to Phara, her husband looked so frail compared to a month ago.  That Tess, could assure them it would be okay gave her peace of mind.

The Romulan woman accepted the glass of water from Tess when handed it and moved closer to the bed to lift it up to her husband's lips.  He sipped on it slowly for a moment then turned his head away to indicate he'd had enough.  Phara set the glass of water on a rolling tray table and pushed the tray table to the side for later. 

Lared was slow getting his wits fully about him in regards to the explosion.  That the Captain wanted to talk immediately meant that his remembrance even after a month was still rather vital information. 

"I'm little scattered at the moment but I'll answer what I can." Lared stated. 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on December 31, 2021, 05:19:33 am
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

That Benjin would dare scowl to him, and complain that he hadn't been reprimanded prior to now was almost ludicrous to the Romulan.  His dark eyes narrowed a bit as he regarded his brother-in-law who with his words took advantage of the informal to criticize his treatment.  "I agree -  and perhaps if the ship wasn't crewed by fresh Academy graduates or if Romulan protocol and Starfleet were more inline then yes this wouldn't have happened." Rayek stated coolly.  His eyes continuing to stare at the jittery boy.

"Let me clarify something for you, Cadet." Rayek put emphasis on the rank.  "Ensign tr'Movel, like myself, served his military time amid the Romulan Star Navy where discipline was strict - far stricter than anything that Starfleet has.  Yet at the same time those in Command had far more leeway in how they run their ship.  It was normal for the Riov of a ship to favor certain individuals and those individuals would be almost untouchable except for by the Riov."  Rayek explained the difference between the two calmly, without showing a preference for one practice over the other. 

"Prior to the Amalthea responding to the distress call from the Karemman freighter over a month ago, tr'Movel approached me in regards to clarifying how he was expected to discipline you, the Captain's brother.  On a Romulan ship, without a direct order from the Riov that would be tantamount to asking to be demoted and likely punished yourself.  Now while this is not a Romulan ship, he was hesitant to take action without checking with me first, as her XO."

Rayek glanced away wondering now if it might have been best to have just dealt with it then himself, like he was doing now - after just the first couple lates.  Benjin would have been corrected and this perception of 'favoritism' would not be the problem it had developed into.  Rayek set his tea down on the side-table and regarded Benjin once more.

"I informed him that there was to be no exception to the rules and that I would support whatever reprimand he deemed you deserved.  I assumed afterwards that he had spoken to you immediately... but it seems that was not the case.  That day was the day your father was injured.  I'm guessing Lared chose to pick a less sensitive time to discuss your behavior with you. Shortly after that the shuttle blew and your Chief was put into a coma.   At that point you should have seen the gap in your department and stepped up to offer assistance.. picked up shifts and lent more of a hand."

"But you didn't.  Instead your attitude worsened and your tardiness increased.  But even then cadet, to be honest,.. your tardiness to sit your station wasn't a priority of mine.. I've had much more pressing things on my plate." Like recovery and investigating the explosion, a prime directive mission.. high priorities never ended.   "That the acting flight chief is inexperienced and has mistakenly taken Ensign tr'Movel's initial hesitation to mean that you were exempt from the rules, is unfortunate... but also ultimately inaccurate.  What was initially a couple of lates has now developed into a troubling pattern that no longer is the jurisdiction of your Department Head but now falls to me." Rayek summed up.

Rayek stood up and strode over to stand in front of Benjin with arms crossed, and a scowl now forming on his own face. "That you don't like the way that your reprimand has been mishandled and how you are now being picked on by your peers because of favoritism is rather laughable.  My orders are not intended to make your life easier, the opposite would be more true.  Not once have the Captain or I recommended you for something you didn't earn.  Likewise, I have never held back a reprimand.  Your holodeck incident should have made that clear.  You were not given special treatment then, other than I dealt with you in a manner in which I expected would prevent it from happening again."

"If anything, I would say, I expect more from you - not because you are her brother but because I've seen your Academy record and know what you are capable of.  I've worked alongside you and up until you set foot on Amalthea, you never needed a correction much less a reprimand. So what is the problem here?!" Rayek demanded to know. 

"Are you acting out because your sister and I are in Command?  Or because your father is paralyzed now?  Do you honestly think that your sabotaging your career is going to do anything to make either situation any better?" he bluntly asked.

The whole time Rayek was explaining to him how the current situation had come about, Benjin was inwardly pouting. He did not feel understood. All he heard was that his problem was unimportant and his feelings were wrong. In his head the same argumentation was repeated over and over again 'But everyone else thinks I am favored! Everyone else thinks it and I get to feel it!'

Benjin was barely able to wait for Rayek to finish so he could tell him what he was missing. But then, as Rayek stood in front of him with his arms crossed, he said something that made Benjin's head jerk up and he stared at his brother-in-law in disbelief. They were aware that he was being ostracized and teased? And Rayek called it laughable?

A gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment and anger started to bubble up inside him that was very hard to control. When Rayek ended with a list of all the things that were so relevant to him and troubled him so much, Benjin exploded.

"It is NOT laughable!", he blurted out and pierced Rayek's eyes with an anger seldomly displayed by the young Ba'ku - if ever.

Although it had been Benjin who had demanded a professional atmosphere, it was he who now disregarded it.

"You want to know what my problem is? My problem is just EVERYONE here! I'm shunned, made fun of and ostracized because my sister is the captain, on top of that the XO is her husband. You have no idea what it's like to be constantly subjected to the taunts! I was disappointed that you guys don't even seem to realize that. But now I see that it is even much worse. You know about it and still you have done nothing about it, NOTHING!" Benjin snorted contemptuously. "Maybe I shouldn't be surprised about that, I'm even ostracized by my family," he added more quietly but no less bitterly as his gaze dripped from Rayek down to the ground, staring into space.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Phara watched her husband as he listened to the Captain offer supportive words, assuring him that 'all would be well'.   She was glad for such comments because to Phara, her husband looked so frail compared to a month ago.  That Tess, could assure them it would be okay gave her peace of mind.

The Romulan woman accepted the glass of water from Tess when handed it and moved closer to the bed to lift it up to her husband's lips.  He sipped on it slowly for a moment then turned his head away to indicate he'd had enough.  Phara set the glass of water on a rolling tray table and pushed the tray table to the side for later. 

Lared was slow getting his wits fully about him in regards to the explosion.  That the Captain wanted to talk immediately meant that his remembrance even after a month was still rather vital information. 

"I'm little scattered at the moment but I'll answer what I can." Lared stated.

It was in Lared's nature, from what she knew of him, that he offered his help immediately even if he didn't feel well at all. While the information was very important, Tess didn't want to push him. Especially since she wanted to give Rayek the opportunity to be here in person for the questioning. "I appreciate your willingness and cooperation", Tess acknowledged quitely. "Commander tr'Lhoell is in a meeting at the moment. I would like to give you the opportunity to gather yourself and your thoughts a little, as much is possible for you." She briefly glanced to Phara, knowing that she would take care of her husband during that time. "I just wanted to inform you that we will need to field questions from you about the explosion." She hoped that Lared could use that time to try and remember details they for certain would ask.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on December 31, 2021, 05:08:09 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

The whole time Rayek was explaining to him how the current situation had come about, Benjin was inwardly pouting. He did not feel understood. All he heard was that his problem was unimportant and his feelings were wrong. In his head the same argumentation was repeated over and over again 'But everyone else thinks I am favored! Everyone else thinks it and I get to feel it!'

Benjin was barely able to wait for Rayek to finish so he could tell him what he was missing. But then, as Rayek stood in front of him with his arms crossed, he said something that made Benjin's head jerk up and he stared at his brother-in-law in disbelief. They were aware that he was being ostracized and teased? And Rayek called it laughable?

A gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment and anger started to bubble up inside him that was very hard to control. When Rayek ended with a list of all the things that were so relevant to him and troubled him so much, Benjin exploded.

"It is NOT laughable!", he blurted out and pierced Rayek's eyes with an anger seldomly displayed by the young Ba'ku - if ever.

Although it had been Benjin who had demanded a professional atmosphere, it was he who now disregarded it.

"You want to know what my problem is? My problem is just EVERYONE here! I'm shunned, made fun of and ostracized because my sister is the captain, on top of that the XO is her husband. You have no idea what it's like to be constantly subjected to the taunts! I was disappointed that you guys don't even seem to realize that. But now I see that it is even much worse. You know about it and still you have done nothing about it, NOTHING!" Benjin snorted contemptuously. "Maybe I shouldn't be surprised about that, I'm even ostracized by my family," he added more quietly but no less bitterly as his gaze dripped from Rayek down to the ground, staring into space.

While Rayek's words had been intended to prompt a response, Benjin's outburst once again surprised the Romulan with its vehemence (not that the glare from the cadet was worrisome in its threat).  Perhaps Rayek had been a bit too harsh?   Rayek's personal goal was to build a good relationship with his wife's family.  Insulting her younger brother's feelings by calling them laughable was obviously not the best way to accomplish that; but then it had its desired effect - Benjin was talking honestly now. 

But so much of Benjin's outburst was contradictory to the truth.

"What would you have had us do to prevent such accusations and taunts? Order them to stop?" Rayek questioned pointedly.

"By getting involved in the squabbles of the junior ranks, Tess or I would be doing exactly as your accusers think - treat you differently." he stated with reasoned calmness, as he unfolded his arms and leaned his backside against the desk behind him, while regarding Benjin seated in front of him.

"I have already explained the mishandling of your reprimand - something that will not happen again now that I am out of Sickbay once more - and have already pointed out that these one on one talks happen to any of the crew as needed.  Tess and I agreed when we first were selecting who from Katra would fill the Amalthea's roster, that you and your father both - as family, were not to receive special treatment on the job.  And we've kept to that.  That others make assumption of favoritism is not something we can control; but did anticipate.  We expected this lie be realized by the rest of the crew quickly.  However, your behavior and its mishandling over the past month has proved problematic."

Rayek didn't want to point fingers but couldn't help but wish Benjin had just shown up for his shift on time as he was supposed to.  Yet one thing above all bothered Rayek more than anything else, with what Benjin said.

"And most importantly, we have never ostracized you.  Yes, we are busy - but it has been you who has opted out of participating when Tess and I have found the time to come together with your brothers and your father.  You have chosen to distance yourself from us - likely trying to avoid the gossip of your peers.  It is not us ignoring you."


(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

It was in Lared's nature, from what she knew of him, that he offered his help immediately even if he didn't feel well at all. While the information was very important, Tess didn't want to push him. Especially since she wanted to give Rayek the opportunity to be here in person for the questioning. "I appreciate your willingness and cooperation", Tess acknowledged quitely. "Commander tr'Lhoell is in a meeting at the moment. I would like to give you the opportunity to gather yourself and your thoughts a little, as much is possible for you." She briefly glanced to Phara, knowing that she would take care of her husband during that time. "I just wanted to inform you that we will need to field questions from you about the explosion." She hoped that Lared could use that time to try and remember details they for certain would ask.

Lared nodded his agreement; but even as he did so he felt his eyes getting heavy.   He'd already reached the limit of his wakefulness.   "Of course, Captain. I understand.  I know that the explosion was no accident..." 

Lared's eyes drifted shut.  Phara looked to the Captain worriedly and clutched at her husband's hand.   "Is he okay?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 01, 2022, 08:58:07 am
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

While Rayek's words had been intended to prompt a response, Benjin's outburst once again surprised the Romulan with its vehemence (not that the glare from the cadet was worrisome in its threat).  Perhaps Rayek had been a bit too harsh?   Rayek's personal goal was to build a good relationship with his wife's family.  Insulting her younger brother's feelings by calling them laughable was obviously not the best way to accomplish that; but then it had its desired effect - Benjin was talking honestly now. 

But so much of Benjin's outburst was contradictory to the truth.

"What would you have had us do to prevent such accusations and taunts? Order them to stop?" Rayek questioned pointedly.

"By getting involved in the squabbles of the junior ranks, Tess or I would be doing exactly as your accusers think - treat you differently." he stated with reasoned calmness, as he unfolded his arms and leaned his backside against the desk behind him, while regarding Benjin seated in front of him.

"I have already explained the mishandling of your reprimand - something that will not happen again now that I am out of Sickbay once more - and have already pointed out that these one on one talks happen to any of the crew as needed.  Tess and I agreed when we first were selecting who from Katra would fill the Amalthea's roster, that you and your father both - as family, were not to receive special treatment on the job.  And we've kept to that.  That others make assumption of favoritism is not something we can control; but did anticipate.  We expected this lie be realized by the rest of the crew quickly.  However, your behavior and its mishandling over the past month has proved problematic."

Rayek didn't want to point fingers but couldn't help but wish Benjin had just shown up for his shift on time as he was supposed to.  Yet one thing above all bothered Rayek more than anything else, with what Benjin said.

"And most importantly, we have never ostracized you.  Yes, we are busy - but it has been you who has opted out of participating when Tess and I have found the time to come together with your brothers and your father.  You have chosen to distance yourself from us - likely trying to avoid the gossip of your peers.  It is not us ignoring you."

"I don't know!", Benjin replied, very clearly frustrated. "I don't know what I wanted you to do!" He really didn't. It might be very as frustrating for Rayek as it was for Benjin. The young man was in a dilemma. He wished his family's attention, but also didn't feel free to talk about his problems because he felt distanced from them.

Which Rayek then made a topic of discussion.

Benjin looked up at Rayek as he leaned against the desk. At his brother-in-law's words, the Ba'ku snorted a disdainful laugh. "I just don't see the point in sitting with you and are being made to feel like an alien. All they talk about is Ba'ku. Ba'ku, Ba'ku, Ba'ku, I can't hear it anymore. What is so great about it?" He didn't even speak the language, unlike his siblings. He had a UT, but sometimes he felt like certain expressions didn't come across accurately and he missed jokes or references.
And he missed his dad so much, but he didn't dare to even go there. Fabiano's injury and current state was an extremely hard blow for Benjin and he had not found a way to cope with it yet.

He looked down, trying to avoid Rayek noticing that he actually was on the verge of tears. He wasn't sure what Romulan culture said about men crying. Rayek must probably think that he was pathetic, if he didn't already think that.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


Lared nodded his agreement; but even as he did so he felt his eyes getting heavy.   He'd already reached the limit of his wakefulness.   "Of course, Captain. I understand.  I know that the explosion was no accident..." 

Lared's eyes drifted shut.  Phara looked to the Captain worriedly and clutched at her husband's hand.   "Is he okay?"

Tess was alert when Lared stated that he knew that the explosion wasn't an accident. But before she could get more information from him, Lared drifted back to sleep. As much as she would like to get the details now, it was better to let him rest some more.

Catching Phara's concerned glance towards her, Tess rested a hand on the Romulan woman's shoulder. "He is just still very exhausted. He's sleeping." She gave her another smile. "He is going to be fine." He didn't have any neurological damages, as far as Tess could see now. That was very good news. And he even remembered the incident. It seemed like they had a streak of luck, for once.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 01, 2022, 03:26:23 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

"I don't know!", Benjin replied, very clearly frustrated. "I don't know what I wanted you to do!" He really didn't. It might be very as frustrating for Rayek as it was for Benjin. The young man was in a dilemma. He wished his family's attention, but also didn't feel free to talk about his problems because he felt distanced from them.

Which Rayek then made a topic of discussion.

Benjin looked up at Rayek as he leaned against the desk. At his brother-in-law's words, the Ba'ku snorted a disdainful laugh. "I just don't see the point in sitting with you and are being made to feel like an alien. All they talk about is Ba'ku. Ba'ku, Ba'ku, Ba'ku, I can't hear it anymore. What is so great about it?" He didn't even speak the language, unlike his siblings. He had a UT, but sometimes he felt like certain expressions didn't come across accurately and he missed jokes or references.
And he missed his dad so much, but he didn't dare to even go there. Fabiano's injury and current state was an extremely hard blow for Benjin and he had not found a way to cope with it yet.

He looked down, trying to avoid Rayek noticing that he actually was on the verge of tears. He wasn't sure what Romulan culture said about men crying. Rayek must probably think that he was pathetic, if he didn't already think that.

That Benjin was clueless as to what he actually wanted from Rayek as a superior wasn't surprising.   But it meant that misunderstandings would likely continue.  If the cadet couldn't express more clearly how the situation could be improved then perhaps questioning others would provide answer.  Rayek made a mental note to speak to some of the other crew regarding this issue later.   For now, all Rayek could do was address the problem with his best judgement. 

As the discussion moved on to a more personal note, Rayek watched Benjin closely to see how he reacted.  The disdain he observed from Tess' youngest brother regarding Ba'ku culture was interesting.  He wondered what they stemmed from. 

"Not all discussion is about Ba'ku though I suppose when Rah'ul and Tamon'ar first arrived it may have seemed that way.   Tess and I want Fvienn to be exposed to all of the various cultures that his heritage opens him to - Ba'ku, Romulan and Earth alike.  I will point out however, that you aren't the only one who is outside much of the discussion."  Clearly, Rayek was the most 'alien' of them all.  "But it appears our level of interest differs greatly.  While I make no judgement on your decision, I do wonder why you don't wish to know more about the culture you would have experienced had you not been adopted by Fabiano." he mildly pointed out his own curiosity.   

"Would you come if Tess and I had the next family dinner be an Italian or typically Earth meal?  I could gently guide the discussion to topics that you could participate in..." Rayek offered.  "Perhaps there is a particular meal that you know how to cook that you could join in the prep of?"  Rayek found that for him and Tess the meal prep was a large part of their enjoyment.


(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess was alert when Lared stated that he knew that the explosion wasn't an accident. But before she could get more information from him, Lared drifted back to sleep. As much as she would like to get the details now, it was better to let him rest some more.

Catching Phara's concerned glance towards her, Tess rested a hand on the Romulan woman's shoulder. "He is just still very exhausted. He's sleeping." She gave her another smile. "He is going to be fine." He didn't have any neurological damages, as far as Tess could see now. That was very good news. And he even remembered the incident. It seemed like they had a streak of luck, for once.

Phara smiled gratefully to Tess at her positive words.  "Thank you -  for all that you and Dr. Padrini have done for him."  She glanced back to her husband.  "I suppose I should go check on the kids and let them know the good news, while he's resting.  Do you mind if I ask a favor?  Would you stay close until I return?  I don't want him to wake to find himself alone..." 

Then realizing that she was asking this of the ship's Captain, Phara looked apologetic.  "Oh! Nevermind, Captain.  You must be busy.  I'll ask a nurse to sit with him."  She gave a slight bow in apology.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 04, 2022, 08:57:43 am
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

That Benjin was clueless as to what he actually wanted from Rayek as a superior wasn't surprising.   But it meant that misunderstandings would likely continue.  If the cadet couldn't express more clearly how the situation could be improved then perhaps questioning others would provide answer.  Rayek made a mental note to speak to some of the other crew regarding this issue later.   For now, all Rayek could do was address the problem with his best judgement. 

As the discussion moved on to a more personal note, Rayek watched Benjin closely to see how he reacted.  The disdain he observed from Tess' youngest brother regarding Ba'ku culture was interesting.  He wondered what they stemmed from. 

"Not all discussion is about Ba'ku though I suppose when Rah'ul and Tamon'ar first arrived it may have seemed that way.   Tess and I want Fvienn to be exposed to all of the various cultures that his heritage opens him to - Ba'ku, Romulan and Earth alike.  I will point out however, that you aren't the only one who is outside much of the discussion."  Clearly, Rayek was the most 'alien' of them all.  "But it appears our level of interest differs greatly.  While I make no judgement on your decision, I do wonder why you don't wish to know more about the culture you would have experienced had you not been adopted by Fabiano." he mildly pointed out his own curiosity.

Benjin briefly glanced Rayek's way when he remarked that he wasn't the only one outside of the discussion. Yes, Rayek didn't understand. When asked for the reason, Benjin's eyes shifted away from his brother-in-law to stare ahead of him at the bulkhead opposide him. It took him a moment to figure out how to put his point of view into words. It was a struggle and he was afraid that Rayek wouldn't have appreciation for it either.

"Why would I want to know more? They're a backward people who keep their citizens from progressing and developing to a better life. And if some of them choose to pick a different life, they will be exiled and expelled. Punished with silence." He had seen how much Tess had suffered from the time Rah'ul had chosen to ignore his sister. For what? Because she wanted to become a doctor? For learning and using modern technology to help people? No. Benjin didn't want anything to do with them. Especially not with his brother. That's why it hurt him even more that he felt so excluded from them, Tess seemed to relish to talk and hear about all those memories. Something he couldn't provide.


"Would you come if Tess and I had the next family dinner be an Italian or typically Earth meal?  I could gently guide the discussion to topics that you could participate in..." Rayek offered.  "Perhaps there is a particular meal that you know how to cook that you could join in the prep of?"  Rayek found that for him and Tess the meal prep was a large part of their enjoyment.

Benjin snorted. "I doubt Rah'ul would want to hear about that." All he cared about was his Ba'ku. Ben'jin often wondered why he had agreed to leave his home in the first place.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Phara smiled gratefully to Tess at her positive words.  "Thank you -  for all that you and Dr. Padrini have done for him."  She glanced back to her husband.  "I suppose I should go check on the kids and let them know the good news, while he's resting.  Do you mind if I ask a favor?  Would you stay close until I return?  I don't want him to wake to find himself alone..." 

Then realizing that she was asking this of the ship's Captain, Phara looked apologetic.  "Oh! Nevermind, Captain.  You must be busy.  I'll ask a nurse to sit with him."  She gave a slight bow in apology.

Tess responded to Phara's thanks with a smile. At her subsequent question, Tess hesitated. It wasn't that she wouldn't do that for her friend. She would be happy to help her anytime. But she really had a lot to do. The Romulan woman seemed to guess her thoughts and offered to have a nurse looking after Lared.

"I'm sorry, Phara, I wish I could. But I too think it would be better for him if he woke up to someone he knows. Why don't you ask Karinne to sit with him while you speak to your children?" She thought for a moment. "I can pull Tordel off shift for today so she can spend the time with her family", she offered.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 04, 2022, 11:47:07 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Benjin briefly glanced Rayek's way when he remarked that he wasn't the only one outside of the discussion. Yes, Rayek didn't understand. When asked for the reason, Benjin's eyes shifted away from his brother-in-law to stare ahead of him at the bulkhead opposite him. It took him a moment to figure out how to put his point of view into words. It was a struggle and he was afraid that Rayek wouldn't have appreciation for it either.

"Why would I want to know more? They're a backward people who keep their citizens from progressing and developing to a better life. And if some of them choose to pick a different life, they will be exiled and expelled. Punished with silence." He had seen how much Tess had suffered from the time Rah'ul had chosen to ignore his sister. For what? Because she wanted to become a doctor? For learning and using modern technology to help people? No. Benjin didn't want anything to do with them. Especially not with his brother. That's why it hurt him even more that he felt so excluded from them, Tess seemed to relish to talk and hear about all those memories. Something he couldn't provide.

Benjin snorted. "I doubt Rah'ul would want to hear about that." All he cared about was his Ba'ku. Ben'jin often wondered why he had agreed to leave his home in the first place.

It seemed from Benjin's expression that the Earth raised cadet thought little of Rayek's attempt to share the feeling of being left out; and when questioned about why he didn't wish to learn more, Benjin's eyes looked away and focused on the wall behind Rayek's desk.  Because of this, Rayek was not expecting an answer and so began to turn away to return to his seat where he would merely record the punishment the cadet had earned. 

It was then that Benjin spoke and Rayek paused looking back to the young man.  Benjin's explanation and description of his own people was not flattering in the least.  But Rayek could appreciate and understand where his words were coming from.  There was no doubt that Tess had been unfairly shunned by her brother Rah'ul.  Yet Rayek had seen how the two middle siblings had grown closer since the wedding.. and even more so since Fvienn's birth.   It was clear that though the Rah'ul was uncomfortable with change and all the technology around them, especially being stuck on this side of the Gamma Quadrant, the Ba'ku raised middle brother was making the most of the time to reconnect - with at least his sister.

Remaining standing at the corner of his desk, Rayek sought to acknowledge Benjin's answer while at the same time offering a different perspective. "Yes, I understand, and I won't attempt to make excuses for your brother Rah'ul's past choices.  I will say that from what I've seen - he's come to realize how poor a decision his silence has been."  Rayek paused before pointing out a fact.  "He's here now - having crossed two quadrants to be here for you and your sister in an attempt to cross that distance he created.  But it's not something he can do alone - the 'bridge' requires support from both sides or it will collapse."  He interlocked his fingers connecting his two hands together to visualize his bridge metaphor. 

"The same is true for your eldest brother Tamon'ar - he made poor choices as a youth... to sabotage his own people.  That's why he and the others were exiled, they chose violence over peaceful discussion and resolution of their problem.  It took the Son'a a second failed attack on your people before your brother realized his mistake."  Yes, perhaps Rayek was over simplifying the situation but sometimes simplicity got to the point quicker. 

"As for whether Rah'ul will care for the topic of discussion, or the overall theme for the planned Italian dinner, that is entirely up to him.   But he might surprise you. He has been open-minded enough to come to a Romulan dinner and joined in the conversation as I shared with Tamon'ar and Tess about my home planet."  That had been the evening he'd also broached the two elder brothers about his gift (Benjin and Fabiano already knew).. so it hadn't been the perfect evening, but the meal and dinner conversation had been a delight. 

"So we'll make plans to get together AFTER your disciplinary action."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Phara t'Movel and NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess responded to Phara's thanks with a smile. At her subsequent question, Tess hesitated. It wasn't that she wouldn't do that for her friend. She would be happy to help her anytime. But she really had a lot to do. The Romulan woman seemed to guess her thoughts and offered to have a nurse looking after Lared.

"I'm sorry, Phara, I wish I could. But I too think it would be better for him if he woke up to someone he knows. Why don't you ask Karinne to sit with him while you speak to your children?" She thought for a moment. "I can pull Tordel off shift for today so she can spend the time with her family", she offered.

Phara smiled at Tess' suggestion.  "I think the idea of having Karinne sit with Lared is a wonderful idea!  Thank you for that and for the offer to pull Tordel off shift, but that really isn't necessary.  Now that my husband is out of the coma, Tordel will be able to visit with him when she's not working."  The Romulan woman was constantly being amazed by how generous and kindly the Federation treated it's people. 

From her bag, Phara retrieved her communicator - a gift from the s'Lhoell's so that she could keep in easy contact with her family while she was caring for their son, Fvienn.  She used it now to call Karinne to bring the children to the Medical Bay waiting room. 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 05, 2022, 01:15:39 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Ben'jin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

The young man failed to hide the scepticism from his face as Rayek tried to assure him of Rah'ul's genuine intentions and attempts to reconcile with his family. Maybe that was true regarding Tess. But in regards to him, he felt his older brother didn't really seek a connection to him. Was he maybe making himself unapproachable? Ben'jin glanced at Rayek's gesture of the bridge. It was easier said than done.

Tamo'nar on the other hand Ben'jin knew that he was the hesitant one regarding him. He secretly held some fascination for the Son'a's history and story but he was too shy to ask his brother about it. Even the fact that this 'old man' was his brother was hard for the Ba'ku to grasp.

His attention then returned to Rayek as he spoke of how accepting and participating Rah'ul had been when having been invited to a Romulan dinner. Somehow Ben'jin was reluctant to believe that. He shrugged hesitantly and finally replied to Rayek's suggestion of planning a get together for an Italian dinner. "Sure, we can do that", he said quietly. Dad surely would have loved that, too. Would he be able to be there, too? He missed him so much.

Hearing Rayek returning to the topic of the disciplinary action that awaited Ben'jin, the Ba'ku took a small breath in and exhaled it adubily. "Yes. Of course." While he waited for Rayek to tell him how he would punish him, Ben'jin sat there, numb to his own feelings. He wasn't sure how he should feel now. While he should have reason to be relieved he also felt confused and stirred up inwardly.


Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 06, 2022, 01:25:38 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Ben'jin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

The young man failed to hide the skepticism from his face as Rayek tried to assure him of Rah'ul's genuine intentions and attempts to reconcile with his family. Maybe that was true regarding Tess. But in regards to him, he felt his older brother didn't really seek a connection to him. Was he maybe making himself unapproachable? Ben'jin glanced at Rayek's gesture of the bridge. It was easier said than done.

Tamo'nar on the other hand Ben'jin knew that he was the hesitant one regarding him. He secretly held some fascination for the Son'a's history and story but he was too shy to ask his brother about it. Even the fact that this 'old man' was his brother was hard for the Ba'ku to grasp.

His attention then returned to Rayek as he spoke of how accepting and participating Rah'ul had been when having been invited to a Romulan dinner. Somehow Ben'jin was reluctant to believe that. He shrugged hesitantly and finally replied to Rayek's suggestion of planning a get together for an Italian dinner. "Sure, we can do that", he said quietly. Dad surely would have loved that, too. Would he be able to be there, too? He missed him so much.

Hearing Rayek returning to the topic of the disciplinary action that awaited Ben'jin, the Ba'ku took a small breath in and exhaled it audibly. "Yes. Of course." While he waited for Rayek to tell him how he would punish him, Ben'jin sat there, numb to his own feelings. He wasn't sure how he should feel now. While he should have reason to be relieved he also felt confused and stirred up inwardly.

When Benjin agreed to the Italian dinner suggestion, Rayek nodded - glad for at least that slight victory.  Tess would be happy to hear that her youngest brother would attend. 

But before that Rayek needed to show to Benjin and the rest of the crew that there was no exceptions to the rules and that all actions had consequences. 

Rayek turned and walked back to sit at his desk.  He opened his PADD to look over Benjin's file once more. Doing so for close to a minute - he did this to build tension and have Benjin think and worry about what the penalty might be.     

"As your tardiness was not addressed previously, I have decided to consider it as a singular occurrence, rather 10 separate disciplinary occurrences.   My assumption being that this tardiness will stop now that we have addressed the issue.  If it doesn't - then you may well find yourself back on Katra or perhaps New Bajor." Rayek remarked looking up to fix Benjin with a hard stare.   

"So this is your first warning... however, as this occurrence has resulted in nearly 10 hrs of lost time, I will be disciplining to a more severe extent than if it was your first time." Rayek explained, as he mentally reviewed the disciplinary options available to him.

"Until such time as you work off, through extra duty, an equivalent number of hours as those missed, you will be restricted to quarters except for work or extra duty.  All meals will be taken in your quarters until extra duty is done.  Extra duty will consist of menial labor."  It was a standard punishment on many civilized worlds and acceptable to Starfleet.  "While scrubbing the hull with a toothbrush is one I have experienced myself, it was not at all productive.  Instead, you will be shoveling dirt."  Rayek thought that was so appropriate.  He'd have Benjin lay out the dirt for Rah'ul's garden.

"I was going to have the cargo bay transporters beam the soil directly into the room, but I think having you haul it a wheelbarrow load at a time, is far more fitting.  You'll be sent instructions once the soil is on board. You are dismissed to your quarters until your next shift."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 06, 2022, 02:01:25 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Ben'jin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

The long moment of silence did not miss its effect. Ben'jin became nervous, although he didn't think he would be punished too harshly. But one could never know. The threat to have him be transferred to back to Katra or New Bajor was probably not providing the leverage Rayek was hoping for. Inwardly, Ben'jin had toyed with the idea to ask for a transfer to another ship or back to Katra.

That he should make up for the time he had missed, the Ba'ku could understand. He could also accept that he was confined to his quarters until the time was worked off. He didn't feel like interacting with anyone here anyway. At least not at the moment.

Ben'jin was fixated on Rayek when he seemed to decide what kind of work he should do to make up for the lost hours. He had expected many things - his first thought had been unpopular shifts in the cargo bay - but what kind of work Rayek then named made Ben'jin stare at him in confusion. "Dirt?" he couldn't help but echo. Was this hazing? He was supposed to be hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt around? What for? That Rayek stated he would get further instructions as soon as the soil was on board made him suspect he wasn't going to tell him - not now, at least - what the purpose was. Briefly, Ben'jin considered asking anyway, but decided against it. He didn't want another discussion.

"Understood, Sir" he said tersely instead, and nodded. But he couldn't quite hide his confusion and negative presumption from his face.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 07, 2022, 12:41:53 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Ben'jin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

The long moment of silence did not miss its effect. Ben'jin became nervous, although he didn't think he would be punished too harshly. But one could never know. The threat to have him be transferred to back to Katra or New Bajor was probably not providing the leverage Rayek was hoping for. Inwardly, Ben'jin had toyed with the idea to ask for a transfer to another ship or back to Katra.

That he should make up for the time he had missed, the Ba'ku could understand. He could also accept that he was confined to his quarters until the time was worked off. He didn't feel like interacting with anyone here anyway. At least not at the moment.

Ben'jin was fixated on Rayek when he seemed to decide what kind of work he should do to make up for the lost hours. He had expected many things - his first thought had been unpopular shifts in the cargo bay - but what kind of work Rayek then named made Ben'jin stare at him in confusion. "Dirt?" he couldn't help but echo. Was this hazing? He was supposed to be hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt around? What for? That Rayek stated he would get further instructions as soon as the soil was on board made him suspect he wasn't going to tell him - not now, at least - what the purpose was. Briefly, Ben'jin considered asking anyway, but decided against it. He didn't want another discussion.

"Understood, Sir" he said tersely instead, and nodded. But he couldn't quite hide his confusion and negative presumption from his face.

Rayek had hoped that there might be some shock or alarm raised when he commented on transferring Benjin, but there was a definite lack of either.  This worried the Romulan.  He knew it would weigh heavily on Tess if her brother left his assignment on Amalthea due to disciplinary issues.  She would see if as a reflection on her capability as a Captain and a sister.   It took effort for Rayek to not frown after that.

When Rayek parroted the word 'dirt', Rayek considered hinting the task but felt that Benjin's apparent avoidance of his elder brother might be triggered if he pointed it out now.  There had already been far too many outbursts from the cadet.  Rayek wasn't going to risk Benjin refusing.   Benjin could find out once he was already in the mindset to work off his extra duty.

Rayek nodded back toward Benjin when the cadet acknowledged his dismissal.   It was as he nodded that he noted the small light flashing on his PADD indicating a new message.  He waited until Benjin stood up and left before opening the message from Tess.   It was brief.  No sooner had he got to the end of the missive than Rayek was up out of his chair, tucking the PADD into its holster at his back.  He headed out of his office and with his long legs quickly caught up and surpassed Benjin in the hall to reach the turbolift just before the cadet.  Rayek stepped in first, and called out "Deck 8, Sickbay".  Benjin would have to hurry if he wanted to catch the turbolift down.


[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
Hurried footfalls announced Rayek's arrival at Sickby.  The Amalthea's First Officer arrived just as Phara was greeting her mother-in-law and children.   The Romulan woman smiled to Rayek, signs of recent crying evident on her face.  But despite the tears she had a joyous smile on her face.  "I think Tess is still in the room.  Go ahead, we'll wait." she said, settling down with her children who were excited at the prospect of seeing their father awake.

Rayek nodded his appreciation and headed to the patient ward, where Lared had spent the last month in a coma.
Unfortunately,  at first appearances, it didn't seem that Lared had woken at all.  Rayek moved up to his wife's side.

"You'd messaged that he'd come out of his coma?" he stated questioningly, looking towards Tess.

It was then that Lared, who must be a rather light sleeper, opened his eyes.  Rayek smiled at the sight, alternating back and forth between Lared and Tess a few moments, before settling on the Flight officer.

"It is good to see you awake." he remarked.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 09, 2022, 02:15:43 am
(https://i.imgur.com/4LYRjYr.png)
NPC Cadet Benjin Moreno (Flight)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Corridor]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - XO's office]

Rayek had hoped that there might be some shock or alarm raised when he commented on transferring Benjin, but there was a definite lack of either.  This worried the Romulan.  He knew it would weigh heavily on Tess if her brother left his assignment on Amalthea due to disciplinary issues.  She would see if as a reflection on her capability as a Captain and a sister.   It took effort for Rayek to not frown after that.

When Rayek parroted the word 'dirt', Rayek considered hinting the task but felt that Benjin's apparent avoidance of his elder brother might be triggered if he pointed it out now.  There had already been far too many outbursts from the cadet.  Rayek wasn't going to risk Benjin refusing.   Benjin could find out once he was already in the mindset to work off his extra duty.

Rayek nodded back toward Benjin when the cadet acknowledged his dismissal.   It was as he nodded that he noted the small light flashing on his PADD indicating a new message.  He waited until Benjin stood up and left before opening the message from Tess.   It was brief.  No sooner had he got to the end of the missive than Rayek was up out of his chair, tucking the PADD into its holster at his back.  He headed out of his office and with his long legs quickly caught up and surpassed Benjin in the hall to reach the turbolift just before the cadet.  Rayek stepped in first, and called out "Deck 8, Sickbay".  Benjin would have to hurry if he wanted to catch the turbolift down.

Ben'jin was deep in thought as he walked down the corridor, intending to head towards his quarters since he was confined to them as of now. He'd have a lot to think about. Rapid footsteps coming from behind him interrupted the young man in his musings. Just as he looked up and behind him did Rayek already surpassed him. Ben'jin frowned, wondering why he was in such a hurry all of a sudden when he had seemed calm and unrushed during their talk.

When Rayek reached the turbolift before him and stepped in, clearly not intending to wait for him, Ben'jin hesitated - he regarded the gap between them; if he sprinted he'd be able to make it inside before the doors closed. While he was pondering, his eyes met Rayek's for a second. The Romulan surrounded an air of straight business. Where was he even headed to? The bridge? Somewhere else? He didn't want to delay him so Ben'jin stopped and made a clear indication that he would wait. Only a second later the doors of the turbolift closed.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
Hurried footfalls announced Rayek's arrival at Sickby.  The Amalthea's First Officer arrived just as Phara was greeting her mother-in-law and children.   The Romulan woman smiled to Rayek, signs of recent crying evident on her face.  But despite the tears she had a joyous smile on her face.  "I think Tess is still in the room.  Go ahead, we'll wait." she said, settling down with her children who were excited at the prospect of seeing their father awake.

Rayek nodded his appreciation and headed to the patient ward, where Lared had spent the last month in a coma.
Unfortunately,  at first appearances, it didn't seem that Lared had woken at all.  Rayek moved up to his wife's side.

"You'd messaged that he'd come out of his coma?" he stated questioningly, looking towards Tess.

It was then that Lared, who must be a rather light sleeper, opened his eyes.  Rayek smiled at the sight, alternating back and forth between Lared and Tess a few moments, before settling on the Flight officer.

"It is good to see you awake." he remarked.

Hearing footsteps behind her, Tess - while originally expecting Karinne - recognized those footsteps not belonging to the elderly Romulan woman. It rather sounded like ...

Just as she was about to turn her head to confirm her suspicion, Rayek was already at her side. She was a little surprised to see him, she had thought she'd get a message from him first. But all the better he came here directly.
At his question Tess glanced back at Lared who had dozed off again. Before she could reply, though, the Romualn pilot woke.

At Rayek's remark, Lared smiled very lightly very briefly. "I'm grateful that I am", the Romulan replied, his voice raspy and dry again. Tess stepped closer and picked up the glass of water from earlier and helped the Romulan to take a few sips of it.

"Thank you, Captain", Lared replied and Tess had the impression that he felt a little embarrassed about needing this kind of help - or rather getting it from someone else than his wife. Tess thought it might help to remind him that she originally had been a doctor. "Of course. I am happy to practice my bedside manner a bit again. That was always what I enjoyed most as a medical officer."

After Lared accepted a couple of sips more Tess looked back to Rayek. She would like him to take the lead in the questioning, since he was able to ask the more specific and pointed questions regarding the incident. "I have already informed Mr. tr'Movel that we need information from him regarding the explosion. He had agreed to to help."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 10, 2022, 10:57:44 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Hearing footsteps behind her, Tess - while originally expecting Karinne - recognized those footsteps not belonging to the elderly Romulan woman. It rather sounded like ...

Just as she was about to turn her head to confirm her suspicion, Rayek was already at her side. She was a little surprised to see him, she had thought she'd get a message from him first. But all the better he came here directly.
At his question Tess glanced back at Lared who had dozed off again. Before she could reply, though, the Romualn pilot woke.

At Rayek's remark, Lared smiled very lightly very briefly. "I'm grateful that I am", the Romulan replied, his voice raspy and dry again. Tess stepped closer and picked up the glass of water from earlier and helped the Romulan to take a few sips of it.

"Thank you, Captain", Lared replied and Tess had the impression that he felt a little embarrassed about needing this kind of help - or rather getting it from someone else than his wife. Tess thought it might help to remind him that she originally had been a doctor. "Of course. I am happy to practice my bedside manner a bit again. That was always what I enjoyed most as a medical officer."

After Lared accepted a couple of sips more Tess looked back to Rayek. She would like him to take the lead in the questioning, since he was able to ask the more specific and pointed questions regarding the incident. "I have already informed Mr. tr'Movel that we need information from him regarding the explosion. He had agreed to to help."

As Tess tended to the flight officer, Rayek could understand the man's discomfort.  He too did not feel comfortable being tended by others.  He could only imagine how awkward it was when that other was your Captain (and your Captain was not also your wife).  Rayek politely kept his gaze focused on the flight officer's biobed display.  That the Romulan flight officer was fighting to stay awake was evident by his serotonin and melatonin levels which Rayek noted were far above normal.   Yet, when Tess looked to him and stated that Lared was willing to provide information for the investigation, Rayek couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"Thank you.  I'll be brief." he stated as he retrieved his PADD from its holster and set it up for audio visual recording - though he clever enough to position himself and the PADD to record not just Lared but his biobed display.   "I'll be recording your statement for review later." It wasn't quite as good as a 'lie-detector' but it would measure some readings that Rayek could use to help determine the truth of what Lared was about to say.

Once set up Rayek looked to Lared, studying the other Romulan's features and movements carefully for any telltale signs of fabrication "I need for you to recall any information you can regarding the shuttle's return trip from the Ipeah Recreational Facility"  Rayek specifically wanted to know about the pilot's actions in advance of the plasma conduit exploding but he didn't want to lead the man's comments.   

Despite his paranoid nature, Rayek didn't want to have doubts about tr'Movel - to believe him a spy - especially since the man nearly died leaving behind a wife, an elderly mother and 4 children; but sacrificing oneself for the good of the Romulan state could very well be a standard expectation of the Tal Shiar - it had certainly been expected in the past. 

One disturbing fact was in the month since the shuttle explosion there had been no further attempts made.  That could be due to the subtle increase in security aboard the ship... or it could be because the perpetrator had been unconscious all this time.  Rayek hoped Lared's response would clear any doubt from his mind.   It hurt to be suspicious of someone he believed he could trust.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 13, 2022, 07:00:27 am
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

As Tess tended to the flight officer, Rayek could understand the man's discomfort.  He too did not feel comfortable being tended by others.  He could only imagine how awkward it was when that other was your Captain (and your Captain was not also your wife).  Rayek politely kept his gaze focused on the flight officer's biobed display.  That the Romulan flight officer was fighting to stay awake was evident by his serotonin and melatonin levels which Rayek noted were far above normal.   Yet, when Tess looked to him and stated that Lared was willing to provide information for the investigation, Rayek couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"Thank you.  I'll be brief." he stated as he retrieved his PADD from its holster and set it up for audio visual recording - though he clever enough to position himself and the PADD to record not just Lared but his biobed display.   "I'll be recording your statement for review later." It wasn't quite as good as a 'lie-detector' but it would measure some readings that Rayek could use to help determine the truth of what Lared was about to say.

Once set up Rayek looked to Lared, studying the other Romulan's features and movements carefully for any telltale signs of fabrication "I need for you to recall any information you can regarding the shuttle's return trip from the Ipeah Recreational Facility"  Rayek specifically wanted to know about the pilot's actions in advance of the plasma conduit exploding but he didn't want to lead the man's comments.   

Despite his paranoid nature, Rayek didn't want to have doubts about tr'Movel - to believe him a spy - especially since the man nearly died leaving behind a wife, an elderly mother and 4 children; but sacrificing oneself for the good of the Romulan state could very well be a standard expectation of the Tal Shiar - it had certainly been expected in the past. 

One disturbing fact was in the month since the shuttle explosion there had been no further attempts made.  That could be due to the subtle increase in security aboard the ship... or it could be because the perpetrator had been unconscious all this time.  Rayek hoped Lared's response would clear any doubt from his mind.   It hurt to be suspicious of someone he believed he could trust.

Lared tried to focus on the question, but it was hard for him, to say the least. His brain felt like it was mush. The overwhelming tiredness didn't make it any easier. But he had to try. He wanted to try and be helpful.

He closed his eyes for a moment to attempt and recall the events but his memory was eluding him. While he tried to recollect his thoughts, his body took advantage of having his eyes closed and pulled his consciousness away to let him drift into sleep.

"Ensign tr'Movel", he heard a soft voice dragging him out of his sleepyness once more. His eyes opened slowly and he became aware that he had nodded off for a second. It was embarrassing. "I apologize, Captain, Commander", the Romulan said, languidly.

He saw the Captain turning away briefly befor she returned with a hypospray in her hand. "I will give you a small dose of a stimulant to make it easier for you", she explained. He nodded his acceptance and then felt the coolness of the device at his neck.

He instantly felt the effect of the stimulant but it took another second until he was able ot think clearly. He looked to Rayek, who had asked the question. "I had orders to pursue the fleeing shuttle as soon as the away team was back on board." His voice cracked a little here and there. Lared lifted his gaze up as he accessed the memories. "I had plotted a pursuit course. Shortly after that, the away team reached the shuttle. The team was incomplete but we took pursuit as soon as the doors were sealed." A small coughing fit interrupted him, his throat drying out quickly from the speaking. Tess assisted him once more to drink. "Only a few seconds after we took off, the computer gave a warning signal ... a ... a plasma conduit was overloading. I tried to shut down that conduit and reroute the power, but ..." Lared stared into space for a moment. "The computer refused all the commands I was typing in, and ... then ... after that ... I don't remember anything."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 14, 2022, 01:41:53 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared tried to focus on the question, but it was hard for him, to say the least. His brain felt like it was mush. The overwhelming tiredness didn't make it any easier. But he had to try. He wanted to try and be helpful.

He closed his eyes for a moment to attempt and recall the events but his memory was eluding him. While he tried to recollect his thoughts, his body took advantage of having his eyes closed and pulled his consciousness away to let him drift into sleep.

"Ensign tr'Movel", he heard a soft voice dragging him out of his sleepiness once more. His eyes opened slowly and he became aware that he had nodded off for a second. It was embarrassing. "I apologize, Captain, Commander", the Romulan said, languidly.

He saw the Captain turning away briefly before she returned with a hypospray in her hand. "I will give you a small dose of a stimulant to make it easier for you", she explained. He nodded his acceptance and then felt the coolness of the device at his neck.

He instantly felt the effect of the stimulant but it took another second until he was able to think clearly. He looked to Rayek, who had asked the question. "I had orders to pursue the fleeing shuttle as soon as the away team was back on board." His voice cracked a little here and there. Lared lifted his gaze up as he accessed the memories. "I had plotted a pursuit course. Shortly after that, the away team reached the shuttle. The team was incomplete but we took pursuit as soon as the doors were sealed." A small coughing fit interrupted him, his throat drying out quickly from the speaking. Tess assisted him once more to drink. "Only a few seconds after we took off, the computer gave a warning signal ... a ... a plasma conduit was overloading. I tried to shut down that conduit and reroute the power, but ..." Lared stared into space for a moment. "The computer refused all the commands I was typing in, and ... then ... after that ... I don't remember anything."

When Lared almost immediately nodded off, Rayek wondered if it might not be best to hold off until the man recovered more.  It wasn't like there was any urgency to the matter now, yet Rayek also knew that memories faded from conscious memory quickly - details were lost over time... so the sooner they questioned Ensign tr'Movel, the better. 

Tess solved the issue of the Lared dozing off by giving the fellow Romulan a mild stimulant.  Rayek nodded his appreciation to her.  Then tr'Movel looked to him and spoke; first describing his orders to pursue the fleeing shuttle and then remarking on his planned pursuit course.  As Lared spoke, Rayek noted his eye movement.

That this fellow Romulan showed all the classic signs of recalling from memory rather than fabricating an answer was a bit reassuring... until Rayek soberly realized that the man could be doing those signs on purpose to throw him off.  Rayek was trained in it, himself. 

Lared continued on, pointing out that when the away team reached the shuttle, the team was incomplete.  That was because Rayek had sent the security team on ahead when he received the call about the fleeing shuttle - only he and the two Vulcans had returned to the shuttle.  It was fortunate too, no human would have likely survived the blast.

There was a break in the Romulan pilot's oration as he coughed.  This prompted Tess to once more offer water to the man.  Rayek held off on his questions as he waited for the man to finish soothing his dry throat.  He waited; watching and listening attentively.   When Lared, resumed, it was to comment on the warning signal coming on after only a few seconds of flight.  The pilot noted it as a plasma conduit overload.   So far there was no detail that Rayek didn't already know... which was disappointing.

Lared then spoke of his actions to attempt to resolve the overload. Once more, reading his eye movement and physical signs suggested that Lared was recalling a memory of the incident rather than fabricating a lie, when he said that he attempted to shut down that conduit and reroute power.   But then Lared paused, before coming to the result of his action.   

There was something in the way that the other Romulan answered after that pause that gave Rayek the impression that Lared wasn't saying everything.  The pilots statement that the computer refused all commands was suspicious.   Rayek hoped Lared would provide more detail but that was unlikely to come about as Lared wrapped up his statement abruptly.

Rayek couldn't leave it at that.  The man's statement only spurred more questions.

"The overload, as you stated, happened mere seconds after our departure.  Were there no earlier notifications of overheating before that conduit became critical?" There should have been early warnings... did they occur earlier on and the pilot merely ignored them... muting the system?  Or was there something more sinister in the pilot's mind?   The inspection of the physical remains had provided no clue... no one else had answers... Lared was the last potential source to question.   

"You seemed to hesitate when noting that the controls did not respond.  Are you certain of that?" Rayek pressed.  "Most computer errors or lockouts will provide an error code to aid technicians diagnose the issue.  Did you know note anything on any of the shuttle displays?"


Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 14, 2022, 02:57:16 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared felt his throat dry out again while Rayek posed his first question. To relieve the Captain of the task of giving him a drink, the Romulan sat up with some effort so that he could sit up a little straighter and bring the glass to his mouth without risk of choking or spilling the contents.

After he had drunk a little more, he leaned back again powerlessly and closed his eyes for a moment. "No, there was no forewarning, I'm sure of that." He opened his eyes and looked directly at Rayek. "I remember wondering why the overheating was so far advanced and already at the critical point when an alarm first went off."

Then it became apparent once again that the first officer was exceedingly perceptive. He had noticed his hesitation. In fact, Lared had to pause briefly when he stumbled upon a vague memory, but it was not entirely clear. He thought he remembered something, but it was as if a thick veil lay over it that he could not lift.

To buy a little more time and perhaps remember more clearly, Lared turned to Tess. "Captain, I hate to ask you this, but my throat seems to go dry so quickly ..." A code ... there had been a code, he was one hundred percent sure of that. But which exactly it was - no chance. His brain refused to give him this detail.

When she handed him the refilled glass, Lared thanked her faintly and took another sip, his hand trembling slightly, still too weak to hold the weight of the full glass. He cleared his throat and licked his dry lips before he started to answer Rayek.

"The controls didn't respond, I know that for a fact. All my attempts to shut down the plasma conduit failed, the computer rejected all inputs." He paused, his gaze slipping away from Rayek and sinking down as he tried once again to remember. "There was an error code, there was one, but ..." He sighed in frustration. "I just can't remember what kind it was. There was so much happening at the same time at that moment." His lips narrowed into a thin line. "I'm sorry to be a disappointment to you, rekkhai."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 15, 2022, 02:02:00 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared felt his throat dry out again while Rayek posed his first question. To relieve the Captain of the task of giving him a drink, the Romulan sat up with some effort so that he could sit up a little straighter and bring the glass to his mouth without risk of choking or spilling the contents.

After he had drunk a little more, he leaned back again powerlessly and closed his eyes for a moment. "No, there was no forewarning, I'm sure of that." He opened his eyes and looked directly at Rayek. "I remember wondering why the overheating was so far advanced and already at the critical point when an alarm first went off."

Then it became apparent once again that the first officer was exceedingly perceptive. He had noticed his hesitation. In fact, Lared had to pause briefly when he stumbled upon a vague memory, but it was not entirely clear. He thought he remembered something, but it was as if a thick veil lay over it that he could not lift.

To buy a little more time and perhaps remember more clearly, Lared turned to Tess. "Captain, I hate to ask you this, but my throat seems to go dry so quickly ..." A code ... there had been a code, he was one hundred percent sure of that. But which exactly it was - no chance. His brain refused to give him this detail.

When she handed him the refilled glass, Lared thanked her faintly and took another sip, his hand trembling slightly, still too weak to hold the weight of the full glass. He cleared his throat and licked his dry lips before he started to answer Rayek.

"The controls didn't respond, I know that for a fact. All my attempts to shut down the plasma conduit failed, the computer rejected all inputs." He paused, his gaze slipping away from Rayek and sinking down as he tried once again to remember. "There was an error code, there was one, but ..." He sighed in frustration. "I just can't remember what kind it was. There was so much happening at the same time at that moment." His lips narrowed into a thin line. "I'm sorry to be a disappointment to you, rekkhai."

Once more, Rayek had to wait on Lared as the flight officer decided to sit up despite his weakness rather than answering the questions posed to him immediately.  While Tess aided the man, Rayek tamped down on an restive sigh.  He watched then as Lared lay back and closed his eyes for what seemed like a long moment.  It seemed to Rayek that the stimulant had worn off as quickly as it had taken effect.

He pondered asking Tess about giving something stronger but knew there was no way Tess would go for that.  This time he did sigh - though mostly under his breath.  Lared must have heard him cause he spoke then. Rayek looked to the man's face once more.  Lared restated that the controls did not respond to any input.   Then once more Lared paused, glancing away. 

There was something that Lared was struggling with... did he just not recall?  Or was it some manner of guilt that had the man unable to face his ranking officer? 

Then there it was!  The confirmation that there had been a code that could help reinvigorate the slagging investigation!  Rayek's attention was razor sharp on the bedridden Romulan.  And no sooner had his hope been raised than it as dashed by the sigh of frustration and Lared's statement that he couldn't remember.  Fvadt! 

Rayek was certain he hadn't uttered the swear word aloud, but it was clear by Lared's thin lipped apology that he knew exactly how Rayek felt right at that moment.  So close! Rayek clenched his hands into fists in order to keep control of his own frustration.   

It was Rayek's turn to not speak immediately.  The appropriate response as a Starfleet officer was to tell the Ensign he wasn't a disappointment, thank him for his statement, and wish him a speedy recovery.  It was the situation that was disappointing.   But the words stuck in Rayek's throat.  He'd be lying if he said he wasn't disappointed... though it wasn't Lared he was truly disappointed in but rather the situation.  The best he could manage at the moment was a bland reply.  "I recognize that you are doing your best, Ensign."

What to do now? The key to an answer was so close, yet so far away.

There had to be a way to uncover that error code - unfortunately much like Lared's memory, even the shuttle's 'black box' and computer data was too far gone to be of much use.  The file that would normally contain such information was unrecoverable.   Rayek and the best of the Engineering and Ops personnel had each tried - to no avail.

Like an annoying buzz in his ear, came the thought that there was a way to retrieve the information. Lared said he had seen the code... all it would take was a brief glimpse into the pilots mind...

'No!' Rayek turned his head away sharply as he tried to bury such a thought.   He had hoped he had grown to be a better person than that.  But his thoughts betrayed him.  He was still the devious-minded operative it seemed.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 16, 2022, 05:15:35 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess has always been very perceptive to the moods and feelings of others around her. This applied even more to someone close to her like her husband. Most might not have even noticed the telltale signs that the Romulan became impatient as the man who had just woken from a weeks-long coma took his time. There was that little vein at the side of Rayek's neck that started to become more prominent, pulsing strongly and even more rapid than the higher Vulcanoid pulse rate would normally let it. The impatient sigh he let out was not lost him.

Tess on the other hand stood there calmly and waited until Lared felt ready to speak. She noted that the stimulant did not have as strong an effect as she had expected but she would leave it at that. She would abstain from burdening his weak body with something stronger. If they didn't get the information now, they would have to wait til another time when the Romulan felt better.

Gladly, they didn't seem to have to wait for it, as Lared now got to the crucial point. She found her own hopes being raised only to be let down by the fact that he didn't remember. It had to be expected that such details would be missing, but still, it was disappointing. Cautiously, she glanced over to Rayek, who's vein was even more prominent than before, his hands clenched to fists. She saw his struggle not to curse out loud, but she almost believed to have heard it anyways.
Lared was devastated that he could not be of help, that much was obvoius. How disappointed Rayek was showed his reply to the man; instead of assuring him that he was not a disappointment, Rayek merely recognized that he was doing his best.

Silence fell over them for a moment, and Tess gnawed slightly at her lip as she thought about how to proceed from here. The abrupt movement of Rayek's head, turning it away from Lared, caught her attention. Was he thinking about the same thing as she?
She knew Rayek would not make that suggestion. She also recognized that there was a chance that Lared would refuse to participate. But an open straightforward question with giving him the choice to agree or to decline didn't seem bad.

Tess quietly cleared her throat before she spoke to Lared. "Thank you for your statement, Ensign. It is high priority to solve this incident, what and who has caused it." Since Lared had figured as much that the explosion had not been an accident, she thought she could be open to him about them assuming the same and intending to find the culprit. "In the past weeks we have been analysing everything we could, but whoever was on the job, did a thorough one. Every piece of information and evidence is vital." She paused as she glanced to Rayek briefly. Was he getting what she was about to suggest? Looking back to Lared she continued. "As you have come to know, Commander tr'Lhoell possesses the ability of telepathy. Part of his ability is to be able to retreive information, even if that information is not available on the conscious memory of the person anymore." Tess saw Lared's face turning stonily. "I assure you it's safe."

Lared looked away from Tess, but also avoided eye-contact with Rayek for a moment. "I really want to be of help, but ... letting someone else into my mind is ... . It's wrong. I could never allow anyone to do that, it's unnatural."

That's going to be tough, Tess thought. They needed to convince him. "Any concerns or questions you might have, please feel free to voice them and we both will answer them to best of our abilities." She glanced to Rayek, hoping he would agree.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 18, 2022, 01:32:52 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Silence fell over them for a moment, and Tess gnawed slightly at her lip as she thought about how to proceed from here. The abrupt movement of Rayek's head, turning it away from Lared, caught her attention. Was he thinking about the same thing as she?
She knew Rayek would not make that suggestion. She also recognized that there was a chance that Lared would refuse to participate. But an open straightforward question with giving him the choice to agree or to decline didn't seem bad.

Tess quietly cleared her throat before she spoke to Lared. "Thank you for your statement, Ensign. It is high priority to solve this incident, what and who has caused it." Since Lared had figured as much that the explosion had not been an accident, she thought she could be open to him about them assuming the same and intending to find the culprit. "In the past weeks we have been analysing everything we could, but whoever was on the job, did a thorough one. Every piece of information and evidence is vital." She paused as she glanced to Rayek briefly. Was he getting what she was about to suggest? Looking back to Lared she continued. "As you have come to know, Commander tr'Lhoell possesses the ability of telepathy. Part of his ability is to be able to retrieve information, even if that information is not available on the conscious memory of the person anymore." Tess saw Lared's face turning stonily. "I assure you it's safe."

Lared looked away from Tess, but also avoided eye-contact with Rayek for a moment. "I really want to be of help, but ... letting someone else into my mind is ...  It's wrong. I could never allow anyone to do that, it's unnatural."

That's going to be tough, Tess thought. They needed to convince him. "Any concerns or questions you might have, please feel free to voice them and we both will answer them to best of our abilities." She glanced to Rayek, hoping he would agree.

Unable to bring himself to broach that option with tr'Movel, Rayek was prepared to leave the Romulan to recuperate while he continued his fruitless investigation elsewhere, and at first it seemed Tess agreed with him, thanking the Ensign for the responses he had provided.  However, Tess didn't stop there.  She went on to point out the weeks of investigation that had already been done. 

At her words, Rayek turned his head towards her and noted her quick glance in his direction.  'What was she up to?' he wondered as he cast a questioning glance towards her but by then it was too late, Tess had already brought up his telepathy.   Rayek fought to keep the grimace from his face and just barely kept from face-palming, as Tess suggested memory retrieval.  The stoney look on Lared's face told Rayek all he really needed to know. 

Yet Tess was undeterred, assuring Lared that it was safe.  But as expected the answer from the fellow Romulan was a 'hard pass' - Lared saying he would never allow someone into his mind.  Calling it wrong and unnatural.  Despite his paranoid suspicions of Lared, this reaction didn't give Rayek any further confirmation.   This fear of telepathy was a common Romulan trait; and the reason why the ability had likely been kept hidden and untapped in his family for who knew how many generations?   

Rayek nodded his acceptance of Lared's answer even as Tess tried to suggest that they could answer any questions tr'Movel might have.   But there was no point; Rayek couldn't see the man changing his mind; especially if Lared was the one who had cause the explosion.  Which Rayek didn't want to believe, but possibly made the most sense. 

Rayek's reaction to the flight officer's response however couldn't show his doubts about the man or it might tip him off. "I understand and respect your choice, Ensign.  I truly do.  I grew up with those same taught and enforced intolerances, and still feel them to this day to varying degrees." 

Rayek's dislike of Vulcans for example. 

"I don't blame you for calling it wrong and unnatural; I thought the same about it myself once, even though for me it was an ability I was born with."  Yes, as much as he hated to admit it, Rayek had that in common with his Vulcan cousins.

"I'll find some other evidence to lead me to who caused the explosion.  I won't let Verlok's death go avenged." That was a subtle warning to the man.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 19, 2022, 11:07:39 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess' hope for Rayek to join in on convincing Lared to agree to the memory retrieval procedure was in vain. He rather offered his understanding to the man and expressed his determination to find the person responsible for the shuttle explosion. It dawned on Tess that her suggestion had not been wanted by Rayek. But she couldn't be considerate of that in this situation. That an attempt had been made on her husband was bad enough. The fear for him that had been with her the past weeks since the incident was horrible. But what - as a Captain - was even more important to her was that a new probable attempt also risked her crew. She would not allow for her husband or any of her crew be harmed again, or worse.

Tess watched Lared's face when Rayek mentioned Verlok's death. The expression of shocked realization suggested to Tess that he had not been aware of it. Maybe this would provide some leverage to sway the Romulan. She nodded in addition to Rayek's words. "The attack resulted not only in severe injuries of the crew", she nodded towards Lared and glanced to Rayek. "But sadly, Lieutenant Verlok lost his life that day. Or should I say, he gave his life - for everyone who's been on the shuttle. This includes you, Ensign. We will find out who is responsible for that. Knowing that you possess a piece of the puzzle, a vital piece, puts me into a dilemma. I want to respect your right to decide what happens to you, but as a Captain, I need you to reconsider." She didn't make it an order, but it surely sounded like one. As Tess had spoken, her voice had not been in the soft and friendly tone she usually spoke in. There was a hardness and urge to her voice which also showed in her eyes as she regarded Lared intensely.




(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared looked at Rayek as he told him he understood his decision. He was glad that he said that. He was his Commanding Officer, after all. And refusing something the Captain wanted was not something he should expect understanding for. This surely was a difference from the Romulan military. He didn't know what to think about Rayek's statements of understanding. Could he really understand, as a telepath? Although Lared considered Rayek a friend, after the revelation the Romulan's view on him had changed, even if he didn't show it to Rayek.

Lared was about to thank Rayek that he didn't force the topic when a detail of what he had said caught his attention. Verlok's death? The Vulcan Lieutenant ... he had died in the explosion? That was a shock. Before he could grasp the notion completely, the Captain spoke again. The way she looked at him had changed, though. Her face was dead serious and almost all traces of compassion and good-heartedness were hidden behind a most determined look. What she then said, not only the fact that the Lieutenant had died but apparently had sacrificed himself for his crew mates - which included him, as the Captain rightly pointed out - struck the Romulan hard. He suddenly felt a little overwhelmed and longed to slip back into the quiteness and rest of his coma.
Her urgent plea came to an end and the Romulan sat there frozen for a long moment. He wanted to help, really, but the thought of a mental intrusion was more than he could bear. But was it something he owed the dead Lieutenant for saving his life?

Letting out an exasperated sigh, he slowly glanced towards Rayek. "What ... What would be involved in this procedure?", he asked reluctantly. He had not agreed yet. But just inquired about how that telepathy thing would theoretically work.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 19, 2022, 11:20:01 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

The shock on Lared's face told Rayek that Tess hadn't yet told the pilot about Verlok's death, and his assertion to avenge the Vulcan had 'let the cat out of the bag' - as the saying goes.   Before he could explain, Tess did; but in doing so Rayek noted she stressed the important of the information Lared's memory might have for the investigation.  Rayek recognized the statement as a bit of a 'guilt-trip'.

However, Tess didn't leave it as just a 'guilt-trip'; she actually said to Lared that she needed him to reconsider.  It wasn't a request, yet not exactly an order.  It was a need... something Tess needed of Lared... and it seemed by Lared's reluctant words to learn more that he was no longer so certain that what they asked was unallowable.

However it wasn't just Lared that was uncertain.  Rayek too was hesitant to use his ability on any other than Tess, especially after Rahul's reaction. Yet there was no way Rayek would refuse to try if that's what Tess needed from him.  All that was needed was for Lared to agree.

"If you permitted, I would ask you to once more go over your statement as to what happened.  That would trigger your memory engrams of the incident bringing them to the forefront of your mind and into your immediate thoughts; which is the least invasive place of the mind to read.  I would from there be able to see clearly the details your mind recorded but that you are unable to access fully.  Details such as the error code on the flight console as you were attempting to stop the overload."  Rayek explained, after taking a moment to set aside his own reluctance with this plan.

"I can do so overtly so that you are aware of my presence in your mind - which can be disturbing and off-putting to some... or I can slip in and locate the memory without you even being aware of my presence."  Which for some might be even more disturbing than if they felt him - not knowing when or if he had entered their mind and then afterwards distrustful, silently questioning whether was he reading them without permission.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 20, 2022, 08:06:24 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

If that mental connection and probing was something Rayek actually would feel comfortable with was something Tess didn't even consider in that moment. She was most anxious about convincing Lared. His hesitant question to ask what was involved in the procedure was a step forward but Tess could see that he would rather not ask or be asked at all. While Rayek explained to him how it worked, the uneasy, frozen expression on the Romulan's face didn't soften or relax, rather the opposite. A moment of silence passed in which Lared seemed to consider how he should answer.

"Thank you for the explanation, Commander", he eventually said very slowly. "I will be honest with you, I ... I can't see myself living with the knowledge that someone ... was in the privacy of my mind. I ask respite on this matter."


Tess had hoped for a different answer. But she also understood that this was a big favour to ask. Also, the timing was probably not the best. The man had just woken out of a week-long coma. Without having seen his family yet he was confronted with the facts of an assassination attempt being made and the death of a crew member and being expected to make a very difficult decision. Tess glanced to Rayek, her face showing that she was ready to back off for now, let him recover a little more and have time to think about the thing they wanted from him.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 21, 2022, 01:04:39 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

It wasn't like Rayek had truly wanted to use his telepathy; yet, still when Lared asked for respite and stated that he didn't ever see himself agreeing, Rayek felt like he had let both Tess and Verlok down by not being more convincing.  But it was hard to convince others that  something was good when you barely felt the sentiment yourself.  Though Rayek was completely comfortable with melding with his wife, and even bonding with his infant son, the thought of connecting to another's mind after so much negative - what with the Pa'nar and the Rah'ul reaction.   

Maybe there were better ways to retrieve the memories.  Hypnosis or meditation maybe?  Tess might know of alternatives  - they were likely slower and more therapy driven but might be more acceptable.   Rayek looked to Tess and was glad to see she seemed to accept Lared's response. 

Turning back to Lared, Rayek realized that his pause in answering might be misconstrued, so he smiled to the recuperating Romulan as he assured the man of the sanctity of his mind.  "Very well. I will press no further. Contact me, however, if you remember more." 

Rayek paused his recording and offered the Romulan flight officer a slight bow. "We will leave you to rest with your family. Thank you for your time."

He gestured for Tess to precede him out of the room, then followed behind.  Upon passing the the awaiting s'Movel family, Rayek made a point to offer silent nods of greeting to Phara and the children, and even offered a respectful half bow towards Karinne - but he didn't linger long.  There were things to do and an investigation that still needed to be solved.

Walking alongside Tess, Rayek decided to broach his idea of other possible methods of memory retrieval.  "It is unlikely that Lared will have a change his opinion of my reading his memories, so I was thinking of other ways we might approach the problem.  Are you familiar with the practice of hypnotism?"   
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 22, 2022, 04:35:03 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess joined in on Rayek thanking tr'Movel by nodded her head and giving him a soft smile. When they then stepped out to where the rest of the s'Movel family was waiting, Tess gave them a wider smile. "He is still very exhausted and tired, but he is awake. I'm sure you can go in and say hello to him, but maybe not too long as he needs some more rest."

She then left with Rayek, walking down the corridor at his side. Hearing him say he had thought about other ways to reach the lost memories Tess looked to him, curious what he might suggest. "Hypnotysm? I know what it is but I have never practiced it myself or having it practiced on me." She bit her lip for a moment as she pondered the possibilities. "I'm doubtful we will find someone on this ship who knows how to do that. But perhaps there is a holodeck program for that?"

They rounded the corner as they walked towards the nearest turbolift. "Do you think Lared will be suitable for such a procedure?" She wondered if his wary and alert mindset would allow him to relax enough to let himself in for it.

"Oh, by the way. How did the talk with Ben go?" she asked almost cautiously. It was only then that she seemed to look at her husband properly and she noticed a smudge of lipstick on his lips. Her face broke out into a fit of giggles and she tugged gently at Rayek’s arm to stop him. "Did you run around like that the whole time?", she chuckled as she lifted her hand and gently wiped off the lipstick off his lip with her thumb.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 22, 2022, 04:59:03 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tess joined in on Rayek thanking tr'Movel by nodded her head and giving him a soft smile. When they then stepped out to where the rest of the s'Movel family was waiting, Tess gave them a wider smile. "He is still very exhausted and tired, but he is awake. I'm sure you can go in and say hello to him, but maybe not too long as he needs some more rest."

She then left with Rayek, walking down the corridor at his side. Hearing him say he had thought about other ways to reach the lost memories Tess looked to him, curious what he might suggest. "Hypnotism? I know what it is but I have never practiced it myself or having it practiced on me." She bit her lip for a moment as she pondered the possibilities. "I'm doubtful we will find someone on this ship who knows how to do that. But perhaps there is a holodeck program for that?"

They rounded the corner as they walked towards the nearest turbolift. "Do you think Lared will be suitable for such a procedure?" She wondered if his wary and alert mindset would allow him to relax enough to let himself in for it.

"Oh, by the way. How did the talk with Ben go?" she asked almost cautiously. It was only then that she seemed to look at her husband properly and she noticed a smudge of lipstick on his lips. Her face broke out into a fit of giggles and she tugged gently at Rayek’s arm to stop him. "Did you run around like that the whole time?", she chuckled as she lifted her hand and gently wiped off the lipstick off his lip with her thumb.

(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)
Phara nodded at Tess' gentle reminder.   "We will keep it brief and only one child at a time."  she answered then cast a shushing glance to Jinsux, who hearing that pouted and complained that Cimee would use up all of Father's awake time 'cause she talked far too much'.   

Rayek chuckled in amusement, having heard his own brother complain about Kemala in much the same manner.   

That such reminiscent thoughts brought a smile rather than a frown of sadness, was completely new.  Knowing his brother Telmuk was alive and living on Tryka IV, made all the difference.  This knowledge still was a bit overwhelming for Rayek.  It was just one more reason why Rayek needed to have the wormhole opened.   He wanted what Tess had managed - to reconnect with distant family.  How Rayek was going to accomplish this since he was considered a traitor was still unknown, but it was a goal strive for.

Meanwhile, Karinne stared hard at Rayek as he grinned.  It was clear that she held him responsible for her son's condition, and for once Rayek agreed with her.  He let his smile drop and decided to wait for Tess out in the hall.

Once out in the hallway, Rayek was disappointed to learn that Tess didn't have experience with hypnotism.  Tess was correct to say that it was unlikely they would find any among the crew with such knowledge and experience; and now that she mentioned susceptibility, he too thought that Lared's mental-will might be to strong for hypnotism.  "All we can do is try; I'll stop by later tonight and ask to see if he would consider that as an alternative."  For now, he would leave the man spend time with his family. 

Tess' cautious question about Benjin, was answered with a slight weary sigh before he spoke.  "I am hopeful that the talk has resolved the issue."

Because they were out in the corridor, Rayek didn't feel it appropriate to do into detail as to what was spoken in private or the reprimand earned.  He was about to suggest they take the conversation back to her ready room, when she laughed suddenly and pulled him to a stop.  Rayek looked to her in confusion as she remarked vaguely on his appearance before wiping something from his lip with his thumb.   

Curious, Rayek grasped her wrist lightly and looked at her thumb pad.  There he saw the smudge of lipstick.  Recollection of Lared and Benjin both staring at him - or rather his lip  - now made sense.  Oops.

The smudge had no doubt hinted to both about a breach of professional etiquette during shift hours - which was ultimately accurate.  Rayek would just have to live with the knowledge that he did receive special treatment by the Captain at certain times.  Rayek however, unlike Benjin, was completely fine with that.  Let the crew talk and gossip; Tess' kisses were certainly worth it.

He wiped at his lips with the back of his hand, glancing to be sure Tess had removed the smudge fully, before remarking. "We'll need to be more cautious to remove evidence of our activities next time."

That he preferred to hide the evidence rather than avoid the behavior spoke volumes about his mindset on the topic.

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 23, 2022, 03:46:49 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
Once out in the hallway, Rayek was disappointed to learn that Tess didn't have experience with hypnotism.  Tess was correct to say that it was unlikely they would find any among the crew with such knowledge and experience; and now that she mentioned susceptibility, he too thought that Lared's mental-will might be to strong for hypnotism.  "All we can do is try; I'll stop by later tonight and ask to see if he would consider that as an alternative."  For now, he would leave the man spend time with his family. 

Tess' cautious question about Benjin, was answered with a slight weary sigh before he spoke.  "I am hopeful that the talk has resolved the issue."

Because they were out in the corridor, Rayek didn't feel it appropriate to do into detail as to what was spoken in private or the reprimand earned.  He was about to suggest they take the conversation back to her ready room, when she laughed suddenly and pulled him to a stop.  Rayek looked to her in confusion as she remarked vaguely on his appearance before wiping something from his lip with his thumb.   

Curious, Rayek grasped her wrist lightly and looked at her thumb pad.  There he saw the smudge of lipstick.  Recollection of Lared and Benjin both staring at him - or rather his lip  - now made sense.  Oops.

The smudge had no doubt hinted to both about a breach of professional etiquette during shift hours - which was ultimately accurate.  Rayek would just have to live with the knowledge that he did receive special treatment by the Captain at certain times.  Rayek however, unlike Benjin, was completely fine with that.  Let the crew talk and gossip; Tess' kisses were certainly worth it.

He wiped at his lips with the back of his hand, glancing to be sure Tess had removed the smudge fully, before remarking. "We'll need to be more cautious to remove evidence of our activities next time."

That he preferred to hide the evidence rather than avoid the behavior spoke volumes about his mindset on the topic.

Tess nodded in agreement with him that all they could do was try. "Thank you", she said when he announced that he would check on that with Lared later. It might take longer but if it was more acceptable to the Romulan, Tess would definitely give it a try.

Rayek's weary sigh had Tess look to the side at him. While Rayek said that he hoped the issue was resolved now, his sigh indicated that it had not been easy getting there. Before she could ask further questions, she spotted the lipstick on Rayek's lip and removed it. She was still grinning from her chuckles when Rayek grasped her wrist lightly to have a look at what was on the the pad of her thumb. His remark after he had wiped the back of his hand over his mouth made her chuckle once more. "I agree. Maybe I'll need to find a lipstick that won't smugde." She winked at him with a grin. Technically she could opt for not wearing any lipstick at all, but she liked to wear some.



[Deck 4 - Bridge]

It was a short ride up to the bridge and once they stepped on it, status reports waited for them from the orders Rayek had given before.

(https://i.imgur.com/VaqjV54.png)
"As yet no response to our broadcasting the astrocetus' song, sirs."

"Nothing on the long range sensors so far", called the officer from the science station who substituted Ensign Mitumba while he was working with Ensign tr'Hava on reconfiguring them to better find astrocetus life signs.

Tess diverted her path and turned to walk over to the Romulan cadet. Lowering her voice she spoke quietly to her. "Your father is awake and your family is down in the sickbay to see him. You may call in for a replacement and take a break to do the same if you wish."

Tordel looked up at her, gratefulness written all over her face. "Thank you, Captain", she whispered. Tess smiled at her and gave her arm a gentle squeeze before she turned away and nodded to Rayek as she was heading to her ready room.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

When the door to the ICU room opened Lared forced his heavy lids open to see who it was. Seeing his wife and his youngest daughter made is heart flutter with happiness. "E'lev", he said weakly but unmistakably smiling. "Cemee." The girl made a beeline for him and hugged her father in his lying position as well as he could. "I missed you so much, eneh!", she exclaimed.

Lared gently cradled the back of her head. "I have missed you, too, arham caevra." (*my heart) He looked up to his wife. "I am grateful the Elements allowed me to see you again", he said hoarsely.

"Can you come home with us now?", the girl asked hopefully.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 24, 2022, 01:08:23 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Tess nodded in agreement with him that all they could do was try. "Thank you", she said when he announced that he would check on that with Lared later. It might take longer but if it was more acceptable to the Romulan, Tess would definitely give it a try.

Rayek's weary sigh had Tess look to the side at him. While Rayek said that he hoped the issue was resolved now, his sigh indicated that it had not been easy getting there. Before she could ask further questions, she spotted the lipstick on Rayek's lip and removed it. She was still grinning from her chuckles when Rayek grasped her wrist lightly to have a look at what was on the the pad of her thumb. His remark after he had wiped the back of his hand over his mouth made her chuckle once more. "I agree. Maybe I'll need to find a lipstick that won't smudge." She winked at him with a grin. Technically she could opt for not wearing any lipstick at all, but she liked to wear some.

Her words of agreement, had him chuckling as well.  He was glad that her solution wasn't to just stay professional while on duty.  Where was the thrill in that?

"A wise suggestion." he remarked back as she mentioned needing a lipstick that wouldn't smudge.  He would look into that - it would make a nice surprise gift for her. 

Then to show that he was undaunted by having been caught once, Rayek made a point of glancing down the hallway checking that it was clear before leaning down to kiss her once more. He lingered over the kiss, but remained alert for the sound of footsteps in the hall.

Afterwards, he pointedly wiped at his lip and then tested his removal by lifting Tess' hand, which he still held light at the wrist, and kissed her palm.   When he looked down at the palm it held no trace of lipstick.  His gaze then rose to her blue eyes and the urge to kiss her more return.  With a slight sigh he released her wrist and took a step back.

"We should get back to the bridge... before I get too amorous and detour you to our quarters."


Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[Deck 4 - Bridge]

It was a short ride up to the bridge and once they stepped on it, status reports waited for them from the orders Rayek had given before.

(https://i.imgur.com/VaqjV54.png)
"As yet no response to our broadcasting the astrocetus' song, sirs."

"Nothing on the long range sensors so far", called the officer from the science station who substituted Ensign Mitumba while he was working with Ensign tr'Hava on reconfiguring them to better find astrocetus life signs.

Tess diverted her path and turned to walk over to the Romulan cadet. Lowering her voice she spoke quietly to her. "Your father is awake and your family is down in the sickbay to see him. You may call in for a replacement and take a break to do the same if you wish."

Tordel looked up at her, gratefulness written all over her face. "Thank you, Captain", she whispered. Tess smiled at her and gave her arm a gentle squeeze before she turned away and nodded to Rayek as she was heading to her ready room.

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Bridge]
Rayek acknowledged the update from Tordel, and then looked and nodded at the report from Operations. 

"Thank you both. Good work.  There may be nothing to report now, but this is our best chance, so we'll keep at it."  Rayek was getting better at giving praise for the little things.  It was something he'd noted Jada had done quite often with her strike team and he was trying to emulate it.

As he did his usual pace around the bridge, he checked over the shoulders of those working at the stations like Helm and Security that hadn't had anything specific to report - just to familiarize himself with the ships current status.  This habit of his, had a one point made the bridge crew quite nervous - but he noticed at this point, most were completely relaxed with his routine.

During his circuit, Rayek noted that Tess moved to speak quietly to Tordel.  Likely to inform her of her father's consciousness.  When they finished speaking, instead of resuming her seat, Tess looked to him and nodded indicating her Ready Room.  Recognizing the gesture, Rayek moved to follow the Captain towards the Ready room.  Along the way, he overheard Tordel call for replacement at Ops.  He was glad Tess had given the cadet this opportunity.

[Ready Room]

Rayek trailed Tess a few feet behind and positioned himself standing in front of her desk waiting for the invitation to sit or for an explanation as to why she needed to talk to him again so soon.   He suspected she wanted further details regarding Benjin.  But he could be mistaken. 

"You wished to speak to me further, Captain? About Benjin I am guessing... Are you certain you need to know?" he asked.   

By Tess wanting specifics, she was in a way treating her brother differently.  Usually disciplinary matters were dealt with by the Department Head, and then reported to Rayek at end of day -  and only reported to her the following morning.  That she might want an immediate report was a bit out of the ordinary... but then so was the fact that she'd had Rayek deal with it personally.


(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

When the door to the ICU room opened Lared forced his heavy lids open to see who it was. Seeing his wife and his youngest daughter made is heart flutter with happiness. "E'lev", he said weakly but unmistakably smiling. "Cemee." The girl made a beeline for him and hugged her father in his lying position as well as he could. "I missed you so much, eneh!", she exclaimed.

Lared gently cradled the back of her head. "I have missed you, too, arham caevra." (*my heart) He looked up to his wife. "I am grateful the Elements allowed me to see you again", he said hoarsely.

"Can you come home with us now?", the girl asked hopefully.

Phara knew that their time permitted in the Sickbay ward was going to be brief, and since she'd already spent time with her husband earlier alone, she let their daughter go first to greet her father.  It moved Phara to see them together, his hand cradling her head, as she hugged his prone form.

His words thanking the Elements sounded hoarse from emotion but Phara was quick to find a way for him to save face in front of his daughter. 

"Your throat is still dry I see." she commented and moved to the table beside to pour him a water while Cemee asked a very painful question of her father. 

But it was Phara who answered as she offered her husband a sip from the glass of water. "Not just yet, sweetie.  Soon though.  Your father has just woken up and the doctor will want to keep him at least over night for observation."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 24, 2022, 02:56:12 pm
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Her words of agreement, had him chuckling as well.  He was glad that her solution wasn't to just stay professional while on duty.  Where was the thrill in that?

"A wise suggestion." he remarked back as she mentioned needing a lipstick that wouldn't smudge.  He would look into that - it would make a nice surprise gift for her. 

Then to show that he was undaunted by having been caught once, Rayek made a point of glancing down the hallway checking that it was clear before leaning down to kiss her once more. He lingered over the kiss, but remained alert for the sound of footsteps in the hall.

Afterwards, he pointedly wiped at his lip and then tested his removal by lifting Tess' hand, which he still held light at the wrist, and kissed her palm.   When he looked down at the palm it held no trace of lipstick.  His gaze then rose to her blue eyes and the urge to kiss her more return.  With a slight sigh he released her wrist and took a step back.

"We should get back to the bridge... before I get too amorous and detour you to our quarters."

Tess could already tell what he was up to when he took a step closer to her and glanced up and down the hallway. She couldn't help but grin and then she felt his lips on hers. Closing her eyes to enjoy the moment she leaned into him a little more as they lingered over the kiss.

Seeing him then wiping at his lip afterwards made Tess laugh. Unexpectedly, he lifted her palm to his lips to kiss it. The sensation made her stomach tingle positively and grew more intense when their eyes met. There seemed to be a split second in which both their thoughts seemed to go into the same direction, but luckily Rayek broke it by releasing her wrist and taking a step back.

"Yes, we better", Tess mumbled her agreement, but the smile lingered on her face.







[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Bridge]
Rayek acknowledged the update from Tordel, and then looked and nodded at the report from Operations. 

"Thank you both. Good work.  There may be nothing to report now, but this is our best chance, so we'll keep at it."  Rayek was getting better at giving praise for the little things.  It was something he'd noted Jada had done quite often with her strike team and he was trying to emulate it.

As he did his usual pace around the bridge, he checked over the shoulders of those working at the stations like Helm and Security that hadn't had anything specific to report - just to familiarize himself with the ships current status.  This habit of his, had a one point made the bridge crew quite nervous - but he noticed at this point, most were completely relaxed with his routine.

During his circuit, Rayek noted that Tess moved to speak quietly to Tordel.  Likely to inform her of her father's consciousness.  When they finished speaking, instead of resuming her seat, Tess looked to him and nodded indicating her Ready Room.  Recognizing the gesture, Rayek moved to follow the Captain towards the Ready room.  Along the way, he overheard Tordel call for replacement at Ops.  He was glad Tess had given the cadet this opportunity.

[Ready Room]

Rayek trailed Tess a few feet behind and positioned himself standing in front of her desk waiting for the invitation to sit or for an explanation as to why she needed to talk to him again so soon.   He suspected she wanted further details regarding Benjin.  But he could be mistaken. 

"You wished to speak to me further, Captain? About Benjin I am guessing... Are you certain you need to know?" he asked.   

By Tess wanting specifics, she was in a way treating her brother differently.  Usually disciplinary matters were dealt with by the Department Head, and then reported to Rayek at end of day -  and only reported to her the following morning.  That she might want an immediate report was a bit out of the ordinary... but then so was the fact that she'd had Rayek deal with it personally.

Tess had not taken a seat behind her desk, but had leaned against the edge of it, half standing, half sitting on it as she looked at Rayek. He had resumed his professional demeanour again and which prompted Tess to do the same - though it could waver again from one moment to the other when they were alone.

"Yes, Commander. To all of it." She stated it matter-of-factly. She knew she was breaching protocol with it, but really what harm was done? She'd rather do that than having to wonder about it the whole day and night.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)




(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Phara knew that their time permitted in the Sickbay ward was going to be brief, and since she'd already spent time with her husband earlier alone, she let their daughter go first to greet her father.  It moved Phara to see them together, his hand cradling her head, as she hugged his prone form.

His words thanking the Elements sounded hoarse from emotion but Phara was quick to find a way for him to save face in front of his daughter. 

"Your throat is still dry I see." she commented and moved to the table beside to pour him a water while Cemee asked a very painful question of her father. 

But it was Phara who answered as she offered her husband a sip from the glass of water. "Not just yet, sweetie.  Soon though.  Your father has just woken up and the doctor will want to keep him at least over night for observation."

He gratefully lifted his head to take a sip from the drink his wife offered him. This felt way more comfortable than having the Captain helping him to drink. He muttered a thank you to her when he had enough and listened as Phara answered their daughter.

"I will be home before you know it", he said quietly. "I need you to behave yourself extra well for so long and help your mother. Will you do that?"

Cemee nodded. "I will, father."

Lared smiled and gently pulled her in to give her a fatherly kiss. As much as he wanted to do nothing but enjoy the time with his wife and daughter, the urgent request of the Captain and Commander weighed on his mind. But now was not the time to discuss this. He had asked for respite. Surely they would give him enough time for it.

He looked to Phara. "Did the two of you come alone?", he asked, hoping that wasn't the case.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 24, 2022, 11:15:23 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess had not taken a seat behind her desk, but had leaned against the edge of it, half standing, half sitting on it as she looked at Rayek. He had resumed his professional demeanor again and which prompted Tess to do the same - though it could waver again from one moment to the other when they were alone.

"Yes, Commander. To all of it." She stated it matter-of-factly. She knew she was breaching protocol with it, but really what harm was done? She'd rather do that than having to wonder about it the whole day and night.

Rayek nodded and regarded the Captain professionally as he began his report. 

"The cadet arrived on time for the meeting and I attempted to set a relaxed mood to encourage open discussion since I felt there might be a internal reason behind his poor behavior.  I offered him the choice of how the discussion would proceed -superior to junior, or more casual...as brothers.  This offer, however, backfired as Cadet Moreno apparently was already quite upset about the perceived favoritism he has been receiving in regards to his repetitive tardiness." Rayek explained.   

The First Officer frowned slightly recalling Benjin's outburst. For now he would not include that in his briefing. "I took the time to explain in detail how the perceived situation arose - basically a series of cultural misunderstandings and poor timing due to the shuttle incidents.  I emphasized to the cadet that it was not intended that he be given special dispensation - the opposite in fact since after reviewing his instructors assessment, I concur that he has a lot of potential.  I pointed out to him that now that the situation had risen in priority to my level that it was going to get dealt with how it should have been in the first place.  I chose to consider all ten instances as one behavior that needed reprimand but decided to go straight an actual punishment rather than just a verbal warning.  He did offer genuine apologies for his tardiness, and seemed contrite after I pointed out how after his department chief was injured that he should have made an effort to assist more.  He made no argument or complaint about the conditions of his punishment.  I have restricted him to quarters other than for work until he has completed 10 hours of manual labor as his extra duty.  Yet throughout he offered no explanation for his tardiness in the first place." Rayek summed up.   He paused at this point to see if Tess had any questions.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

He gratefully lifted his head to take a sip from the drink his wife offered him. This felt way more comfortable than having the Captain helping him to drink. He muttered a thank you to her when he had enough and listened as Phara answered their daughter.

"I will be home before you know it", he said quietly. "I need you to behave yourself extra well for so long and help your mother. Will you do that?"

Cemee nodded. "I will, father."

Lared smiled and gently pulled her in to give her a fatherly kiss. As much as he wanted to do nothing but enjoy the time with his wife and daughter, the urgent request of the Captain and Commander weighed on his mind. But now was not the time to discuss this. He had asked for respite. Surely they would give him enough time for it.

He looked to Phara. "Did the two of you come alone?", he asked, hoping that wasn't the case.

Phara, standing at her husband's bedside, smiled at their daughter as Cemee answered appropriately.  Not that Cemee ever did anything that could be considered misbehaving.  She was a very well mannered child.  All their children were as a matter of fact.  In that, she and Lared were quite fortunate.

She watched with a tender smile as Lared placed a kiss to Cemee's forehead in a very fatherly expression of love.  His query about the other was answered firstly with a shake of her head.  "No, not alone.  But we were advised to limit the number of visitors at one time and to keep our visit brief." Phara explained to her husband.   

She then looked to her daughter. "So Cemee, was there anything specific you wanted to tell your father before we leave and allow your brother some time with your father?" she prompted the young girl.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 26, 2022, 02:46:59 pm
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Tess sat there unmoving as she listened attentively to Rayek. It was a lot of information but in the end Tess looked at him in stunned confusion. "So ... his acting up and being tardy was just because... he wanted to be punished?" Tess didn't know if she should think that was good or bad. She sighed as she eventually got to her feet and paced the room. "All of this headache for attention?" Tess didn't really understand where her brother's behaviour came from. Even if he felt like he was favorited, that was no reason to display such tardiness on purpose. She would never have acted that way.

She stopped pacing and sighed once more. "Well... now that his tardiness was officially noted I hope his need for attention is satisfied now." Especially at a time like this she would have counted on her brother to be more supportive and not behaving like a sulking child.






(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared nodded his head in understanding. He gave a weak smile to his wife before he then looked to his youngest daughter.

The girl seemed not needing to think for long. "I have finished our history book!" Lared was very interested in history and his daughter shared that interest with him. Sometime before his injury the two of them had started to create a digital history book with collected pictures and little fun notes that made it more interesting for the girl to memorize dates and facts.

That Cemee had auch endurance and interest that she finished it on her own made Lared proud. "I cannot wait to see it", he smiled.

Cemee looked to Phara. "Can I quickly go and fetch it to show eneh?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 26, 2022, 11:22:24 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Corridor]

Tess sat there unmoving as she listened attentively to Rayek. It was a lot of information but in the end Tess looked at him in stunned confusion. "So ... his acting up and being tardy was just because... he wanted to be punished?" Tess didn't know if she should think that was good or bad. She sighed as she eventually got to her feet and paced the room. "All of this headache for attention?" Tess didn't really understand where her brother's behaviour came from. Even if he felt like he was favorited, that was no reason to display such tardiness on purpose. She would never have acted that way.

She stopped pacing and sighed once more. "Well... now that his tardiness was officially noted I hope his need for attention is satisfied now." Especially at a time like this she would have counted on her brother to be more supportive and not behaving like a sulking child.

Rayek remained still, watching Tess pace.  It was amusing to see their actions reversed.  Usually it was he who paced.  When Tess stopped and remarked on her hope, Rayek looked doubtful.  "Yes.. in regards to his tardiness.. that may be.  But there is still a deeper more personal issue still eating away at him." Rayek pointed out

As this part of the conversation was more to Tess, rather than the Captain of the ship, Rayek stepped out from his attentive stance and moved to stand before his wife.  "He perceives himself as outside of the family.  An alien to his own native-born culture, with no ties or interest to draw him in.  He resents Rah'ul for his silence... and perhaps Tamon'ar as well for perhaps not keeping the family together when your father, Ishto, died."

The story of how Fabiano had come to adopt Benjin and Tess was one of the first that Rayek had learned from Tamon'ar in the days after the wedding.

"I've pointed out to him that he was the one to withdraw and that we are always here for him.  I've even suggested a family meal together - after his restriction is over.   Italian-themed so that he can show to his brothers the culture he grew up with."  Rayek informed with a slight smile.  "I'm cautiously optimistic that his could help - if he opens up to his brothers."


(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared nodded his head in understanding. He gave a weak smile to his wife before he then looked to his youngest daughter.

The girl seemed not needing to think for long. "I have finished our history book!" Lared was very interested in history and his daughter shared that interest with him. Sometime before his injury the two of them had started to create a digital history book with collected pictures and little fun notes that made it more interesting for the girl to memorize dates and facts.

That Cemee had such endurance and interest that she finished it on her own made Lared proud. "I cannot wait to see it", he smiled.

Cemee looked to Phara. "Can I quickly go and fetch it to show eneh?"

Phara smiled at her daughter's announcement.  This was news to her too as Phara had spent most of her waking hours since Lared's emergency surgery, waiting for her husband to wake from his coma.

However, at her daughter's question, again it was Phara that answered, shaking her head. "You can bring the book tomorrow when we visit again. Okay?" Your father needs his rest."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 28, 2022, 10:04:07 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Rayek remained still, watching Tess pace.  It was amusing to see their actions reversed.  Usually it was he who paced.  When Tess stopped and remarked on her hope, Rayek looked doubtful.  "Yes.. in regards to his tardiness.. that may be.  But there is still a deeper more personal issue still eating away at him." Rayek pointed out

As this part of the conversation was more to Tess, rather than the Captain of the ship, Rayek stepped out from his attentive stance and moved to stand before his wife.  "He perceives himself as outside of the family.  An alien to his own native-born culture, with no ties or interest to draw him in.  He resents Rah'ul for his silence... and perhaps Tamon'ar as well for perhaps not keeping the family together when your father, Ishto, died."

The story of how Fabiano had come to adopt Benjin and Tess was one of the first that Rayek had learned from Tamon'ar in the days after the wedding.

Tess looked up at him when he made it a point to move to stand right in front of her. It caught her attention differently to what he would say now. Her eyes grew wide at the revelation, first in disbelief, then in consternation - about both that fact that Benjin seemed to feel that way and that she had not even noticed it.

A long moment passed before Tess finally found her tongue. "I ... I had no idea", she stuttered. "I mean, yes ... he never really showed much interest in Ba'ku culture, but since we were growing up on Earth, it wasn't that noticable to me, there were so many new things to learn and to discover."

"I didn't know any of this. But it does explain why he seemed to avoid all of us lately." She bit her lip with her eyebrows furrowed with concern. "That papa is so severely injured probably didn't help much, either."

"We've always been so close, he was my best friend growing. I feel bad that I didn't notice how he felt." Tess was genuinely upset with herself about it. "There was just so much going on ever since Fvienn was born ... that I failed to take care of my own family."


"I've pointed out to him that he was the one to withdraw and that we are always here for him.  I've even suggested a family meal together - after his restriction is over.   Italian-themed so that he can show to his brothers the culture he grew up with."  Rayek informed with a slight smile.  "I'm cautiously optimistic that his could help - if he opens up to his brothers."

Tess looked to him slightly hopeful. "So, he agreed to it?" She sighed. "I hope it will work. I would hate to see him deteriorating more because of such personal issues. Issues that shouldn't be there." She smiled a little sadly. "I guess family reunions aren't as easy as one might think."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Phara smiled at her daughter's announcement.  This was news to her too as Phara had spent most of her waking hours since Lared's emergency surgery, waiting for her husband to wake from his coma.

However, at her daughter's question, again it was Phara that answered, shaking her head. "You can bring the book tomorrow when we visit again. Okay?" Your father needs his rest."

Cemee nodded at her mother and then looked back to her father. "Get well, eneh." She hugged him once more and then stepped back to stand beside her mother.

Lared kissed the top of his daughters head and then looked at her and his wife. "It was good to see you", he said weakly. He felt tired but he wanted to see the rest of his family too.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 29, 2022, 04:27:23 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess looked up at him when he made it a point to move to stand right in front of her. It caught her attention differently to what he would say now. Her eyes grew wide at the revelation, first in disbelief, then in consternation - about both that fact that Benjin seemed to feel that way and that she had not even noticed it.

A long moment passed before Tess finally found her tongue. "I ... I had no idea", she stuttered. "I mean, yes ... he never really showed much interest in Ba'ku culture, but since we were growing up on Earth, it wasn't that noticeable to me, there were so many new things to learn and to discover."

"I didn't know any of this. But it does explain why he seemed to avoid all of us lately." She bit her lip with her eyebrows furrowed with concern. "That papa is so severely injured probably didn't help much, either."

"We've always been so close, he was my best friend growing. I feel bad that I didn't notice how he felt." Tess was genuinely upset with herself about it. "There was just so much going on ever since Fvienn was born ... that I failed to take care of my own family."

Tess looked to him slightly hopeful. "So, he agreed to it?" She sighed. "I hope it will work. I would hate to see him deteriorating more because of such personal issues. Issues that shouldn't be there." She smiled a little sadly. "I guess family reunions aren't as easy as one might think."

Rayek was attentive as Tess responded to his news regarding Benjin.  He watched her face and noted the concerned furrowing of her eyebrows.  It bothered him that she seemed to blame herself for not noticing Benjin's distance.

"As Captain, you rely on others to be your eyes and ears to the crew; and as a mother your focus is, of course, on your child first and foremost - no one can fault you for that." Rayek stated.  "But as your XO, it is my job to be your eyes and eyes, to ensure you have the information you need to make proper choices. I failed that.  I didn't interpret his initial tardiness when tr'Movel brought it up to me, as an issue. And as your husband, I also have a role in looking out for the rest of the family so you can not be over taxed in caring for our son.  I didn't see Benjin's opting out of family gatherings as the problem it was either.   I thought he was still connected socially to his peers - like he had been with the cadets on the holodeck.  But it seems my reprimand for that incident may have been what isolated Benjin.  I misjudged what the outcome would be of my removing him from that social group." 

Rayek readily claimed the responsibility for this situation, and he would work to rectifying it.  He hadn't gathered Tess' family to them for the wedding just to watch them slip away one by one.  There was nothing Rayek could do to improve Fabiano's medical condition, but the situation with Benjin was something he could help with.  Benjin needed to know that he was an important part of the family and that the Earth culture he grew up with as Fabiano's adoptive son was just as valid and important as the one he was born to but couldn't recall.

"He did agree to the dinner, and once he has completed his extra duty we can discuss with him the notion of him preparing the meal with us.  I figure we can let him decide the recipe and any appropriate activities that can be engaged in for the evening."

He paused a moment, regarding Tess.  "Do you think it would be appropriate to suggest Fabiano being present?"  It was troubling to realize for the usually well-informed Romulan, that he didn't know if Benjin was visiting with Tess' father regularly or not. 

Rayek himself, had at first, felt extremely uncomfortable in Fabiano's presence following the man's disability.  Romulan culture did not allow for those that could not serve the Empire or it's people to survive.   It was an archaic notion, created during a time when resources were limited.  Though it was difficult to see Tess struggle with the pain of dealing with her father's disability, he suspected her grief and pain would be worse if she didn't still have her father with her.   He assumed it was the same for Benjin.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
 

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPC Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png) (https://i.imgur.com/8Novh0s.jpg)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel + Cemee t'Movel (13 years old)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Cemee nodded at her mother and then looked back to her father. "Get well, eneh." She hugged him once more and then stepped back to stand beside her mother.

Lared kissed the top of his daughters head and then looked at her and his wife. "It was good to see you", he said weakly. He felt tired but he wanted to see the rest of his family too.


Phara leaned down and placed a kiss on the top of her husband's disheveled dark hair - then took a moment to smooth down his bowl-cut hairstyle.   When she was done she left with Cemee without a goodbye - knowing she would return to stay by his side after the children had left.

Jinsux, at seeing the door to the ward swish open, was up on his feet in an instant and tugged at his grandmother's hand to do the same.   Karinne's rise was much slower, almost stately in comparison.  Together, the young and old pair walked past Phara and Cemee, who were returning to the waiting room.  Jinsux urged his grandmother forward as they entered the room where his father lay on a biobed.  Unlike his sister, who had raced forward to greet her father, Jinsux knew he was expected to remain at his grandmother's side or he would be reprimanded by her.  But it was so difficult!  She moved so slow lately! 

When they finally arrived at his father's bedside, and while his grandmother sat herself in the adjacent chair, Jinsux took advantage of her distraction to hug his father tightly.  He'd missed his father a lot this past month - the worry of his never coming home had given Jinsux a stomach ache most nights.

Karinne, once settled in her seat and seeing Jinsux's display, frowned.  "Arrie ieiuqh l'ta'fvull'aelmnaejaerhoaommuy proper olhao, kuoku!" she wasped. (*translation - Show your father proper respect, child!)

At the sharp reprimand, Jinsux released his Dad and took a step back.  "Ie, daisemi'ueiik'h'unhr ri'nanov." (*translation - Yes, chief mother (grandmother)) he answered dutifully in Rihanha - something his grandmother insisted if it were just family present.  Jinsux kind of wished the Aunt Tess had stayed so he could have just spoken Standard.  It was so much easier to pronounce and remember.   

Jinsux then bowed towards his father. "Yhhau l'ta'fvull'aelmnaejaerhoaommuy." (*translation - Hello, father)

She'd always been strict but this past month had been the worst! Mama had said it was because Gramma was worried sick about Papa, but Jinsux didn't see any sign of worry on the old woman's face.  It was as stern as ever.

Karinne fixed her gaze upon her youngest and only surviving son.  He looked weak and pale. 

"Hveolhaonn temaelhe kjumnaihsou lloann'mhrahel daisemi'maenek arifv vriafwen hiifve'afwe ikjrhes iudaiht uaefvalhuneitrde'h'n vriha vriha. Siaeqh hwiiy ssuy llaetus?" (*translation - I thought this Federation medicine was supposed to be superior.  Why are you still ailing?) she remarked pointedly to her son.

Then because if she didn't question him now the opportunity to do so would be lost when her daughter-in-law was present, Karinne tried to sate her need for information.

"I saw the Captain and the... First Officer leave."  It was annoying to have to refer to the traitor by either his name or rank, but that had been the Commander's one demand of her in exchange for allowing her to come aboard the Amalthea with her family.   It was extortion of a sort and not at all unexpected of the man.  In fact, Karinne, would have thought him stupid or up to something had he not made some demand.   

"He arrived in a rush yet left unpleased. Why?" she questioned
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 29, 2022, 08:31:32 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Rayek was attentive as Tess responded to his news regarding Benjin.  He watched her face and noted the concerned furrowing of her eyebrows.  It bothered him that she seemed to blame herself for not noticing Benjin's distance.

"As Captain, you rely on others to be your eyes and ears to the crew; and as a mother your focus is, of course, on your child first and foremost - no one can fault you for that." Rayek stated.  "But as your XO, it is my job to be your eyes and eyes, to ensure you have the information you need to make proper choices. I failed that.  I didn't interpret his initial tardiness when tr'Movel brought it up to me, as an issue. And as your husband, I also have a role in looking out for the rest of the family so you can not be over taxed in caring for our son.  I didn't see Benjin's opting out of family gatherings as the problem it was either.   I thought he was still connected socially to his peers - like he had been with the cadets on the holodeck.  But it seems my reprimand for that incident may have been what isolated Benjin.  I misjudged what the outcome would be of my removing him from that social group." 

Rayek readily claimed the responsibility for this situation, and he would work to rectifying it.  He hadn't gathered Tess' family to them for the wedding just to watch them slip away one by one.  There was nothing Rayek could do to improve Fabiano's medical condition, but the situation with Benjin was something he could help with.  Benjin needed to know that he was an important part of the family and that the Earth culture he grew up with as Fabiano's adoptive son was just as valid and important as the one he was born to but couldn't recall.

"He did agree to the dinner, and once he has completed his extra duty we can discuss with him the notion of him preparing the meal with us.  I figure we can let him decide the recipe and any appropriate activities that can be engaged in for the evening."

He paused a moment, regarding Tess.  "Do you think it would be appropriate to suggest Fabiano being present?"  It was troubling to realize for the usually well-informed Romulan, that he didn't know if Benjin was visiting with Tess' father regularly or not. 

Rayek himself, had at first, felt extremely uncomfortable in Fabiano's presence following the man's disability.  Romulan culture did not allow for those that could not serve the Empire or it's people to survive.   It was an archaic notion, created during a time when resources were limited.  Though it was difficult to see Tess struggle with the pain of dealing with her father's disability, he suspected her grief and pain would be worse if she didn't still have her father with her.   He assumed it was the same for Benjin.

Tess shook her head when Rayek gave the blame to himself. "We both had more than enough on our plates the past months", she replied. "Commanding a ship and balancing a complex family life on top of that is not easy." Tess found her family life very complex indeed. An infant, a severely disabled father who needed a lot of care. Then there was Rayek's sister, who had appeared out of nowhere. Not to mention the attempt on Rayek's life.

Just thinking about it made Tess sigh in exhaustion and rub her face. When Rayek continued to tell her that Benjin had agreed to the dinner, Tess was somewhat relieved. "Thank you, ciccino," she said softly. Once again she was aware of how much Rayek had her back and was helping her.
When he asked her about her father, Tess nodded without hesitation. "I think he would be happy to be there." Then a thought occurred to her that she hadn't had to deal with before. "I don't want to exclude your sister. Should we invite her, too?"





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
 

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPC Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
 

Phara leaned down and placed a kiss on the top of her husband's disheveled dark hair - then took a moment to smooth down his bowl-cut hairstyle.   When she was done she left with Cemee without a goodbye - knowing she would return to stay by his side after the children had left.

Jinsux, at seeing the door to the ward swish open, was up on his feet in an instant and tugged at his grandmother's hand to do the same.   Karinne's rise was much slower, almost stately in comparison.  Together, the young and old pair walked past Phara and Cemee, who were returning to the waiting room.  Jinsux urged his grandmother forward as they entered the room where his father lay on a biobed.  Unlike his sister, who had raced forward to greet her father, Jinsux knew he was expected to remain at his grandmother's side or he would be reprimanded by her.  But it was so difficult!  She moved so slow lately! 

When they finally arrived at his father's bedside, and while his grandmother sat herself in the adjacent chair, Jinsux took advantage of her distraction to hug his father tightly.  He'd missed his father a lot this past month - the worry of his never coming home had given Jinsux a stomach ache most nights.

Karinne, once settled in her seat and seeing Jinsux's display, frowned.  "Arrie ieiuqh l'ta'fvull'aelmnaejaerhoaommuy proper olhao, kuoku!" she wasped. (*translation - Show your father proper respect, child!)

At the sharp reprimand, Jinsux released his Dad and took a step back.  "Ie, daisemi'ueiik'h'unhr ri'nanov." (*translation - Yes, chief mother (grandmother)) he answered dutifully in Rihanha - something his grandmother insisted if it were just family present.  Jinsux kind of wished the Aunt Tess had stayed so he could have just spoken Standard.  It was so much easier to pronounce and remember.   

Jinsux then bowed towards his father. "Yhhau l'ta'fvull'aelmnaejaerhoaommuy." (*translation - Hello, father)

She'd always been strict but this past month had been the worst! Mama had said it was because Gramma was worried sick about Papa, but Jinsux didn't see any sign of worry on the old woman's face.  It was as stern as ever.

Karinne fixed her gaze upon her youngest and only surviving son.  He looked weak and pale. 

"Hveolhaonn temaelhe kjumnaihsou lloann'mhrahel daisemi'maenek arifv vriafwen hiifve'afwe ikjrhes iudaiht uaefvalhuneitrde'h'n vriha vriha. Siaeqh hwiiy ssuy llaetus?" (*translation - I thought this Federation medicine was supposed to be superior.  Why are you still ailing?) she remarked pointedly to her son.

Then because if she didn't question him now the opportunity to do so would be lost when her daughter-in-law was present, Karinne tried to sate her need for information.

"I saw the Captain and the... First Officer leave."  It was annoying to have to refer to the traitor by either his name or rank, but that had been the Commander's one demand of her in exchange for allowing her to come aboard the Amalthea with her family.   It was extortion of a sort and not at all unexpected of the man.  In fact, Karinne, would have thought him stupid or up to something had he not made some demand.   

"He arrived in a rush yet left unpleased. Why?" she questioned

Lared watched as his mother and son now entered the room. Jinsux was impatiently tugging at her hand which made Lared smile weakly. Once his mother was seated, Jinsux rushed towards him to hug him tightly. Lared's hand came up to fatherly pet the back of his head while already awaiting a reprimand by his mother. While Phara and he were more relaxed in raising their children, Karinne would not allow it whenever it was within her power to.

Letting go of his son, Lared looked at Jinsux as he respectfully bowed before him and greeted him. "Y'hhau, arham faelirh." (*Hello, my son.) He then glanced to his mother. "Hveolhaonn aeheri iudaiht let ahefvi it hnafirh'rau hwiiy, ri'nanov." (*I am pleased to see you, mother.)

Lared looked back to Jinsux, his eyes smiling. "How have you been, my son?", he asked fondly.

Before he could hear his son's response, his mother chose to make a barbed remark about Federation medicine. Lared let out a soft sigh, so quiet that it probably wasn't audible for the elderly Romulan. He then went on to reply with patience. "Ehdhihss iekil'eirh ahefvi thiich, ri'nanov. Ve kjumnaihsou lloann'mhrahel avaihh'etrehh rrhiet khina, hveolhaonn yyitai taeth rhaet d'oan dei iekil'eirh alliekhaehtaothilhihwaehs e taeth colloq. Draed'et ujudhueiusmm'ukssdh drihaen." (*The doctors have kept me alive, mother. If this wasn't a Federation ship, I doubt my own people would have fought for my life that long.)

It was clear that her remark had only been something she did by default. She couldn't help herself. Lared briefly wondered why he had bothered to answer at all, when his mother then began to ask a more substantial question. The Romulan hesitated as he thought about how much to tell his mother. While he refused to lie to her, he was not willing to tell her about the mind melding procedure the Captain and First Officer wanted for him to agree to.

"The investigations of the shuttle incident are still ongoing. Since this was the first time I was awake after that happened, they naturally had questions for me." To find an explanation as to why Rayek had looked displeased, Lared added, "I got easily tired and exhausted and my recollection of the incident was ... fragmentary."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on January 30, 2022, 04:23:38 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess shook her head when Rayek gave the blame to himself. "We both had more than enough on our plates the past months", she replied. "Commanding a ship and balancing a complex family life on top of that is not easy." Tess found her family life very complex indeed. An infant, a severely disabled father who needed a lot of care. Then there was Rayek's sister, who had appeared out of nowhere. Not to mention the attempt on Rayek's life.

Just thinking about it made Tess sigh in exhaustion and rub her face. When Rayek continued to tell her that Benjin had agreed to the dinner, Tess was somewhat relieved. "Thank you, ciccino," she said softly. Once again she was aware of how much Rayek had her back and was helping her.
When he asked her about her father, Tess nodded without hesitation. "I think he would be happy to be there." Then a thought occurred to her that she hadn't had to deal with before. "I don't want to exclude your sister. Should we invite her, too?"

Of course when Rayek tried to say the blame was his, Tess pointed out the reasons why it wasn't.  Yet in doing so, her words were just as valid for herself as him.  He hoped she saw that. 

Her mentioning of a complex family life was certainly an understatement for them; and worse yet, the complexity wasn't just limited to family.  They had some some rather complex friendships out there.  Latikh was an excellent example of this.  Fells was another.   But her point was made - neither were at fault... but now that they were aware they needed to be more mindful of the Benjin's perspective.

When Tess answered his question about her father, he realized he wasn't clear about his uncertainty.  He was about to point out he had was unsure whether Benjin would be okay with it - since for all he knew the boy had been avoiding seeing his adoptive father since Fabiano's injury.  But he was suddenly distracted from that thought by Tess' suggestion to invite Kemala.   Tess had a point.  Kemala was family, yet up until this suggestion, Rayek had pretty much subconsciously been keeping the two families from intermixing.

Even as he considered the question right now, Rayek was hesitant.  He loved his sister dearly, yet couldn't be sure what her reaction might be to an evening devoted to another species' culture - nor what her reaction might be to having Fabiano present in particular.  While he doubted his sister would speak offensively, like Karinne would definitely do, he was almost certain that she would feel uncomfortable. 

However, even as his protective nature kicked in to suggest that it was probably best to just not make the offer; he realized that it wasn't his role to shelter her anymore.  She was an adult not the little girl had always fondly spoke of to Tess when reminiscing of his family. 

After a long pause, Rayek finally answered Tess with a nod.  "Once we have a date and time that Benjin agrees to, I will make mention of it to her."



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
 

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPC Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
 
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared watched as his mother and son now entered the room. Jinsux was impatiently tugging at her hand which made Lared smile weakly. Once his mother was seated, Jinsux rushed towards him to hug him tightly. Lared's hand came up to fatherly pet the back of his head while already awaiting a reprimand by his mother. While Phara and he were more relaxed in raising their children, Karinne would not allow it whenever it was within her power to.

Letting go of his son, Lared looked at Jinsux as he respectfully bowed before him and greeted him. "Y'hhau, arham faelirh." (*Hello, my son.) He then glanced to his mother. "Hveolhaonn aeheri iudaiht let ahefvi it hnafirh'rau hwiiy, ri'nanov." (*I am pleased to see you, mother.)

Lared looked back to Jinsux, his eyes smiling. "How have you been, my son?", he asked fondly.

Before he could hear his son's response, his mother chose to make a barbed remark about Federation medicine. Lared let out a soft sigh, so quiet that it probably wasn't audible for the elderly Romulan. He then went on to reply with patience. "Ehdhihss iekil'eirh ahefvi thiich, ri'nanov. Ve kjumnaihsou lloann'mhrahel avaihh'etrehh rrhiet khina, hveolhaonn yyitai taeth rhaet d'oan dei iekil'eirh alliekhaehtaothilhihwaehs e taeth colloq. Draed'et ujudhueiusmm'ukssdh drihaen." (*The doctors have kept me alive, mother. If this wasn't a Federation ship, I doubt my own people would have fought for my life that long.)

It was clear that her remark had only been something she did by default. She couldn't help herself. Lared briefly wondered why he had bothered to answer at all, when his mother then began to ask a more substantial question. The Romulan hesitated as he thought about how much to tell his mother. While he refused to lie to her, he was not willing to tell her about the mind melding procedure the Captain and First Officer wanted for him to agree to.

"The investigations of the shuttle incident are still ongoing. Since this was the first time I was awake after that happened, they naturally had questions for me." To find an explanation as to why Rayek had looked displeased, Lared added, "I got easily tired and exhausted and my recollection of the incident was ... fragmentary."

That Karinne was seen as overly stern when dealing with her grand-children, was not an uncommon perception.  Romulan philosophy on child rearing was very similar to the adage 'Spare the rod, spoil the child', and as dearly as she loved her grand-children, they were most definitely spoiled!

Her son allowed his children far too many Federation liberties, which she thought was foolish.  It would make it all the more difficult on the children to acclimatize when they finally were sent back to Romulan space.  So it was left to Karinne to ensure the children knew proper etiquette, and their proper role in Romulan society. 

When Lared showed that he too remembered proper etiquette with his greeting to her, even while so weak, she inwardly smiled.  Illegitimate though he might be, Karinne couldn't help but feel a bit grateful that Lared - of all her children - was the one to survive.   Though youngest, born 7 years after her husband's passing, Lared had proved himself to be smarter, and more resilient than his legitimized siblings, who were raised by her mother's mother, while she was left to raise Lared on her own until he could fend for himself.

Her comment about the medication had been just her usual sniping of all things Federation.  She hated to admit that the medical care received was better than anything they could hope to get back home, even on Romulus.  But rather than simply acknowledge this principal practice, Lared pointed out that back home he most certainly would have been abandoned and left for dead.

That was something Karinne did not want to acknowledge... and so changed subjects to inquire why the Commander had looked so upset.

Karinne let a small scowl show on her face at Lared's reply.  "Hwoimne'liu ehdhihss daise'erei'riov 'hh emael aled iudaiht ssuaj ehdhihss iarr'voi. Iarr hvaedroalh ehdhihss imorlasedh? Aeek'h'i a dha'rudh dha'rudh. Damne!" (*translation - So the Commander is unable to understand the cause of the explosion?  What a fool!)

How could they not know what occurred after all this time?  She'd honestly expected better.  Despite her insults, she knew the traitor was not inept; without honor or conscience certainly but he was wily.  So wily that he had managed to hide a taboo ability his entire life. 

The idea that her family was on friendly terms with a telepathy was still so very abhorrent to her.  She grimaced.  "You are fortunate the ryakna didn't just pick the information from your mind." Her disgust at the remembered unnatural ability overwhelmed her promise to not insult the Commander.  Karinned shuddered.  "Elements save us from telepaths!" she added vehemently.

Jinsux, who had been dutifully silent beside his grandmothers chair, all this time, looked between the two adults in keen interest, finally looking to his father to provide answers. 

"What's wrong with telepaths?" The innocent boy asked - his experience free of preconceived fears and judgements. "My best friend on Katra is a telepath.  You remember him right, Papa? Tidu?  Well, he got transported accidentally to the other side of the dimension plane on Meridian - but everyone thought he was dead.  It was only because he could reach his thoughts across to his mother that they realized that he actually was alive.  His mom is really smart and she figured out a way to fix the transporter in a way that it could bring him back.   That happened just before we arrived.  He told me all about it"  The energy, and breathlessness with which Jinsux spoke about his friend was almost radiant.  The boy's face lit up in imagine awe and wonder at what his friend had experienced and could do. 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on January 31, 2022, 11:27:02 am
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - VIP Quarters as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

To say that Latihk was pissed off was an understatement. What the hell?! He hadn't come here all the way, leaving his business behind, almost wrecking his ship to pieces in an effort to catch up with the Federation ship, just to be interrogated by an ambassador of the Romulan Freestate! Latihk felt the urge to stand up and pace the room but that would probably not be appreciated by the security officer standing near the door, face and attention towards him.

Unnerved, Latihk turned his gaze away. What made it more nerve-wrecking for him was the fact that he wasn't exactly an innocent respectable citizen. Letting out an annoyed sigh, Latihk tried to calm down. He had the ability to play these kind of situations cool, he had done it before. The situation as a whole was just something that was new and it troubled him.

Hearing the doors opening, Latihk looked up. Alright then, here we go.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Of course when Rayek tried to say the blame was his, Tess pointed out the reasons why it wasn't.  Yet in doing so, her words were just as valid for herself as him.  He hoped she saw that. 

Her mentioning of a complex family life was certainly an understatement for them; and worse yet, the complexity wasn't just limited to family.  They had some some rather complex friendships out there.  Latikh was an excellent example of this.  Fells was another.   But her point was made - neither were at fault... but now that they were aware they needed to be more mindful of the Benjin's perspective.

When Tess answered his question about her father, he realized he wasn't clear about his uncertainty.  He was about to point out he had was unsure whether Benjin would be okay with it - since for all he knew the boy had been avoiding seeing his adoptive father since Fabiano's injury.  But he was suddenly distracted from that thought by Tess' suggestion to invite Kemala.   Tess had a point.  Kemala was family, yet up until this suggestion, Rayek had pretty much subconsciously been keeping the two families from intermixing.

Even as he considered the question right now, Rayek was hesitant.  He loved his sister dearly, yet couldn't be sure what her reaction might be to an evening devoted to another species' culture - nor what her reaction might be to having Fabiano present in particular.  While he doubted his sister would speak offensively, like Karinne would definitely do, he was almost certain that she would feel uncomfortable. 

However, even as his protective nature kicked in to suggest that it was probably best to just not make the offer; he realized that it wasn't his role to shelter her anymore.  She was an adult not the little girl had always fondly spoke of to Tess when reminiscing of his family. 

After a long pause, Rayek finally answered Tess with a nod.  "Once we have a date and time that Benjin agrees to, I will make mention of it to her."

Tess could almost see that a silent debate was going on in Rayek's head. She watched him closely, wondering why he was hesitating so long. Should she not have made the suggestion regarding Kemala?

Finally he answered and agreed. Tess smiled, relieved. "Awesome. Thank you, ciccino." She sighed as their talk now had come to an end. Looking back at him she smiled and took a step closer to him. Her arms came up to wrap them loosely around his neck and she gave him a sweet lingering kiss. When she pulled just her head back without moving her arms she grinned a little and once more wiped her thumb over his lips to remove the lipstick once more. "You are dismissed, Commander", she murmured with a playful twinkle in her eyes.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPC Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
 
That Karinne was seen as overly stern when dealing with her grand-children, was not an uncommon perception.  Romulan philosophy on child rearing was very similar to the adage 'Spare the rod, spoil the child', and as dearly as she loved her grand-children, they were most definitely spoiled!

Her son allowed his children far too many Federation liberties, which she thought was foolish.  It would make it all the more difficult on the children to acclimatize when they finally were sent back to Romulan space.  So it was left to Karinne to ensure the children knew proper etiquette, and their proper role in Romulan society. 

When Lared showed that he too remembered proper etiquette with his greeting to her, even while so weak, she inwardly smiled.  Illegitimate though he might be, Karinne couldn't help but feel a bit grateful that Lared - of all her children - was the one to survive.   Though youngest, born 7 years after her husband's passing, Lared had proved himself to be smarter, and more resilient than his legitimized siblings, who were raised by her mother's mother, while she was left to raise Lared on her own until he could fend for himself.

Her comment about the medication had been just her usual sniping of all things Federation.  She hated to admit that the medical care received was better than anything they could hope to get back home, even on Romulus.  But rather than simply acknowledge this principal practice, Lared pointed out that back home he most certainly would have been abandoned and left for dead.

That was something Karinne did not want to acknowledge... and so changed subjects to inquire why the Commander had looked so upset.

Karinne let a small scowl show on her face at Lared's reply.  "Hwoimne'liu ehdhihss daise'erei'riov 'hh emael aled iudaiht ssuaj ehdhihss iarr'voi. Iarr hvaedroalh ehdhihss imorlasedh? Aeek'h'i a dha'rudh dha'rudh. Damne!" (*translation - So the Commander is unable to understand the cause of the explosion?  What a fool!)

How could they not know what occurred after all this time?  She'd honestly expected better.  Despite her insults, she knew the traitor was not inept; without honor or conscience certainly but he was wily.  So wily that he had managed to hide a taboo ability his entire life. 

The idea that her family was on friendly terms with a telepathy was still so very abhorrent to her.  She grimaced.  "You are fortunate the ryakna didn't just pick the information from your mind." Her disgust at the remembered unnatural ability overwhelmed her promise to not insult the Commander.  Karinned shuddered.  "Elements save us from telepaths!" she added vehemently.

Jinsux, who had been dutifully silent beside his grandmothers chair, all this time, looked between the two adults in keen interest, finally looking to his father to provide answers. 

"What's wrong with telepaths?" The innocent boy asked - his experience free of preconceived fears and judgements. "My best friend on Katra is a telepath.  You remember him right, Papa? Tidu?  Well, he got transported accidentally to the other side of the dimension plane on Meridian - but everyone thought he was dead.  It was only because he could reach his thoughts across to his mother that they realized that he actually was alive.  His mom is really smart and she figured out a way to fix the transporter in a way that it could bring him back.   That happened just before we arrived.  He told me all about it"  The energy, and breathlessness with which Jinsux spoke about his friend was almost radiant.  The boy's face lit up in imagine awe and wonder at what his friend had experienced and could do.

Lared briefly closed his eyes as his mother went on to scoff at the fact that the Commander had not been able to determine the cause for the shuttle incident as yet and then voice their fortune that they had been spared the Commander using his telepathic ability on him. Although Lared kept his eyes closed, his body tensed up the slightest bit at that. He would avoid to comment on it because he didn't want to get into a position in which he would have to answer questions to his mother he didn't necessarily want her to know.

At his son's rather bold question, considering it was asked in presence of his mother, Lared did open his tired eyes and glanced at his son as he went to to tell them about his friend on Katra who - apparently - was a telepath. Lared knew who Tidu was, and he had heard about the incident when the kid had gone missing, but he certainly hadn't known the kid possessed telepathic abilities. Jinsux really wasn't a kid to make things up, but Lared wondered if either Tidu had tried to fool him or if Jinsux had misunderstood something.

Trying to intervene before his mother would freak out, Lared tried to clarify the situation. "I'm sure your friend was just happy his mother was able to find him and bring him back with the transporter. You know, there are powerful sensors on Katra that could have located your friend when he was stuck in the other dimension."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

Tess had enjoyed a quiet late afternoon with Rayek and Fivenn. The soup her brothers Rah'ul and Tamo'nar had prepared had been really delicious, just like the tossed salad Rayek had prepared for them. She even had managed to get in a brief nap.

Now she was dressed in her dress uniform, waiting for Ambassador Jarok and his aide to arrive. Tess wasn't exactly sure how this meeting would go. She was prepared that the air could become tense at some point and she was ready to mediate if necessary. Glancing over to Rayek, she tried to get a feel for how he felt at the moment. Unfortunately they didn't get to talk much, as the doors to the Conference Room opened shortly after.




(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State

Virahk knew that this meeting was important. All of the meetings thus far have been, but this was the Commander of the ship. A Romulan who had served several years in Starfleet already and had filled Command positions - on and off, as he had heard. The Commander's career in Starfleet was quite - unusual. Which probably was the only way to go for a Romulan trying to serve in a fleet other than the Romulan Navy.

Jarok recognized the great potential for reaching his mission's goal if this talk was going over as well as he hoped. But it would be a difficult one.

When the doors to the Conference Room opened, he found the pair already present. Commander tr'Lhoell had stipulated that his wife attend the meeting as well. It was an unusual request but it was quite clear that this was not something the Commander would want to debate about.

Jarok stopped in the room and took a moment to acknowledge them both with a respectful bow of his head. "Captain, Commander. I am pleased you agreed to this meeting."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 01, 2022, 04:04:52 am
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

To say that Latihk was pissed off was an understatement. What the hell?! He hadn't come here all the way, leaving his business behind, almost wrecking his ship to pieces in an effort to catch up with the Federation ship, just to be interrogated by an ambassador of the Romulan Freestate! Latihk felt the urge to stand up and pace the room but that would probably not be appreciated by the security officer standing near the door, face and attention towards him.

Unnerved, Latihk turned his gaze away. What made it more nerve-wrecking for him was the fact that he wasn't exactly an innocent respectable citizen. Letting out an annoyed sigh, Latihk tried to calm down. He had the ability to play these kind of situations cool, he had done it before. The situation as a whole was just something that was new and it troubled him.

Hearing the doors opening, Latihk looked up. Alright then, here we go.

Telmuk, in guise of the affable Rheinn tr'Hei, had convinced the Ambassador that questioning the newly arrived Rihan would be best done separately so that they could compare their answers.  He suggested sagely that Jarok as the ranking diplomatic officer, would be best to question the Riov, Kemala; while he would question the other two.

At Telmuk's quiet prompting pointing out the suspicious timing of the arrival of the Romulan Freighter, the Ambassador had insisted that the Amalthea impound the Romulan vessel and detain it's crew and passengers on his behalf until his own ship could be called back to take charge of the vessel. 

The manner in which Starfleet 'detained' these prisoners was rather laughable.  Telmuk had never seen such lax security and so pleasant a detention area.   Each of the three detained Romulans had their own Guest quarters in which they were kept under house arrest (except of course Kemala, who was given Captain t'Lhoell's permission to go to Sickbay under guard).

That the explosion hadn't outright killed his brother, had Telmuk quite upset.  But not for the reasons one might expect.  While he was upset that the explosion was unsuccessful, his anger was at himself for not ensuring a clean kill for Rayek and the others.   Having his brother and the others survive deformed or crippled, would be worse than death, he thought.  His orders had been to kill the traitor, not set him up to take his own life. 

But given the heighten security now, that might be the way in which this mission got resolved. That Tess had immediately suspected the explosion to be an assault was worrisome and meant that for the moment he would need to 'lay low' and bide his time.

Arriving at the XO's office that Rayek had given up to the Ambassador for use the day before, Telmuk entered with only the slightest hesitation.  He wasn't superstitious - but the other day while questioning Rojol, he found it a little unnerving to work in the same space that his brother would have worked.   

The freighter Captain was already present, along with a Federation guard, when he arrived.   The man's disfigured face and missing eye were disturbing to look at but Telmuk forced himself to do so with a smile on his face.

While he would like nothing better to do than to interrogate the man using a bit of torture, his persona wouldn't, so to get actual answers Telmuk was going to have to be friendly and use his ability.

"Jolan tru.  My name is Rhienn tr'Hei.  I'm the Ambassador's Aide." Telmuk greeted with a half bow, before motioning the guard to wait outside. 

"To help clear you of any suspicion, I'm going to need your full cooperation.  Please have a seat and we'll get started."   

Telmuk referenced his PADD.  "First off let's start with your name.  The vessel, RFS Narvasam is registered to an... Aefau tr'Dhael - a rather amusing name for a trading vessel.  Obviously it is false.  So who are you really?" 

As he asked that question, Telmuk reached out with his mind to pilfer answers from the other man's surface thoughts.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 4 - Ready Room]

Tess could almost see that a silent debate was going on in Rayek's head. She watched him closely, wondering why he was hesitating so long. Should she not have made the suggestion regarding Kemala?

Finally he answered and agreed. Tess smiled, relieved. "Awesome. Thank you, ciccino." She sighed as their talk now had come to an end. Looking back at him she smiled and took a step closer to him. Her arms came up to wrap them loosely around his neck and she gave him a sweet lingering kiss. When she pulled just her head back without moving her arms she grinned a little and once more wiped her thumb over his lips to remove the lipstick once more. "You are dismissed, Commander", she murmured with a playful twinkle in her eyes.

Rayek's affirmative answer to her suggestion to invite Kemala, brought a relieved smile to Tess' face.  Her use of his 'pet' name after thanking him, had him smiling in return.

He dipped his head to acknowledge her words.  When his head lifted however, Tess had moved in close, and he soon found her arms wrapped about his neck.  It was natural in that moment to have his arms encircled her waist lightly.  His head bent slightly downwards to meet her upturned face and greet her kiss, which they lingered over - neither wanting it to end.

Eventually, however Tess leaned away and Rayek reluctantly released his embrace of her, as she wiped at his lips with a thumb - removing the evidence.

He straightened at his dismissal and nodded once more.  "Aye Captain." then because he did have responsibilities he needed to see to before the end of shift, Rayek stepped back, turned about much like he might do if on parade and headed to the exit which opened for him seamlessly.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPCs Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared briefly closed his eyes as his mother went on to scoff at the fact that the Commander had not been able to determine the cause for the shuttle incident as yet and then voice their fortune that they had been spared the Commander using his telepathic ability on him. Although Lared kept his eyes closed, his body tensed up the slightest bit at that. He would avoid to comment on it because he didn't want to get into a position in which he would have to answer questions to his mother he didn't necessarily want her to know.

At his son's rather bold question, considering it was asked in presence of his mother, Lared did open his tired eyes and glanced at his son as he went to to tell them about his friend on Katra who - apparently - was a telepath. Lared knew who Tidu was, and he had heard about the incident when the kid had gone missing, but he certainly hadn't known the kid possessed telepathic abilities. Jinsux really wasn't a kid to make things up, but Lared wondered if either Tidu had tried to fool him or if Jinsux had misunderstood something.

Trying to intervene before his mother would freak out, Lared tried to clarify the situation. "I'm sure your friend was just happy his mother was able to find him and bring him back with the transporter. You know, there are powerful sensors on Katra that could have located your friend when he was stuck in the other dimension."

As much as Karinne loved her grandson, it annoyed her to no end to have the child speak without being addressed or directed to speak by an elder - especially about such a topic!  She huffed her displeasure and might have even spoken a reprimand to the boy, possibly even to declare him never to see that other again, if not for Lared speaking up then.  His tone was far milder than hers would have been, and his words conveyed that he thought the statement was untrue.  As Lared was the Jinsux's father, Karinne left him to it for the moment.

Jinsux looked at Lared, incredulous that his father didn't believe him - or rather didn't believe his friend.  Even if his father's words were said with a gentle tone - the meaning was the same and that upset the young boy. 

"But he wasn't mistaken father... and neither am I!" he protested.   "I even tested him...  He could say the phrase I was thinking of 10 times out of 10, and I could hear him in my mind even across the promenade." he declared



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

Tess had enjoyed a quiet late afternoon with Rayek and Fvienn. The soup her brothers Rah'ul and Tamo'nar had prepared had been really delicious, just like the tossed salad Rayek had prepared for them. She even had managed to get in a brief nap.

Now she was dressed in her dress uniform, waiting for Ambassador Jarok and his aide to arrive. Tess wasn't exactly sure how this meeting would go. She was prepared that the air could become tense at some point and she was ready to mediate if necessary. Glancing over to Rayek, she tried to get a feel for how he felt at the moment. Unfortunately they didn't get to talk much, as the doors to the Conference Room opened shortly after.


(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State

Virahk knew that this meeting was important. All of the meetings thus far have been, but this was the Commander of the ship. A Romulan who had served several years in Starfleet already and had filled Command positions - on and off, as he had heard. The Commander's career in Starfleet was quite - unusual. Which probably was the only way to go for a Romulan trying to serve in a fleet other than the Romulan Navy.

Jarok recognized the great potential for reaching his mission's goal if this talk was going over as well as he hoped. But it would be a difficult one.

When the doors to the Conference Room opened, he found the pair already present. Commander tr'Lhoell had stipulated that his wife attend the meeting as well. It was an unusual request but it was quite clear that this was not something the Commander would want to debate about.

Jarok stopped in the room and took a moment to acknowledge them both with a respectful bow of his head. "Captain, Commander. I am pleased you agreed to this meeting."

Having left Fvienn with Tess' elder brothers, Rayek found he regretted having picked a time that cut into their 'homelife' as he would rather be enjoying 'tummy-time' with his son than be here.  But Tess had urged for his cooperation with Romulan Ambassador, and his questions, so Rayek would do so. 

Knowing he would cope better with movement, Rayek paced the window side of the room - also in his dressed uniform for this diplomatic meeting.   

"I hope this doesn't take long.  I had planned to read to Fvienn tonight.  I'd rather not miss it, as he enjoys the various voices I read with." he commented hoping the conversation might help ease him somewhat. 

Yet as he finished speaking the door to the briefing room opened.  Rayek paused his pacing and turned towards the door alertly.  There in the doorway was the Ambassador and his Aide.

Rayek could count on one hand the number of times he'd spoken directly to either one since their arrival.  Usually Rayek used an intermediary to pass along anything his duties required him to inform them of.  This was because unlike the other Romulan Starfleet officers aboard, Rayek had not come to the Federation under an Immigration VISA or even as a refugee.   No. He'd refused an order to return to Romulan territories after years aboard, given the trusted intel that he was slated for execution when he got back.

It was strange then, that both the Ambassador and his Aide chose to offer Tess and he the respect of a bow.  Diplomacy of course required that he return the respect shown him by the Ambassador's the bow.  Rayek turned to face the Romulan pair and bowed his head as well acknowledgement before moving to sit before Tess.

"My wife can be rather convincing - you have her to thank for this opportunity." Rayek bluntly stated.  "Let's get this over with."

...
Telmuk entered the room a step behind and to the side of the Ambassador.  A glance over the room showed his brother up and paused in his pacing by their arrival.  Nervous much?   Not that Telmuk wouldn't feel the same in Rayek's situation.

In the role of Rhienn tr'Hei, Ambassador's Aide, Telmuk offered the Command couple a more significant bow showing the difference in their social status.  He bowed at the waist slightly before continuing to assess his brother and his brother's wife.   Knowing that his brother shared the same ability as he, Telmuk didn't block his thoughts (which would be a telltale sign that he had something to hide) but rather instead filtered them - allowing only nonsensitive topic thoughts to surface.  Rhienn might appear slow-witted, but that was better than being found out as Telmuk and working for the Tal'Shiar.

It said a lot about Federation medicine that there were no lasting scars that Telmuk could see to note his recent brush with death.  "You are looking rather well Commander." he remarked as he stepped forward further into the room continuing to follow the ambassador until he seated himself to the right of the Ambassaor.  This put him directly in front of the Rayek. 

Telmuk set his PADD on the table  "I would like to record your replies to reference back to when drafting our report.  Will you allow this?" Rhienn, the pleasant and friendly aide, asked.

Rayek looked positively uncomfortable with the idea so 'Rhienn' sought to reassure.  "The information in the report is anonymous and afterwards all recordings will be deleted."  Or at least that was the official line.  A backup copy would of course be made, the file encrypted and then would be handed off to another Tal Shiar agent would would smuggle it back across to report the information.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 01, 2022, 10:24:49 am
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Telmuk, in guise of the affable Rheinn tr'Hei, had convinced the Ambassador that questioning the newly arrived Rihan would be best done separately so that they could compare their answers.  He suggested sagely that Jarok as the ranking diplomatic officer, would be best to question the Riov, Kemala; while he would question the other two.

At Telmuk's quiet prompting pointing out the suspicious timing of the arrival of the Romulan Freighter, the Ambassador had insisted that the Amalthea impound the Romulan vessel and detain it's crew and passengers on his behalf until his own ship could be called back to take charge of the vessel. 

The manner in which Starfleet 'detained' these prisoners was rather laughable.  Telmuk had never seen such lax security and so pleasant a detention area.   Each of the three detained Romulans had their own Guest quarters in which they were kept under house arrest (except of course Kemala, who was given Captain t'Lhoell's permission to go to Sickbay under guard).

That the explosion hadn't outright killed his brother, had Telmuk quite upset.  But not for the reasons one might expect.  While he was upset that the explosion was unsuccessful, his anger was at himself for not ensuring a clean kill for Rayek and the others.   Having his brother and the others survive deformed or crippled, would be worse than death, he thought.  His orders had been to kill the traitor, not set him up to take his own life. 

But given the heighten security now, that might be the way in which this mission got resolved. That Tess had immediately suspected the explosion to be an assault was worrisome and meant that for the moment he would need to 'lay low' and bide his time.

Arriving at the XO's office that Rayek had given up to the Ambassador for use the day before, Telmuk entered with only the slightest hesitation.  He wasn't superstitious - but the other day while questioning Rojol, he found it a little unnerving to work in the same space that his brother would have worked.   

The freighter Captain was already present, along with a Federation guard, when he arrived.   The man's disfigured face and missing eye were disturbing to look at but Telmuk forced himself to do so with a smile on his face.

While he would like nothing better to do than to interrogate the man using a bit of torture, his persona wouldn't, so to get actual answers Telmuk was going to have to be friendly and use his ability.

"Jolan tru.  My name is Rhienn tr'Hei.  I'm the Ambassador's Aide." Telmuk greeted with a half bow, before motioning the guard to wait outside. 

"To help clear you of any suspicion, I'm going to need your full cooperation.  Please have a seat and we'll get started."   

Telmuk referenced his PADD.  "First off let's start with your name.  The vessel, RFS Narvasam is registered to an... Aefau tr'Dhael - a rather amusing name for a trading vessel.  Obviously it is false.  So who are you really?" 

As he asked that question, Telmuk reached out with his mind to pilfer answers from the other man's surface thoughts.

Latihk's good eye was fixated on the man the second he entered the room. The guard left and Latihk responded to the man's greeting and introduction with a nod before he moved to sit at the table. Latihk very consciously took a rather lax posture on the chair. Leaned back deep in the chair, his feet touching the floor flat at level of the chair's legs. One hand rested casually on his thigh while the other hand rested on the surface of the table. It was a very open, almost invitingly confrontational posture. But the hardness in Latihk's eye as he looked at him was anything but casual or relaxed.

So, the man thought he was being smart when he confronted him with his - correct - assumption that it was a false name. But that didn't faze Latihk at all. Not at this point, at least. He had gone through many many check-ups of his identity and barely anyone was able to find evidence that his identity was false, ever.

"If the ship is registered in this name, it will be correct. I don't know what to tell you. I'm glad you find it amusing. Unlike my proper name, I was able to pick the name of the ship myself. Navasam is very appropriate after all in the context. Don't you think?" Latihk observed the portly man, trying to feel out the proper way to talk to him. One thing he had learned was that there was one right way to talk to a person, and many wrong ways. You just had to figure out what kind of person was before you and talk in the appropriate manner with them and success was most likely.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPCs Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

As much as Karinne loved her grandson, it annoyed her to no end to have the child speak without being addressed or directed to speak by an elder - especially about such a topic!  She huffed her displeasure and might have even spoken a reprimand to the boy, possibly even to declare him never to see that other again, if not for Lared speaking up then.  His tone was far milder than hers would have been, and his words conveyed that he thought the statement was untrue.  As Lared was the Jinsux's father, Karinne left him to it for the moment.

Jinsux looked at Lared, incredulous that his father didn't believe him - or rather didn't believe his friend.  Even if his father's words were said with a gentle tone - the meaning was the same and that upset the young boy. 

"But he wasn't mistaken father... and neither am I!" he protested.   "I even tested him...  He could say the phrase I was thinking of 10 times out of 10, and I could hear him in my mind even across the promenade." he declared

Lared looked at his upset son as he explained to him vehemently that it was true what he said and offered examples as evidence in which apparently the kid had telepathic interaction with his son. The Romulan father looked at the boy with alarmed surprise. That he said that he could hear him in his mind Lared found very disturbing.

"Jinsux, faelirh", Lared said, his voice losing some of the steadiness he had gained back after his coma. "You never told us about that. Why did you never mention any of this?" He suddenly was very worried. "You should not allow anyone else inside your mind, it's ..." He was about to tell him that it wasn't right, that it was unnatural. But at the same time became all the more aware of the irony of him telling his son this while he himself was forced to consider that very thing for himself. But the rejection of telepathy in any way was so ingrained in him he thought he needed to tell his son. But right now he couldn't get over his hesitation.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

Having left Fvienn with Tess' elder brothers, Rayek found he regretted having picked a time that cut into their 'homelife' as he would rather be enjoying 'tummy-time' with his son than be here.  But Tess had urged for his cooperation with Romulan Ambassador, and his questions, so Rayek would do so. 

Knowing he would cope better with movement, Rayek paced the window side of the room - also in his dressed uniform for this diplomatic meeting.   

"I hope this doesn't take long.  I had planned to read to Fvienn tonight.  I'd rather not miss it, as he enjoys the various voices I read with." he commented hoping the conversation might help ease him somewhat. 

Yet as he finished speaking the door to the briefing room opened.  Rayek paused his pacing and turned towards the door alertly.  There in the doorway was the Ambassador and his Aide.

Rayek could count on one hand the number of times he'd spoken directly to either one since their arrival.  Usually Rayek used an intermediary to pass along anything his duties required him to inform them of.  This was because unlike the other Romulan Starfleet officers aboard, Rayek had not come to the Federation under an Immigration VISA or even as a refugee.   No. He'd refused an order to return to Romulan territories after years aboard, given the trusted intel that he was slated for execution when he got back.

It was strange then, that both the Ambassador and his Aide chose to offer Tess and he the respect of a bow.  Diplomacy of course required that he return the respect shown him by the Ambassador's the bow.  Rayek turned to face the Romulan pair and bowed his head as well acknowledgement before moving to sit before Tess.

"My wife can be rather convincing - you have her to thank for this opportunity." Rayek bluntly stated.  "Let's get this over with."

...
Telmuk entered the room a step behind and to the side of the Ambassador.  A glance over the room showed his brother up and paused in his pacing by their arrival.  Nervous much?   Not that Telmuk wouldn't feel the same in Rayek's situation.

In the role of Rhienn tr'Hei, Ambassador's Aide, Telmuk offered the Command couple a more significant bow showing the difference in their social status.  He bowed at the waist slightly before continuing to assess his brother and his brother's wife.   Knowing that his brother shared the same ability as he, Telmuk didn't block his thoughts (which would be a telltale sign that he had something to hide) but rather instead filtered them - allowing only nonsensitive topic thoughts to surface.  Rhienn might appear slow-witted, but that was better than being found out as Telmuk and working for the Tal'Shiar.

It said a lot about Federation medicine that there were no lasting scars that Telmuk could see to note his recent brush with death.  "You are looking rather well Commander." he remarked as he stepped forward further into the room continuing to follow the ambassador until he seated himself to the right of the Ambassaor.  This put him directly in front of the Rayek. 

Telmuk set his PADD on the table  "I would like to record your replies to reference back to when drafting our report.  Will you allow this?" Rhienn, the pleasant and friendly aide, asked.

Rayek looked positively uncomfortable with the idea so 'Rhienn' sought to reassure.  "The information in the report is anonymous and afterwards all recordings will be deleted."  Or at least that was the official line.  A backup copy would of course be made, the file encrypted and then would be handed off to another Tal Shiar agent would would smuggle it back across to report the information.


While Rayek roamed the room, Tess sat calmly in one of the chairs, hoping it would help him relax a little as well. Though she thought there was nothing that could do that right now. At his comment Tess smiled at her husband, hoping for it to be reassuring to him. Before she could add words to her smile, the ambassador and his aide arrived.

Tess rose from her chair and bowed her head too after they greeted them. "Thank you for making it possible for me to attend the meeting." She gestured towards a table with a very small variety of snacks and drinks. "Please feel free to help yourself. There is also a replicator over there if you should want something else."

"Thank you, Captain. Most kind of you."

At Rhienn's remark about Rayek, Jarok nodded. "Indeed, Commander. I'm glad to see that you seem to have recovered completely from that horrible incident." He had also heard that today the other Romulan officer, Lared tr'Movel, had woken from his coma. Jarok decided that he might breach that topic later, not right now.

They all sat down and his reliable aide started with the proper protocol. There was a notable silence after his initial question. Tess glanced to Rayek and it didn't need much to see that he didn't like the idea. When the aide went on to offer reassurances, Tess spoke up. "You have my consent." She hoped it would help nudge Rayek to agree as well. It was standard, really, and he himself used to record pretty much everything.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 03, 2022, 01:14:14 am
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Latihk's good eye was fixated on the man the second he entered the room. The guard left and Latihk responded to the man's greeting and introduction with a nod before he moved to sit at the table. Latihk very consciously took a rather lax posture on the chair. Leaned back deep in the chair, his feet touching the floor flat at level of the chair's legs. One hand rested casually on his thigh while the other hand rested on the surface of the table. It was a very open, almost invitingly confrontational posture. But the hardness in Latihk's eye as he looked at him was anything but casual or relaxed.

So, the man thought he was being smart when he confronted him with his - correct - assumption that it was a false name. But that didn't faze Latihk at all. Not at this point, at least. He had gone through many many check-ups of his identity and barely anyone was able to find evidence that his identity was false, ever.

"If the ship is registered in this name, it will be correct. I don't know what to tell you. I'm glad you find it amusing. Unlike my proper name, I was able to pick the name of the ship myself. Narvasam is very appropriate after all in the context. Don't you think?" Latihk observed the portly man, trying to feel out the proper way to talk to him. One thing he had learned was that there was one right way to talk to a person, and many wrong ways. You just had to figure out what kind of person was before you and talk in the appropriate manner with them and success was most likely.

Telmuk easily picked up the man's thoughts regarding his false identity, but none of those thoughts gave him proof nor a name to pin on the man.  That this 'Aefau' thought he could talk his way out of the situation was amusing.  For the time being Telmuk would play along... just long enough to learn where he could find his incriminating proof.

Rhienn seemed surprised at the trader's answer then hurriedly offered an apology as he lowered his head.  "Forgive my assumption then, lhhai. I meant no disrespect of your name." He jotted down the false name on his PADD and continued on in his affable persona. 

"Let's continue on... What was the purpose of your traveling to the Gamma Quadrant?" Telmuk avoided pointing out the illegality of the trading vessel being this far outside of Romulan territory without direct permission.  He continued to read the surface thoughts of the man.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPCs Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared looked at his upset son as he explained to him vehemently that it was true what he said and offered examples as evidence in which apparently the kid had telepathic interaction with his son. The Romulan father looked at the boy with alarmed surprise. That he said that he could hear him in his mind Lared found very disturbing.

"Jinsux, faelirh", Lared said, his voice losing some of the steadiness he had gained back after his coma. "You never told us about that. Why did you never mention any of this?" He suddenly was very worried. "You should not allow anyone else inside your mind, it's ..." He was about to tell him that it wasn't right, that it was unnatural. But at the same time became all the more aware of the irony of him telling his son this while he himself was forced to consider that very thing for himself. But the rejection of telepathy in any way was so ingrained in him he thought he needed to tell his son. But right now he couldn't get over his hesitation.

Jinsux could tell by both his father's and his grandmother's reaction that he'd done something they didn't approve of.  She was gaping at him like a fish - her open mouth moving as if she were trying to speak but the words just wouldn't come.

He answered his father's question with a timid shrug, certain that he was going to get in trouble but unsure of the reason why.  "I don't know, eneh...   It didn't seem important," he answered his father as to why he hadn't said anything.   

Jinsux noted that his father paused in explaining why he shouldn't let others into his mind.
"Did Tidu and I do something wrong, eneh?  Why is it okay for Betazoids and Vulcans to share thoughts but not Tidu or me?   Do you not trust me?"

....
Karinne finally found her voice. "Telepathy is an abomination! As are those who have the ability." she stated in an authoritative tone. "How could you allow another into your mind? When we get home, I will begin you on some defensive mental techniques we Imperial officers were taught when our ships were called on to cull the Reman numbers down." 

It had been nearly a half century since she'd needed to use such techniques but perhaps she was just being naive to think the traitor wasn't already in their minds. Well, no more!



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

While Rayek roamed the room, Tess sat calmly in one of the chairs, hoping it would help him relax a little as well. Though she thought there was nothing that could do that right now. At his comment Tess smiled at her husband, hoping for it to be reassuring to him. Before she could add words to her smile, the ambassador and his aide arrived.

Tess rose from her chair and bowed her head too after they greeted them. "Thank you for making it possible for me to attend the meeting." She gestured towards a table with a very small variety of snacks and drinks. "Please feel free to help yourself. There is also a replicator over there if you should want something else."

"Thank you, Captain. Most kind of you."

At Rhienn's remark about Rayek, Jarok nodded. "Indeed, Commander. I'm glad to see that you seem to have recovered completely from that horrible incident." He had also heard that today the other Romulan officer, Lared tr'Movel, had woken from his coma. Jarok decided that he might breach that topic later, not right now.

They all sat down and his reliable aide started with the proper protocol. There was a notable silence after his initial question. Tess glanced to Rayek and it didn't need much to see that he didn't like the idea. When the aide went on to offer reassurances, Tess spoke up. "You have my consent." She hoped it would help nudge Rayek to agree as well. It was standard, really, and he himself used to record pretty much everything.

The prompt by Tess had it's desired effect.  Rayek nodded. "And mine as well."  Though his agreeing wasn't an indication that he was any less paranoid and suspicious of the two Romulan. It was more the contrary actually.  He just needed to be smarter.

"Though rather than have the original recordings deleted, I insist that those of Tess and myself be turned over to us."  With the original in his possession, he could retain some measure of control over the information.

Rayek's request seemed to take the aide by surprise for a moment, before tr'Hei in turn nodded.  "If that is what you wish, we can certainly accommodate." the aide replied back and set up his PADD to begin recording.

"Please identify yourselves for the record, by stating your full names, with current ranks and position." Rhienn continued and gestured towards them to speak.

Rayek glanced to his wife and with a glance indicated that he would speak first "Commander Rayek ir-I'Ramnau ei-Moreno tr'Lhoell, First Officer of the USS Amalthea."

Despite having filled in all the appropriate change of name requests and sent them in to Starfleet and Federation Headquarters to make the change legal, this was the first time that Rayek had addressed himself aloud to another using the name he had chosen to add to his identity on their anniversary.   The ei- prefix had several different uses but in this instance he was recognizing the importance of Tess in his life by taking on her family name (which would have been the case anyways had they followed Romulan naming tradition) while still maintaining their decision to have their clan remain s'Lhoell in Earth custom.

Rayek watched Tess' face for reaction.

After Tess identified herself, Rhienn continued. "As this meeting is intended for us to gain insight into how well integrated into Federation society the Rihan people have become since the loss of our homeworld over 10 years ago, we will be addressing our questions directly to you, Commander."
 
Rayek had assumed that would be the case. "Understood.  However, as my wife is hru'hfirh of the s'Lhoell clan..." 

He paused a moment reflecting on what that meant... no longer was the clan just the three of them but Kemala and even Telmuk were recognized as part of their clan now too.  Thankfully Kemala hadn't contested Tess' right to the title.   

"If she wishes to speak she has that right." Rayek stated. "You may proceed."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 04, 2022, 12:53:14 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Telmuk easily picked up the man's thoughts regarding his false identity, but none of those thoughts gave him proof nor a name to pin on the man.  That this 'Aefau' thought he could talk his way out of the situation was amusing.  For the time being Telmuk would play along... just long enough to learn where he could find his incriminating proof.

Rhienn seemed surprised at the trader's answer then hurriedly offered an apology as he lowered his head.  "Forgive my assumption then, lhhai. I meant no disrespect of your name." He jotted down the false name on his PADD and continued on in his affable persona. 

"Let's continue on... What was the purpose of your traveling to the Gamma Quadrant?" Telmuk avoided pointing out the illegality of the trading vessel being this far outside of Romulan territory without direct permission.  He continued to read the surface thoughts of the man.

Latihk was a little surprised that the man didn't dig deeper and try to press for his real name. It was kinda weird that he came in strong with a confident confrontation but then backed down so quickly. He thought he'd need to fight a little more about that one, but Latihk certainly wouldn't complain about that. He accepted the man's apology with an almost solemn nod of his head.

The next question was critical but it had been clear that it would come sooner or later. He had been hesitant as hell to come here at all. He knew it was illegal and it could mean trouble for many reasons. But Kemala had been quite convincing. Part of that had been that she had guaranteed him to take responsibility should they be confronted with consequences.

Another not unimportant reason why Latihk had agreed to this was that he still had romantic feelings for the s'Lhoell daughter. There was no point in denying it. He had realized that the second he had seen her on the screen when he had contacted her to inform her of the danger Rayek was in. Now that he had spent months with her in the limited space on his ship, those feelings had not diminished. Rather the opposite.

Latihk eyed the portly Romulan in front of him. "I can't make any statements on that."

Now to see if the aide would back off again so quickly or if he would be more persistent this time.

 



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPCs Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Jinsux could tell by both his father's and his grandmother's reaction that he'd done something they didn't approve of.  She was gaping at him like a fish - her open mouth moving as if she were trying to speak but the words just wouldn't come.

He answered his father's question with a timid shrug, certain that he was going to get in trouble but unsure of the reason why.  "I don't know, eneh...   It didn't seem important," he answered his father as to why he hadn't said anything.   

Jinsux noted that his father paused in explaining why he shouldn't let others into his mind.
"Did Tidu and I do something wrong, eneh?  Why is it okay for Betazoids and Vulcans to share thoughts but not Tidu or me?   Do you not trust me?"

....
Karinne finally found her voice. "Telepathy is an abomination! As are those who have the ability." she stated in an authoritative tone. "How could you allow another into your mind? When we get home, I will begin you on some defensive mental techniques we Imperial officers were taught when our ships were called on to cull the Reman numbers down." 

It had been nearly a half century since she'd needed to use such techniques but perhaps she was just being naive to think the traitor wasn't already in their minds. Well, no more!

This was a moment Lared realized something. While his mother's mindset was his own, a common thing about Romulans, ingrained in their culture, and something he had been growing up with and taught from an early age on, his own son's almost innocent and unaware of any prejudices questions were hitting something inside him. The fact was that he couldn't give his son a reasonable explanation. Of course he could talk to him about the sketchy moral aspects of telepathy, but he realized that what he had been taught and in return was teaching his son was to despise others for a part of their physiology.

Of course, he still was appalled by the very idea. And he would prefer for his son to never come into contact with it - but apparantly, it was too late for that. He already did. And it hadn't been gruesome for him, not something horrible but something to be excited and curious about. It gave him a lot to think about.

Even as his mother announced she would teach him defensive techniques, Lared kept looking at his son, his eyes soft. "Of course I trust you", he said quietly. He wanted his son to know that. He then looked to his mother when she spoke of culling down Remans. "Mother", he said weakly, "I asked you not to speak of these topics in front of the children."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

The prompt by Tess had it's desired effect.  Rayek nodded. "And mine as well."  Though his agreeing wasn't an indication that he was any less paranoid and suspicious of the two Romulan. It was more the contrary actually.  He just needed to be smarter.

"Though rather than have the original recordings deleted, I insist that those of Tess and myself be turned over to us."  With the original in his possession, he could retain some measure of control over the information.

Rayek's request seemed to take the aide by surprise for a moment, before tr'Hei in turn nodded.  "If that is what you wish, we can certainly accommodate." the aide replied back and set up his PADD to begin recording.

"Please identify yourselves for the record, by stating your full names, with current ranks and position." Rhienn continued and gestured towards them to speak.

Rayek glanced to his wife and with a glance indicated that he would speak first "Commander Rayek ir-I'Ramnau ei-Moreno tr'Lhoell, First Officer of the USS Amalthea."

Despite having filled in all the appropriate change of name requests and sent them in to Starfleet and Federation Headquarters to make the change legal, this was the first time that Rayek had addressed himself aloud to another using the name he had chosen to add to his identity on their anniversary.   The ei- prefix had several different uses but in this instance he was recognizing the importance of Tess in his life by taking on her family name (which would have been the case anyways had they followed Romulan naming tradition) while still maintaining their decision to have their clan remain s'Lhoell in Earth custom.

Rayek watched Tess' face for reaction.

After Tess identified herself, Rhienn continued. "As this meeting is intended for us to gain insight into how well integrated into Federation society the Rihan people have become since the loss of our homeworld over 10 years ago, we will be addressing our questions directly to you, Commander."
 
Rayek had assumed that would be the case. "Understood.  However, as my wife is hru'hfirh of the s'Lhoell clan..." 

He paused a moment reflecting on what that meant... no longer was the clan just the three of them but Kemala and even Telmuk were recognized as part of their clan now too.  Thankfully Kemala hadn't contested Tess' right to the title.   

"If she wishes to speak she has that right." Rayek stated. "You may proceed."


Tess was glad and smiled when Rayek agreed readily to have their conversation be recorded. But it wouldn't be her lovely paranoid Romulan husband if he had nothing to add as a stipulation. Which promptly followed. Ambassador Jarok's aide agreed just as readily even if with some hesitation prior to it.

They were then asked to identify themselves for the record and Tess understood Rayek's glance and let him answer first. Of course he knew her husband's name. Therefore, she was even more surprised to hear him mention an addition to his name she had not known before. She looked at him wide-eyed but clearly touched. Was this one of his surprises he always seemed to find new ways to surprise her with? While she was totally fine with him keeping his name and she taking on his name, it was touching that he apparently chose to add her name to his as well. Had he already made this official? When had he planned on telling her this? Or was this so a whlie already and he had just waited for an opportunity like this? As she thought about it second longer, she realized that it probably had something to do with Romulan culture though she was not exactly sure what it was. While she had learned a lot about her husband's culture, both from him and from her own fascination and interest, it was a very complex and very old one that had many traditions that were that as well. Had maybe his sister's appearance prompted Rayek to solidify Tess' position as the clan's chief, as he kept telling her that she was that. Tess struggled a bit to perceive herself a clan chief but she did her best to fulfil the role. Was her sister probably fighting her position?

The silence in the room cut into her thoughts and as she surfaced from them, she found all eyes on her, waiting. "Usae" (*Sorry), she said with a dip of her head. "Captain Tess'ana t'Lhoell, Commanding Officer of the USS Amalthea", she offered up her name.

The aide Rhienn tr'Hei then went on to explain that the questions would be directed at Rayek. Tess nodded immediately. But Rayek had something to add to that, too. He highlighted her position in the family and explained that she had the right to answer as well. Tess smiled a little hesitantly and nodded, glad that the other two accepted that.

With that settled, Tess waited for the questions to begin.


[...]


Ambassador Jarok sat and watched in silence as his aide took care of the formalities as he had been in all of the meetings so far. This one was different because the spouse attended who was not Romulan. But apparently, the mixed couple tried to adhere to Romulan culture - well, not completely, since the wife had taken on the husband's name, which was unusual in Romulan culture. But perhaps it made most sense to hold up Romulan heritage and culture in a mixed marriage.

"Thank you", Jarok said to his aide and then leaned forward, indicating he was about to take over the conversation now. He had his datapad in front of him on which he had noted questions, tailored to Commander tr'Lhoell.

"Commander, of all the Romulan officers I have talked to thus far, you have served by far the longest in Starfleet." He glanced up from his padd and looked at Rayek. "Can you please elaborate on the experience of joining Starfleet. How were you perceived by the authorities, your superiors, instructors and fellow students at the time? What obstacles did you have to face and what was made easy for you?" Jarok leaned back in his seat again, regarding Rayek very attentively.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 05, 2022, 03:17:37 am
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Latihk was a little surprised that the man didn't dig deeper and try to press for his real name. It was kinda weird that he came in strong with a confident confrontation but then backed down so quickly. He thought he'd need to fight a little more about that one, but Latihk certainly wouldn't complain about that. He accepted the man's apology with an almost solemn nod of his head.

The next question was critical but it had been clear that it would come sooner or later. He had been hesitant as hell to come here at all. He knew it was illegal and it could mean trouble for many reasons. But Kemala had been quite convincing. Part of that had been that she had guaranteed him to take responsibility should they be confronted with consequences.

Another not unimportant reason why Latihk had agreed to this was that he still had romantic feelings for the s'Lhoell daughter. There was no point in denying it. He had realized that the second he had seen her on the screen when he had contacted her to inform her of the danger Rayek was in. Now that he had spent months with her in the limited space on his ship, those feelings had not diminished. Rather the opposite.

Latihk eyed the portly Romulan in front of him. "I can't make any statements on that."

Now to see if the aide would back off again so quickly or if he would be more persistent this time.

Telmuk realized his mistake moments after reading the surprise in the one-eyed Romulan's mind.  First he'd come on too strong for Rhienn's jovial persona, too much of his own hardness seeping through, and then he'd overcompensated to be too lax in reaction to the man's answer.  Telmuk needed to get his act together or it could raise suspicions, but Telmuk felt off kilter.   Was it Kemala's arrival that was throwing him off?  That had to be it.  Everything would have been fine if she hadn't shown up and raised the Captain's suspicions.

When it came to questioning this man, Telmuk needed Rhienn to be a little more insistent - but in an nonthreatening manner. So that's how he planned to approach the rest of the interview.

The Tal'Shiar agent continued to skim the surface thoughts of tr'Dhael hoping the man would slip up and think of his own identity, so he had a name he could actually search up in the Romulan Embassy database.  Picking up from the man's mind that Latihk had feelings for his sister, had Telmuk narrowing his gaze somewhat at the man.  Really!?  That wasn't going to ever happen!  Kemala could have almost any man in the Empire, she was so sought after.  The nerve of this guy thinking he had a chance.

Yet something about him seemed familiar to Telmuk - like he should know him. 

That's when Latihk's thoughts noted that it was the smuggler who had contacted Kemala first to warn of the threat to Rayek.  What the Fvadt!?  How in Areinnye had HE found out?  Telmuk choked a moment.

Dammit! He definitely needed to get this guy talking and not on the defensive.  It was always harder to read people when they were subconsciously blocking. 

That the man then played coy and tried to say he couldn't speak to that topic, just pissed Telmuk off.

'Stay calm,' he told himself.   'Keep to the role.  He'll open up to friendly Rhienn more than he would to a Tal'Shiar interrogator (at least one not having access to a mind probe anyways)'.

Rhienn smiled tolerantly. "I can appreciate that you are likely concerned about... repercussions if you speak openly.  Fear has often been a big motivator in the way these one-on-one chats went back in the day, but things are changing.  And I'm not the type to resort to threats but I can offer incentives and assurance that we're here to help.  My job is to help honest hard-working Rihan citizens, like yourself, while they are here in foreign space and dealing with unfortunate circumstances, like the one we find ourselves in right now - but to do that I need to know what's going on."

Telmuk had Rhienn ask again.

"So, what was the purpose of your travel?  You can be honest with me. Whatever it is you think you need to hide, can be dealt with together."



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPCs Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

This was a moment Lared realized something. While his mother's mindset was his own, a common thing about Romulans, ingrained in their culture, and something he had been growing up with and taught from an early age on, his own son's almost innocent and unaware of any prejudices questions were hitting something inside him. The fact was that he couldn't give his son a reasonable explanation. Of course he could talk to him about the sketchy moral aspects of telepathy, but he realized that what he had been taught and in return was teaching his son was to despise others for a part of their physiology.

Of course, he still was appalled by the very idea. And he would prefer for his son to never come into contact with it - but apparently, it was too late for that. He already did. And it hadn't been gruesome for him, not something horrible but something to be excited and curious about. It gave him a lot to think about.

Even as his mother announced she would teach him defensive techniques, Lared kept looking at his son, his eyes soft. "Of course I trust you", he said quietly. He wanted his son to know that. He then looked to his mother when she spoke of culling down Remans. "Mother", he said weakly, "I asked you not to speak of these topics in front of the children."

Jinsux was momentarily relieved and happy to hear his father's quiet voice state that he was trusted.  But that understanding moment was ripped away when his grandmother spoke. Jinsux felt scared and angry tears well up in his eyes as she called his best friend an abomination. 

Jinsux reacted, despite knowing he would likely be punished for talking back to his grandmother.  "No he's not!" he shouted at her, upset and fighting back tears. "He's my friend and that's just part of who he is; and I trust him!  He doesn't do hateful things - like you do!"

Then before either adult could scold him for daring to speak out, Jinsux ran from the room bawling.

...
Karinne gaped at the fleeing child, her heart aching in her chest at his accusation that she was hateful.  First her son rebuked her, then her grandchild!  What was wrong with them?!  This was the result of being too lenient and being surrounded by the damns Feds!

"I defend my home and family against all threats and I am called hateful for it." she huffed indignantly, trying to hide how much the boy's words hurt.  She stared after the boy. "I am not deserving of respect by the younger generations despite my years of service, I see.  Fine then! l should have expected no better given the influences that surround them."

She turned then to look back at Lared, who looked so weak that it was worrisome.  His earlier words pointing out that back on Romulus that he wouldn't have received such treatment came to mind, troubling her greatly.   "I will go now to let you rest.  Uaefvalhuneitrde'h'n ehsiu kha, taeth aadhoiurr'u" (*translation: Be well soon, my son)



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Hallway outside Sickbay]
Phara was waiting in the hall with Cemee and Tordel, who had been given time from her duties to come see her father, when suddenly Jinsux burst through the opening doorway and ran past the three crying.

Phara was stunned.  She looked to her eldest.  "Watch Cemee.  I'll go after him."  the Romulan mother said hurriedly, waiting only long enough for her eldest to acknowledge with a nod and respond back.

"Of course. I've got this."

Tordel didn't have long to ponder as to what happened for soon her grandmother exited the sickbay. The elderly woman seemed to cast her glance about.  "Vikra uaefvalhuneitrde'h'n ieiuqh ri'nanov aellei dl?" her grandmother asked. (*translation - Where are your mother and brother?)

Tordel gave a slight shrug and pointed off down the hallway the Jinsux had ran down. "Jinsux seemed upset so Mother went after him, " Tordel answered to which her grandmother nodded with a rather sharp frown.

Hoping to change the subject, Tordel glanced past her grandmother towards the Sickbays doors. "How is he?"

Her grandmother's expression saddened momentarily before the old woman regained firm hold of herself.  "He's tired.  If you wish to see him before he nods off.. you should do so now.  I'll take Cemee home." 

Karinne held out her hand towards the youngest child.  "Come child." Together the two started off down the hall in the opposite direction, leaving Tordel free to slip in and check in on her father.

She tried to walk quietly in case he was resting.  Tordel didn't want to disturb him.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Tess was glad and smiled when Rayek agreed readily to have their conversation be recorded. But it wouldn't be her lovely paranoid Romulan husband if he had nothing to add as a stipulation. Which promptly followed. Ambassador Jarok's aide agreed just as readily even if with some hesitation prior to it.

They were then asked to identify themselves for the record and Tess understood Rayek's glance and let him answer first. Of course he knew her husband's name. Therefore, she was even more surprised to hear him mention an addition to his name she had not known before. She looked at him wide-eyed but clearly touched. Was this one of his surprises he always seemed to find new ways to surprise her with? While she was totally fine with him keeping his name and she taking on his name, it was touching that he apparently chose to add her name to his as well. Had he already made this official? When had he planned on telling her this? Or was this so a while already and he had just waited for an opportunity like this? As she thought about it second longer, she realized that it probably had something to do with Romulan culture though she was not exactly sure what it was. While she had learned a lot about her husband's culture, both from him and from her own fascination and interest, it was a very complex and very old one that had many traditions that were that as well. Had maybe his sister's appearance prompted Rayek to solidify Tess' position as the clan's chief, as he kept telling her that she was that. Tess struggled a bit to perceive herself a clan chief but she did her best to fulfill the role. Was her sister probably fighting her position?

The silence in the room cut into her thoughts and as she surfaced from them, she found all eyes on her, waiting. "Usae" (*Sorry), she said with a dip of her head. "Captain Tess'ana t'Lhoell, Commanding Officer of the USS Amalthea", she offered up her name.

The aide Rhienn tr'Hei then went on to explain that the questions would be directed at Rayek. Tess nodded immediately. But Rayek had something to add to that, too. He highlighted her position in the family and explained that she had the right to answer as well. Tess smiled a little hesitantly and nodded, glad that the other two accepted that.

With that settled, Tess waited for the questions to begin.

[...]

Ambassador Jarok sat and watched in silence as his aide took care of the formalities as he had been in all of the meetings so far. This one was different because the spouse attended who was not Romulan. But apparently, the mixed couple tried to adhere to Romulan culture - well, not completely, since the wife had taken on the husband's name, which was unusual in Romulan culture. But perhaps it made most sense to hold up Romulan heritage and culture in a mixed marriage.

"Thank you", Jarok said to his aide and then leaned forward, indicating he was about to take over the conversation now. He had his datapad in front of him on which he had noted questions, tailored to Commander tr'Lhoell.

"Commander, of all the Romulan officers I have talked to thus far, you have served by far the longest in Starfleet." He glanced up from his padd and looked at Rayek. "Can you please elaborate on the experience of joining Starfleet. How were you perceived by the authorities, your superiors, instructors and fellow students at the time? What obstacles did you have to face and what was made easy for you?" Jarok leaned back in his seat again, regarding Rayek very attentively.

The widening of her eyes in surprise gave Rayek a slight thrill of happiness, as Tess reacted to hearing his Ifihaele'edh 'nhqh or 'recognition name'.

Then he smiled more at hearing Tess' full Ba'ku name.  He loved the sound of it and would love to call her by it but having grown up on Earth, she seemed to prefer the more Terran sounding 'Tess' over her actual birth name.  A choice that Rayek respected.

His attention then turned to the Ambassador as the Romulan began to speak and asked his question.  Rayek paused a moment, organizing his thoughts and choice of words before answering.

"Answering might have been easier had you asked one question at a time, but I will attempt to be thorough in my reply.  How I was perceived all depended on what that other knew of me and my past."  Rayek didn't elaborate on what past he was referring to in his statement since he did not know what the Ambassador knew of him.  Was it in the file that the Ambassador had on him that Rayek was once a member of the Tal'Shiar? Or were those records lost over the years?

"But initially there was distrust on both sides. It took three failed attempts to get into Starfleet as an officer, for me to change my tactic and apply to the Fleet as Enlisted rather than Commissioned - this after ending my 5 year service in the Star Navy as a Centurion." Rayek pointed out.  He didn't need to explain to any present that a Centurion was comparable to Starfleet's Lieutenant or Lieutenant-Commander ranks.

"Being one of the few non-Federation born Romulans to successfully be accepted into even enlisted service with Starfleet my presence was, I suspect, a little disturbing for the other students and for the instructors.  Our people's past encounters with the Federation have left most Federation citizens with the not unwarranted belief that we are all cunning and deceitful.  I was watched carefully by my instructors and avoided by most of the students at first." Rayek stated deadpan.  He was avoiding showing how lonely a time it was for him then, with only really Saqa7 he could count as a friend. 

"The greatest obstacle for me, beyond just gaining acceptance into the Academy in the first place, was a singular concept that actually held me back from graduating for nearly two years." Rayek admitted before pointing out an embarrassing fact. "The enlisted course is only supposed to be 6 months." And yet he took 4 times that amount to grasp a single concept. 

"While I could verbalize the intent of the Prime Directive on a written test, when it came down to displaying those key aspects in my actions, I would fail.  Yet I was determined to get into the Fleet so persisted - much to their surprise.  I believe this both annoyed and impressed my instructors.  But in no way did they make 'things easy' or simply graduate me. I had to actually grasp the concept and have my actions in the holographic simulator reflect this."  Which he did eventually do.  It was a moment of great relief and pride to Rayek - when he graduated to Crewman from Recruit.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 06, 2022, 06:35:17 am
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Telmuk realized his mistake moments after reading the surprise in the one-eyed Romulan's mind.  First he'd come on too strong for Rhienn's jovial persona, too much of his own hardness seeping through, and then he'd overcompensated to be too lax in reaction to the man's answer.  Telmuk needed to get his act together or it could raise suspicions, but Telmuk felt off kilter.   Was it Kemala's arrival that was throwing him off?  That had to be it.  Everything would have been fine if she hadn't shown up and raised the Captain's suspicions.

When it came to questioning this man, Telmuk needed Rhienn to be a little more insistent - but in an nonthreatening manner. So that's how he planned to approach the rest of the interview.

The Tal'Shiar agent continued to skim the surface thoughts of tr'Dhael hoping the man would slip up and think of his own identity, so he had a name he could actually search up in the Romulan Embassy database.  Picking up from the man's mind that Latihk had feelings for his sister, had Telmuk narrowing his gaze somewhat at the man.  Really!?  That wasn't going to ever happen!  Kemala could have almost any man in the Empire, she was so sought after.  The nerve of this guy thinking he had a chance.

Yet something about him seemed familiar to Telmuk - like he should know him. 

That's when Latihk's thoughts noted that it was the smuggler who had contacted Kemala first to warn of the threat to Rayek.  What the Fvadt!?  How in Areinnye had HE found out?  Telmuk choked a moment.

Dammit! He definitely needed to get this guy talking and not on the defensive.  It was always harder to read people when they were subconsciously blocking. 

That the man then played coy and tried to say he couldn't speak to that topic, just pissed Telmuk off.

'Stay calm,' he told himself.   'Keep to the role.  He'll open up to friendly Rhienn more than he would to a Tal'Shiar interrogator (at least one not having access to a mind probe anyways)'.

Rhienn smiled tolerantly. "I can appreciate that you are likely concerned about... repercussions if you speak openly.  Fear has often been a big motivator in the way these one-on-one chats went back in the day, but things are changing.  And I'm not the type to resort to threats but I can offer incentives and assurance that we're here to help.  My job is to help honest hard-working Rihan citizens, like yourself, while they are here in foreign space and dealing with unfortunate circumstances, like the one we find ourselves in right now - but to do that I need to know what's going on."

Telmuk had Rhienn ask again.

"So, what was the purpose of your travel?  You can be honest with me. Whatever it is you think you need to hide, can be dealt with together."

Latihk eyed the man for a long moment silently, trying to figure out how much he wanted to trust him. Of course, there was no way he would tell him the whole story - that they had come here after they had learned first that Rayek was still alive and that an attempt on his life was planned by no one less than the Tal'Shiar. Of course Kemala could not sit and let it happen. Acutally, he had encouraged her to do something. He just hadn't expected her to ask for his assistance in giving her a ride - a trading vessel as disguise.
While he couldn't tell him that, Latihk tried to figure out if he should give small pieces of information to not leave the man with nothing because it didn't seem he would leave with nothing. Or if it was better to just clam up completely, maybe until he had a chance to talk to Kemala - if they would let him.

The man speaking of incentives and assurances had Latihk pick up his ears. tr'Hei wanted him to believe that the new Romulan government now dealt differently with offenders. Was this just said to make Latihk believe that was true since he spoke to the aide of an ambassador of the Free State? Latihk was doubtful but decided to explore the possibilities.

"I'm a trader. What incentives and assurances do you have to offer?"

When tr'Hei again asked why they were here, Latihk shook his head. Maybe he should set one point straight right now. "Look, I know we are under the suspicion to have something to do with the explosion of the Federation shuttle. Neither was anyone of my ship near that shuttle, not when it had been inside the ship or when it had been out of it."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)






(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

     (https://i.imgur.com/JMFaZAR.jpg)                     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPCs Jinsux tr'Movel (age 9) + Karinne t'Movel (age 99)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Jinsux was momentarily relieved and happy to hear his father's quiet voice state that he was trusted.  But that understanding moment was ripped away when his grandmother spoke. Jinsux felt scared and angry tears well up in his eyes as she called his best friend an abomination. 

Jinsux reacted, despite knowing he would likely be punished for talking back to his grandmother.  "No he's not!" he shouted at her, upset and fighting back tears. "He's my friend and that's just part of who he is; and I trust him!  He doesn't do hateful things - like you do!"

Then before either adult could scold him for daring to speak out, Jinsux ran from the room bawling.

...
Karinne gaped at the fleeing child, her heart aching in her chest at his accusation that she was hateful.  First her son rebuked her, then her grandchild!  What was wrong with them?!  This was the result of being too lenient and being surrounded by the damns Feds!

"I defend my home and family against all threats and I am called hateful for it." she huffed indignantly, trying to hide how much the boy's words hurt.  She stared after the boy. "I am not deserving of respect by the younger generations despite my years of service, I see.  Fine then! l should have expected no better given the influences that surround them."

She turned then to look back at Lared, who looked so weak that it was worrisome.  His earlier words pointing out that back on Romulus that he wouldn't have received such treatment came to mind, troubling her greatly.   "I will go now to let you rest.  Uaefvalhuneitrde'h'n ehsiu kha, taeth aadhoiurr'u" (*translation: Be well soon, my son)

His son's outburst took Lared by surprise. Shocked, he watched his upset son shouting his disagreement and then rushing out of the room. He was too weak to call after him or to do anything to convince Jinsux to stay and talk about it. What a terrible timing for this conversation to be had.
His mother, of course, got all worked up about the behavior of the youngest child. On the one hand, he could not blame her. Such a behavior would not have been tolerated displayed by him or his siblings in any way. Not that Lared wanted to condone or ignore Jinsux's behavior. But instead of punishing the boy, as his mother surely had in mind, he was convinced that talking would do more. But that his mother couldn't understand. She thought this to be a display of disrespect towards her, and nothing else.

Lared didn't even know where to begin in trying to reply to her. He was overwhelmed. His mother seemed to notice that because suddenly her tone changed and she said she would leave him now so he could rest. Lared nodded and turned his head a bit to look at her. "I apologize for what has transpired, eneh-susse. It was disrespectful of him to talk to you in that manner." He paused to catch his breath a litte. "Phara and I will take care of him."



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Hallway outside Sickbay]
Phara was waiting in the hall with Cemee and Tordel, who had been given time from her duties to come see her father, when suddenly Jinsux burst through the opening doorway and ran past the three crying.

Phara was stunned.  She looked to her eldest.  "Watch Cemee.  I'll go after him."  the Romulan mother said hurriedly, waiting only long enough for her eldest to acknowledge with a nod and respond back.

"Of course. I've got this."

Tordel didn't have long to ponder as to what happened for soon her grandmother exited the sickbay. The elderly woman seemed to cast her glance about.  "Vikra uaefvalhuneitrde'h'n ieiuqh ri'nanov aellei dl?" her grandmother asked. (*translation - Where are your mother and brother?)

Tordel gave a slight shrug and pointed off down the hallway the Jinsux had ran down. "Jinsux seemed upset so Mother went after him, " Tordel answered to which her grandmother nodded with a rather sharp frown.

Hoping to change the subject, Tordel glanced past her grandmother towards the Sickbays doors. "How is he?"

Her grandmother's expression saddened momentarily before the old woman regained firm hold of herself.  "He's tired.  If you wish to see him before he nods off.. you should do so now.  I'll take Cemee home." 

Karinne held out her hand towards the youngest child.  "Come child." Together the two started off down the hall in the opposite direction, leaving Tordel free to slip in and check in on her father.

She tried to walk quietly in case he was resting.  Tordel didn't want to disturb him.

After his mother had left, Lared closed his eyes just to rest for a little and to calm down the stirred up thoughts and concerns. He almost drifted off into sleep completely when his sensitive hearing picked up the sound of footsteps. Forcing his eyes open he now saw the face of his eldest daughter.

"Tordel", he spoke quietly a faint smile on his face. He was so happy to see her. "How are you, paenhe (*daugher)?"

Unexpectedly, another pair of footsteeps came closer and a moment later the chief medical officer stood in the small room.

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
"Excuse me for interrupting, but it sounded like there was some turmoil going on here." He looked very concerned. And a little surprised to only find Tordel t'Movel here. He thought he heard a younger voice and the unmistakable voice of the eldest s'Movel. "I understand your family wishes to see you, but it is important that you avoid agitation of any kind. Do I make myself clear here?" While he wasn't necessarily stern, there was no doubt the doctor was serious about what he said and that he would take measures to assure the patient got to rest if he had to.

Lared felt burning embarrassement. "Yes, doctor, of course. I apologize", he quickly said to avoid having him send Tordel away or his daughter offering to leave. He wanted to spend a couple of minutes with her.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

The widening of her eyes in surprise gave Rayek a slight thrill of happiness, as Tess reacted to hearing his Ifihaele'edh 'nhqh or 'recognition name'.

Then he smiled more at hearing Tess' full Ba'ku name.  He loved the sound of it and would love to call her by it but having grown up on Earth, she seemed to prefer the more Terran sounding 'Tess' over her actual birth name.  A choice that Rayek respected.

His attention then turned to the Ambassador as the Romulan began to speak and asked his question.  Rayek paused a moment, organizing his thoughts and choice of words before answering.

"Answering might have been easier had you asked one question at a time, but I will attempt to be thorough in my reply.  How I was perceived all depended on what that other knew of me and my past."  Rayek didn't elaborate on what past he was referring to in his statement since he did not know what the Ambassador knew of him.  Was it in the file that the Ambassador had on him that Rayek was once a member of the Tal'Shiar? Or were those records lost over the years?

"But initially there was distrust on both sides. It took three failed attempts to get into Starfleet as an officer, for me to change my tactic and apply to the Fleet as Enlisted rather than Commissioned - this after ending my 5 year service in the Star Navy as a Centurion." Rayek pointed out.  He didn't need to explain to any present that a Centurion was comparable to Starfleet's Lieutenant or Lieutenant-Commander ranks.

"Being one of the few non-Federation born Romulans to successfully be accepted into even enlisted service with Starfleet my presence was, I suspect, a little disturbing for the other students and for the instructors.  Our people's past encounters with the Federation have left most Federation citizens with the not unwarranted belief that we are all cunning and deceitful.  I was watched carefully by my instructors and avoided by most of the students at first." Rayek stated deadpan.  He was avoiding showing how lonely a time it was for him then, with only really Saqa7 he could count as a friend. 

"The greatest obstacle for me, beyond just gaining acceptance into the Academy in the first place, was a singular concept that actually held me back from graduating for nearly two years." Rayek admitted before pointing out an embarrassing fact. "The enlisted course is only supposed to be 6 months." And yet he took 4 times that amount to grasp a single concept. 

"While I could verbalize the intent of the Prime Directive on a written test, when it came down to displaying those key aspects in my actions, I would fail.  Yet I was determined to get into the Fleet so persisted - much to their surprise.  I believe this both annoyed and impressed my instructors.  But in no way did they make 'things easy' or simply graduate me. I had to actually grasp the concept and have my actions in the holographic simulator reflect this."  Which he did eventually do.  It was a moment of great relief and pride to Rayek - when he graduated to Crewman from Recruit.


Virahk listened attentively to what Rayek said. If anything it showed that the Commander had strong willpower and was a person to achieve what he had set his mind on.

"It is not uncommon that it took some time to accept another concept of action that is quite different from what one had been raised with", the ambassador offered his understanding. "Did Starfleet offer any explanation why they initially had not accepted your application to enroll as a commissioned officer?" He briefly glanced down on his notes. "As I can see you later have been promoted from an enlisted to a commissioned officer - even to the rank of a Commander and Frist Officer. How did that come to be, in your opinion?"

"One goal of the Free State is that time served in the Romulan Military be acknowledged by Starfleet if someone wishes to serve there - for whatever reason. Would that find your approval?" It was a question to learn more about Rayek's mindset regarding Starfleet.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 06, 2022, 04:54:16 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Latihk eyed the man for a long moment silently, trying to figure out how much he wanted to trust him. Of course, there was no way he would tell him the whole story - that they had come here after they had learned first that Rayek was still alive and that an attempt on his life was planned by no one less than the Tal'Shiar. Of course Kemala could not sit and let it happen. Actually, he had encouraged her to do something. He just hadn't expected her to ask for his assistance in giving her a ride - a trading vessel as disguise.
While he couldn't tell him that, Latihk tried to figure out if he should give small pieces of information to not leave the man with nothing because it didn't seem he would leave with nothing. Or if it was better to just clam up completely, maybe until he had a chance to talk to Kemala - if they would let him.

The man speaking of incentives and assurances had Latihk pick up his ears. tr'Hei wanted him to believe that the new Romulan government now dealt differently with offenders. Was this just said to make Latihk believe that was true since he spoke to the aide of an ambassador of the Free State? Latihk was doubtful but decided to explore the possibilities.

"I'm a trader. What incentives and assurances do you have to offer?"

When tr'Hei again asked why they were here, Latihk shook his head. Maybe he should set one point straight right now. "Look, I know we are under the suspicion to have something to do with the explosion of the Federation shuttle. Neither was anyone of my ship near that shuttle, not when it had been inside the ship or when it had been out of it."


Telmuk's telepathy continued to sift over the other Romulan's thoughts.  There was more confirmation that Kemala and this man knew about Telmuk's orders to assassinate Rayek.  Yet nothing so far indicated that the man was suspicious of Rhienn being that assassin.  Instead the Romulan naming himself tr'Dhael was more concerned about keeping the truth from Rhienn. 

Though it was interesting to note that the idea of incentives caught tr'Dhael's attention. That could be useful.

"Well, if given your full cooperation during this investigation and if your purpose is reasonable then it is likely that we can negotiate with our Federation counterparts to drop any charges that would naturally arise out of a Romulan ship crossing the Neutral Zone without permission of either government."

That tr'Dhael chose then to speak to the suspicion that he and his ship were under was interesting.  "Your word alone is not sufficient.  I will require access to your ships' unaltered logs to verify how long you have been following the USS Amalthea and what other activities you have been involved in - if you wish to solidify your claim of innocence."



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/493172943724085249/649050054908444682/image.png?width=200&height=300)
NPC Karinne t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
 
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

His son's outburst took Lared by surprise. Shocked, he watched his upset son shouting his disagreement and then rushing out of the room. He was too weak to call after him or to do anything to convince Jinsux to stay and talk about it. What a terrible timing for this conversation to be had.
His mother, of course, got all worked up about the behavior of the youngest child. On the one hand, he could not blame her. Such a behavior would not have been tolerated displayed by him or his siblings in any way. Not that Lared wanted to condone or ignore Jinsux's behavior. But instead of punishing the boy, as his mother surely had in mind, he was convinced that talking would do more. But that his mother couldn't understand. She thought this to be a display of disrespect towards her, and nothing else.

Lared didn't even know where to begin in trying to reply to her. He was overwhelmed. His mother seemed to notice that because suddenly her tone changed and she said she would leave him now so he could rest. Lared nodded and turned his head a bit to look at her. "I apologize for what has transpired, eneh-susse. It was disrespectful of him to talk to you in that manner." He paused to catch his breath a little. "Phara and I will take care of him."

Karinne gazed down at her last surviving son.  He had changed much since their time among the Feds - not all of it good according to her thinking, but it eased her mind that he took responsibility for his own sons outburst.  "Very well, I will leave his discipline to you both though I expect an apology from him directly.  He is the one that needs to learn that that is no way to speak to one's elder." she groused before letting it go for now.

She bid her son to rest then headed out.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]
After his mother had left, Lared closed his eyes just to rest for a little and to calm down the stirred up thoughts and concerns. He almost drifted off into sleep completely when his sensitive hearing picked up the sound of footsteps. Forcing his eyes open he now saw the face of his eldest daughter.

"Tordel", he spoke quietly a faint smile on his face. He was so happy to see her. "How are you, paenhe (*daugher)?"

Unexpectedly, another pair of footsteeps came closer and a moment later the chief medical officer stood in the small room.

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
"Excuse me for interrupting, but it sounded like there was some turmoil going on here." He looked very concerned. And a little surprised to only find Tordel t'Movel here. He thought he heard a younger voice and the unmistakable voice of the eldest s'Movel. "I understand your family wishes to see you, but it is important that you avoid agitation of any kind. Do I make myself clear here?" While he wasn't necessarily stern, there was no doubt the doctor was serious about what he said and that he would take measures to assure the patient got to rest if he had to.

Lared felt burning embarrassment. "Yes, doctor, of course. I apologize", he quickly said to avoid having him send Tordel away or his daughter offering to leave. He wanted to spend a couple of minutes with her.


Tordel offered her father a respectful bow in greeting before moving to his bedside. Yet before she could speak the Medical Chief arrived and commented on some disruption that her grandmother must have cause.  Tordel lowered her head apologetically on her grandmother's behalf.  "I too apologize for any disruption my won't cause any trouble, sir... and won't stay long, I promise.  I can see my father needs rest." she answered before lifting her head.

Once the doctor left, Tordel turned her look back to her father and answered his earlier question.   "I'm doing better now..." Her words suggested that while he was unconscious that she'd been troubled.

"Are you okay?" she questioned gently, as she leaned down to give him a light hug. 

When she rose once more her curiosity about what the incident earlier was about prompted a somewhat inappropriate question - but Karinne wasn't present so it should be fine.  "What was d'-enneh-susse complaining about this time?"



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Virahk listened attentively to what Rayek said. If anything it showed that the Commander had strong willpower and was a person to achieve what he had set his mind on.

"It is not uncommon that it took some time to accept another concept of action that is quite different from what one had been raised with", the ambassador offered his understanding. "Did Starfleet offer any explanation why they initially had not accepted your application to enroll as a commissioned officer?" He briefly glanced down on his notes. "As I can see you later have been promoted from an enlisted to a commissioned officer - even to the rank of a Commander and Frist Officer. How did that come to be, in your opinion?"

"One goal of the Free State is that time served in the Romulan Military be acknowledged by Starfleet if someone wishes to serve there - for whatever reason. Would that find your approval?" It was a question to learn more about Rayek's mindset regarding Starfleet.

Rayek accepted the Ambassador's platitude of understanding his troubles at adapting to the Federation mindset, though Rayek doubted the Ambassador had any real clue.  The Starfleet officer figured the fellow Romulan was just attempting to put him at ease. 

When asked by the Ambassador if Starfleet had offered any explanation for refusing his commission application, Rayek shook his head.  "They did not.  Nor did I ask.  It was rather self-explanatory. They didn't trust me in a role with any sort of power." he deadpanned.

He glanced to Tess.  He knew she didn't like to hear his opinion on those early days.  She had tried more than once to have him look at the situation from Starfleet's perspective but to Rayek that merely solidified his belief.  He wouldn't have trusted a traitor with a position of power without proof of their true intentions.

It wasn't that Rayek blamed Starfleet for their caution; he was merely stating it plainly.

Rayek went on to explain his promotion. "I was fortunate to be assigned to a ship whose Captain, was willing to overlook my history and judge me merely on my actions from that point on."  He was of course referring to Captain Dylan Torngate - a man that had earned his respect quickly and whom Rayek was pleased to count among those he called friend.  Dylan had even attended his and Tess' wedding. 

"I'm certain it was at his recommendation that I was considered for such a promotion.  That and I believe I may have impressed Admiral Rellek during a specific mission, so much so that she requested me specifically as her XO when she took command of Katra Station."

He listened as Ambassador Jarok suggested that they were working towards having Romulan Military time in service acknowledged immediately by Starfleet.  It was something Rayek had once would have killed for (not literally - he meant it just as an expression presently).

"Surprisingly, no.  I feel I am a better Starfleet officer having had to initially work through the ranks - at least for the start.  I understand now that Starfleet needs to be careful and selective on who and how much leadership they allow exchange personnel have - at least until those individuals prove themselves capable of fitting in and following Starfleet protocol.  Though perhaps at least allowing commissioned enrollment would be sufficient.  If the Romulan individual is skilled and ernest, it won't take them long to regain their comparable higher rank."   






Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 07, 2022, 11:35:07 am
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


Telmuk's telepathy continued to sift over the other Romulan's thoughts.  There was more confirmation that Kemala and this man knew about Telmuk's orders to assassinate Rayek.  Yet nothing so far indicated that the man was suspicious of Rhienn being that assassin.  Instead the Romulan naming himself tr'Dhael was more concerned about keeping the truth from Rhienn. 

Though it was interesting to note that the idea of incentives caught tr'Dhael's attention. That could be useful.

"Well, if given your full cooperation during this investigation and if your purpose is reasonable then it is likely that we can negotiate with our Federation counterparts to drop any charges that would naturally arise out of a Romulan ship crossing the Neutral Zone without permission of either government."

That tr'Dhael chose then to speak to the suspicion that he and his ship were under was interesting.  "Your word alone is not sufficient.  I will require access to your ships' unaltered logs to verify how long you have been following the USS Amalthea and what other activities you have been involved in - if you wish to solidify your claim of innocence."

"If our purpose is reasonable?" Latihk now gave up on his overly relaxed posture, sitting up straight and leaning forward as he regarded the man intensely with his good eye. "And who decides what is 'reasonable'?" Latihk leaned back again. "I might not have had permission of a governemnt, but I had the permission of riov t'Lhoell." Latihk wondered if Rhienn didn't think that the fact that the Amalthea's Commander's sister came here had something to say. "Let me ask you something; if I may ask a question for a change."  He eyed Rhienn attentively. "What do you think we came here for?"

When Rhienn told him he would need to have access to his ship's logs Latihk nodded. "You can have a look at them, I've got nothing to hide." Not exactly, but he was clever enough to hide everything that might hint at his activities in the blackmarket business. "But you're looking at the wrong guy."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
Cadet Tordel t'Movel[/size]
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


Tordel offered her father a respectful bow in greeting before moving to his bedside. Yet before she could speak the Medical Chief arrived and commented on some disruption that her grandmother must have cause.  Tordel lowered her head apologetically on her grandmother's behalf.  "I too apologize for any disruption my won't cause any trouble, sir... and won't stay long, I promise.  I can see my father needs rest." she answered before lifting her head.

Once the doctor left, Tordel turned her look back to her father and answered his earlier question.   "I'm doing better now..." Her words suggested that while he was unconscious that she'd been troubled.

"Are you okay?" she questioned gently, as she leaned down to give him a light hug. 

When she rose once more her curiosity about what the incident earlier was about prompted a somewhat inappropriate question - but Karinne wasn't present so it should be fine.  "What was d'-enneh-susse complaining about this time?"

Lared heard as the doctor left, seemingly satisfied with their appeasement for now. When his daughter told him that she was better now, he smiled weakly. It felt like the stimulant Captain t'Lhoell had given him earlier had worn off now completely. He felt very tired. But he didn't want to give into that as long as he had the chance to be and speak with his family. At her question he tried for a wider smile and nodded. "I am fine, now that I know I'm alive and be able to see all of you." He lifted his head when she hugged him to gently return the embrace.

His daughter then asked what the argument had been about. Lared huffed and closed his eyes, initially not wanting to elaborate the topic and cause more trouble. But Jinsux really made him think and having Tordel here, his daughter being so very accepting and open to the ways of the Federation while she had a very good understanding of Romulan culture as well ... Lared was kinda curious what she would say - and maybe even help him make a decision.

He hesitated a while longer, ruminating the pros and cons in his head over and over again. "Jinsux ..." he began, his voice hoarse and quiet again, "he commented on the topic of telepathy and he revealed to your d'-enneh-susse and me that he had a friend on Katra who apparently had a habit of being in telepathic contact with him!" He was still slightly annoyed that he had found out like this. But the moment passed as quick as it came. "Of course mother and I too were shocked to hear that. But ..." He sighed. "There was this casualness to the way he spoke about it. And I keep wondering why he wasn't more cautious of this kind of thing. It's not harmless."

He faltered and then suddenly felt at was inappropriate. "I apologize, my daughter. This is nothing I should burden you with or discuss with you." He reached a hand out to touch her comfortingly.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

Rayek accepted the Ambassador's platitude of understanding his troubles at adapting to the Federation mindset, though Rayek doubted the Ambassador had any real clue.  The Starfleet officer figured the fellow Romulan was just attempting to put him at ease. 

When asked by the Ambassador if Starfleet had offered any explanation for refusing his commission application, Rayek shook his head.  "They did not.  Nor did I ask.  It was rather self-explanatory. They didn't trust me in a role with any sort of power." he deadpanned.

He glanced to Tess.  He knew she didn't like to hear his opinion on those early days.  She had tried more than once to have him look at the situation from Starfleet's perspective but to Rayek that merely solidified his belief.  He wouldn't have trusted a traitor with a position of power without proof of their true intentions.

It wasn't that Rayek blamed Starfleet for their caution; he was merely stating it plainly.

Rayek went on to explain his promotion. "I was fortunate to be assigned to a ship whose Captain, was willing to overlook my history and judge me merely on my actions from that point on."  He was of course referring to Captain Dylan Torngate - a man that had earned his respect quickly and whom Rayek was pleased to count among those he called friend.  Dylan had even attended his and Tess' wedding. 

"I'm certain it was at his recommendation that I was considered for such a promotion.  That and I believe I may have impressed Admiral Rellek during a specific mission, so much so that she requested me specifically as her XO when she took command of Katra Station."

He listened as Ambassador Jarok suggested that they were working towards having Romulan Military time in service acknowledged immediately by Starfleet.  It was something Rayek had once would have killed for (not literally - he meant it just as an expression presently).

"Surprisingly, no.  I feel I am a better Starfleet officer having had to initially work through the ranks - at least for the start.  I understand now that Starfleet needs to be careful and selective on who and how much leadership they allow exchange personnel have - at least until those individuals prove themselves capable of fitting in and following Starfleet protocol.  Though perhaps at least allowing commissioned enrollment would be sufficient.  If the Romulan individual is skilled and ernest, it won't take them long to regain their comparable higher rank."   


When Rayek answered the question regarding why Starfleet had refused his application initially,  Tess bit her tongue, even as Rayek glanced over at her. She knew his opinion on it and he knew hers. In no way did she want to start a discussion about it in front of the ambassador and his aide nor did she want to make it appear that Rayek's opinion was wrong. It wasn't. Neither was hers. Neither of them could say for sure their point of view was the absolute truth, so she had no issues with Rayek stating his opnion when asked for it.



Jarok listened attentively as Rayek spoke. "You keep referring to 'those who didn't know my past' and 'overlook my history'. Could you please elaborate on what you are referring to exactly?", he asked politely. He didn't mention it but there were some gaps in the data sheet regarding him. He had little hopes that the Commander would actually answer to that. But it was worth asking.

After Rayek shared his thoughts on time served in Romulan Military being acknowledged by Starfleet, Jarok nodded. "Thank you for sharing your opinion, Commander." He took a moment to add to the notes he had in front of him on his padd.

"So, you have been telling us of your initial struggles to fit in. From what I have seen you dealing with the crew and not least given by your rank and position on this ship, it seems quite obvious that you have managed to fit in and acclimatize yourself quite well. If you would be so kind as to tell us in your opinion what steps had helped you to achieve that? Have you made conscious efforts for it or did you get assistance? Of a counselor, probably?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 09, 2022, 02:21:25 am
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

"If our purpose is reasonable?" Latihk now gave up on his overly relaxed posture, sitting up straight and leaning forward as he regarded the man intensely with his good eye. "And who decides what is 'reasonable'?" Latihk leaned back again. "I might not have had permission of a government, but I had the permission of riov t'Lhoell." Latihk wondered if Rhienn didn't think that the fact that the Amalthea's Commander's sister came here had something to say. "Let me ask you something; if I may ask a question for a change."  He eyed Rhienn attentively. "What do you think we came here for?"

When Rhienn told him he would need to have access to his ship's logs Latihk nodded. "You can have a look at them, I've got nothing to hide." Not exactly, but he was clever enough to hide everything that might hint at his activities in the blackmarket business. "But you're looking at the wrong guy."


Telmuk knew before the man moved that he'd triggered a reaction with Rhienn's statement.  It was clear that tr'Dhael had an issue with authority.  Question was: Why? 

Unfortunately, the trader was more focused on the phrase used, than thinking about his past, so Telmuk wasn't able to read anything of that.  Though tr'Dhael asked who decided what was reasonable, the man didn't wait for Rhienn to answer before stating he had Riov t'Lhoell's permission, as if that was sufficient answer enough.     

"Unfortunately, the Riov doesn't have the authority to arbitrarily cross the Neutral Zone in what could be misconstrued as an act of war."  Rhienn pointed out.  "Now in answer to your question of 'Who decides what is reasonable?' that would be Ambassador Jarok."

When tr'Dhael sought to turn the questions on him, Telmuk gave the man one of Rhienn's most pleasant smiles.  "It's not my place to guess why.  My role here is to record your answers.  Answers that hopefully will facilitate the Ambassador negotiating on your behalf.  If you give us nothing, we in turn have nothing to respond with while in discussion with Federation when they seek recompense for your illegal traverse of their territory.  It's likely you could end up losing your ship. Or perhaps they will insist on your incarceration... " he remarked casually - noting some possible penalties that could be levied against the Romulan trader.

Telmuk doubted the Federation Captain would demand any of that, especially since she seemed sympathetic to Kemala's cause.  But this man, didn't know that quite yet.   The trader and the other Romulan found aboard had been kept from Kemala, and one another, since the impounding of the Romulan vessel. 

After receiving permission to access the Romulan ship's log, Telmuk made note to do so after this.  It was almost amusing to hear the man state that they were looking for the wrong guy.   Given the man's attraction towards Kemala, Telmuk couldn't help but use that to his advantage.

"If not you.. then perhaps it is 'Riov t'Lhoell?  You did say you came here on her order.  But that seems far-fetched, doesn't it?  What sort of sibling would wish ill to their own brother?   At any rate, it is likely she who will face the heaviest punishment for coming here without permission."  Telmuk didn't list out the punishments Kemala could face. No, he'd let the trader imagine the worst, all on his own.

"So allow me to ask again... what was your purpose here?"



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared heard as the doctor left, seemingly satisfied with their appeasement for now. When his daughter told him that she was better now, he smiled weakly. It felt like the stimulant Captain t'Lhoell had given him earlier had worn off now completely. He felt very tired. But he didn't want to give into that as long as he had the chance to be and speak with his family. At her question he tried for a wider smile and nodded. "I am fine, now that I know I'm alive and be able to see all of you." He lifted his head when she hugged him to gently return the embrace.

His daughter then asked what the argument had been about. Lared huffed and closed his eyes, initially not wanting to elaborate the topic and cause more trouble. But Jinsux really made him think and having Tordel here, his daughter being so very accepting and open to the ways of the Federation while she had a very good understanding of Romulan culture as well ... Lared was kinda curious what she would say - and maybe even help him make a decision.

He hesitated a while longer, ruminating the pros and cons in his head over and over again. "Jinsux ..." he began, his voice hoarse and quiet again, "he commented on the topic of telepathy and he revealed to your d'-enneh-susse and me that he had a friend on Katra who apparently had a habit of being in telepathic contact with him!" He was still slightly annoyed that he had found out like this. But the moment passed as quick as it came. "Of course mother and I too were shocked to hear that. But ..." He sighed. "There was this casualness to the way he spoke about it. And I keep wondering why he wasn't more cautious of this kind of thing. It's not harmless."

He faltered and then suddenly felt that was inappropriate. "I apologize, my daughter. This is nothing I should burden you with or discuss with you." He reached a hand out to touch her comfortingly.

Tordel gave a slight whistle at hearing of Jinsux's news.  She was a little stunned, but it so explained her brothers mad dash out of the Sickbay.  "D'-eneh-susse must have been livid.  Oh poor Jinsux." she said almost under her breath.  Yet she seemed surprised at her father's apologetic comment. 

"You have nothing to apologize for, eneh.  I understand why you would feel a little out of your comfort zone with such a topic.  Telepathy and everything about it has been painted negatively by our government.  Ever since I was a toddler in school, I heard stories about the vile Reman and how they would steal our memories or implant new ones."  Tordel pointed out.  Though, she had grown up on the outskirts of the Empire, far from Remus, the warning stories had been mandated as part of the curriculum.   

"I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable discussing the topic in class on Katra when it came up as a part of the school assignment in biology." Tordel explained offering up her on uncertainties.  "But Cemee and Jinsux... they never had that experience.  The people they know with such abilities are trusted friends or Starfleet officers who they have only known as being those who help people.  So they wouldn't have a problem opening themselves to sharing their thoughts."   



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

When Rayek answered the question regarding why Starfleet had refused his application initially,  Tess bit her tongue, even as Rayek glanced over at her. She knew his opinion on it and he knew hers. In no way did she want to start a discussion about it in front of the ambassador and his aide nor did she want to make it appear that Rayek's opinion was wrong. It wasn't. Neither was hers. Neither of them could say for sure their point of view was the absolute truth, so she had no issues with Rayek stating his opinion when asked for it.

Jarok listened attentively as Rayek spoke. "You keep referring to 'those who didn't know my past' and 'overlook my history'. Could you please elaborate on what you are referring to exactly?", he asked politely. He didn't mention it but there were some gaps in the data sheet regarding him. He had little hopes that the Commander would actually answer to that. But it was worth asking.

After Rayek shared his thoughts on time served in Romulan Military being acknowledged by Starfleet, Jarok nodded. "Thank you for sharing your opinion, Commander." He took a moment to add to the notes he had in front of him on his padd.

"So, you have been telling us of your initial struggles to fit in. From what I have seen you dealing with the crew and not least given by your rank and position on this ship, it seems quite obvious that you have managed to fit in and acclimatize yourself quite well. If you would be so kind as to tell us in your opinion what steps had helped you to achieve that? Have you made conscious efforts for it or did you get assistance? Of a counselor, probably?"


When asked to elaborate on his past, Rayek glanced to Tess.  He knew he shouldn't use Tess as his reminder to keep honest but it was very easy when speaking with the Ambassador to want to lie and keep things as hidden as possible, as they still hadn't discovered who had been sent to assassinate him.  The Ambassador and his Aide were among some of the most recent Romulans to the Gamma Quadrant, along with Sirol and Rojol that is.

Rayek let out a long slow breath before speaking again.

"I can only guess what it is that is noted in your file on me, but one thing I'm rather certain is that it does not show me any positive light.  So allow me to clarify and it may help you understand why I am skeptical of your presence on this ship.  I did not arrive in the Federation as a refugee like so many others.  I am a former prisoner of Faicol-lhui and a defector.  Are you certain you wish proceed knowing this?" he asked

While Rayek had thought that would be the end to the interview, he was surprisingly mistaken.  The Ambassador went on to ask about his success in acclimatizing and what methods had helped the most.

"For myself, I found that connecting with my peers was the most difficult, but it was also ultimately the thing that made the rest of my success possible. I did take counseling and it was of benefit.  I would recommend any of our people who have difficulty in trusting others, to begin with that.  Seek out a counselor to talk to and to be honest with yourself and your own motivations."

......
Telmuk sat quietly recording his brothers answers while the Ambassador questioned him.  Telmuk had to remind himself that this wasn't an interrogation like his talks with the trader and the Centurion.   These talks were a supposed to be friendly interviews to gather information to help understand why the Romulan individuals left the Free State, what had lured them to declare themselves refugees, and determine how they had acclimatized. 

A total waste of time to Telmuk's thinking, which is why he was glad that the Ambassador was taking the lead on this one.  Telmuk wasn't certain he could keep his true feelings kept quiet if he had to be the one questioning Rayek.  It was difficult enough just listening to him. 

When Rayek had spoken about the Federation accepting him despite his history and his past, Telmuk looked a bit surprised.  Had the veruul actually betrayed his oath to the Tal'Shiar?  Telmuk had searched the records on the ship trying to find proof of such but hadn't found anything incriminating.

Telmuk leaned forward slightly in interest as the Ambassador too honed in on this.  Telmuk had expected Rayek to dismiss the question, or downplay it so that it didn't seem so stark... but he'd misjudged his brother's sense of honesty.   His eyes widened as Rayek said outright that he was a former prisoner and a traitor.   'What was his brother thinking admitting to that?!'   
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 11, 2022, 03:24:25 am
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


Telmuk knew before the man moved that he'd triggered a reaction with Rhienn's statement.  It was clear that tr'Dhael had an issue with authority.  Question was: Why? 

Unfortunately, the trader was more focused on the phrase used, than thinking about his past, so Telmuk wasn't able to read anything of that.  Though tr'Dhael asked who decided what was reasonable, the man didn't wait for Rhienn to answer before stating he had Riov t'Lhoell's permission, as if that was sufficient answer enough.     

"Unfortunately, the Riov doesn't have the authority to arbitrarily cross the Neutral Zone in what could be misconstrued as an act of war."  Rhienn pointed out.  "Now in answer to your question of 'Who decides what is reasonable?' that would be Ambassador Jarok."

When tr'Dhael sought to turn the questions on him, Telmuk gave the man one of Rhienn's most pleasant smiles.  "It's not my place to guess why.  My role here is to record your answers.  Answers that hopefully will facilitate the Ambassador negotiating on your behalf.  If you give us nothing, we in turn have nothing to respond with while in discussion with Federation when they seek recompense for your illegal traverse of their territory.  It's likely you could end up losing your ship. Or perhaps they will insist on your incarceration... " he remarked casually - noting some possible penalties that could be levied against the Romulan trader.

Telmuk doubted the Federation Captain would demand any of that, especially since she seemed sympathetic to Kemala's cause.  But this man, didn't know that quite yet.   The trader and the other Romulan found aboard had been kept from Kemala, and one another, since the impounding of the Romulan vessel. 

After receiving permission to access the Romulan ship's log, Telmuk made note to do so after this.  It was almost amusing to hear the man state that they were looking for the wrong guy.   Given the man's attraction towards Kemala, Telmuk couldn't help but use that to his advantage.

"If not you.. then perhaps it is 'Riov t'Lhoell?  You did say you came here on her order.  But that seems far-fetched, doesn't it?  What sort of sibling would wish ill to their own brother?   At any rate, it is likely she who will face the heaviest punishment for coming here without permission."  Telmuk didn't list out the punishments Kemala could face. No, he'd let the trader imagine the worst, all on his own.

"So allow me to ask again... what was your purpose here?"

It wasn't lost on Latihk that tr'Hei casually tried to drop probable grim outcomes for Latihk should he be charged for crossing the Neutral Zone with his ship. He wondered if tr'Hei thought he wasn't aware of that. He very much was. He had been from the very beginning when he agreed to help Kemala.

Then the ambassador's aide changed tactic and pointed out that when in fact it had been Kemala ordering him here, that it would be here facing the severest of the punishments. That too was very much in the range of the possible. In fact, these things had been the topic of discussion between the both of them in the past months. They both were aware of the dangers. And they both in the end had agreed that it's worth a try. Plus, if they would explain to Rayek why they were here, it was likely that no charges would be made or at least that the problems could be smoothed out. That there was an ambassadorial delegation on board at that time was nothing they would have expected.

Latihk frowned when tr'Hei rhetorically asked what kind of sibling would wish harm on their brother? Wasn't he making a point pro them with that? He jumped on the opportunity. "Exactly", he finally spoke. "What kind of sibling would wish harm on their brother. Would it not make much more sense if they tried to protect their sibling?" He would let tr'Hei put two and two together on his own. He even took a step further. "I will tell you this: We did not come here to cause harm, quite the opposite. And a punishment of Riov t'Lhoell will look very bad for the Free State, you are here to represent, right? As far as I know the Free State seeks to cooperate with the Federation."





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Tordel gave a slight whistle at hearing of Jinsux's news.  She was a little stunned, but it so explained her brothers mad dash out of the Sickbay.  "D'-eneh-susse must have been livid.  Oh poor Jinsux." she said almost under her breath.  Yet she seemed surprised at her father's apologetic comment. 

"You have nothing to apologize for, eneh.  I understand why you would feel a little out of your comfort zone with such a topic.  Telepathy and everything about it has been painted negatively by our government.  Ever since I was a toddler in school, I heard stories about the vile Reman and how they would steal our memories or implant new ones."  Tordel pointed out.  Though, she had grown up on the outskirts of the Empire, far from Remus, the warning stories had been mandated as part of the curriculum.   

"I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable discussing the topic in class on Katra when it came up as a part of the school assignment in biology." Tordel explained offering up her on uncertainties.  "But Cemee and Jinsux... they never had that experience.  The people they know with such abilities are trusted friends or Starfleet officers who they have only known as being those who help people.  So they wouldn't have a problem opening themselves to sharing their thoughts."   

Lared looked at his daughter a little alarmed when she revealed that she thought the dangers about telepathy had only been given by their former government - somewhat indicating that there probably wasn't really a threat to it.

What she said in the end though made him see clearer. He sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. "I guess ... the thing that makes telepathy scary for us is the lack of control and the lack of trust we usually have in each other. Which, among Romulans, surely is warranted. But ... I think I can see that among Federationers there is less harm to be expected." Still he felt rather uneasy about it.

The big question it all came down to was: did he trust Rayek tr'Lhoell enough to allow him in his thoughts?





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)


When asked to elaborate on his past, Rayek glanced to Tess.  He knew he shouldn't use Tess as his reminder to keep honest but it was very easy when speaking with the Ambassador to want to lie and keep things as hidden as possible, as they still hadn't discovered who had been sent to assassinate him.  The Ambassador and his Aide were among some of the most recent Romulans to the Gamma Quadrant, along with Sirol and Rojol that is.

Rayek let out a long slow breath before speaking again.

"I can only guess what it is that is noted in your file on me, but one thing I'm rather certain is that it does not show me any positive light.  So allow me to clarify and it may help you understand why I am skeptical of your presence on this ship.  I did not arrive in the Federation as a refugee like so many others.  I am a former prisoner of Faicol-lhui and a defector.  Are you certain you wish proceed knowing this?" he asked

While Rayek had thought that would be the end to the interview, he was surprisingly mistaken.  The Ambassador went on to ask about his success in acclimatizing and what methods had helped the most.

"For myself, I found that connecting with my peers was the most difficult, but it was also ultimately the thing that made the rest of my success possible. I did take counseling and it was of benefit.  I would recommend any of our people who have difficulty in trusting others, to begin with that.  Seek out a counselor to talk to and to be honest with yourself and your own motivations."

......
Telmuk sat quietly recording his brothers answers while the Ambassador questioned him.  Telmuk had to remind himself that this wasn't an interrogation like his talks with the trader and the Centurion.   These talks were a supposed to be friendly interviews to gather information to help understand why the Romulan individuals left the Free State, what had lured them to declare themselves refugees, and determine how they had acclimatized. 

A total waste of time to Telmuk's thinking, which is why he was glad that the Ambassador was taking the lead on this one.  Telmuk wasn't certain he could keep his true feelings kept quiet if he had to be the one questioning Rayek.  It was difficult enough just listening to him. 

When Rayek had spoken about the Federation accepting him despite his history and his past, Telmuk looked a bit surprised.  Had the veruul actually betrayed his oath to the Tal'Shiar?  Telmuk had searched the records on the ship trying to find proof of such but hadn't found anything incriminating.

Telmuk leaned forward slightly in interest as the Ambassador too honed in on this.  Telmuk had expected Rayek to dismiss the question, or downplay it so that it didn't seem so stark... but he'd misjudged his brother's sense of honesty.   His eyes widened as Rayek said outright that he was a former prisoner and a traitor.   'What was his brother thinking admitting to that?!'   


When Rayek looked at her, Tess gave him an encouraging smile along with a supportive nod. She was so proud of him that he made an effort to be honest and was above his past. She remembered when he had been so secretive and tried to his everything. He was so open now regarding many things - not to everyone and not about everything. But this here, admitting to his past in front of two fellow Romulans - was something Rayek surely wouldn't have done back then. Or being open about his ability with the crew. Tess wanted to believe that it did him good.




Jarok didn't want to give away what was noted in his file about Rayek. But he appreciated the man's honesty and frankly, was a little surprised about it. But since Rayek mentioned he wasn't sure what he already knew, it was smart to open and not play 'dumb'.

When Rayek offered the reason why he was skeptical of their presence here along with mentioning that he had been a former prisoner, Jarok raised his hand. "I assure you, we are not here to collect former prisoners ... or defectors, although we don't like to use that term anymore. Let me reassure you of our goal to just survey how well the Romulan population has integrated into Starfleet and the Federation." He paused to make a note on his padd, adding to it what informatin Rayek just had offered. Then he answered to his question, if he wanted to proceed knowing this. "I'm willing to listen to any background information you wish to share. Your case is special in many ways."

At Rayek's recommendation about counseling for Romulans who wished to live among the Federation, Jarok nodded and dutifully made a note about that. "These kind of insights are the things we are trying to understand and evaluate. Thank you, Commander."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 12, 2022, 12:45:22 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

It wasn't lost on Latihk that tr'Hei casually tried to drop probable grim outcomes for Latihk should he be charged for crossing the Neutral Zone with his ship. He wondered if tr'Hei thought he wasn't aware of that. He very much was. He had been from the very beginning when he agreed to help Kemala.

Then the ambassador's aide changed tactic and pointed out that when in fact it had been Kemala ordering him here, that it would be her facing the severest of the punishments. That too was very much in the range of the possible. In fact, these things had been the topic of discussion between the both of them in the past months. They both were aware of the dangers. And they both in the end had agreed that it's worth a try. Plus, if they would explain to Rayek why they were here, it was likely that no charges would be made or at least that the problems could be smoothed out. That there was an ambassadorial delegation on board at that time was nothing they would have expected.

Latihk frowned when tr'Hei rhetorically asked what kind of sibling would wish harm on their brother? Wasn't he making a point pro them with that? He jumped on the opportunity. "Exactly", he finally spoke. "What kind of sibling would wish harm on their brother. Would it not make much more sense if they tried to protect their sibling?" He would let tr'Hei put two and two together on his own. He even took a step further. "I will tell you this: We did not come here to cause harm, quite the opposite. And a punishment of Riov t'Lhoell will look very bad for the Free State, you are here to represent, right? As far as I know the Free State seeks to cooperate with the Federation."


Telmuk gave a slight huff as every question put to the man who called himself 'Aefau tr'Dhael' was deflected or answered so vaguely as to be not an answer at all. 

Worse yet, the man's restating of his question, had Telmuk realize his own slip.  He'd been referring to himself in that statement not Rayek.  He'd initially meant it as how could Kemala come here to stop him.. but neither she nor this man knew that Kemala and he were siblings or that he too was at risk should he fail.  That the question also applied between he and Rayek as brothers was dismissed immediately.  Rayek had made his choice when he defected; he chose to leave family behind.  Telmuk was merely choosing loyalty to his people over a clanless traitor.  He had nothing to feel guilty over.  He didn't.  Truly, he didn't.

Yet Kemala's presence here, so far from home - having traveled across half the galaxy to reach the Gamma quadrant- suggested that, to her at least, family meant more than her career or her ties to the Free State and its people.

Because Telmuk didn't want to doubt the justness of what he'd done, his subconscious buried his growing uncertainty in a burst of anger at the man's statement.

"You will tell me?!  Ha! You haven't spoken a single phrase that tells me a damn thing! You dodge and evade even straight forward questions such as 'What is your name?  Or your purpose here?'  There's nothing you can tell me now that I won't doubt or be suspicious of!  You think you're helping my..." Telmuk caught himself and rephrased.  "You think you are helping Riov t'Lhoell and Commander tr'Lhoell.  But your evasion has only made this more suspicious.  This interview is over!" he spat in an uncharacteristic manner for the normally quiet aide.

Telmuk rose and headed for the door.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared looked at his daughter a little alarmed when she revealed that she thought the dangers about telepathy had only been given by their former government - somewhat indicating that there probably wasn't really a threat to it.

What she said in the end though made him see clearer. He sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. "I guess ... the thing that makes telepathy scary for us is the lack of control and the lack of trust we usually have in each other. Which, among Romulans, surely is warranted. But ... I think I can see that among Federationers there is less harm to be expected." Still he felt rather uneasy about it.

The big question it all came down to was: did he trust Rayek tr'Lhoell enough to allow him in his thoughts?


Tordel smiled at her father's very accurate words and nodded.   "Very true.  I'd trust you, eneh."  She paused pensive a moment.  "I might even trust most of those I work closely with.  We've been through so much together.  They are almost like family... so I can see how Jinsux with no trust issues can easily open himself to his friend.   Try not to worry, eneh.  The worst that he has to hide is where we kids keep our candy stash." she said lightly in joke.

There was the sound of muffled snickering from just beyond the drawn curtain that gave the pair their privacy, before Phara stepped through.  "I'd found that a long time ago, actually.  I just left it because you kids usually had less sweets than most of the children on the station because of your d'eneh-susse."

Phara looked between her husband and daughter having caught the tail end of their conversation.

"I caught up to Jinsux.  He's waiting in the hall, afraid to go home." she stated.

Phara looked to her eldest.  "Can you please wait with him while I talk with you father?"

Tordel nodded before leaning down to give her dad one last hug.  "I'll stop by later, after my shift." Then headed out to the hall.

Phara looked to her husband in concern.  She hated having to tire him more but Jinsux had her very worried. "Jinsux is completely unresponsive to my questions as to what happened. All he keeps repeating is that Tidu is not an abomination.   What is this about, e'lev?" she questioned gently.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

When Rayek looked at her, Tess gave him an encouraging smile along with a supportive nod. She was so proud of him that he made an effort to be honest and was above his past. She remembered when he had been so secretive and tried to his everything. He was so open now regarding many things - not to everyone and not about everything. But this here, admitting to his past in front of two fellow Romulans - was something Rayek surely wouldn't have done back then. Or being open about his ability with the crew. Tess wanted to believe that it did him good.


Jarok didn't want to give away what was noted in his file about Rayek. But he appreciated the man's honesty and frankly, was a little surprised about it. But since Rayek mentioned he wasn't sure what he already knew, it was smart to open and not play 'dumb'.

When Rayek offered the reason why he was skeptical of their presence here along with mentioning that he had been a former prisoner, Jarok raised his hand. "I assure you, we are not here to collect former prisoners ... or defectors, although we don't like to use that term anymore. Let me reassure you of our goal to just survey how well the Romulan population has integrated into Starfleet and the Federation." He paused to make a note on his padd, adding to it what information Rayek just had offered. Then he answered to his question, if he wanted to proceed knowing this. "I'm willing to listen to any background information you wish to share. Your case is special in many ways."

At Rayek's recommendation about counseling for Romulans who wished to live among the Federation, Jarok nodded and dutifully made a note about that. "These kind of insights are the things we are trying to understand and evaluate. Thank you, Commander."


Tess' smile and encouraging nod made Rayek glad that he'd offered up the truth - or at least part of it.

Jarok seemed willing to continuing, but the aide had a bit more surprise and even hardness to his features after Rayek's admission.  It seemed not all were as open as the Ambassador.

Turning to face the aide directly, Rayek held the man's gaze - silently daring him to openly make comment or judge him for his choices.  But that staring contest didn't last long, before the aide glanced aside, almost trembling.  For a moment, the way that the aide glanced aside, it reminded Rayek of the battle of wills he and his brother used to have.   Rayek being far older always won.  What an odd reminiscence.

With a sigh, Rayek returned his glance to Jarok as the man claimed that they didn't like to use the word traitor.  Rayek smirked.  Was he now being considered by another name? Vang'radam perhaps... it meant the same thing.  Or perhaps ryak'na?
 
"While I appreciate your word of reassurance, but the fact that my sister is here in the Gamma Quadrant to warn me of an assassination attempt on my life, and that I have a dead officer and others still in hospital due to a suspicious explosion, tells me others don't think like you and hold a grudge at my decision to choose my own path after they would have had me killed years ago." he stated.

He met Jarok's gaze, wondering if he too would turn aside - like the aide - trembling in fear of his telepathy.   For some inexplicable reason Rayek felt the desire to explain himself and his decision.  He wanted to be sure this was known long after he was gone. "My abandoning what was left of the Empire is a direct result of them betraying me first.  They chose to fear what I knew and what I could do.  But not once have I betrayed my people.  What secrets I might know, that they feared me for... I have never divulged to any in the Federation, nor will I ever.  My loyalty is to the Federation now but I won't betray the responsibilities I once held to my people when with the Empire.  You tell them that the next you are home." 
 
Rayek glanced to Tess, not feeling like he wanted to remain longer but uncertain if she thought he might have taken this a bit too far.

He stood up.  "Any further questions you have you can send in a message.  I will answer them by video.  I have said what I came say."

......

When he was given the task from Vandar to kill Rayek, Telmuk never thought he would have to stare his brother in the eye after that attempt.  Fvadt! Had he some left a clue behind implicating himself? Or was Rayek using his own ability to read his thoughts... suspicious of him just by default as being part of the government?  Intense and repetitive training had him putting up a mental shield around his thoughts as he averted his gaze.  Was this where his brother would find everything out?  Dammit! 

He had to be ready to act.  And Telmuk knew exactly what he would do.  Rayek wouldn't do anything if he took the woman hostage. 

His hands trembled ready to move.  Ready to react to his brother's next action.

... But Rayek didn't act.  Instead his brother let out a disappointed sigh and turned to continue speaking to Jarok.  What the...?!  Telmuk glanced over but Rayek seemed to truly have dismissed him as unimportant with his full attention on the Ambassador... as he claimed to have been betrayed first, and that he'd never given up secrets to the Federation.

Telmuk didn't know if such statements mattered when it came right down to how the Tal'Shiar viewed his brother; but Telmuk was beginning to think he'd misjudged his brother.

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 13, 2022, 08:16:32 am
(https://i.imgur.com/3VEA7Nv.png)
Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


Telmuk gave a slight huff as every question put to the man who called himself 'Aefau tr'Dhael' was deflected or answered so vaguely as to be not an answer at all. 

Worse yet, the man's restating of his question, had Telmuk realize his own slip.  He'd been referring to himself in that statement not Rayek.  He'd initially meant it as how could Kemala come here to stop him.. but neither she nor this man knew that Kemala and he were siblings or that he too was at risk should he fail.  That the question also applied between he and Rayek as brothers was dismissed immediately.  Rayek had made his choice when he defected; he chose to leave family behind.  Telmuk was merely choosing loyalty to his people over a clanless traitor.  He had nothing to feel guilty over.  He didn't.  Truly, he didn't.

Yet Kemala's presence here, so far from home - having traveled across half the galaxy to reach the Gamma quadrant- suggested that, to her at least, family meant more than her career or her ties to the Free State and its people.

Because Telmuk didn't want to doubt the justness of what he'd done, his subconscious buried his growing uncertainty in a burst of anger at the man's statement.

"You will tell me?!  Ha! You haven't spoken a single phrase that tells me a damn thing! You dodge and evade even straight forward questions such as 'What is your name?  Or your purpose here?'  There's nothing you can tell me now that I won't doubt or be suspicious of!  You think you're helping my..." Telmuk caught himself and rephrased.  "You think you are helping Riov t'Lhoell and Commander tr'Lhoell.  But your evasion has only made this more suspicious.  This interview is over!" he spat in an uncharacteristic manner for the normally quiet aide.

Telmuk rose and headed for the door.

The sudden outburst caught Latihk by surprise. He didn't flinch, but his body tensed up momentarily and his eye widened as he fixated on the other Romulan with alarm. Once he realized the man wasn't trying to harm him physically, he could concentrate more on the words he said - basically he vented his frustration that Latihk hadn't told him anything. It seemed the aide was not very practiced in doing these kind of interviews. He narrowed his eyes a little when tr'Hei faltered at 'my...' and then rephrased to refer to Kemala and Rayek. How odd.

Latihk didn't think about that any further when the aide announced that the interview was over. Surely the man's report would not make Latihk shine in the best light. But he hoped together with Kemala's testimony, all of them - including Taheen - would be good in the end.

His good eye followed the man as he headed for the door. He simply gave him a nod and waited a moment longer after he was gone to then leave the room as well, heading back to his quarters, accompanied by the Security officer. Latihk wanted to speak to Kemala but he doubted that Kemala had a short interview like he had.




(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Jarok entered the quarters to which the suspect was confined for the time being. When he came to the Gamma quadrant, he didn't think he would have to do this kind of investigation. But here they were. He asked the guard to wait outside and then moved to sit at the table, inviting Kemala with a gesture to do the same. He accessed his datapadd, which he had put before him, and started audio recording.

"I am Virahk Jarok, Ambassador of the Romulan Free State. We are here now to investigate your presence here." He looked at the woman who was also the Commander's sister. The family resemblence was unmistakable. "Please state your full name and your occupation, respectively your rank and assignment if you are in the military." Of course Jarok already had information on that on his padd, he merely sought to confirm them.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel and Cadet Tordel t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


Tordel smiled at her father's very accurate words and nodded.   "Very true.  I'd trust you, eneh."  She paused pensive a moment.  "I might even trust most of those I work closely with.  We've been through so much together.  They are almost like family... so I can see how Jinsux with no trust issues can easily open himself to his friend.   Try not to worry, eneh.  The worst that he has to hide is where we kids keep our candy stash." she said lightly in joke.

There was the sound of muffled snickering from just beyond the drawn curtain that gave the pair their privacy, before Phara stepped through.  "I'd found that a long time ago, actually.  I just left it because you kids usually had less sweets than most of the children on the station because of your d'eneh-susse."

Phara looked between her husband and daughter having caught the tail end of their conversation.

"I caught up to Jinsux.  He's waiting in the hall, afraid to go home." she stated.

Phara looked to her eldest.  "Can you please wait with him while I talk with you father?"

Tordel nodded before leaning down to give her dad one last hug.  "I'll stop by later, after my shift." Then headed out to the hall.

Phara looked to her husband in concern.  She hated having to tire him more but Jinsux had her very worried. "Jinsux is completely unresponsive to my questions as to what happened. All he keeps repeating is that Tidu is not an abomination.   What is this about, e'lev?" she questioned gently.

That his daughter actually managaed to make him smirk a little bit said a lot about their relationship. Then hearing his wife adding to that he looked at her with gentle eyes as she joined them. The smile disappeared when Phara mentioned that Jinsux was afraid to go home now. When his daughter then embraced him, he lifted his hands a little bit, still too weak to hug her back properly, and nodded. "Have a good shift, my daughter."

Lared then looked to his wife and immediately saw the concern on her face. He took a breath and closed his eyes for a moment. He had the feeling this topic was something that would need be worked out by all of them for a while. He hated that he couldn't be present to stabilize his home.

"Mother ...", Lared sighed. "The topic of Commander tr'Lhoell's telepathy came up when she saw that he had left unsatisfied. Jinsux spoke up ... you know how he is ..." The boy, when eager about something, struggled to stick to rules of behaviour. "He told us about his friend on Katra and that he was communicating with him telepathically." Lared looked to Phara to get a sense of if she kenw about this. To him it had been a rather shocking surprise.

But it was not only this that weighed on his mind. But that he needed to make a decision about that very topic and he wasn't going to make that decision on his own but he would hear his wife's opinion first. But bringing it up was not something that was easy for the Romulan.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)


Tess' smile and encouraging nod made Rayek glad that he'd offered up the truth - or at least part of it.

Jarok seemed willing to continuing, but the aide had a bit more surprise and even hardness to his features after Rayek's admission.  It seemed not all were as open as the Ambassador.

Turning to face the aide directly, Rayek held the man's gaze - silently daring him to openly make comment or judge him for his choices.  But that staring contest didn't last long, before the aide glanced aside, almost trembling.  For a moment, the way that the aide glanced aside, it reminded Rayek of the battle of wills he and his brother used to have.   Rayek being far older always won.  What an odd reminiscence.

With a sigh, Rayek returned his glance to Jarok as the man claimed that they didn't like to use the word traitor.  Rayek smirked.  Was he now being considered by another name? Vang'radam perhaps... it meant the same thing.  Or perhaps ryak'na?
 
"While I appreciate your word of reassurance, but the fact that my sister is here in the Gamma Quadrant to warn me of an assassination attempt on my life, and that I have a dead officer and others still in hospital due to a suspicious explosion, tells me others don't think like you and hold a grudge at my decision to choose my own path after they would have had me killed years ago." he stated.

He met Jarok's gaze, wondering if he too would turn aside - like the aide - trembling in fear of his telepathy.   For some inexplicable reason Rayek felt the desire to explain himself and his decision.  He wanted to be sure this was known long after he was gone. "My abandoning what was left of the Empire is a direct result of them betraying me first.  They chose to fear what I knew and what I could do.  But not once have I betrayed my people.  What secrets I might know, that they feared me for... I have never divulged to any in the Federation, nor will I ever.  My loyalty is to the Federation now but I won't betray the responsibilities I once held to my people when with the Empire.  You tell them that the next you are home." 
 
Rayek glanced to Tess, not feeling like he wanted to remain longer but uncertain if she thought he might have taken this a bit too far.

He stood up.  "Any further questions you have you can send in a message.  I will answer them by video.  I have said what I came say."

......

When he was given the task from Vandar to kill Rayek, Telmuk never thought he would have to stare his brother in the eye after that attempt.  Fvadt! Had he some left a clue behind implicating himself? Or was Rayek using his own ability to read his thoughts... suspicious of him just by default as being part of the government?  Intense and repetitive training had him putting up a mental shield around his thoughts as he averted his gaze.  Was this where his brother would find everything out?  Dammit! 

He had to be ready to act.  And Telmuk knew exactly what he would do.  Rayek wouldn't do anything if he took the woman hostage. 

His hands trembled ready to move.  Ready to react to his brother's next action.

... But Rayek didn't act.  Instead his brother let out a disappointed sigh and turned to continue speaking to Jarok.  What the...?!  Telmuk glanced over but Rayek seemed to truly have dismissed him as unimportant with his full attention on the Ambassador... as he claimed to have been betrayed first, and that he'd never given up secrets to the Federation.

Telmuk didn't know if such statements mattered when it came right down to how the Tal'Shiar viewed his brother; but Telmuk was beginning to think he'd misjudged his brother.


It wasn't the first time in this conversation that Jarok felt the Commander didn't believe in the changed thinking that  the Free State had embraced. Nor did tr'Lhoell seem very impressed with his assurance that he was sympathetic to Rayek's situation. Though not comparable in all respects, Virahk knew what it meant to be a member of a family that was considered traitors. His father Alidar (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Alidar_Jarok?so=search) had once been considered one of the most feared and successful admirals in the Romulan fleet. The Norkan campaigns was the highlight of his career, in which the Norkan outposts near the border of the Romulan territory were completely destroyed. But then, as his sister was then born, his father realized that a new war could destroy the Romulan Empire and so he tried to convince the High Command of this until he became a nuisance to them and he was transferred to command an insignificant far away sector. Convinced he was doing the right thing, his father risked - and lost - his life in the Federation - underhandedly tricked by Commander Tomalak. Virahk had learned late of his father's true fate. He had grown up with the shame of being the son of a traitor.

But all that was something Jarok did not want to bring up here and now. He made a mental note to perhaps speak to the Commander privately sometime. It was important to him, indeed he considered it extremely important, to gain the trust of the Romulan Commander.

Jarok nodded when Rayek restated his belief that there was someone behind the scenes of the Romulan Government that was still after Rayek. While Virahk knew that there were actually efforts made to redeem 'defectors' he didn't want to dismiss the Commander's suspicion. "I understand", he said with a nod. "If that is the case, we will assist in any way we can to help and find the perpetrator."

At Rayek's explanation and frustration with the former Romulan Government, Jarok listened respectfully. "It shall be noted", he assured. Then the Commander seemed to have enough of the conversation and Jarok didn't try to stop him. He too stood up. "Thank you, Commander, for your time and your ingenious insights. I appreciate it a great deal." He bowed his head slightly to him and then turned to the Commander's wife. "Thank you, too, Captain."




Tess thought that it must be freeing for Rayek to set something straight that had painted a target on his back for all those years. She knew how much he always lived in fear that the Tal'Shiar still was searching for him and would eventually find him. Maybe this was a first step to a life without this fear.

She was glad neither the ambassador nor the aide made any snarky comments about him - though what they thought in their minds she could only guess. At least the ambassador seemed to be willing to be understanding of him. The aide's reaction Tess couldn't really make sense of.

Rayek - rather abruptly - declared the meeting to be over. When he stood up, she did the same. She glanced over to the ambassador, but he didn't seem to want to drag this on. When he thanked her, she dipped her head and then turned to leave with Rayek.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 14, 2022, 02:34:06 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Having finished with unsuccessfully interrogating the trader tr'Dhael, Telmuk in his guise as Rhienn now had to question the other Republic officer, Taheen t'Raghaellh.

Telmuk didn't remember her specifically from his youth, but he had once had a boyhood crush on one of her younger sisters, Ratuma t'Raghaellh.  That had been before her father had been incriminated as a traitor.   After that, the remaining family seemingly disappeared.  Telmuk wished he had access to the Tal'Shiar database to confirm where she had been the past 18 years because the intel the Free State was able provide, accessible on his PADD, was substandard providing nothing but the cover story that the Tal'Shiar would have been the ones to make up .

Hearing the door chime sound, Telmuk slipped back into persona and Rhienn lifted his head from his reading.  "Come in." he called out and smiled towards the woman 6 years his senior.  "Please, have a seat." Telmuk gestured to the more comfortable chair directly in front of his brother's desk.   "My name is Rhienn tr'Hei, and I am Ambassador Jarok's aide.  I am assisting him in the investigation of your ship's unexpected arrival in the Gamma Quadrant.  I just have few questions to ask."

Telmuk waited until Taheen was comfortable before beginning his soft-style interrogation.  Taheen may be older than him but his boyish charm was just as effective with the older women as those younger.

As he smiled, almost by habit, his mind reached out towards hers and brushed lightly against Taheen's mesocorticolimbic circuit basically encouraging a positive reaction to him from her.   As a teenage youth, his mind had done this sort of thing without his realizing and he'd become quite popular with his female classmates.  Now with training, it was almost sure-fire way to get want he wanted from women - be it information or something else.

Though medically speaking, Telmuk could do the same thing to any male he planned to interrogate as well, the mere thought of such would have Telmuk cringing in disgust.  Which is why it had not even been a consideration with the trader tr'Dhael earlier.

Telmuk however wasn't worried.  He would get all the answers he needed from Taheen.

"To begin:  Please state your full name, and occupation, along with rank and assignment if you are with any formal military."  His smile was disarming, open and friendly something that Taheen would be hard pressed to fight.
 


(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Jarok entered the quarters to which the suspect was confined for the time being. When he came to the Gamma quadrant, he didn't think he would have to do this kind of investigation. But here they were. He asked the guard to wait outside and then moved to sit at the table, inviting Kemala with a gesture to do the same. He accessed his datapadd, which he had put before him, and started audio recording.

"I am Virahk Jarok, Ambassador of the Romulan Free State. We are here now to investigate your presence here." He looked at the woman who was also the Commander's sister. The family resemblance was unmistakable. "Please state your full name and your occupation, respectively your rank and assignment if you are in the military." Of course Jarok already had information on that on his padd, he merely sought to confirm them.

Kemala paced the confines of her quarters, unknowingly much like her elder brother would do.  That she had been ordered, by the Romulan Free State Ambassador, from her brother's side for questioning, while Rayek he was still unconscious and recovering from surgery was infuriating, but there was little she could do but abide his order since his political faction was recognized by the Federation and the two had her cornered as she wait to be questioned.

Her pacing stopped as the sound of a chime announced a visitor at her door.  A moment later, a Romulan in ambassadorial robes entered followed by a Starfleet security crewman.  The Romulan obviously would be Free State representative, Ambassador Jarok.  Before leaving her ship, the ChR Vauthil still named and registered as it had been in the prior regime, Kemala had sought to find out who the various Romulan representatives were.   Unsurprisingly, given their remote Gamma Quadrant destination, Ambassador Jarok was the only name Kemala had found.  Damn Free State!  At this rate, the New Romulus Republic would be completely wiped out within two years unless something could be done to turn the tide.

The Ambassador waved off the guards and motioned for Kemala to sit. She was tempted to refuse and demand to allowed to back to watch over her brother, but recognized the need for a sense of order over what had transpired, their arrival and the shuttle's explosion.  It was only natural for the Ambassador to be suspicious of the out of place New Romulan Republic officers and their unaffiliated guide. 

With a deep breath to calm herself, Kemala accepted the Ambassador's offer to sit and watched as he began recording their conversation.

His introduction was as expected, as was his first request. 

"I am Riov Kemala ir-I'Ramnau t'Lhoell, Commanding Officer of the ChR Vauthil of the New Romulan Republic." she stated proudly.  "I would question why I'm being interrogated by a Free State Ambassador rather than by a Federation one... but I suppose at this point the two are synonymous." 


(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

That his daughter actually managaed to make him smirk a little bit said a lot about their relationship. Then hearing his wife adding to that he looked at her with gentle eyes as she joined them. The smile disappeared when Phara mentioned that Jinsux was afraid to go home now. When his daughter then embraced him, he lifted his hands a little bit, still too weak to hug her back properly, and nodded. "Have a good shift, my daughter."

Lared then looked to his wife and immediately saw the concern on her face. He took a breath and closed his eyes for a moment. He had the feeling this topic was something that would need be worked out by all of them for a while. He hated that he couldn't be present to stabilize his home.

"Mother ...", Lared sighed. "The topic of Commander tr'Lhoell's telepathy came up when she saw that he had left unsatisfied. Jinsux spoke up ... you know how he is ..." The boy, when eager about something, struggled to stick to rules of behaviour. "He told us about his friend on Katra and that he was communicating with him telepathically." Lared looked to Phara to get a sense of if she knew about this. To him it had been a rather shocking surprise.

But it was not only this that weighed on his mind. But that he needed to make a decision about that very topic and he wasn't going to make that decision on his own but he would hear his wife's opinion first. But bringing it up was not something that was easy for the Romulan.

Phara's mouth opened to a silent 'oh' as she listened to her husband mention their son's cultural misstep.  While telepathy was considered acceptable and perhaps even commonplace for most Federation species, that was not the case for the population of relocated Romulans.   Phara recalled her own shock not two months prior at learning that the ship's Commander, their friend Rayek, had such abilities.   

Prior to Rayek public announcement of his abilities, the Commander had approached Lared and her privately to inform them and asked for their acceptance and continued friendship.  He claimed to understand if they could not and would do all in his power to ensure any transfer off ship would keep the family together.   He assured them he would not invade their minds - that their privacy was important to him.   His revelation explained much to Phara, in regards to the infant she was hired to nanny.

It was Rayek's own understanding of her fears and apprehension that allowed Phara to overcome them, so that she could continue working daily, minding the Commander's son - at least until her husband had been injured.   Phara missed seeing Fvienn daily.  He was almost as cherished as one of her own. 

She watched her husband's expression, wondering if he would understand if she expressed her unconditional acceptance of Tidu's choice.   Would he understand her own?

She laid a hand gently on her husband's hand to sooth him.  "I'm certain Tidu and Jinsux did not realize such would be frowned upon or they would not have done so. Both are very respecting of others.   That Jinsux is more concerned about the insult to his friend tells me that our son is fitting in with Federation idealogy better than we.  This is our home now.  He can't have our same fears and outlook on things or he will always be a 'Romulan refugee' and not a true Federation citizen."



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

It wasn't the first time in this conversation that Jarok felt the Commander didn't believe in the changed thinking that  the Free State had embraced. Nor did tr'Lhoell seem very impressed with his assurance that he was sympathetic to Rayek's situation. Though not comparable in all respects, Virahk knew what it meant to be a member of a family that was considered traitors. His father Alidar (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Alidar_Jarok?so=search) had once been considered one of the most feared and successful admirals in the Romulan fleet. The Norkan campaigns was the highlight of his career, in which the Norkan outposts near the border of the Romulan territory were completely destroyed. But then, as his sister was then born, his father realized that a new war could destroy the Romulan Empire and so he tried to convince the High Command of this until he became a nuisance to them and he was transferred to command an insignificant far away sector. Convinced he was doing the right thing, his father risked - and lost - his life in the Federation - underhandedly tricked by Commander Tomalak. Virahk had learned late of his father's true fate. He had grown up with the shame of being the son of a traitor.

But all that was something Jarok did not want to bring up here and now. He made a mental note to perhaps speak to the Commander privately sometime. It was important to him, indeed he considered it extremely important, to gain the trust of the Romulan Commander.

Jarok nodded when Rayek restated his belief that there was someone behind the scenes of the Romulan Government that was still after Rayek. While Virahk knew that there were actually efforts made to redeem 'defectors' he didn't want to dismiss the Commander's suspicion. "I understand", he said with a nod. "If that is the case, we will assist in any way we can to help and find the perpetrator."

At Rayek's explanation and frustration with the former Romulan Government, Jarok listened respectfully. "It shall be noted", he assured. Then the Commander seemed to have enough of the conversation and Jarok didn't try to stop him. He too stood up. "Thank you, Commander, for your time and your ingenious insights. I appreciate it a great deal." He bowed his head slightly to him and then turned to the Commander's wife. "Thank you, too, Captain."




Tess thought that it must be freeing for Rayek to set something straight that had painted a target on his back for all those years. She knew how much he always lived in fear that the Tal'Shiar still was searching for him and would eventually find him. Maybe this was a first step to a life without this fear.

She was glad neither the ambassador nor the aide made any snarky comments about him - though what they thought in their minds she could only guess. At least the ambassador seemed to be willing to be understanding of him. The aide's reaction Tess couldn't really make sense of.

Rayek - rather abruptly - declared the meeting to be over. When he stood up, she did the same. She glanced over to the ambassador, but he didn't seem to want to drag this on. When he thanked her, she dipped her head and then turned to leave with Rayek.


Rayek was relieved that the Ambassador didn't try to insist he stay longer.  He appreciated Tess' support and gave a slight smile before placing a hand lightly at her back and had her proceed him out of the room.  Once out in the hallway, Rayek gave into his nervous tension and raked both hands through his hair as he blew out a deep huff of air.   He looked to Tess somewhat apologetic.  "I'm sorry if that did not go as smoothly as you would have hoped.  I tried... I really did."  He reached out a hand towards her, seeking the comfort that just the touch of her hand gave.  "Thank you for being so supportive to be there with me.  I would not have lasted as long as I did without you."

......
Telmuk watched his brother exit.  There was still so much about Rayek he didn't know... but it did it matter now?  Despite his assertions that he had not nor would not betray his people, the order to assassinate had already been given.  Fighting it was a lost cause.

Rhienn looked towards the Ambassador.  "That didn't go as expected." he said in prompt.. hoping the Ambassador might provide a clearer outlook.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 15, 2022, 02:00:56 am
(https://i.imgur.com/Fbbb1zC.png)
NPC Arrain (Centurion) Taheen t'Raghaellh
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Having finished with unsuccessfully interrogating the trader tr'Dhael, Telmuk in his guise as Rhienn now had to question the other Republic officer, Taheen t'Raghaellh.

Telmuk didn't remember her specifically from his youth, but he had once had a boyhood crush on one of her younger sisters, Ratuma t'Raghaellh.  That had been before her father had been incriminated as a traitor.   After that, the remaining family seemingly disappeared.  Telmuk wished he had access to the Tal'Shiar database to confirm where she had been the past 18 years because the intel the Free State was able provide, accessible on his PADD, was substandard providing nothing but the cover story that the Tal'Shiar would have been the ones to make up .

Hearing the door chime sound, Telmuk slipped back into persona and Rhienn lifted his head from his reading.  "Come in." he called out and smiled towards the woman 6 years his senior.  "Please, have a seat." Telmuk gestured to the more comfortable chair directly in front of his brother's desk.   "My name is Rhienn tr'Hei, and I am Ambassador Jarok's aide.  I am assisting him in the investigation of your ship's unexpected arrival in the Gamma Quadrant.  I just have few questions to ask."

Telmuk waited until Taheen was comfortable before beginning his soft-style interrogation.  Taheen may be older than him but his boyish charm was just as effective with the older women as those younger.

As he smiled, almost by habit, his mind reached out towards hers and brushed lightly against Taheen's mesocorticolimbic circuit basically encouraging a positive reaction to him from her.   As a teenage youth, his mind had done this sort of thing without his realizing and he'd become quite popular with his female classmates.  Now with training, it was almost sure-fire way to get want he wanted from women - be it information or something else.

Though medically speaking, Telmuk could do the same thing to any male he planned to interrogate as well, the mere thought of such would have Telmuk cringing in disgust.  Which is why it had not even been a consideration with the trader tr'Dhael earlier.

Telmuk however wasn't worried.  He would get all the answers he needed from Taheen.

"To begin:  Please state your full name, and occupation, along with rank and assignment if you are with any formal military."  His smile was disarming, open and friendly something that Taheen would be hard pressed to fight.
 

Taheen would be lying if she said that she wasn't nervous about this interrogation. She had well known the risks of coming here, but she hadn't expected to meet a diplomatic delegation of the Free State here. Surely this was something they would try to use for their politics, finding officers of the Republic here. But in the end, it was worth it for Rayek. He had promised himself to her. She wanted to believe that this gave her some leverage.

The security officer stopped beside here as they reached the door. She chimed the bell and almost immediately she was called in. Shortly after she stepped in the security guard left, undoubtedly waiting right outside the door. Taheen regarded the portly Romulan behind the desk who would be her interrogator. The smile he gave her was unexpected but pleasantly accpeted. While she did not return the smile immediately it made her a little less tense. When prompted, Taheen moved in front of the desk and sat down on one of the chairs.

While he introduced himself to her and explained why they were doing this interview Taheen observed him more closely. She wasn't sure what it was about it - normally she didn't think he would be her type - but she definitely felt some attraction to him. Was it his smile? His gentle voice?

When asked for her name and occupation Taheen answered readily. "I am Taheen ir-I'Chula t'Raghaellh, I serve as Arrain for the New Romulus Republic on the ChR S'ten."






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)


(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Kemala paced the confines of her quarters, unknowingly much like her elder brother would do.  That she had been ordered, by the Romulan Free State Ambassador, from her brother's side for questioning, while Rayek he was still unconscious and recovering from surgery was infuriating, but there was little she could do but abide his order since his political faction was recognized by the Federation and the two had her cornered as she wait to be questioned.

Her pacing stopped as the sound of a chime announced a visitor at her door.  A moment later, a Romulan in ambassadorial robes entered followed by a Starfleet security crewman.  The Romulan obviously would be Free State representative, Ambassador Jarok.  Before leaving her ship, the ChR Vauthil still named and registered as it had been in the prior regime, Kemala had sought to find out who the various Romulan representatives were.   Unsurprisingly, given their remote Gamma Quadrant destination, Ambassador Jarok was the only name Kemala had found.  Damn Free State!  At this rate, the New Romulus Republic would be completely wiped out within two years unless something could be done to turn the tide.

The Ambassador waved off the guards and motioned for Kemala to sit. She was tempted to refuse and demand to allowed to back to watch over her brother, but recognized the need for a sense of order over what had transpired, their arrival and the shuttle's explosion.  It was only natural for the Ambassador to be suspicious of the out of place New Romulan Republic officers and their unaffiliated guide. 

With a deep breath to calm herself, Kemala accepted the Ambassador's offer to sit and watched as he began recording their conversation.

His introduction was as expected, as was his first request. 

"I am Riov Kemala ir-I'Ramnau t'Lhoell, Commanding Officer of the ChR Vauthil of the New Romulan Republic." she stated proudly.  "I would question why I'm being interrogated by a Free State Ambassador rather than by a Federation one... but I suppose at this point the two are synonymous."
 

It was obvious that the Riov did not appreciate the fact that she was questioned as to her presence here. Jarok made it a point to be extra serene to cool off tempers. He regarded the other Lhoell sibling calmly as she chose to make a snide remark about the Free State's efforts to come to friendly terms with the Federation.

"I'm sure the reasons would be very clear to you if the roles were reversed." Jarok offered a slight smile. He would not go into her comment that the Free State and the Federation were basically the same. It was a polemic remark and being dragged into political disputes would not help the interrogation in any way.

He glanced down on his PADD. Instead of asking the most obvious question staright out, Jarok decided to go the long way. "Let me ask you, Riov t'Lhoell, how long have you known of your brother Rayek's location here in the Gamma Quadrant, and how have you heard of it?"






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


     (https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)            (https://i.imgur.com/UdzJsa9.png)
NPCs Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Phara's mouth opened to a silent 'oh' as she listened to her husband mention their son's cultural misstep.  While telepathy was considered acceptable and perhaps even commonplace for most Federation species, that was not the case for the population of relocated Romulans.   Phara recalled her own shock not two months prior at learning that the ship's Commander, their friend Rayek, had such abilities.   

Prior to Rayek public announcement of his abilities, the Commander had approached Lared and her privately to inform them and asked for their acceptance and continued friendship.  He claimed to understand if they could not and would do all in his power to ensure any transfer off ship would keep the family together.   He assured them he would not invade their minds - that their privacy was important to him.   His revelation explained much to Phara, in regards to the infant she was hired to nanny.

It was Rayek's own understanding of her fears and apprehension that allowed Phara to overcome them, so that she could continue working daily, minding the Commander's son - at least until her husband had been injured.   Phara missed seeing Fvienn daily.  He was almost as cherished as one of her own. 

She watched her husband's expression, wondering if he would understand if she expressed her unconditional acceptance of Tidu's choice.   Would he understand her own?

She laid a hand gently on her husband's hand to sooth him.  "I'm certain Tidu and Jinsux did not realize such would be frowned upon or they would not have done so. Both are very respecting of others.   That Jinsux is more concerned about the insult to his friend tells me that our son is fitting in with Federation idealogy better than we.  This is our home now.  He can't have our same fears and outlook on things or he will always be a 'Romulan refugee' and not a true Federation citizen."

Lared stared at his wife. This answer was so unexpected that it took him aback for a moment. He was all for integration into Federation life as best as possible. It had been a shock but tolerable in the end when the Commander had revealed his telepathy to them. The way he was overly considerate was rather reassuring. But the notion that his children might happily interact with others in that telepathic way was something his upbringing made him cringe hard about.

He clutched his wife's hand she had rested on his to soothe him. "I don't want them harmed", he brought out his biggest fear. He might be able to overcome one controlled telepathic interaction with the Commander. But children, once regarding something as normal, would draw no lines to anything. Lared looked to his wife. "I want them to be part of a community, and yes, you are in saying the community we live in now is the Federdation." He sighed. "But regarding telepathy as something normal ...? I'm not even sure if I can do it once." At this point Lared, still not quite there from the long coma he was in, didn't realize at this point that he hadn't told his wife yet about Commander tr'Lhoell's proposal. "The thought of them naively and readily opening their minds to others, I cannot see anything good in it!"






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell and NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)


Rayek was relieved that the Ambassador didn't try to insist he stay longer.  He appreciated Tess' support and gave a slight smile before placing a hand lightly at her back and had her proceed him out of the room.  Once out in the hallway, Rayek gave into his nervous tension and raked both hands through his hair as he blew out a deep huff of air.   He looked to Tess somewhat apologetic.  "I'm sorry if that did not go as smoothly as you would have hoped.  I tried... I really did."  He reached out a hand towards her, seeking the comfort that just the touch of her hand gave.  "Thank you for being so supportive to be there with me.  I would not have lasted as long as I did without you."

......
Telmuk watched his brother exit.  There was still so much about Rayek he didn't know... but it did it matter now?  Despite his assertions that he had not nor would not betray his people, the order to assassinate had already been given.  Fighting it was a lost cause.

Rhienn looked towards the Ambassador.  "That didn't go as expected." he said in prompt.. hoping the Ambassador might provide a clearer outlook.


Once outside it was obvious how tensed up Rayek had been the whole time really. She met his eyes as he apologized to her. Stepping up to him she gave him a gentle shake of her head in disagreement and then brought up both her hands to his face, holding it gently as she looked him right in the eyes. "I know you did. You did so well, ciccino. I'm proud of you." He would feel it came straight from her heart. She never would have thought that he would be so open with them about his past. And he did it without losing his dignity.

Lowering her hand when he reached for one she held it and gave him a smile. "I will always be at your side when you need me. Just like you've always been on mine."


....


At his aide's prompt Jarok looked over to him. "Not quite", he agreed. This actually had been the shortest of all of the interviews they had conducted with all officers so far - although Jarok had hoped to get the most out of this one. In a way he did, though.

He mulled over the conversation for a moment and that solidified his idea he had during the interview. He looked to Rhienn. "A private, more informal conversation might be more effective in this case. I consider it most important to gain the man's trust. His life and career are most unusual and unique. He is the first Romulan to gain a Command position in the Federation. His case can be very serving for our goals."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 16, 2022, 12:39:26 am
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Fbbb1zC.png)
NPC Arrain (Centurion) Taheen t'Raghaellh
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Taheen would be lying if she said that she wasn't nervous about this interrogation. She had well known the risks of coming here, but she hadn't expected to meet a diplomatic delegation of the Free State here. Surely this was something they would try to use for their politics, finding officers of the Republic here. But in the end, it was worth it for Rayek. He had promised himself to her. She wanted to believe that this gave her some leverage.

The security officer stopped beside here as they reached the door. She chimed the bell and almost immediately she was called in. Shortly after she stepped in the security guard left, undoubtedly waiting right outside the door. Taheen regarded the portly Romulan behind the desk who would be her interrogator. The smile he gave her was unexpected but pleasantly accepted. While she did not return the smile immediately it made her a little less tense. When prompted, Taheen moved in front of the desk and sat down on one of the chairs.

While he introduced himself to her and explained why they were doing this interview Taheen observed him more closely. She wasn't sure what it was about it - normally she didn't think he would be her type - but she definitely felt some attraction to him. Was it his smile? His gentle voice?

When asked for her name and occupation Taheen answered readily. "I am Taheen ir-I'Chula t'Raghaellh, I serve as Arrain for the New Romulus Republic on the ChR S'ten."

This information was of course not new.  It was part of Telmuk's Tal'Shiar training to know who all the rival ship's officers were.   The New Romulus Republic was a rival government that had vied for control of all Romulan territories after the loss of Hobus.  The Republic, along with the New Romulan Empire, were exclusionists and against seeking aid from the Federation; whereas the Romulan Free State had gained the upper hand and lion's share of the star systems over the past 15 years by allying with the Federation - at least temporarily. 

That both his sister and Taheen would risk their careers amongst their own military to venture this far against the tenets of their own chosen government party - was quite surprising.  Especially if it was just to bring back home Rayek. 

Continuing his questioning, Rhienn made sure to speak in the most amiable of manners. "I appreciate your honesty.  Please rest assured that since, as of our last contact, our two governments had begun to discuss an alliance, that you and your Riov are not being considered as enemies of the Romulan Free State.  Our questions today are solely to help the with the investigation of your presence in Gamma Quadrant, and your trespass of Federation and Bajoran territory in order to gain access to the wormhole.  In fact, if you wish, you may call upon the Embassy of the Free State to represent you at any time in any legal matters that may arise."

With his kind and generous offer being used as a prod to remind her how serious the situation was for her, Telmuk's mind took in Taheen's thoughts.  That she was puzzled at her attraction for the portly aide, had Telmuk idly wondering what her usual 'type' was.  But that wasn't the question he was here to ask.  He needed specific information. 

"So, Miss t'Raghaellh, please explain fully how it was that you came to be here in the Gamma Quadrant."   




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
NPC Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)
 
It was obvious that the Riov did not appreciate the fact that she was questioned as to her presence here. Jarok made it a point to be extra serene to cool off tempers. He regarded the other Lhoell sibling calmly as she chose to make a snide remark about the Free State's efforts to come to friendly terms with the Federation.

"I'm sure the reasons would be very clear to you if the roles were reversed." Jarok offered a slight smile. He would not go into her comment that the Free State and the Federation were basically the same. It was a polemic remark and being dragged into political disputes would not help the interrogation in any way.

He glanced down on his PADD. Instead of asking the most obvious question straight out, Jarok decided to go the long way. "Let me ask you, Riov t'Lhoell, how long have you known of your brother Rayek's location here in the Gamma Quadrant, and how have you heard of it?"

Kemala considered it a win for her that the best the Ambassador could respond with was a vague 'you'd understand if you were in my position' remark.  She had been a bit nervous about crossing words against an Ambassador, at first, but this early victory, set her a bit more at ease.  She had this. 

The Ambassador's question regarding how long she had known about Rayek's location, seemed innocuous enough.   

"Perhaps a year? Maybe less.." Kemala answered with a slight shrug.
"As for how I heard of it... his wife reached out to us."

For the moment, Kemala didn't have any trust in the two Free State Romulans, so avoided mentioning the warning she had received from Latihk.  To her mind, she had already planned to reconnect with her brother after learning of his presence in the Federation.  Latihk just provided the details of where exactly he was and the urgency at that point to make it happen immediately.  But this Ambassador didn't need to know that.

The Romulan Commander coolly waited for the Ambassador's follow-up question.
 



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)           
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared stared at his wife. This answer was so unexpected that it took him aback for a moment. He was all for integration into Federation life as best as possible. It had been a shock but tolerable in the end when the Commander had revealed his telepathy to them. The way he was overly considerate was rather reassuring. But the notion that his children might happily interact with others in that telepathic way was something his upbringing made him cringe hard about.

He clutched his wife's hand she had rested on his to soothe him. "I don't want them harmed", he brought out his biggest fear. He might be able to overcome one controlled telepathic interaction with the Commander. But children, once regarding something as normal, would draw no lines to anything. Lared looked to his wife. "I want them to be part of a community, and yes, you are in saying the community we live in now is the Federation." He sighed. "But regarding telepathy as something normal ...? I'm not even sure if I can do it once." At this point Lared, still not quite there from the long coma he was in, didn't realize at this point that he hadn't told his wife yet about Commander tr'Lhoell's proposal. "The thought of them naively and readily opening their minds to others, I cannot see anything good in it!"

Lared's wide-eyed stare and clutch at her hand gave Phara her answer.  He verbalized his fears and Phara nodded.  She understood his concerns, though she puzzled at his comment about his not being able to do it once.

"Then we speak to them of our concerns, so that they are made aware of the potential dangers.  We allow Mother to train their minds to block unwanted contact, but then respect when they choose to trust those they call friends." she answered back with a rather reasonable plan.

"And if you are so concerned yourself, perhaps it is not too late to train with your mother as well?"  she suggested.   Though for herself, Phara wasn't sure she wanted to put up blocks between herself and young Fvienn.  She was rather certain she held no information that could be considered dangerous for others to know, so the likelihood of being read by someone with bad intentions was unlikely. 

"Or perhaps Rayek, being telepathic himself, might have a trick or two he could suggest." she remarked innocently not realizing it was the Commander that Lared was concerned about the most at the moment.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)

Captain Tess t'Lhoell and NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

Once outside it was obvious how tensed up Rayek had been the whole time really. She met his eyes as he apologized to her. Stepping up to him she gave him a gentle shake of her head in disagreement and then brought up both her hands to his face, holding it gently as she looked him right in the eyes. "I know you did. You did so well, ciccino. I'm proud of you." He would feel it came straight from her heart. She never would have thought that he would be so open with them about his past. And he did it without losing his dignity.

Lowering her hand when he reached for one she held it and gave him a smile. "I will always be at your side when you need me. Just like you've always been on mine."

That Tess acknowledged his genuine efforts made him feel better, especially now that he was out of the interview. 

He raised her held hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles softly at her words assuring him that she would always be by his side.

"It seems you've had far less need of me, than I of you my love.  But when you need me, I will be there."

Lowering their held hands Rayek turned to look down the hall and walked with his wife towards the turbolift, intending to head home for the night. He was looking forward spending some time with their son.

As they walked he brought up one last 'work' related topic.  "So I've looked over the ship's schematic and the only spare room we have to build the garden for fresh produce would be either using two or three unused crew quarters on Deck 7; splitting up a cargo bay -either on Deck 15 or 16- into two smaller bays and using one for storage and the other for the garden; or making pool on Deck 12 more compact and using the space saved to hold our garden there."

Rayek looked to his wife.  "Do you have a preference?"





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

At his aide's prompt Jarok looked over to him. "Not quite", he agreed. This actually had been the shortest of all of the interviews they had conducted with all officers so far - although Jarok had hoped to get the most out of this one. In a way he did, though.

He mulled over the conversation for a moment and that solidified his idea he had during the interview. He looked to Rhienn. "A private, more informal conversation might be more effective in this case. I consider it most important to gain the man's trust. His life and career are most unusual and unique. He is the first Romulan to gain a Command position in the Federation. His case can be very serving for our goals."

Telmuk only just managed to keep the frown from his face when the Ambassador remarked about wanting to have a private, more informal meeting with Rayek.  While he understood the Ambassador's reasons, the Tal'Shiar operative didn't like that he wouldn't be present to listen in.  While Telmuk could always 'bug' the Ambassador, the fact that Rayek had also been in the Tal'Shiar suggested highly that his brother would be wary of such devices and might have means of detecting them.

"Shall I leave him a message that you would like to meet tomorrow - say perhaps over lunch?"
   
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 17, 2022, 07:21:47 am
(https://i.imgur.com/Fbbb1zC.png)
NPC Arrain (Centurion) Taheen t'Raghaellh
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

This information was of course not new.  It was part of Telmuk's Tal'Shiar training to know who all the rival ship's officers were.   The New Romulus Republic was a rival government that had vied for control of all Romulan territories after the loss of Hobus.  The Republic, along with the New Romulan Empire, were exclusionists and against seeking aid from the Federation; whereas the Romulan Free State had gained the upper hand and lion's share of the star systems over the past 15 years by allying with the Federation - at least temporarily. 

That both his sister and Taheen would risk their careers amongst their own military to venture this far against the tenets of their own chosen government party - was quite surprising.  Especially if it was just to bring back home Rayek. 

Continuing his questioning, Rhienn made sure to speak in the most amiable of manners. "I appreciate your honesty.  Please rest assured that since, as of our last contact, our two governments had begun to discuss an alliance, that you and your Riov are not being considered as enemies of the Romulan Free State.  Our questions today are solely to help the with the investigation of your presence in Gamma Quadrant, and your trespass of Federation and Bajoran territory in order to gain access to the wormhole.  In fact, if you wish, you may call upon the Embassy of the Free State to represent you at any time in any legal matters that may arise."

With his kind and generous offer being used as a prod to remind her how serious the situation was for her, Telmuk's mind took in Taheen's thoughts.  That she was puzzled at her attraction for the portly aide, had Telmuk idly wondering what her usual 'type' was.  But that wasn't the question he was here to ask.  He needed specific information. 

"So, Miss t'Raghaellh, please explain fully how it was that you came to be here in the Gamma Quadrant."   

Taheen pointedly caught tr'Hei's gaze as he offered that she could call upon the Free State's embassy. She was very surprised by that and a little taken aback. Was he playing her? Surely he wouldn't make such an offer if it wasn't true. As she tried to figure that out, it took her a couple of seconds to actually respond. "That is a very generous offer. Rather unexpected, but appreciated." She dipped her head slightly in thanks, but still being a bit wary.

At his question, Taheen took a moment to collect her thoughts. Her hands rested on her lap, her legs crossed, and she slowly rubbed her palm against the other pensively as she started to speak. "Before I answer that, I think I need to clarify something first. Our coming here had nothing to do with politics, at all."

She paused there once more to collect her thoughts, mindful of what she wanted to reveal and what not. "We received intel that Rayek tr'Lhoell was not only alive but also in danger of his life. We learned that he served on a Federation ship in the Gamma Quadrant. So naturally, Riov t'Lhoell as his sister would do anything to warn and save him. I, as his fiancee, came along as well. Because a military ship would attract too much attention, it was decided that we travel on a trading ship." Taheen looked at Rhienn. "As you can see, we are not here as representatives of a military or political faction. Our interests are solely personal. I'm aware that this doesn’t make our trespassing the Neutral Zone and all the way to the Gamma Quadrant less illegal. But maybe your ambassador will take this under consideration when deciding over further actions in this case."






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)


(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
NPC Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Kemala considered it a win for her that the best the Ambassador could respond with was a vague 'you'd understand if you were in my position' remark.  She had been a bit nervous about crossing words against an Ambassador, at first, but this early victory, set her a bit more at ease.  She had this. 

The Ambassador's question regarding how long she had known about Rayek's location, seemed innocuous enough.   

"Perhaps a year? Maybe less.." Kemala answered with a slight shrug.
"As for how I heard of it... his wife reached out to us."

For the moment, Kemala didn't have any trust in the two Free State Romulans, so avoided mentioning the warning she had received from Latihk.  To her mind, she had already planned to reconnect with her brother after learning of his presence in the Federation.  Latihk just provided the details of where exactly he was and the urgency at that point to make it happen immediately.  But this Ambassador didn't need to know that.

The Romulan Commander coolly waited for the Ambassador's follow-up question.
 

Jarok was barely able to hide the surprise at the information, that it had been Tess t'Lhoell, Rayek's wife, reaching out to his sister. He had his fingers laid against his lips lightly as he looked at Kemala pensively. "Asking you to do what exactly?" There was a gap in the story and it was quite obvious to him. "To ask you for help eliminating the danger to your brother's and her husband's life? That doesn't sound very reasonable to me, Riov." He would try to corner her now for more information. "Captain t'Lhoell even a year ago had been in a command position on Katra station. Surely, all options to save and protect him were available to her? But instead she decides to wait for months for you to arrive?" He gave her a long look.





(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)           
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared's wide-eyed stare and clutch at her hand gave Phara her answer.  He verbalized his fears and Phara nodded.  She understood his concerns, though she puzzled at his comment about his not being able to do it once.

"Then we speak to them of our concerns, so that they are made aware of the potential dangers.  We allow Mother to train their minds to block unwanted contact, but then respect when they choose to trust those they call friends." she answered back with a rather reasonable plan.

"And if you are so concerned yourself, perhaps it is not too late to train with your mother as well?"  she suggested.   Though for herself, Phara wasn't sure she wanted to put up blocks between herself and young Fvienn.  She was rather certain she held no information that could be considered dangerous for others to know, so the likelihood of being read by someone with bad intentions was unlikely. 

"Or perhaps Rayek, being telepathic himself, might have a trick or two he could suggest." she remarked innocently not realizing it was the Commander that Lared was concerned about the most at the moment.

Lared still hesitated, but his wife's suggestion actually was very reasonable. He mulled over that thought, nodding slowly, while Phara continued to speak. He only now realized that his wife had no knowledge of Captain and Commander s'Lhoell's proposal to let Rayek read his mind.

"I have received training from my mother", Lared told her, weakly. "It is probably my own fault for not having trained my mental shielding and now it's gone."

When she suggested Rayek helping him out with a trick or two, Lared sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. "Actually ..." He opened his eyes and turned his head to look at his wife. "There is something weighing on my mind, e'lev. I don't wish to withhold it from you." He cleared his throat and licked his dry lips. "I hold an important piece on information in my mind. A piece of information that could be the key to find out who or what caused the shuttle explosion ... and that I can't remember." He paused, stil frustrated with himself. "The Captain asked me to consider to let the Commander invade- ... enter my mind, to look for that piece of information." The thought still caused a frown on his forhead. "I am uncertain what to do", he admitted to her in the privacy of their conversation. "I have heard that the Vulcan officer, Verlok, lost his life in the explosion. And I know how much pain and grief my condition has caused you, my mother and our children. And for that I wish for the person responsible for that to be caught and punished with what they deserve." He took a deep breath. "But I can't bring myself to imagine opening my mind to someone."






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room]


Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)

That Tess acknowledged his genuine efforts made him feel better, especially now that he was out of the interview. 

He raised her held hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles softly at her words assuring him that she would always be by his side.

"It seems you've had far less need of me, than I of you my love.  But when you need me, I will be there."

Lowering their held hands Rayek turned to look down the hall and walked with his wife towards the turbolift, intending to head home for the night. He was looking forward spending some time with their son.

As they walked he brought up one last 'work' related topic.  "So I've looked over the ship's schematic and the only spare room we have to build the garden for fresh produce would be either using two or three unused crew quarters on Deck 7; splitting up a cargo bay -either on Deck 15 or 16- into two smaller bays and using one for storage and the other for the garden; or making pool on Deck 12 more compact and using the space saved to hold our garden there."

Rayek looked to his wife.  "Do you have a preference?"

Tess couldn't keep the happy smile off her face as she slowly started to walk back to the turbolift with her husband. She thought about his suggestions for a moment. She was very much looking forward to the garden her brothers would be able to work in to make them feeling useful and maybe a little more at home.

"I think we can afford to use some of the unused crew quarters." She started to beam. "I'm certain Rah'ul will love it. Oh! Maybe we can replicate some sunberries and he can plant them in the garden!" Sunberries had been her favorites as a kid and her mother used to make cakes out of them.

Tess looked to Rayek with a soft smile as they entered the turbolift. "Thank you for taking initiative to help them out that way. I really appreciate that."

It was then that she recalled the change of his name she only learned about in the meeting. "Rayek ir-I'Ramnau ei-Moreno tr'Lhoell!?" She laughed as she looked at him wide-eyed. "What was that about?"






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)








(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]


NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

Telmuk only just managed to keep the frown from his face when the Ambassador remarked about wanting to have a private, more informal meeting with Rayek.  While he understood the Ambassador's reasons, the Tal'Shiar operative didn't like that he wouldn't be present to listen in.  While Telmuk could always 'bug' the Ambassador, the fact that Rayek had also been in the Tal'Shiar suggested highly that his brother would be wary of such devices and might have means of detecting them.

"Shall I leave him a message that you would like to meet tomorrow - say perhaps over lunch?"


His aide, being accommodating as usual, offering to arrange a meeting for them had Jarok shake his head. "No, thank you. I will arrange for it myself. I want him to signal to him from the very beginning to consider it a private matter." Saving the notes he had added on his padd, Jarok locked it and put it on standby before moving to stand up and consider their task done for the day.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 19, 2022, 12:31:58 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Fbbb1zC.png)
NPC Arrain (Centurion) Taheen t'Raghaellh
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Taheen pointedly caught tr'Hei's gaze as he offered that she could call upon the Free State's embassy. She was very surprised by that and a little taken aback. Was he playing her? Surely he wouldn't make such an offer if it wasn't true. As she tried to figure that out, it took her a couple of seconds to actually respond. "That is a very generous offer. Rather unexpected, but appreciated." She dipped her head slightly in thanks, but still being a bit wary.

At his question, Taheen took a moment to collect her thoughts. Her hands rested on her lap, her legs crossed, and she slowly rubbed her palm against the other pensively as she started to speak. "Before I answer that, I think I need to clarify something first. Our coming here had nothing to do with politics, at all."

She paused there once more to collect her thoughts, mindful of what she wanted to reveal and what not. "We received intel that Rayek tr'Lhoell was not only alive but also in danger of his life. We learned that he served on a Federation ship in the Gamma Quadrant. So naturally, Riov t'Lhoell as his sister would do anything to warn and save him. I, as his fiancee, came along as well. Because a military ship would attract too much attention, it was decided that we travel on a trading ship." Taheen looked at Rhienn. "As you can see, we are not here as representatives of a military or political faction. Our interests are solely personal. I'm aware that this doesn’t make our trespassing the Neutral Zone and all the way to the Gamma Quadrant less illegal. But maybe your ambassador will take this under consideration when deciding over further actions in this case."

Telmuk could read from her thoughts that the Arrain was wary and doubtful of his offer.  This wasn't surprising.  Romulans were a very deceitful people.  It would be foolish to take what he said and offered at face value.  Her wariness merely attested to her intelligence.

Telmuk was given a brief forewarning of some rather unexpected information when she took moment or two to collect her thoughts before answering his question.  What shocked him wasn't her claiming that their actions were not political - that was becoming rather evident.  But rather first, that they received intel about the planned assassination.  That meant the Tal'Shiar had a rather serious breach.  And second, that she, Taheen, was Rayek's intended.

Telmuk wasn't sure which news was more shocking.  It took several moments for him to  respond to her words once spoken.

"I'll be certain to share this information with the Ambassador.  But I'd like to clarify a few pieces of information."  Telmuk intended to address the more pertinent issue first.   

"You mentioned intel you received.  Where did this information come from?  Obviously a rather trusted source to warrant the two of you traveling across several quadrants." he remarked after asking his question.

Then could help but ask a more personal question.  "Did your intel about Commander tr'Lhoell mention he already had a Federation wife?"




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
NPC Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Jarok was barely able to hide the surprise at the information, that it had been Tess t'Lhoell, Rayek's wife, reaching out to his sister. He had his fingers laid against his lips lightly as he looked at Kemala pensively. "Asking you to do what exactly?" There was a gap in the story and it was quite obvious to him. "To ask you for help eliminating the danger to your brother's and her husband's life? That doesn't sound very reasonable to me, Riov." He would try to corner her now for more information. "Captain t'Lhoell even a year ago had been in a command position on Katra station. Surely, all options to save and protect him were available to her? But instead she decides to wait for months for you to arrive?" He gave her a long look.

Kemala shook her head as the Ambassador took her answer to one question and made rather erroneous assumptions to the motivations as a result.  "I'd rather you didn't make ridiculous assumptions.  I never said she asked us here or that it had any bearing on the current situation.  You asked when and how I found out about Rayek's presence in the Federation.  I mentioned nothing about his life being in danger at the time." Kemala pointed out.

She didn't want to be here.  She should be watching over her brother.   He was completely defenseless right now.  So to speed things up with this interviews, Kemala thought she should clear a few things up.  "I really don't have time for this, so I'll clarify... A little over a year ago Tess reached out to Taheen seeking information about my father.  Asking what happened to him.  She didn't mention Rayek at all... but given the information that we had about her - that she was married to a 'relocated Romulan' - it was an easy deduction to make.  Why else would some Fed be asking about what happened to him?  That's how I knew Rayek was alive and in the Federation somewhere." Kemala answered.

"When I found out he was alive, yeah, I was eager to meet up.  Hopeful bring him home... but these things take time and I had responsibilities - so it didn't happen right then." she explained.  She held off mentioning anything about Latihk's intel on her brother's life being in danger.  Perhaps the Ambassador might not put two and two together to recognize it was her presence that brought that information to light.
 



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)           
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Lared still hesitated, but his wife's suggestion actually was very reasonable. He mulled over that thought, nodding slowly, while Phara continued to speak. He only now realized that his wife had no knowledge of Captain and Commander s'Lhoell's proposal to let Rayek read his mind.

"I have received training from my mother", Lared told her, weakly. "It is probably my own fault for not having trained my mental shielding and now it's gone."

When she suggested Rayek helping him out with a trick or two, Lared sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. "Actually ..." He opened his eyes and turned his head to look at his wife. "There is something weighing on my mind, e'lev. I don't wish to withhold it from you." He cleared his throat and licked his dry lips. "I hold an important piece on information in my mind. A piece of information that could be the key to find out who or what caused the shuttle explosion ... and that I can't remember." He paused, still frustrated with himself. "The Captain asked me to consider to let the Commander invade- ... enter my mind, to look for that piece of information." The thought still caused a frown on his forhead. "I am uncertain what to do", he admitted to her in the privacy of their conversation. "I have heard that the Vulcan officer, Verlok, lost his life in the explosion. And I know how much pain and grief my condition has caused you, my mother and our children. And for that I wish for the person responsible for that to be caught and punished with what they deserve." He took a deep breath. "But I can't bring myself to imagine opening my mind to someone."

Phara's response to her husband's dilemma was simple. "Then don't allow it.  They will have to just find some other way." she asserted.

"Surely, they won't force you. You have the right to keep your thoughts your own." To Phara, her husband's sense of mental security and comfort was more important than any information he might have in his mind.     

"I'm rather shocked that Rayek would even suggest such a thing. Especially after you have just woken from your coma..." The worry and concern that she'd carried for almost a month seemed to swell inside, making her words come out staggered as she tried to the overwhelming emotions.  "I'd be worried it might take you away from us again."




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room]

Tess couldn't keep the happy smile off her face as she slowly started to walk back to the turbolift with her husband. She thought about his suggestions for a moment. She was very much looking forward to the garden her brothers would be able to work in to make them feeling useful and maybe a little more at home.

"I think we can afford to use some of the unused crew quarters." She started to beam. "I'm certain Rah'ul will love it. Oh! Maybe we can replicate some sunberries and he can plant them in the garden!" Sunberries had been her favorites as a kid and her mother used to make cakes out of them.

Tess looked to Rayek with a soft smile as they entered the turbolift. "Thank you for taking initiative to help them out that way. I really appreciate that."

It was then that she recalled the change of his name she only learned about in the meeting. "Rayek ir-I'Ramnau ei-Moreno tr'Lhoell!?" She laughed as she looked at him wide-eyed. "What was that about?"

Rayek nodded at Tess' choice of location.  He would get that arranged before the end of the night so that Benjin could start his extra duty task that next day.   He nodded at her thanks.

When Tess suggested the idea of replicating sunberries, Rayek frowned slightly.  To do that the pattern would have had to been scanned into the replicator.  To his knowledge, Ba'ku elders had requested all such scans of their flora and fauna be deleted - shortly after the incident with the Son'a.   "I would if there were a source for the seed.  Unfortunately, I didn't think grab any before we left after the wedding and stored away for exactly this purpose; did you?" Mentally Rayek was making note to, once the wormhole was open - for him it was a certainty... they would figure it out somehow -  that he would contact the planet and write to the Ba'ku Elders to see if they would allow for the sharing of their planet's unique flora through a 'seed share' program.   The Romulan figured there would be no harm in asking. 

Tess' then went on to query him about his unexpected name after they entered the turbolift.   Rayek grinned at his wife having expected the question to come up eventually.  "Deck 8" he called to the turbolift beginning their quick journey down.

"I was planning that as a surprise."] he then answered her.  "I requested a formal name change.  It is an old Romulan custom to acknowledge significant moments in our lives by taking on a name that represents that change." he stated.  "A 'Deed-name' of sorts.  I am assuming that by now the Federation Census Bureau and Starfleet has approved it.  I sent it off before the wormhole closed."

Romulans often also had secretive names for themselves that they only shared with their most trusted friends or spouses.  But Rayek in his youth and young adulthood had never felt the need to claim such a name for himself - perhaps because it was an archaic practice.

Rayek continued his explanation as they arrived at Deck 8 where their quarters had been relocated. The suite was farther from the Bridge but was located in the most secure  and fortified location on the ship - something Rayek had felt was important for Fvienn's well-being.  "While we chose as a couple to follow Terran custom, with you taking on my clan name, I cannot ignore how much of an impact you and your family have made in my life and I wanted acknowledge that by taking on your family's name in return - fulfilling Romulan custom in an uncustomary way."  He stepped out of the turbolift after Tess and then walked alongside her close enough that his hand brushed hers.  The temptation was for him to just reach out and hold her hand outright but if one thing came clear from the discussion with Benjin earlier.... it was that the crew were seeing familial preferences where there were none, and seeing their close relationship as hindrance to performance and judging them poorly for it.   He would need to more mindful of this in the future and maintain proper decorum much more often.

"I hope you don't take offense that I did so." There was the slight chance that Tess might misinterpret his motivations as an indication that he hadn't really wanted to have Tess take his clan name.  But that wasn't the case.  Their 'family' or 'clan' name was something completely different than this deed-name.   He hoped Tess recognized that.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room] (evening)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Briefing Room]

His aide, being accommodating as usual, offering to arrange a meeting for them had Jarok shake his head. "No, thank you. I will arrange for it myself. I want to signal to him from the very beginning to consider it a private matter." Saving the notes he had added on his padd, Jarok locked it and put it on standby before moving to stand up and consider their task done for the day.

Telmuk inwardly frowned and wondered if there was anyway he could 'bug' the Ambassador to listen on the conversation - or would such a device be discovered by his brother?

Rhienn smiled in understanding.  "Of course, sir.  If there is anyway I can assist... by setting up the venue perhaps... I will do so anytime."  He too closed out his Padd and gave the impression of calling it a day.

But Telmuk was far from done.  He'd 'heard' that the Romulan pilot, tr'Movel, had finally woken from his coma and that the man's first visitors were Tess and Rayek.  For some reason they'd made a request to search the man's mind using his brother's telepathy.   This could be problematic.  Telmuk intended to find out for himself what was going on. 

Rhienn stood and then bowed respectfully to the Ambassador.  "Goodnight sir.  I'm going to stop and pay our respects to Ensign tr'Movel in the Medbay.   I hear he's awake now.   I thought a short visit from one of us might be appropriate.   I'll report on his condition to you tomorrow."


Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on February 20, 2022, 09:29:41 am
(https://i.imgur.com/Fbbb1zC.png)
NPC Arrain (Centurion) Taheen t'Raghaellh
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

Telmuk could read from her thoughts that the Arrain was wary and doubtful of his offer.  This wasn't surprising.  Romulans were a very deceitful people.  It would be foolish to take what he said and offered at face value.  Her wariness merely attested to her intelligence.

Telmuk was given a brief forewarning of some rather unexpected information when she took moment or two to collect her thoughts before answering his question.  What shocked him wasn't her claiming that their actions were not political - that was becoming rather evident.  But rather first, that they received intel about the planned assassination.  That meant the Tal'Shiar had a rather serious breach.  And second, that she, Taheen, was Rayek's intended.

Telmuk wasn't sure which news was more shocking.  It took several moments for him to  respond to her words once spoken.

"I'll be certain to share this information with the Ambassador.  But I'd like to clarify a few pieces of information."  Telmuk intended to address the more pertinent issue first.   

"You mentioned intel you received.  Where did this information come from?  Obviously a rather trusted source to warrant the two of you traveling across several quadrants." he remarked after asking his question.

Then could help but ask a more personal question.  "Did your intel about Commander tr'Lhoell mention he already had a Federation wife?"

Taheen had expected the question to come. Of course the aide would try to find out about the source. She rather quickly decided that she would not tell him. At this point, anyways. She hadn't known tr'Dhael - which she was sure wasn't his real name - before this trip; Kemala on the other hand had. Taheen strongly suspected that the intel had come from him. How he had gained it, she wasn't sure.

"It was trusted enough for Riov t'Lhoell", Taheen replied. "But I do not know that source. I'm sorry."

At the next question, Taheen broke eye-contact with tr'Hei for a second and swallowed hard before she started to answer. "I received a recorded video of a Federation woman, Tess, seeking information about the whereabouts of Proconsul tr'Lhoell. While she didn't mention Rayek at all, with the pieces put together, it was the only conclusion to make that she is indeed Rayek's wife." Taheen still had mixed feelings about all of this. While she understood that almost two decades had passed, she didn't want to let it go that she was officially betrothed to Rayek - with the blessing and arrangement of their fathers. A betrothal didn't become time-barred. Now that she knew that Rayek was still alive, she had the power to declare his marriage with the Earth woman invalid and make him honor his promise to her.
She had so many questions. Why did he leave? Had he ever actually tried to find her? Had he been the one to save her from disgrace and probably even death? Her whole family had found death shortly after her father's connections to the people who tried bring down Praetor Chulan had come to light. Taheen didn't know why she escaped. Was it luck? Coincidence? Or had Rayek something to do with it?






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)


(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
NPC Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Kemala shook her head as the Ambassador took her answer to one question and made rather erroneous assumptions to the motivations as a result.  "I'd rather you didn't make ridiculous assumptions.  I never said she asked us here or that it had any bearing on the current situation.  You asked when and how I found out about Rayek's presence in the Federation.  I mentioned nothing about his life being in danger at the time." Kemala pointed out.

She didn't want to be here.  She should be watching over her brother.   He was completely defenseless right now.  So to speed things up with this interviews, Kemala thought she should clear a few things up.  "I really don't have time for this, so I'll clarify... A little over a year ago Tess reached out to Taheen seeking information about my father.  Asking what happened to him.  She didn't mention Rayek at all... but given the information that we had about her - that she was married to a 'relocated Romulan' - it was an easy deduction to make.  Why else would some Fed be asking about what happened to him?  That's how I knew Rayek was alive and in the Federation somewhere." Kemala answered.

"When I found out he was alive, yeah, I was eager to meet up.  Hopeful bring him home... but these things take time and I had responsibilities - so it didn't happen right then." she explained.  She held off mentioning anything about Latihk's intel on her brother's life being in danger.  Perhaps the Ambassador might not put two and two together to recognize it was her presence that brought that information to light.
 

Virahk allowed himself an amused grin when the Riov called his assumptions 'ridiculous'. Her impatience was so evident. Which was good for him. It would give him more leverage over her. After all it was he who decided when this interrogation was over.

His jumping the gun with a conclusion had the desired effect. Kemala provided more information. Jarok listened attentively, leaned back in the chair. The missing piece of information was clear to him. How had she gained knowledge about the planned attempt on Rayek's life? If, in fact, it wasn't her being responsible for it in the first place ...

Virahk decided to not press for that information at this point any further. He wanted to make her believe that he was satisfied with the answer she gave.

"I see", he said with a vague nod of his head, and then pretended to need a moment to collect his thoughts for the new topic. "So, if you would please tell me, then, where do you know Mr. ..." he pointedly leaned forward to make a show of reading the - obviously false - name out loud. "... Aeufau tr'Dhael from?" He leaned back again, his calm gaze resting on the woman opposite him. "Have you known him before your journey together to the Gamma Quadrant?"






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]


(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)           
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Phara's response to her husband's dilemma was simple. "Then don't allow it.  They will have to just find some other way." she asserted.

"Surely, they won't force you. You have the right to keep your thoughts your own." To Phara, her husband's sense of mental security and comfort was more important than any information he might have in his mind.     

"I'm rather shocked that Rayek would even suggest such a thing. Especially after you have just woken from your coma..." The worry and concern that she'd carried for almost a month seemed to swell inside, making her words come out staggered as she tried to the overwhelming emotions.  "I'd be worried it might take you away from us again."

Lared couldn't bear to see his wife suffering like this. He felt the overwhelming need to comfort and console her. To promise her that everything would be fine.
His hand seeking hers, he held it gently as he looked at her. "E'lev, don't you worry. Your strength makes me strong. I survived to be with you. I won't let anything take me away from you if I can help it."

He took a few steadying breaths, feeling more exhausted by the second. He hadn't made up his mind before, but he didn't want to concern his wife more. Not at this point, anyways. It was almost decided for him now that he would decline.

The sound of steps and clothes rustling made Lared turn his head and he saw the doctor again.

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
"I'm sorry, I know you want to make up for the time, but he needs rest", he said to Phara, gentler than before. "Depending on how he feels later you may come for another short visit tonight."






(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)





Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room >>> Turbolift]

Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)

Rayek nodded at Tess' choice of location.  He would get that arranged before the end of the night so that Benjin could start his extra duty task that next day.   He nodded at her thanks.

When Tess suggested the idea of replicating sunberries, Rayek frowned slightly.  To do that the pattern would have had to been scanned into the replicator.  To his knowledge, Ba'ku elders had requested all such scans of their flora and fauna be deleted - shortly after the incident with the Son'a.   "I would if there were a source for the seed.  Unfortunately, I didn't think grab any before we left after the wedding and stored away for exactly this purpose; did you?" Mentally Rayek was making note to, once the wormhole was open - for him it was a certainty... they would figure it out somehow -  that he would contact the planet and write to the Ba'ku Elders to see if they would allow for the sharing of their planet's unique flora through a 'seed share' program.   The Romulan figured there would be no harm in asking. 

Tess grinned mischievously at him. "Nope, not me." She made a pause in which she held Rayek's gaze with a grin widening on her face. "The Ba'ku Elders didn't want information stored in our databases about their flora and fauna. So papa, when we left for Earth, took actual seed samples with him from many of the Ba'ku plant life. He didn't make mention of it publicly, but I do know he has them. They're storing in the science labs, I'd imagine."

"I thought maybe we can replicate the seeds without saving its molecular pattern." She looked to Rayek to see if he would be okay with that.



Tess' then went on to query him about his unexpected name after they entered the turbolift.   Rayek grinned at his wife having expected the question to come up eventually.  "Deck 8" he called to the turbolift beginning their quick journey down.

"I was planning that as a surprise."] he then answered her.  "I requested a formal name change.  It is an old Romulan custom to acknowledge significant moments in our lives by taking on a name that represents that change." he stated.  "A 'Deed-name' of sorts.  I am assuming that by now the Federation Census Bureau and Starfleet has approved it.  I sent it off before the wormhole closed."

Romulans often also had secretive names for themselves that they only shared with their most trusted friends or spouses.  But Rayek in his youth and young adulthood had never felt the need to claim such a name for himself - perhaps because it was an archaic practice.

Rayek continued his explanation as they arrived at Deck 8 where their quarters had been relocated. The suite was farther from the Bridge but was located in the most secure  and fortified location on the ship - something Rayek had felt was important for Fvienn's well-being.  "While we chose as a couple to follow Terran custom, with you taking on my clan name, I cannot ignore how much of an impact you and your family have made in my life and I wanted acknowledge that by taking on your family's name in return - fulfilling Romulan custom in an uncustomary way."  He stepped out of the turbolift after Tess and then walked alongside her close enough that his hand brushed hers.  The temptation was for him to just reach out and hold her hand outright but if one thing came clear from the discussion with Benjin earlier.... it was that the crew were seeing familial preferences where there were none, and seeing their close relationship as hindrance to performance and judging them poorly for it.   He would need to more mindful of this in the future and maintain proper decorum much more often.

"I hope you don't take offense that I did so." There was the slight chance that Tess might misinterpret his motivations as an indication that he hadn't really wanted to have Tess take his clan name.  But that wasn't the case.  Their 'family' or 'clan' name was something completely different than this deed-name.   He hoped Tess recognized that.
[/size]

Tess couldn't helped but smile enamoured at her husband as he explained to her why he had made the decision to include her name to his own. In the privacy of the turbolift, although there too was a video feed, but Tess didn't care for that right now, she gently pulled him to her to give him a sweet lingering kiss. Afterwards she looked up into his eyes. "Thank you, ciccino", she said quietly, just as the turbolift came to a halt. Reluctantly Tess stepped away from Rayek again and with a little smirk in his direction she stepped out into the corridor.

As they walked next to each other, Tess felt him walking so close to her side that their hands brushed at each other occasionally. She smiled to herself, knowing why he did that. Only a few more meters and they would be in their quarters where they could behave like the loved-up married couple they were.

When Rayek shared his concern with her, Tess looked at him puzzled. "What? No, of course not. I would never be upset about that." She smiled at him and then they reached the door that led to their quarters. "Names are really important in your culture, are they?" When Tess had read up about Romulan naming traditions around their wedding, she had found many customs and traditions around names. It almost felt like it was extra confusing to provide more privacy around it.


Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on February 21, 2022, 12:29:46 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Fbbb1zC.png)
NPC Arrain (Centurion) Taheen t'Raghaellh
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)[/size]

Taheen had expected the question to come. Of course the aide would try to find out about the source. She rather quickly decided that she would not tell him. At this point, anyways. She hadn't known tr'Dhael - which she was sure wasn't his real name - before this trip; Kemala on the other hand had. Taheen strongly suspected that the intel had come from him. How he had gained it, she wasn't sure.

"It was trusted enough for Riov t'Lhoell", Taheen replied. "But I do not know that source. I'm sorry."[/size]

Telmuk was a bit disappointed that Taheen didn't know tr'Dhael's real name. That would have been helpful, especially since she suspected the intel regarding the attack had come from the trader.   

That she also suspected Kemala knew of the trader prior was surprising.  Where would his sister have met such a man before? 

Telmuk nodded his acknowledgement of her apology for not knowing before asking his question about her knowing Tess was Rayek's wife.   He felt a little bad for asking such a personal question but he couldn't quite understand her stated reason for coming out all this way.
 

At the next question, Taheen broke eye-contact with tr'Hei for a second and swallowed hard before she started to answer. "I received a recorded video of a Federation woman, Tess, seeking information about the whereabouts of Proconsul tr'Lhoell. While she didn't mention Rayek at all, with the pieces put together, it was the only conclusion to make that she is indeed Rayek's wife." Taheen still had mixed feelings about all of this. While she understood that almost two decades had passed, she didn't want to let it go that she was officially betrothed to Rayek - with the blessing and arrangement of their fathers. A betrothal didn't become time-barred. Now that she knew that Rayek was still alive, she had the power to declare his marriage with the Earth woman invalid and make him honor his promise to her.
She had so many questions. Why did he leave? Had he ever actually tried to find her? Had he been the one to save her from disgrace and probably even death? Her whole family had found death shortly after her father's connections to the people who tried bring down Praetor Chulan had come to light. Taheen didn't know why she escaped. Was it luck? Coincidence? Or had Rayek something to do with it?

His question prompted a slew of interesting thoughts.  That Taheen might come to the Gamma Quadrant to potentially annul his brothers current marriage was something that Telmuk would not have ever considered.  Was that why Kemala had brought her - to force Rayek back home to marry Taheen?   It almost made Telmuk glad that his explosion hadn't finished off his brother... so that he could witness everything Rayek had gained for himself here in the Federation taken away. 

That she attributed her survival to Rayek was not unwarranted.  Engagement to the Proconsul's eldest son would have made most hesitate in following a standard order to execute the relatives of a traitor... lest the Proconsul disagree with the order and seek vengeance against those who killed his son's intended. 

But it didn't explain why Rayek or their father never spoke of Taheen after that particular scandal.  Telmuk remembered feeling angry towards his father who, when news of the Senator's capture had become known, had ordered him to abandon the middle t'Raghaellh sibling, Ratuma.  Now it made sense - to save Taheen, he'd been ordered to give up Ratuma. 

Telmuk had to wonder -  had the sacrifice had been needed since she'd survived without having actually married his brother.   Could Ratuma not also been engaged to him?  While he hadn't truly loved her in that way, Taheen's younger sister had been fun and lively.  She hadn't deserved to be executed for the terrible crime her father was involved in.

Realizing that his thoughts had gotten away from him and that his expression was no longer Rhienn's usual smile but more of a frustrated scowl, Telmuk gave himself a mental shake. 

"My apologies, something I ate is not agreeing with me. he offered a lie in explanation.  "I hope you don't mind if I wrap this up quickly with one final question."

Using Rhienn's charisma, Telmuk prompted for a fully honest answer.  "I realize this may be difficult to answer as it is quite private but.. now that you have found your betrothed.  What is your intention?  Do you seek recompense or do you plan to invalidate the Federation marriage?  I ask because as I said before, you can call on the Embassy to assist with the negotiation for either - on your behalf. "




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
NPC Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

(https://i.imgur.com/Dvx7tRB.png)
NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

Virahk allowed himself an amused grin when the Riov called his assumptions 'ridiculous'. Her impatience was so evident. Which was good for him. It would give him more leverage over her. After all it was he who decided when this interrogation was over.

His jumping the gun with a conclusion had the desired effect. Kemala provided more information. Jarok listened attentively, leaned back in the chair. The missing piece of information was clear to him. How had she gained knowledge about the planned attempt on Rayek's life? If, in fact, it wasn't her being responsible for it in the first place ...

Virahk decided to not press for that information at this point any further. He wanted to make her believe that he was satisfied with the answer she gave.

"I see", he said with a vague nod of his head, and then pretended to need a moment to collect his thoughts for the new topic. "So, if you would please tell me, then, where do you know Mr. ..." he pointedly leaned forward to make a show of reading the - obviously false - name out loud. "... Aeufau tr'Dhael from?" He leaned back again, his calm gaze resting on the woman opposite him. "Have you known him before your journey together to the Gamma Quadrant?"

That the Ambassador had yet more questions for her was annoying.  She had better things to do.   And his questions about Latihk were troublesome.  That's okay... Kemala had no qualms about lying to the Free State Ambassador, if it would save her brother and her brother's friend.

Kemala gave a shrug. "Sort of.  I'd known of him.  He's someone that's been on the watchlist for black marketeering of Federation goods for a while now.  Most Free State ships along the Neutral Zone have heard of tr'Dhael and the Narvasam.  But every time we attempt catch him in the act of an illegal activity, he's had the proper documentation for his goods." she answered somewhat truthfully.   

"I knew I'd need a stealthy vessel to accomplish getting here so I let it be known that I was looking to hire him.  It took some convincing, a lot of money and a promise to accept the responsibility of this venture should we be apprehended to prove that this wasn't a sting operation to catch him but an actual personal request - but I feel it's worth it to be able to finally see my elder brother once more." Kemala's voice had gotten quieter at the end of her answer.  She let some of the fear and worry she felt about her brother's condition seep into her words. "Though I'd thought the occasion would be happier."

She blinked back what could have been tears.  "I don't have time for this. Are we done yet?  I should be with my brother... in case the worst happens - not answering questions for an Ambassador to a government I don't acknowledge.  If the Captain of this ship has questions for me .. fine I'll answer to her, but I have nothing more to say to you."
 



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/QcLznxK.jpg)           
NPC Phara t'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay][/size]

Lared couldn't bear to see his wife suffering like this. He felt the overwhelming need to comfort and console her. To promise her that everything would be fine.
His hand seeking hers, he held it gently as he looked at her. "E'lev, don't you worry. Your strength makes me strong. I survived to be with you. I won't let anything take me away from you if I can help it."

He took a few steadying breaths, feeling more exhausted by the second. He hadn't made up his mind before, but he didn't want to concern his wife more. Not at this point, anyways. It was almost decided for him now that he would decline.

The sound of steps and clothes rustling made Lared turn his head and he saw the doctor again.

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
"I'm sorry, I know you want to make up for the time, but he needs rest", he said to Phara, gentler than before. "Depending on how he feels later you may come for another short visit tonight."

Her husband's words and his hand holding hers were like a lifeline for Phara.  She held onto his hand tightly.   How she'd managed the past month without him was still a wonder to her.  Surprisingly, Karinne had helped with the children more than Phara would have ever expected.

Before Phara could reply to Lared's words, the doctor approached and reminded her that her husband needed rest.  Phara's head bobbed up and down as she blinked back her unshed tears.   "Of course, Doctor." she gazed a moment at her husband laying prone in bed, as she stood and gave his hand a squeeze before leaning down to kiss him tenderly.  "I'll be back to check on you later. Be well e'lev."

Then reluctantly she let go of his hand and left Lared to get some rest per the doctor's orders.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room] (evening)

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Hallway outside Briefing Room >>> Turbolift]

Tess grinned mischievously at him. "Nope, not me." She made a pause in which she held Rayek's gaze with a grin widening on her face. "The Ba'ku Elders didn't want information stored in our databases about their flora and fauna. So papa, when we left for Earth, took actual seed samples with him from many of the Ba'ku plant life. He didn't make mention of it publicly, but I do know he has them. They're storing in the science labs, I'd imagine."

"I thought maybe we can replicate the seeds without saving its molecular pattern." She looked to Rayek to see if he would be okay with that.

Hearing of Fabiano's breach of Ba'ku trust, Rayek was both surprised and impressed.  While the Science officer had technically followed the letter of his agreement with the Ba'ku, Rayek was certain the intent was for the flora and fauna to remain exclusively on Ba'ku.  But what was done was done and Rayek had no problem with taking advantage of it for the benefit of their Ba'ku guests now. 

Rayek smiled. "I think that's an excellent idea.  I'll check on the lab storage myself tomorrow and privately catalogue what your father has in there and mark it as yours so that no one will dare question it."  Once they returned to Katra, it was likely they would be assigned a new Science Chief.  It wouldn't do to have that incoming officer toss out Fabiano's years of care.


Tess couldn't helped but smile enamoured at her husband as he explained to her why he had made the decision to include her name to his own. In the privacy of the turbolift, although there too was a video feed, but Tess didn't care for that right now, she gently pulled him to her to give him a sweet lingering kiss. Afterwards she looked up into his eyes. "Thank you, ciccino", she said quietly, just as the turbolift came to a halt. Reluctantly Tess stepped away from Rayek again and with a little smirk in his direction she stepped out into the corridor.

As they walked next to each other, Tess felt him walking so close to her side that their hands brushed at each other occasionally. She smiled to herself, knowing why he did that. Only a few more meters and they would be in their quarters where they could behave like the loved-up married couple they were.

When Rayek shared his concern with her, Tess looked at him puzzled. "What? No, of course not. I would never be upset about that." She smiled at him and then they reached the door that led to their quarters. "Names are really important in your culture, are they?" When Tess had read up about Romulan naming traditions around their wedding, she had found many customs and traditions around names. It almost felt like it was extra confusing to provide more privacy around it.

Tess' happy reaction to his explanation made him all the more pleased that he'd thought of the idea. He savored their brief kiss in the turbolift and enjoyed his subtle hand play as they walked the corridor to their quarters.  Moments like these were very meaningful to Rayek and he truly treasured them.

The Romulan was glad that Tess hadn't been upset at his solo decision to change his name. Choosing one's name was a very personal thing and not taken lightly. At least for most Romulans.  Tess seemed to be aware of this, since she commented on it, as they reached the door to their quarters.

Pausing at the door, Rayek turned to regard his wife.  Had he never spoken of this before? That was surprising to him but it was possible that he had just assumed she knew.

"Yes, my people can be very superstitious - some believing that names have power, and that if your enemy knows your true name they can affect their 'luck'.  So they name themselves and then never tell anyone what their true name is."

Rayek gave a scoffing chuckle at this.  "As I don't believe in luck, I've never felt the need to choose such a name for myself.  But an honoring name, I can see the value in."  he stated.

Rayek then reached out his hand to unlock their quarters.  The door to their quarters slid open revealing the livingroom and kitchen areas.  There on the floor, playing with some colorful learning blocks, was Fvienn - and both elder Ba'ku uncles, while his sister Kemala sat alone at the dining table observing the trio.  While it was always a delight to see the two Ba'ku men connecting with their nephew - currently by laying belly down beside him as Fvienn happily attempted to place block on top of block at their promptings - Rayek was a little concerned to see his sister seemingly left out.  Her body language was one that Rayek was rather familiar with - distrustful. 

It was going to take some time for his sister to come around and accept all the members of the Ba'ku family that Rayek had gained, he knew that.  He just hoped that she wouldn't miss to much bonding time with Fvienn while she avoided and assessed the others.

"We're home!" he called needlessly as all heads had turned towards the door as it opened.
 




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay] (evening)

After leaving the briefing room, Telmuk made his way down to the medical area to see if he would be allowed to visit the recently awoken Romulan pilot, tr'Movel.   Earlier that afternoon while doing a cursory visit to the bridge while he knew from their usual schedule that Rayek and Tess would be having lunch together, Telmuk did a quick scan of the bridge crew's thoughts to see what new developments might be happening.  Most had their thoughts on their task of seeking the astrocetus - in hopes that it might lead to a means of opening the wormhole.  But one Romulan operations cadet had her thoughts on something completely different.  She'd been pondering the ability of telepathy... and her father's concern about it with regard to her younger brother. 

This of course caught his interest.  If there was another with the telepathic ability, surely his Tal'Shiar superiors would want to know.

Telmuk had immediately left the Bridge then to head to the family crew quarters where he knew the s'Movel's stayed.   There he briefly stopped by to offer the Embassies felicitations at the news of Lared's improved condition.  While he met with Phara, who politely offered the affable Rhienn to come in and have tea, Telmuk searched her tired and distracted thoughts.  She was clearly worried about something and it took only a slight prompt commenting on her state for the woman to bring to mind the issue but then answer that it was nothing, just too many long nights at her husband's bedside. 

Telmuk was alarmed that the issue turned out not to be her son having telepathic ability but that Rayek was seeking answers to the shuttle's explosion via some memory in tr'Movel's mind.  That Lared was against this was a good thing but Telmuk couldn't risk the man being coerced by the Starfleet Captain or his brother Rayek.

Which is what brought him to the Medbay now.  Unfortunately, not being a family member was proving to be an issue.

"I simply wish to extend the well-wishes of the Embassy to one of our own." he remarked in a friendly tone to the nurse who was blocking his way.  She appeared human and her mind was rather open, so Telmuk risked applying a bit of mental influence by activating the woman's mesocorticolimbic circuit to help encourage her to let him through. 

"I'll only be a moment." he assured her.  A few minutes would be all he needed to search through tr'Movel's mind, find the memory in question and either alter it or completely destroy it. 
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on June 16, 2022, 01:15:53 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/FMAVGXQ.jpg)
NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - XO's office as temporary ambassadorial office] (a month prior)


The interrogation of Taheen t'Raghaellh hadn't produced the results Telmuk had been hoping for in regards to tr'Dhael's identity.  Yet while that had been a failure, on the topic of his own brother Rayek, Telmuk could tell by Taheen's thoughts that the seeds for another attempt on his life had been planted.   A few more meetings with her to go over her options and Telmuk was certain his persona Rhienn would be able to sway her to follow through on her impulse to take back what was due her.  He smiled wide.  This would so make up for Rayek's surviving the shuttle explosion.



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/9rsLVHE.png)
NPC Riov (Commander) Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 7 - Guest quarters] (a month prior)

As Kemala had hoped, her emotional ultimatum - that she was done answering the Free State Ambassador's questions - wasn't countered.  The Ambassador mustn't be aware that her brother had already awoke and was past the critical stage, or he likely would have held her back.  It didn't cross her mind at all that the Ambassador had waited until Rayek was deemed out of danger before calling her to this meeting.  She just figured all bureaucracies were slow in reacting to new situations.  That she, Latihk and Taheen were only interviewed a day after arriving- Kemala thought was rather efficient for a government agency.

But now that she was free of the questions, she returned to Sickbay to keep her brother company during his recovery.  Even during their youth, Rayek had never done well with bedrest and it seemed to his sister that hadn't changed.
 



(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - s'Lhoell Quarters] (next morning)

The evening with his sister and Tess' elder brothers went well, even if Kemala was a bit distant from the others.   Given the impromptu family gathering, Rayek regretted his punishment to Benjin included being confided to quarters... otherwise he would have invited the young man to join them.   With hopes of 'prepping' Rahul for his new surprise, Rayek guided the evenings talk towards the topic of horticulture and comparing Romulan practices to Ba'ku traditions.   The discussion garnered lots of interest from all participants.  Rayek even found he was looking forward to perhaps starting a small hobby garden on their property on Meridan.

By the time, their guests left Fvienn was already asleep, which allowed Rayek and Tess a bit of quality time together.  Morning came all too quickly for the amorous pair.




(https://i.imgur.com/p3AM3MU.png)
Quote
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay] (evening)

"I'll only be a moment." Telmuk assured the nurse.  A few minutes would be all he needed to search through tr'Movel's mind, find the memory in question and either alter it or completely destroy it.

NPC Ambassadorial Aide Rhienn tr'Hei (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - temporary Ambassadorial office] (next morning)

Telmuk was in a foul mood that next morning.  Not only had his attempt to search tr'Movel's mind for any proof of his involvement in the shuttle explosion not happened because of the untimely arrival of the ship's Beta shift doctor - one Doctor Fuller; but also that same Doctor had been far too observant of him.  Rayek discovered this when he chose to invade the doctor's mind - intending to sway 'her' thoughts like he had the female nurse.   What resulted however was his mind's almost immediate retreat at the revelation that the doctor had no binary gender.   This was inconceivable to Telmuk's strict and orderly Romulan mind.  His mind rejected the notion and broke off contact, leaving the Romulan a bit shaken.  Added onto this was that the doctor's surface thoughts at the time had been of how much the Romulan Aide reminded them of Commander Rayek!  The attraction he read there was alarming to Telmuk and he must have blanched for the next words out of the doctor's mouth was that he should come them to a biobed and get checked​ over.  Telmuk couldn't risk that.  He declined and hurriedly had left the Medical bay.

That had been 12 hours ago, with any luck that doctor's shift should be long done by now.  Telmuk intended to try visiting with tr'Movel again this morning as soon as Ambassador Jarok was done with his Aide, Rhienn.   
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on June 22, 2022, 01:38:55 pm
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Tess stirred slowly from her sleep. Her hair was loose and she wore a tank top and comfortable shorts. Her eyes fluttered open before she slowly rolled on her back with a yawn. She remained there for a moment longer with her eyes closed again. Only then did she become aware that she had woken on her own ... not by Fvienn's crying. Forcind her eyes open again she sat up and looked around, still drowsy.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on June 22, 2022, 11:35:08 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - s'Lhoell quarters]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Tess stirred slowly from her sleep. Her hair was loose and she wore a tank top and comfortable shorts. Her eyes fluttered open before she slowly rolled on her back with a yawn. She remained there for a moment longer with her eyes closed again. Only then did she become aware that she had woken on her own ... not by Fvienn's crying. Forcing her eyes open again she sat up and looked around, still drowsy.

Light-sleeper that he was, Rayek felt Tess shift her position beside him.  His hair, as was typical after amorous night, was tousled.  The Romulan wore a pair of comfortable fitting boxer shorts - a concession over his usual preferred lack of attire.  He turned his gaze towards his wife and smiled at her drowsy expression.  By the Elements, even half asleep she was captivating.

"Good morning e'lev.   Seems Fvienn slept through the night again." he commented.  It wasn't exactly a first, but it definitely was notable.   It seemed their son had his habit of sleeping lightly, and was just learning to self-soothe   

Rayek sat up and leaned towards Tess to kiss her.  "I'll get started on breakfast while you shower and dress" he offered after having properly greeted his wife.  He got out of bed and picked up the baby monitor.

"If Fvienn wakes before you are done, I'll feed him some rice cereal."  At just over 9 months, Fvienn was near fully weaned.  He ate a wide variety of cereals and mashed fruits.  His cries for comfort could be soothed now by 'Daddy' just as often and as effectively as by 'Mommy'.  It was just those times that he was teething badly that had their son inconsolable except by the breast - that too soon would be replaced.  Their son was growing up! 

Rayek didn't bother putting on pants or a shirt - he would do so after his turn at the shower.  For now he padded bare-foot and bare-chested out through the bedroom door towards the kitchen to begin making from replicated ingredients their morning meal.   

Normally, Tess preferred something light.  So today he thought to make crepes with whipped cream and 'fresh' berries.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on June 23, 2022, 01:44:16 pm
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

"Yes, seems that way", Tess commented still sleepy and her face broke out into a happy smile when he kissed her. "Good morning." She rolled on her back to get another minute or two of rest while Rayek got out of bed and shared his plans with her.

"Sounds good to me. Thank you, ciccino." She looked after him and then eventually rolled out of bed as well to get ready.

The shower was nice and she got dressed in her uniform. Quietly, she sneaked into Fvienn's bedroom to check on him. He was still sleeping soundly. Tess smiled as she peered into the tiny bed for a moment longer, then she joined Rayek in the living room. "Fvienn is still sleeping. Let's leave him sleeping until after breakfast", she smiled.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on June 23, 2022, 11:52:12 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - s'Lhoell quarters]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

"Yes, seems that way", Tess commented still sleepy and her face broke out into a happy smile when he kissed her. "Good morning." She rolled on her back to get another minute or two of rest while Rayek got out of bed and shared his plans with her.

"Sounds good to me. Thank you, ciccino." She looked after him and then eventually rolled out of bed as well to get ready.

The shower was nice and she got dressed in her uniform. Quietly, she sneaked into Fvienn's bedroom to check on him. He was still sleeping soundly. Tess smiled as she peered into the tiny bed for a moment longer, then she joined Rayek in the living room. "Fvienn is still sleeping. Let's leave him sleeping until after breakfast", she smiled.

From their quarter's replicator, Rayek retrieved the flour, eggs, water, milk, salt and butter for the crepe batter, as well as sweeten whipped cream and an assortment of 'fresh' berries for its filling.  He prepped his work surface, laid out the ingredients in a orderly manner,  gathered the necessary tools and lastly began warming the griddle. 

Once ready, Rayek mixed the flour and eggs first, then gradually added the water and milk while stirring.  All the while though, Rayek was careful not to over mix the batter.  Too much stirring would cause the gluten in the flour to make the crepes rubbery.   

Over the past year, Rayek had discovered the perfect recipe and technique for crepes.  It never failed to please.  Lastly he added the salt and melted butter.  No sooner was that mixed then he pour a measured amount onto his preheated griddle. He was quick to spread the batter even over its surface as it began to cook.

By this time, he could hear on the monitor that Tess was in the shower.  The Romulan husband fantasized a moment of putting aside breakfast and surprising her there.  But the beep of his timer drew him from his sensuous thoughts, and he instead flipped the crepe.  Once that was done he set it aside on a warming plate to keep it from getting cold, and then started on the second of the four masterpieces that his batter would make.

Rayek had just poured the last of the batter onto the griddle to make the fourth crepe when he heard Tess come out of the bedroom.  He looked over as she approached and he smiled back at her.   Even in uniform she was desirable.

"Sounds good to me."  Rayek nodded in agreement to Tess' suggestion to leave their son sleep, then began adding the whipped cream and berries onto the crepes.

"But only until after breakfast, I don't want to us to miss our opportunity to spend quality time together as a family."

Rayek knew that given their positions as Captain and First Officer, that they didn't have a whole lot of time to devote solely to their son; mornings were precious in that respect. 

"Breakfast is served!" he announced holding up the plate of crepes and carrying them over to the table that he had set up earlier. "What would you care to drink?  Coffee, klah, OJ or tea?"
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on June 25, 2022, 12:23:59 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Tess sat down and looked over the arrangement for breakfast, the whipped cream and berries, and the at the plate of crepe Rayek carried to the table.

"Delicious." She smiled and put one of the crepes on Rayek's plate first, then on hers. "Tea for me, please", she replied to his question. Her mind wandered to work. "What's our schedule for today?", she asked as she reached for the bowl of whipped cream and spread some of it onto her crepe before sprinkling it with a variety of berries.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on June 25, 2022, 09:24:36 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - s'Lhoell quarters]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Tess sat down and looked over the arrangement for breakfast, the whipped cream and berries, and the at the plate of crepe Rayek carried to the table.

"Delicious." She smiled and put one of the crepes on Rayek's plate first, then on hers. "Tea for me, please", she replied to his question. Her mind wandered to work. "What's our schedule for today?", she asked as she reached for the bowl of whipped cream and spread some of it onto her crepe before sprinkling it with a variety of berries.

Rayek had already boiled a kettle of water for his own Chai tea.  As such there was enough hot water left over for a cup of tea for Tess as well.   He replicated her a cup and teabag then poured the boiled water into the cup with teabag within for the tea to steep before returning to the table.  He set her tea by her plate and sat down as she asked about their schedule.

Being the ship's executive officer meant that Rayek was the funnel of information up to the Captain so that she had all she needed to make critical decisions regarding the running of the ship at any point in time; being her husband meant that he organized that information in the most efficient manner possible so that her time wasn't wasted and they could spend more time as a family. 

Normally, he preferred not to 'talk shop' during the morning meal since usually Tess or he would be busy seeing to Fvienn.  But with Fvienn still asleep, Tess' query was sound.  This was the opportune time to fill her in on the business of the ship.   

While Tess, spread whipped cream and berries onto her crepe, Rayek reached for his PADD and opened up the day's calendar.    Tess, of course, was scheduled for Alpha shift as was protocol. 

"Your schedule begins at 0700 hrs."  It was 06:30 presently.  "First thing after relieving the Gamma shift duty officer is a department head meeting at 07:15 to go over new developments and priorities.  We should get updates from Ops on their attempts at contacting the astrocetus, and engineering on their continued investigation into the shuttle explosion."   

Rayek paused here a moment, setting down his PADD so that he could receive the whipped cream bowl from Tess and slather on a thick layer of the dairy confection.  Numerous sliced strawberries followed that, after which Rayek rolled the crepe carefully before cutting the roll into neatly orderly pieces. 

Then with fork in one hand and PADD in the other Rayek continued his listing off of Tess' schedule. "At 0900, I have set aside an hour for you to have time in your office to review and sign off on the departmental reports and -"  Rayek's words were interrupted by a call on their quarter's intercom.

=/\= "Sickbay to Commander tr'Lhoell." =/\=  Rayek recognized the voice on the other end of the call as being that of Ensign Fuller.   

Rayek looked to Tess in mild concern as to the topic of the call.  Had Tess' father's condition worsened?  But then why call for him and not her?  Rayek set the PADD down close to Tess so that she could continue reviewing her schedule.  He then stood up and walked over to the wall display and intercom to answer the call.

=/\= "Commander tr'Lhoell here.  Go ahead, Ensign" =/\= Rayek responded, then listened attentively for the reason he had been called prior to the start of his shift.

=/\= "Sorry to call you so early, sir; but patient Ensign tr'Movel just woke up and is insisting to see you as soon as possible." =/\= they informed him.

Oh? Rayek could think of only one reason why the flight officer would call on him - Lared had recalled something.  This was excellent news!  But before Rayek could respond and let the medical officer know that he would be right down, Fuller continued speaking. 

=/\= "He says to tell you - he's changed his decision but that you better get it done now before he changes his mind again." =/\= 

Both of Rayek's eyebrows shot up in surprise at that relayed message. The only decision that this could be in reference to was Tess' request to allow Rayek to search his memories for the error code he'd seen on the display panel prior to the explosion.  A request that Lared had initially been unwilling to consider.  That had now changed.   Rayek's reluctance however hadn't, but if Lared was willing, Rayek would follow through because this was what Tess said she needed.   He just hoped she and Lared would both forgive him afterwards.

=/\="Ensign Fuller, please inform Ensign tr'Movel that I will on my way."=/\=

Rayek looked to his wife.  "I supposed I should get dressed and head on down to the med bay.  Depending on how long much resistance his mind puts up, I may not make it to today's briefing.  I'll report back to you once we're done."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on June 27, 2022, 01:04:57 pm
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Other than Rayek who cut his crepe into neat pieces, Tess took up the rolled crepe as a whole and bit into its end ... making the whipped cream oozing out a little in the process, which she shrugged off with a little grin.

She listened to what Rayek told her when the call came in. She shared a concerned look with him and then scrolled with a finger over Rayek's PADD while he went to go and answer the call, to which Tess listened while she looked at the schedule. To hear that Lared had changed his mind was good. She glanced over to Rayek as he informed her that he would go right away. She nodded. "Yes, I think that's a good idea. Don't worry about the briefing, I'll be able to handle it." She smiled, unaware that she had a little bit of whipped cream smeared at the corner of her mouth.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on June 27, 2022, 11:18:19 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 6 - s'Lhoell quarters]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Other than Rayek who cut his crepe into neat pieces, Tess took up the rolled crepe as a whole and bit into its end ... making the whipped cream oozing out a little in the process, which she shrugged off with a little grin.

She listened to what Rayek told her when the call came in. She shared a concerned look with him and then scrolled with a finger over Rayek's PADD while he went to go and answer the call, to which Tess listened while she looked at the schedule. To hear that Lared had changed his mind was good. She glanced over to Rayek as he informed her that he would go right away. She nodded. "Yes, I think that's a good idea. Don't worry about the briefing, I'll be able to handle it." She smiled, unaware that she had a little bit of whipped cream smeared at the corner of her mouth.

With his mind on rather notable news that Lared... Ensign tr'Movel... had agreed to allow the telepathic search of his memories for key information that could lead to knowing who sabotaged the shuttle which had exploded last month, it took a moment for Rayek's keen observational skills to notice the smear of whipped cream at the corner of Tess' mouth.  By the time it had registered, Rayek had already moved from the kitchen table to the bedroom to dress.

Given the priority of the information that Lared could provide, it was worth it for Rayek to forego the routine of his morning showering.  He did however ensure that his uniform was fresh and that he followed proper oral hygiene.  This was important as he didn't wish to chance the far too embarrassing scenario of him having bits of blueberries or raspberries stuck in his teeth, and only discovering it from the surface thoughts of Ensign tr'Movel.

Once dressed, Rayek paused by the door to Fvienn's room.  As much as Rayek wanted to bid his son good morning and see him before he left, to do so would risk his son waking and becoming upset with Rayek's almost immediate leave-taking.  No, it was best to leave without checking in on their son and just leave Fvienn's morning care to Tess alone.   

The disappointed father returned to the main quarters and found Tess finishing up her breakfast, still with that bit of whipped cream in the crease of her lips.  The sight of it was was ever so endearing to the Romulan.  Rayek strode over, reaching out to gently cup her face as he leaned down to kiss it away.  The taste of her lips were berry sweet with a hint of cream.  He lingered over the kiss a moment before realizing that he was breaking his promise to tr'Movel to be there quickly. 

"I-jol au, e'lev... tell our son that I will make time for him during my break to make up for not seeing him this morning."

Rayek then left and headed to the Medical bay.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on June 29, 2022, 06:36:32 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - s'Lhoell quarters]

Tess smiled as she kissed Rayek back. "I-jol au, ciccino. Good luck!"

She watched him leave and then returned to her breakfast before tending to Fvienn.





(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)

[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

When Rayek would arrive at the sickbay, he would not only find Lared, but also Roberto. The doctor had a disapproving look on his face as he stood near the bed where Lared was.

"Commander", Lared greeted him first. "Thank you for coming here so quickly."

"I don't recommend your plans for a mind meld", Roberto stated straightforward. "Mr tr'Movel needs more rest. I don't want to risk any neurological side effects that might worsen his condition."

Lared looked to Rayek in uncertainty. He had woken up and decided to give it a try, but he had not expected Dr. Padrini to step in. He wondered if Rayek would be able to appease the doctor.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on June 30, 2022, 01:05:22 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)

[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

When Rayek would arrive at the sickbay, he would not only find Lared, but also Roberto. The doctor had a disapproving look on his face as he stood near the bed where Lared was.

"Commander", Lared greeted him first. "Thank you for coming here so quickly."

"I don't recommend your plans for a mind meld", Roberto stated straightforward. "Mr tr'Movel needs more rest. I don't want to risk any neurological side effects that might worsen his condition."

Lared looked to Rayek in uncertainty. He had woken up and decided to give it a try, but he had not expected Dr. Padrini to step in. He wondered if Rayek would be able to appease the doctor.

That Padrini would interfere in this matter shouldn't have been unexpected except that the doctor hadn't been briefed on it yet.  Tess' request for Lared's cooperation in regards to the memory search had been something Rayek had been reluctant to just mention in passing via an email given the doctor's known bias, so Rayek had intended to discuss it with Padrini during a face-to-face brief later this morning.  It seemed like they would be discussing it now.

At the physician's stated concerns Rayek looked over towards Lared assessingly.  Physically, the wounds that resulted from the shuttle's explosion had all been healed in the month since the explosion because of the excellent medical skills of the USS Amalthea's medical staff (Rayek refused to credit Padrini solely).  Because of automated muscle stimuli that the biobed prompted at regular intervals, there was no evidence of muscle atrophy.  Lared, despite being in a coma for a month, was physically fit. 

However, the man's physical fitness wasn't what Padrini had remarked on.  Lared's facial expression looked troubled.  It was obvious he didn't feel comfortable with what had been requested of him, but the fellow Romulan seemed to recognize that the Captain's need of the information he held within his memory superseded any personal discomfort.

Rayek offered a slight acknowledging nod towards Ensign tr'Movel before turning his attention to Padrini once more.

"I respect your position doctor, and recognise that you speak such not out of your own personal bias," though Rayek knew for a fact there was that in spades  "but on earnest behalf of your patient's well-being.  Had we the luxury of another option, this would not be even considered.  However, this request comes from the Captain herself out of a need to ensure the safety of the entire ship."

The Tal Shiar operative had already killed one crew member in an attempt to get to Rayek.  Without knowing how they managed it every mission from here on was a gamble for not just Rayek but every member on that mission.  There was also the concern that even more devastating attacks might be planned next on the ship itself. 

"This was not my idea.  I am merely the means."  Rayek stated.  "I'm certain Tess would not have requested such if she felt it would endanger Ensign tr'Movel."

Rayek let his words sit a moment before pressing on.  "Yesterday, when tr'Movel said that he didn't think he could go through with it, the Captain said that she needed him to reconsider.  It was that important." 

Then Rayek made a point of looking to Padrini directly - fixing his gaze upon the man that claimed to love Tess as much as he. "If she were present now, I have no doubt that she would say that she needs you to not stand in the way of this."

Rayek looked back to Lared, yet still spoke to Padrini.  "You said that you cannot recommend this course of action - that Ensign tr'Movel needs more rest.  Are those your orders as his physician? or will leave it solely as a recommendation yet permit this to go ahead?"

To help tip in his favor, Rayek added "As you well-know from my medical file, I have been Vulcan-trained in use of the meld now.  There is no reason for there to be any neurological side-effects."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on July 05, 2022, 03:20:42 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)

[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

Padrini's face hardened more with every word that Rayek spoke. He would lose this argument, he already knew it. He didn't want to risk having Tess to come down here and interfere. But he didn't trust Rayek and he didn't trust his mind melding abilities.

So he would put his foot down as much as he could, although he realized that he wouldn't be able to stop this.

"I strongly advise against it", he stated once more. "I will mark it like this in Mr. tr'Movel's file that this mind meld was conducted against doctor's recommendation. Also, I'd like to be present during the meld. To monitor any unwanted effects."

Lared felt more uncomfortable by the minute. He looked at Rayek with growing uncertainty. But he had said he would do it. He wouldn't back down now. That the doctor said he'd monitor the process was actually rather assuring to him.

"I am prepared to go ahead with it", he once more gave his consent.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on July 06, 2022, 02:15:55 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

From Padrini's hardened expression, Rayek had more than half expected the doctor to order him out of Sickbay and away from his patient; but he didn't.  Rayek wondered if it was the urgency and importance of the information that had swayed the doctor or if it was all just about Tess' need of this.  It was probably best Rayek didn't question and just get the job done while he could.   

"Monitor if you wish, but there should be nothing for you to see or do."

When tr'Movel spoke up once more repeating that he was ready to do this, Rayek looked over to his Romulan friend and nodded.   "Thank you." Rayek answered simply before moving to the Lared's bedside and laying his fingers lightly atop Lared's psi nodes.

This wasn't a light search of surface thoughts.  This would require a deeper dive into the fellow Romulan's mind to be certain he was seeing the actual memory and not some influenced 'remake' of that day.

With his fingerstips in position, Rayek let his mind sink into the layers of Lared's thoughts and memories, speaking the ritualized words as a focus.  "My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts."

As expected, despite Lared's claimed readiness and willingness to do this, his mind was resistant.  It was frustrating to know that had Rayek attempted this while Lared had been asleep or unaware that there would be next to no push back to his presence.  The sleeping mind was so much more open than the wakeful and aware mind. 

Lared's consciousness of the process made the search for the memory 10 times more difficult.  Rayek could feel Lared's ingrained discomfort with the meld-meld.  To help distract Lared from his discomfort Rayek shared 'safe' memories from his own childhood.  These memories were ones he kept out and in the open should he ever be read by another telepath.  It was part of Rayek's mental defenses.

"Think about that day... remember what you were doing.  We were giving chase in the shuttle Kourete to a pair that had been using holographic pirates to steal from freighters.  Mere seconds after taking launching from the planetoid alarms sounded..."

With the scene described, Rayek let Lared's mind complete the rest of the picture.  He filtered through the disjointed and jumbled memories and began to piece together the scene as Lared remembered it.   When it came to the visual displays Rayek delved deeper, going into Lared's subconscious to find the previously obscured code line that Lared hadn't been able to recall.   

They'd found it!
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on July 06, 2022, 05:37:34 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel

(https://i.imgur.com/5aL4atn.png)
NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)

[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

"I will decide that for myself, Commander", Padrini responded grimly.

He watched as Rayek initiated the mind meld. Inwardly it sickened the doctor to imagine that the Romulan manipulated Tess like this into thinking she had feelings for him.

Both men had gone silent and Roberto observed Lared's face. He was tense and clearly uncomfortable. He suppressed a disapproving snort as he kept glancing up to the bio readings.


The feeling of another person's presence in his mind was exceptionally awful. He hated it. It struggled to relax enough to actually let it happen. Rayek then showed him pictures of childhood memories. It was strangely comforting. Although of course those were not his own memories he recognized their lost home Romulus.

Then Rayek tried to remind him of the day of the shuttle explosion. Those memories came back quite clearly now. The part where he had struggled before was clearly visible now. It was amazing! It was an outstanding experience!

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on July 07, 2022, 11:57:49 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)

[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

"I will decide that for myself, Commander", Padrini responded grimly.

He watched as Rayek initiated the mind meld. Inwardly it sickened the doctor to imagine that the Romulan manipulated Tess like this into thinking she had feelings for him.

Both men had gone silent and Roberto observed Lared's face. He was tense and clearly uncomfortable. He suppressed a disapproving snort as he kept glancing up to the bio readings.


The feeling of another person's presence in his mind was exceptionally awful. He hated it. It struggled to relax enough to actually let it happen. Rayek then showed him pictures of childhood memories. It was strangely comforting. Although of course those were not his own memories he recognized their lost home Romulus.

Then Rayek tried to remind him of the day of the shuttle explosion. Those memories came back quite clearly now. The part where he had struggled before was clearly visible now. It was amazing! It was an outstanding experience!

Error code 08-120
REMOTE ACCESS LOCKED

There it was the partial answer that Rayek had been seeking.  Confirmation that the explosion had been sabotage.  A planned attack that was perpetrated via the shuttle's remote access feature and then covered up. 

Dammit! Whoever had programmed the shuttle's overload remotely also had cleanly wiped all evidence of the remote access from the shuttle's log or it would have been discovered by now.  That meant tracing it back would be difficult.   But not impossible.  Not for Rayek. 

 ~ Lared, we've found how the assassin caused the explosion but the error code doesn't point to who did it.  For that, I'd like to search your memories some more.  As you know when Remote Access is initiated it'll display the authorization code of its remote user and their relative coordinates.  You should have seen this at some point... that you didn't mention it means either that feature was disabled - a difficult and time-consuming thing to overwrite without advance notice... or the speed-frame was reduced so that it would have only flashed on the screen for a but a fraction of a second.   Your conscious mind wouldn't have picked that up... but your subconscious mind and memory would have.  Do I have your permission to continue?~

Rayek had only initially asked to search Lared's memories for how.  He needed Lared to agree before he would delve deeper.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on July 10, 2022, 12:55:11 pm
(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Every minute that the mind meld lasted, Lared was burdened more and more. Instead of relaxing with time, he became more restless and impatient, wanting it to be over soon.

He winced slightly when he heard Rayek's voice in his head again. He took a few deep breaths. Actually, he didn't want Rayek to go any deeper. He hesitated. But he thought, now he had gone this far before ...

"Yes," he answered and took another breath. He tried to imagine the situation in the shuttle, the moment Rayek had described.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on July 11, 2022, 03:11:45 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

(https://i.imgur.com/LcuvMKC.png)
NPC Ensign Lared tr'Movel
[USS Amalthea - Deck 8 - Sickbay]

Every minute that the mind meld lasted, Lared was burdened more and more. Instead of relaxing with time, he became more restless and impatient, wanting it to be over soon.

He winced slightly when he heard Rayek's voice in his head again. He took a few deep breaths. Actually, he didn't want Rayek to go any deeper. He hesitated. But he thought, now he had gone this far before ...

"Yes," he answered and took another breath. He tried to imagine the situation in the shuttle, the moment Rayek had described.

Despite Lared's verbal answer, Rayek could read his true thoughts.  Like Rah'ul, Lared was extremely uncomfortable with Rayek's presence in his mind.   If the need for this information was not so crucial, Rayek would have withdrew right then; but Lared was his best and last hope of finding out who had sabotaged the shuttle, killing Lieutenant Verlock.

With permission given once more, Rayek didn't waste time acknowledging or offering apologies for the discomfort.  Lared would be happiest with Rayek being swift... but the nature of this search meant that Rayek had to slow down the memory of Lared's time in the shuttle cockpit so that he could study each memory engram for the remote access details.  This could literally take hours. 

Rather than start at the very beginning of the mission and work his way through chronologically, Rayek tried to put himself in the role of the assassin and look for times when the shuttle was already busy with information coming and going where one screen blip would have been least likely to be noticed.   Even so... the process of searching was lengthy; and Rayek was fully aware that Padrini was already not approving of this meld.  It would only be a matter of time before the doctor said enough was enough and ordered Rayek to stop.  So the Romulan was racing with the doctor's patience.

Thankfully however, Rayek had similar training as that of the Tal Shiar assassin and his guess as to when the remote connection was initiate was spot on.  What could have taken hours to find in Lared's mind,  took only 45 minutes. With the information located, Rayek mentally 'flagged' it for Lared's easy access from then on.

With that complete and the information he need obtained, Rayek withdrew from Lared's mind.  He removed his fingertips, from Lared now sweating temple and realized that own was just as damp.  The meld had been far more exerting than he had anticipated.  He was fortunate Padrini hadn't forced a separation before now.   He clapped an appreciative hand over the shoulder of the bedridden Romulan. 

"Thank you, Lared.  I'm sorry to have put you through that." he dipped his head showing his respect for the other man. "Rest knowing that the knowledge gained will point to the saboteur."

Rayek stood up, and swayed slightly feeling a bit disoriented within his own body after searching Lared's memories for so long.   He glanced to the chronometer on his PADD and noted that the Department Head meeting was already in progress.   That Padrini hadn't left his patient to attend the meeting said a lot about the doctor and his dedication to his work.   At times like this Rayek found it hard to dislike the man.   But that feeling usually didn't last long, since Padrini was always looking for ways to criticize Rayek and would always speak his thoughts when Tess wasn't around.

"I'll leave you to your patient, Doctor."

Just as he was about to exit Sickbay, the doors opening for him as he made to stride out,  Rayek nearly bumped into Aide tr'Hei.  The portly figure looked momentarily alarmed to see that it was Rayek he had collided with.   Rayek noted that the man's hand moved to his belt... where a Romulan disruptor might have been located had weapons not been banned from the visiting Ambassadorial staff.  After the initial shock the hand dropped and the aide made a point of bowing obsequiously.

"Commander, my apologies at my inattentiveness.  I hope all is well with you and yours." the man all but fawned in an obvious attempt to make up for the incident.

"Yes.  All is well.  Just visiting Ensign tr'Movel. Now if you'll excuse me I have somewhere urgent to be." Rayek stated as he began to step around the other who remained blocking the doorway.

For a moment, as Rayek passed in close proximity to the aide, Rayek felt a strong sense of familarity and he turned his head to glance back at the man.   tr'Hei remaining the doorway offering another slight apologetic bow.   

Rayek shook his head to clear the feeling and continued on his way up to Briefing room.   Along the way, he double checked the information he'd discovered in Lared's memory and found it confirmed.   Rayek's expression hardened as he tapped away on his PADD - issuing orders and prepping himself for settle things one and for all.
 
...

[USS Amalthea - Deck One - Briefing Room]

A few minutes later Rayek entered the briefing room.   His arrival, briefly disrupting the Acting Department Head of Science as he gave his daily report.

Rayek inclined his head politely.  "My apologies at my tardiness."  He quickly took his seat and then waited for his turn to speak.



Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on July 19, 2022, 07:48:37 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Briefing Room]

Tess looked up when the door opened and Rayek joined them at the meeting. While his task with Lared admittedly had taken longer than she had expected, she found it a little odd that he apologized for his tardiness. It was not as if he had been in bed until just now.
She tried to read from his face how the meeting with Lared went, but couldn't really decide if it went well or not.

"Welcome to the briefing, Commander", Tess said in her role as Captain. "Ensign t'Movel was just reporting her department's progress on tracking down the astrocetus." She gestured for her to continue.

The Romulan flushed slightly. "Actually, I ... I was just about finished", she said, then glanced to Rayek. "Would you like me to repeat for you, Commander?"

Tess looked at Rayek, letting him decide if he accepted the offer or if he would read it later in the report.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on July 19, 2022, 08:55:30 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck One - Briefing Room]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Briefing Room]

Tess looked up when the door opened and Rayek joined them at the meeting. While his task with Lared admittedly had taken longer than she had expected, she found it a little odd that he apologized for his tardiness. It was not as if he had been in bed until just now.
She tried to read from his face how the meeting with Lared went, but couldn't really decide if it went well or not.

"Welcome to the briefing, Commander", Tess said in her role as Captain. " Acting Ensign t'Movel was just reporting her department's progress on tracking down the astrocetus." She gestured for her to continue.

The Romulan flushed slightly. "Actually, I ... I was just about finished", she said, then glanced to Rayek. "Would you like me to repeat for you, Commander?"

Tess looked at Rayek, letting him decide if he accepted the offer or if he would read it later in the report.

That the Academy cadet had been field promoted to Acting Ensign said a lot about the young Romulan's skills and dedication; and a bit about the ship's lack of both senior and junior officers.  Every ship faced losses, but those losses seemed more pronounced on the Amalthea since the ship had limited officers to begin with -  and now they were about to lose one more.

Rayek looked over to the Operations cadet... Acting Ensign... and shook his head declining her offer to begin again for his benefit.  "No need of that.  If you are done, I will report next."

The young Romulan was quick to indicate that she was done.  She hadn't reported much anyways, just that the reconfiguration of the long range sensors had been completed and that scans for the astrocetus life sign was continuing.

While he waited for the Captain to agree to his speaking next, Rayek let his eyes rove over the assembled Department Heads, and for a moment he marveled at its composition.  Ensign Mitumba for Science was Caitian. Acting Ensign t'Movel for Operations was Romulan. Ensign tr'Hava, another Romulan, had been sent by the Engineering chief - no doubt because the Lurian wouldn't take time away from his investigation into the death of his Vulcan friend via the shuttle explosion.  Flight was being represented by Rojol - yet another Romulan officer. 

The Amalthea abounded with Romulans.  Even it's First Officer, who sat in the role of Tactical Chief and Chief of Security, was Romulan.  Was really difficult to understand why such terrible things happened to the ship and crew?  They brought it on themselves by trusting those of such duplicitous natures.

Once given leave to speak, Rayek stood up and began pacing around the room.  "For those that have not yet heard.  Ensign tr'Movel awoke yesterday afternoon from his month long coma."  Rayek made a point of not referring to it as a healing trance - that was solely a Vulcan trait - and he would never insult Lared that way.   

"With his return to conscience, the shuttle investigation has gained a new and informative lead.   I have just come here from speaking with Ensign tr'Movel and he recalled for me seeing the shuttle's display screen announcing the activation of remote control of the shuttles power system.  That is how the overload of the EPS system occurred with no prior warnings to the shuttle, they had been turned off via remote until the system went critical."  Rayek continued pacing around the table as he spoke. 

However Rayek wasn't done, "Of course, that possibility had crossed the investigation team's mind some time ago, but whoever had done this was able to wipe the computer command from the system prior to the explosion - hiding evidence of their actions and making it impossible for us to discern if this was indeed how the explosion happen."   

Rayek paused his pacing, as he stood just to the side of tr'Hava and Rojol.  He  looked around the room. "If not for Ensign tr'Movel's keen observation and his willingness to go beyond what is expected of an officer, who did this would still be a mystery.  However, tr'Movel saw the authorization code of the one who activated the remote access to shuttle."

Rayek looked to Tess.  "That authorization code belongs to Ensign Rojol, Acting Flight Chief.  Coordinates noted along with authorization code list the Amalthea Bridge as it's origin.   A check of his location at the time of the incident shows that Ensign Rojol was on the bridge with full access to the Flight operations console -including remote access."

Rayek subtly braced for an escape attempt; but for Rojol there would be none.  Security were already waiting outside both exits to the briefing room and Rayek had ordered a signal dampener to be activated to prevent escape via transporter.   Inwardly he hoped the man tried to fight his way out, allowing Rayek the opportunity to violently take down the one responsible for Verlok's death and Lared's convalescence.   After a months frustration, Rayek needed and outlet.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on August 08, 2022, 10:14:43 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Briefing Room]

Tess listened carefully to what Rayek reported. Although she was used to his pacing by now, it irritated her a bit that he couldn't suppress it even here in front of the whole team.

That the shuttle had been remotely controlled was not all that surprising, after all, that had been the most likely theory as to how the accident had happened, but they had not been able to find out who had taken control of the shuttle at that point, since the person had thoroughly covered all tracks. When Rayek brought this up, however, she guessed with burgeoning hope that he now knew, or at least had a promising clue.

Neither was true. Instead, Rayek presented the name of the culprit, that of Ensign Rojol. Tess' eyes grew wide as she stared at the Romulan. She was stunned. A murmur went through the room and then it was suddenly dead silent. It was clear that the young officers, who had to take on so much responsibility so early, were now completely shocked and unsettled.

Tess looked over at Rayek. She could understand the anger he had. She didn't feel any differently. After all, one of her crew had been killed and her husband had been the target. Still, this public display was not what she liked to see. She would have preferred if they had confronted Rojol alone.

Rojol now began to deny everything. Although Tess thought the evidence was very incriminating, no one should be accused without the opportunity to defend themselves.

She rose from her seat. "The briefing is over. Please return to your stations." Her gaze rested on Rojol, who hopefully understood that it did not mean him. She looked up at Rayek. "I would like to conduct a questioning, right now."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on August 11, 2022, 10:33:26 pm
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck One - Briefing Room]

Tess' decision to end the meeting abruptly, should have been something Rayek had foreseen, but he'd been far to focused on finally getting justice for Verlock's death.   When the flight officer - either oblivious to Tess' pointed look or just choosing to ignore it in the hopes of escaping the upcoming questions - attempted to rise, Rayek placed a hand on his shoulder in an arresting manner and held the fellow Romulan firmly in place.  "You will remain here with us, Ensign."

The room quickly cleared, though Rayek had to give the security at the door the go ahead to let the others leave.  Afterwards, Rayek released his hold on Takima though the First Officer didn't go far.  He stood about a half a pace away, arms folded, waiting for the Captain to begin her questioning. 

The Romulan Ensign of course denied any involvement.  The young man was quite adamant on that part, not that Rayek believed a word he said in his defense.  At first, Rojol claimed he was being unfairly accused, that Rayek had a bias against him.   Then he suggested that he was being framed.  This earned a scoff from Rayek.  Given how hidden the information had been - there would have been no way for an average investigator to have uncovered the remote hackers identity and location, it was unlikely that the information was falsified just to frame the flight officer.  In an normal investigation the information would never have been uncovered making the 'frame' useless - and therefore questionable.  Rojol even went so far as to try pinning the hack on the Ambassador's aide because the rotund little man had asked a few questions about the shuttle during his tour.   Even Rayek thought that suspicion rather far-fetched.

As the questioning wrapped up, Rayek looked to Tess for sign of what she intended to do with the man.  To Rayek, it was clear the man was guilty.  He'd seen the Ensign's authorization code (a code that Starfleet personnel were not supposed to share - ever - under threat of dismissal) in Lared's memory clearly.  There was no arguing with that.

But Tess was far more lenient that he.  She hadn't seen the code and while he knew she trusted his word, that lack of tangible proof might be enough to sway her to be more open to other possibilities.  He hoped not.
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on August 14, 2022, 08:10:37 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Briefing Room]

Tess let Rayek conduct the questioning for the most part. She added a question of her own here and there. It was clear that Rayek already had made up his mind as to who the culprit was. While Rojol really couldn't offer anything substantial to lift the weight of suspicion off of him, Tess didn't want to make a decision on it just yet. She wasn't sure how much of an actor Rojol was, but his protestations seemed rather convincing.

When the questioning came to an end, Tess met Rayek's eyes. It was almost as if she could read all of the different thoughts in his mind. She couldn't, really, but she knew him so well. Directing her gaze back on Rojol, Tess finally spoke up. "The evidence is incriminating towards you. I will impose further investigation into this, but you will be confined to your quarters until further notice." She nodded at the security detail that have been waiting near the door.

It was not without protest that Rojol was escorted out, but finally Tess and Rayek were alone. She regarded him for a long moment before she let out a heavy sigh. "Well, that was ... unexpected", she commented and sat back down in her chair, rubbing her palms over her face for a moment. She then lifted her gaze back up to Rayek. "You are absolutely sure it was Rojol's authorization code you saw in Lared's mind? I couldn't have been something else?"

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on August 14, 2022, 08:53:01 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck One - Briefing Room]

Tess' decision was far less that Rayek thought the man deserved.  Verlock was dead because of this worthless sack of ryakna.  Rayek could recall several times that Rojol had seemed to hesitate responding to his orders in what he'd suspected was disrespect.  At the time, Rayek hadn't pursued action against the man... now he wished he had.  Maybe if he'd investigated the man then none of this would have happened!  But that was a 'what if'.  He had to accept the consequences of his inaction now - and try not to repeat the same error.

After Rojol was escorted to his quarters, Rayek was prepared to argue to stronger measures, but Tess queried him about what he'd seen in Lared's memory.

"There is no doubt.  It was his code.  I could show you my recall of Lared's memory, if you wish." Rayek offered but he doubted that was what Tess truly wanted. Unfortunately, Rayek couldn't give Tess the 110% assurance.  The fact was that the culprit was a pro at computer hacking so any concrete evidence that might have otherwise been available to them had been wiped clean.

Which prompted his next comment.

"Captain. I appreciate your hesitancy to think the worst of your fellow officer, even with him being Romulan; but if you insist on merely 'House Arrest' rather than time in the brig, as Security Chief, I must request that his access to any and all computers be not just revoked but the units removed from his quarters - including the replicator unit.  As a Tal'Shiar operative, there is little he is not trained to gain access to and make use of lethally, given enough time."
Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Tess tLhoell on August 15, 2022, 08:47:38 am
Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Briefing Room]

She should have known he would make that offer - to let her look into his memory to see it for herself. But it wasn't that she didn't believe him. It was the level of conviction she wanted to be reassured about. And his answer was doing just that.

When he posed his request, Tess looked at him across the room. In comparison to her, he had remained standing - of course. She wondered if a 'memory' like this was even valid as 'proof'. Would Rayek's discovery even mean anything in an official trial?
She thought about his reuqest for a moment longer, then nodded. "Very well, yes, let's revoke all of his access to any devices and turn off the replicator." She then frowned and picked up her PADD to check Rojol's file. "There is no reference at all that he has been in the Tal'Shiar. We'll need to contact Starfleet Intelligence to check this. And I would like a talk with Lared as well." She was aware that all of this likely was slowing things down in Rayek's opinion, but she didn't want to jump the gun on this now. She sought Rayek's eyes. "I would also like to speak to Mr tr'Hei."

Title: Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
Post by: Rayek tr'Lhoell on August 17, 2022, 12:07:21 am
Cmdr. Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck One - Briefing Room]

Tess seemed very pensive immediately after his recommendation.  He met her gaze as she looked across the room at him.  For a moment, he was concerned that she might deny his request.   Rayek knew this must be hard on her.  Betrayal was not something Starfleet groomed their officers to expect.

He started to close the distance between then, to offer some level of support.  As he reached her side, Tess seemed to have come to accept his precaution. 

Rayek smiled slightly in amusement at her remark about Rojol's file.   "It hardly seems likely that they would use a known operative.  Assassinations are done off book and with complete deniability.  But yes, I will arrange contact with the most senior Intelligence officer in the Gamma Quadrant."

With a task assigned to him, Rayek's mind immediately began working out the logistics.  "Lared was quite exhausted after my study of his memories, so I would recommend speaking with tr'Hei first.  In the meantime, I will reach out to the Starfleet Intelligence office on New Bajor, and get Engineering to pull those computers from Rojol's room."

He laid a hand lightly upon her shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze in support.  "We've found the culprit.  One less thing you need to worry about."

Or at least that was his hope.  As he pulled his PADD to start on his own 'To Do' list, Rayek recalled that he'd seen tr'Hei just prior to coming here.   

"If you can't get a hold of tr'Hei at the ambassador's office.."  His office. "You might check Sickbay.  He was headed there just as I was leaving."

The thought of the aide coming down with some minor illness was somehow appealing to Rayek.  He didn't know why, but the man for all his pleasantness grated on the Romulan's nerves.