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Messages - Rayek tr'Lhoell

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USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: December 05, 2022, 01:32:09 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Executive Officer's office]

NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Executive Officer's office]

Jarok's face hardened and he gave Rayek a warning look. He would not sit here and be yelled at. Though instead of verbalizing his irritation he kept his composure. A moment later, Rayek was apologizing. Then he revealed a piece of information to him that the ambassador had not been able to get out of the Riov when he had questioned her about the reason for her presence here. Kemala t'Lhoell had been ... rather uncooperative in that regard. Now he knew why she was here. And he also learned that the man they were suspecting to be the assassin was a Tal'Shiar member. So Rayek's brother was. That didn't make it exactly easier, but the Tal'Shiar worked with the Free State and had lost most of its influence and power in the years after Hobus. So there might be a chance they would get to the root of the problem.

"If the Tal'Shiar is involved, it is even more important for us to work together. Perhaps it even would be better if my people take the lead in this investigation." He doubted Starfleet would be able to get past that wall of discretion surrounding the Tal'Shiar. It also seemed to Jarok that Rayek was emotionally compromised in this investigation of his own brother which wasn't a good foundation for a thorough investigation. "So, the Tal'Shiar wants you dead", Virahk reprised. "Why is that? As far as I know, you've been living in the Federation for over a decade now. Do you have any ties with the Tal'Shiar, currently or earlier? Have you yourself worked in the Tal'Shiar? If so, who was your handler?" Virahk was aware that Rayek most likely would be reluctant to answer those questions if he really had have any ties to the Tal'Shiar. Though if they wanted to find out the person responsible for this, those were very important questions.

At Rayek's question towards him, the ambassador answered readily. "He was assigned to me. That was shortly after I received my current - and my first - assignment as an ambassador. His record stated he had not long before started his career in ambassadorial service. At the time I was surprised that a man his age would be in this kind of position, but as I myself am an exception to the rule regarding my age I was rather pleased with it."

Rayek scoffed when the Ambassador suggested his people take lead in the investigation.  "No Ambassador.  It is one of your people that committed this act.  The Federation will work cooperatively with the Romulan Free State on this matter but this ship is our jurisdiction." Rayek stated firmly.

When Ambassador Jarok stated the obvious - that the Tal'Shiar wanted him dead, Rayek almost laughed.  Apparently, the man hadn't been paying any attention to his 'interview' the day previous when he admitted that fact to the Ambassador and his aide.  The only thing he hadn't said at the time was WHY he was wanted dead, or by who... though Tal'Shiar should have been an easy guess.

Now, with the Ambassador's direct questions regarding whether he had any ties to the Tal'Shiar, Rayek to decide whether to be honest, to lie or outright refuse to answer.   While Rayek considered the ramifications of each option, the Ambassador continued to answer his question about tr'Hei.

By the time the Ambassador was finished speaking, Rayek had made his choice.

"I say this to you only because you are the highest Romulan government official here in the Gamma Quadrant, and therefore when answering you, I am not breaking my oath by speaking secrets 'willy-nilly'.  Yes, I was a Tal'Shiar special operative.  My handler's name was Vandar, and I received missions on the order of the Praetor himself, because of my telepathic ability."

Now that the secret had been broached, Rayek opened up even more. "I served for a year and half, loyally despite constant threats and abuse from my handler, before being sent to Faicol-lhui for having failed to sabotage the first cooperative venture with the Federation since the Dominion War.  My father was arrested on trumped up charges because he also had the telepathic gene. 

After Hobus, those attempting to build the Free State government had me released to keep watch on Ambassador Kalavak during his tour of Federation worlds pleading our cause and gaining support for our refugees.  When the Ambassador died of illness, I received warning from a colleague that my former handler had risen to power in the Tal'Shiar, and had ordered my capture and execution.  Though I had done nothing to deserve such.  So I turned away from my own people to join Starfleet where I found acceptance. That is my story.  THAT is why I am on the Tal'Shiar's hit list."

His attention diverted at hearing a ping from his comm followed by the voice of the security officer on duty in the brig.  =/\= "Sir, the perp is awake." =/\=

Rayek immediately answered the call  =/\= "Acknowledged.  I'm on my way." =/\=

He stood up from his seat gesturing for the Ambassador to do the same. "I'm sorry, Ambassador.  I must attend this.  If you wish to assign one of your people to observe my interrogation of the perpetrator then I suggest you get on that promptly as I don't intend to wait for them."

Rayek ushered the Ambassador out of his office, physically if he had to, ensuring the door shut firmly and securely afterwards before starting on his way to the Brig.

NPC Riov Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay - ICU]

Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay - ICU]

Latihk was relieved to hear that Kemala had come out of this unscathed. It satisfied him immensely. Similar as hearing that Rayek was well, too. When Kemala told him the minor injury he had contracted there was actually a little bit of a grin on Latihk's face as he huffed a hoarse chuckle. "A sprained ankle versus lethal poisoning ... I've so won", he murmured amused. It was this old game between them that they always tried to outcompete each other when they were young. Of course, that had not been the reason why he had saved Rayek. Not to 'win' the worse injury. He had seen his friend in danger and had acted to help him.

Latihk thought he saw something glistening in Kemala's eyes. She was upset. He wanted to console her, but felt restraint by his own state of condition right now and also he hated that Tess was there and would hear their private conversation. Perhaps he should just ask her to leave. Before he could verbalize any of those thougts, Tess herself interrupted them.

Tess had watched the quiet conversation between them silently from the corner of the room. She didn't try to eavesdrop but her focus was fully on the biobed monitor. As they talked, Latihk's oxygen levels continued to drop, his breathing rate increased, just as his pulse. It was time to interrupt there, as much as she hated it.

"I'm sorry", she said as she walked over to them. "But he really needs to put on the respirator again. And he needs some more rest." She looked to Kemala before she moved to put the respirator mask back on her patient. "You can stay if you want. I'll tell the nurses to grant you entry any time you want. But no talking for him for now. And it would be best for him to get some more rest."

Kemala couldn't contain her answering mirth at hearing Latihk's boyish competitive claim to have won.  She recalled so many such boastful comparisons growing up, having been watched  her brother and his one true friend compete during of her childhood.  It was reassuring that he did so even now.  Latihk was going to be alright.

And he was in good hands, which was proven when a short time later, Tess insisted that Latihk put back on his respirator and for him to rest.

Kemala smiled towards Tess when the doctor made it possible for her to have access to Latihk, even outside of normal visiting hours.    She inclined her head in a show of appreciation.

"I'll stay." Kemala stated, glancing to Latihk. "I'll make sure he rests and doesn't speak.  I'll read to him.  Last time we watched Fvienn, I discovered that reading Rayek's book of poetry puts not just Fvienn to sleep, but Latihk as well."


NPC Ambassadorial Aide 'Rhienn tr'Hei' (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 16 - Brig]

NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)
[USS Amalthea - Brig]
Roberto looked up when he noticed the man moving. So he woke up now. Perfect timing. He watched in slight concern as the Romulan cried out in pain. Had he missed something? When he struggled to sit up, Roberto moved closer to help him with that but he then turned away, hiding his aching arm.

"Nobody tortured you", Roberto clarified. "It's possible you've sprained or contused your arm when you were stunned and moved here. I'm here to look after your well-being and to take DNA samples from you." He turned his back to Telmuk, regarding the guards. "Take off the cuffs for a moment so I can treat him properly."

There was slight hesitation but eventually one of them did what the CMO wanted and came in after deactivating the force field. He took off the cuffs and took a step back, remaining inside the cell while Roberto would treat him.

"Let me see", he said and reached his hand out to try and take hold of Telmuk's arm. If he let him, he'd start to palpate down his arm, squeezing slightly as he went until he reached the wrist so he knew where exactly he felt the pain.

When the doctor turned his back to him and called for his restraints to be removed, Telmuk realized that the doctor had no real training on how to handle prisoners.  That would make the escape of his cell so much easier.

He bode his time while the security detail considered the doctors orders. Telmuk noted one tapped the commbadge - obviously informing their Chief - his brother, Rayek - of his being awake.  He didn't have much time. 

After a moment, the guards seemed to be acknowledge the doctor's need to treat his patient and lowered the forcefield just long enough for one of them to enter before the field was raised again.  But during the process of doing so, Telmuk was in the mind of the guard working the controls, so Telmuk had the code to do so now.

The Romulan 'aide' maintained his timid demeanor while the guard unlocked his cuffs and stepped away.  Telmuk could see the guard being on the alert.  Taking him by surprise would be far more difficult than it would be to do so to the doctor.  So Telmuk held off on his attack until the doctor was nearly done palpating Rhienn's arm for injury.   

It was as the doctor reached his wrist that Rhienn gave a pained cry, as if in reaction to the palpation, to startle the Feds giving him few precious moments to complete his manuever.  Telmuk gripped onto the doctor's own wrist, twisting the joint to the point of near breaking, forcing the physician to move as guided. Telmuk drew him in closer and then spun the doctor around to stand in front of him as his shield against the guard who had pulled his phaser.   

Still holding onto the doctor's painfully flexed wrist, Telmuk now wrapped an arm about the doctor's neck tightly, locking his arm in position by tucking his hand into the tight collar of his black undershirt.  "Tell him to drop it.  Cause you and I both know in this hold if either you or I slump unconscious your neck is broken and you are as good as dead."

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: December 04, 2022, 02:14:31 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Executive Officer's office]

NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Executive Officer's office]

Hearing that the blade - a poisoned blade - had been thrown in harmful intent only rose more questions. The ambassador opened his mouth to ask some of his questions, but was stopped with a hand gesture by Rayek, announcing he'd explain everything. Jarok nodded and gestured with his hand for the Commander to go ahead.

The story he was told was quite unusual, although he realized something unusual needed to have taken place to bring this evening's events together. He was surprised that he didn't know about any talks between Miss t'Raghaellh and his aide. Though on the other hand, it shouldn't be surprising given that it was a matter that surely was preferred to be treated privately. The story itself sounded reasonable from the progression of things, though there were some aspects that didn't make sense yet.

"If he is your brother, how is it possible that you didn't recognize him?", he asked with a frown. "Your sister recognized him, why didn't you? And, forgive me if this is touching private affairs of yours, but why does your brother want to kill you?" He thought about it for a while longer. It now made sense why tr'Hei ... or tr'Lhoell if it was true what the Commander said had suggested for him to leave Katra and travel all the way out here to speak to the Romulan people. He might have waited until they return to Katra or speak to them via video transmission, but it had been his aide who suggested to go and see them in person. Which sounded reasonable from a diplomatic point of view, but now there was this other side to it all.

"As the Free State's representative I have to demand to be part in this investigation and to be apprised of your findings in this investigation Starfleet might obtain."

Of all the questions that could have been asked, Rayek was a little surprised and annoyed by the Ambassador's first choice. Surprised because there were so many other things of importance, and because he wondered the same thing.  Rayek gave out a huff before answering.  "Look - the last time I saw my brother or even had an image of him to look at... he was 18, and in that thin gangly youth stage.  When I met your aide, I still thought my brother was dead in the Hobus nova... so forgive me for not cluing in to why his pudgy face seemed oddly familiar!"  His tone was a tad frustrated and sarcastic as he asked for forgiveness.

Realizing that he was not being professional in his demeanor, Rayek took a slow calming breath and tried again as he continued to answer the rest of the Ambassador's question. "My apologies for my tone... it's been a bit of a trying night.  As I was saying, it's been 15 years since I saw him - from what I understand my sister video called him less than 6 months ago prior to leaving for the Gamma Quadrant, so his face is far more familiar to her.   As for why he wants me dead, I haven't had the opportunity to question him about that - though I suspect he's the Tal'Shiar officer that Kemala came here to warn me about."

When the Ambassador demanded to part of the investigation, Rayek's paranoia wanted so badly to tell him 'No', but he recognized that he had to play-nice with the Embassy representative or Ambassador Jarok could try to claim full jurisdiction on the case.

Rayek nodded in a placating manner. "Of course Ambassador, I'll have a copy of every relevant document sent to you.  In return, I'll like to ask you a few questions about your aide."

It was his turn to be asking the questions.

"When did tr'Hei first begin working as your aide? Did you select him yourself or was he assigned to you?"

NPC Riov Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

Latihk tr'Kheiin
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay - ICU]

His train of thought was a little bit slow and scattered. Only gradually did his thoughts and memories sort themselves out. The last thing he had thought about before he passed out had been Telmuk and the attack. Now his thoughts turned to Kemala and Rayek. Was he okay? Was she okay. His eyes scanned her body for any obvious signs of recent injuries. The squeeze at his hand directed his gaze up to her face. Her beautiful face. At the mention of Tess, Latihk glanced over to her. "Thank you, doctor."

He looked back at Kemala and nodded his head once when she told him that Telmuk was locked up. "May he rot there, ryakna", he growled. For a moment he closed his eyes, his chest heaved as he tried to take a deep breath - but somehow it felt like his lungs couldn't take that much. When his eyes opened again, he looked at Kemala again. "Are you alright? He didn't hurt you, did he?" His grip at her hand tightened at the mere thought of it. "And Rayek? Is he okay?"

Kemala understood why Latihk would feel that way but it was difficult for her to hear her brother called such a derogatory term.  She glanced down to their clasped hands to avoid showing in her expression how much it bothered her. 

However, she looked back towards his face in concern when it seemed he was struggling to breathe again... but it seemed to pass before she could call Tess over.

She nodded when asked if she was alright.  "Yes. I'm fine. I wasn't in any danger," she assured him patting the hand that gripped hers lightly with her other.

"He's fine too. She answered with a smile, at his question about Rayek. "You saved him... though he did end up with a minor sprain from your shoving him out of the way of Telmuk's blade..." 

Her eyes shone with unshed tears as she realized... no matter... what she was going to lose someone she loved dearly. 

Putting on her best Riov face she continued answering.  "It's nothing serious.  He was walking on his own by the time I came here.  He wanted me to tell you that he'd be by as soon as he could."


NPC Ambassadorial Aide 'Rhienn tr'Hei' (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 16 - Brig]

NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)
[USS Amalthea - Brig]

Roberto had to thumb a PADD to be registered in the visitor's log. In the background no doubt there was running a general check of his authorization. He passed the checkpoint without any problems before he was granted access to the brig itself - a large room with a handful of holding cells, secured by force fields. Currently all of them were empty except one. Roberto took a step towards the cell's entrance and regarded the prone figure for a moment before he briefly spoke to the guards in front of the cell, explaining why he was here and asked them to let him in. One of them deactivated the force field and the doctor stepped in. Behind him, he heard the quiet buzzing sound of the force field being activated again, making the frame glow teal.

Roberto took out the tricorder while he watched the still unconscious man. Even as he focused on it, he couldn't really make out a resemblance to Rayek - the nose, perhaps. Taking out the tricorder's probe he stepped up to Telmuk until he stood right beside the bench he was lying on and started to take a thorough scan, the device whirring quietly. They must have had the phasers on heavy stunned if he was still out. His brain wave activity was rather lively for an unconscious person. Though then again, everything was different with Romulans ...

Turning to the side he opened the medical kit to take out the instruments he needed to take a DNA sample.

Telmuk found the doctor's study, and comparison of his appearance to his brother, to be amusing; since he also never thought he looked anything like Rayek.  That the man had already noted his increased brain wave activity (his telepathy no doubt) was annoying.  He would need to distract the man before the doctor fully realized what the brain wave pattern truly meant. 

As Telmuk began to 'wake up', the idea came to play upon the doctor's ingrained sympathies to those that are injured.  The Romulan made a point of resuming his Rhienn persona moaning in discomfort before opening his eyes and looking about in confusion.  He kept his face winced in feigned pain as his eyes settled on the Federation doctor.   

"Wh-where am I?" Rhienn asked in confusion.  Then gave pained cry as he struggled to sit up.  "Ahh!! What have you done to my arm?" the aide questioned looking to the doctor in alarm.

Rhienn turned his body to block the doctor's view, as if protecting an injured limb from further attack. "Torture me all you want!! I won't tell you anything." the aide boasted in apparent falsehood since he couldn't stop talking.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: December 02, 2022, 08:31:53 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Deck 5 - Executive Officer's office]

NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - XO's office]

Jarok looked up from his mug when the doors opened and Rayek arrived. He nodded his head when Rayek apologized for the lack of uniform which of course was something noticed immediately upon his arrival. "Of course, Commander, I quite understand."

He observed the Amalthea's First Officer as he sat behind his desk. He seemed extremely stressed. Before Jarok could pose any of his questions, Rayek spoke first to say he was aware of it and also that he had questions of his own for him. That caused the ambassador to frown in surprise, which only escalated more on his face when Rayek revealed to him that his aide had been arrested for aggravated assault and attempted murder.

For a moment, Jarok couldn't speak.  "I don't think I understand what you are saying, Commander", he finally said. "It must be a misunderstanding. Mr tr'Hei has been working in his position in ambassadorial service for many years. As far as I am aware, he passed all internal and external checks without objections, ever." He really was completely surprised by the mere notion. Rhienn, who always was so soft-spoken, calm and prudential, was accused of committing an aggravated assault and attempted murder? Surely, Jarok wasn't naive enough to believe a man wouldn't be capable of such perfect deception, but he always thought he was a good judge of character. Besides that, an aide in ambassadorial service who was charged with these kind of offenses was a big problem for the reputation of the Freestate's diplomatic department. That concerned Jarok greatly, as it could potentially destroy the work of many many months.

Rayek studied the Ambassador's reaction to his statement.  It seemed genuine - but then he'd also been fooled by someone who'd had the intent to kill him.  He was disappointed in himself for not having seen this coming -  and morally Rayek was divided. 

He'd had the means to see through the aide's deception this entire time with his telepathic ability; if only he'd used it.  But to suspiciously search through another thoughts and memories without permission was a violation of their mental privacy.  Rayek knew this.  Still, he considered doing exactly that as he listened to the Romulan Ambassador claim that this was a misunderstanding.

"There is little to misunderstand about a poisoned blade being thrown towards another with harmful intent.  There were several witnesses."

Rayek raised his hand to forestall any questions.  "Allow me a moment to explain the prior situation further, then at the end if you have question.  Those that I can answer, I will."

He waited for the Ambassador's acceptance before beginning.

"Earlier this evening, your aide and Miss t'Raghaellh came to my quarters so that Miss t'Raghaellh could issue Challenge to me.  It appeared that my father had arranged an engagement between her and I without my knowledge and she stated she wanted ritual battle to restore her honor.   It was stated at the time to be to First Blood, so I convinced my wife to allow the Challenge to go ahead." Rayek tried to relate the events leading up to the incident clearly and without opinion but given his personal involvement it was difficult.

"When we arrived however, it was your aide that was dressed for participating in the Challenge.  He was wearing the traditional robes and had the honor blade on him."  This fact, Rayek realized then, was key.  The man had intended to strike him down with the poisoned blade during the Challenge all along.  Taheen had disrupted the plan with her change of heart and Challenge to Tess. 

Hidden from the Ambassador's view by his desk, Rayek clenched his fist in anger at how close it had come to Tess being the one struck down by the poison blade.  Had she not kicked blade away who knows what might have happened.  Rayek took a moment to compose himself before continuing.

"When we questioned her reason for choosing a substitute to fight in her place - Taheen changed her mind again and Challenged Tess instead of I.   Against my wishes, Tess agreed.   It was to this Challenge that you and, to my understanding, every other Romulan on the ship, received an invitation to watch.  I believe, Taheen felt a witnessed Challenge would pressure me to abide by her conditions which I had stated outright that I would not agree to - regardless of the outcome."

"Taheen took the honor blade from your aide and faced my wife in combat.  During which Tess, managed to kick the blade out of Taheen's hand and win the Challenge."

But that wasn't the end of the story. "As I was celebrating my wife's success, your aide walked over and picked up the blade that had been kicked out of Taheen's hand - the blade that he had initially worn to face me.  It was that blade that he threw towards me;  but which struck...Captain Aefau instead - who immediately afterward showed signs of severe poisoning."

Rayek fixed his gaze on the Ambassador.  "You claim that tr'Hei has worked for the Ambassadorial service for several years.  Perhaps that is so, however, my sister claims that he is our younger brother, Telmuk tr'Lhoell.   I've ordered a full medical work-up and DNA testing to determine who exactly he is - and will be questioning him as to what his true purpose is here in the Gamma Quadrant and on the Amalthea."

NPC Riov Kemala t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

Latihk tr'Kheiin
Captain Tess t'Lhoell

The warmth started to travel from his hand up his arm, reaching his heart. For a moment he cherished that feeling of inner warmth before it continued to travel up up neck and finally reaching his face. The heat coming from the firefalls increased, becoming more intense by the second. He turned towards the mighty cliff, lifting his hand up to shield his eyes from the intensifying brightness of the fire. It felt like if he didn't move, he'd burn up, but he couldn't. His feet were planted to the ground. He took in a deep breath ...

Latihk's eye fluttered open. There was no fire. No firefalls, no heat. No home. Instead a sterile room lit by cold white light. The contrast couldn't have been starker. Finally he registered the warm hand cupping his face. He turned his head slightly and was rewarded with the most welcome sight he could have wished for. The area around his mouth felt disgustingly moist and without taking his eyes off Kemala, he reached his hand up to pull the respirator mask off his face. It became notably harder to breathe, but not so bad that it would concern him.

"It would be better to leave that on for a while longer."

He tried to come up with something to say, but his mind was racing as he recalled the last moments he remembered. The challenge. Rhienn; no, Telmuk. Rayek. The blade. He still didn't understand what had brought him down. Had he been struck so bad?

"That bastard", he brought out hoarsely.

Tess had been watching from a distance even as Kemala had brought to her attention that Latihk seemed to wake. She kept her eyes on the biomonitor. As long as there didn't show up anything harming she would let him wake up. She watched as he opened his eye and it seemed he needed a moment to register where he was.

"It would be better to leave that on for a while longer", she said gently when he pulled the mask off his face. She glanced up at the monitor, the readings immediately showing a slight dip in his blood oxygen levels, breathing frequency and pulse. He ignored her. Tess stayed calm and left them alone for a bit, though she kept an eye on the readings.

Kemala was overjoyed when Latihk first opened his eyes.  She smiled so happily.  Her smile turned a bit wry when the first thing he did was pull off his respirator mask - thankfully with his other hand.  She agreed with Tess that it was probably best to leave it on, but Kemala wasn't about to pester Latihk with such advice.  He had survived so much already - he knew how to look after himself.

There was so much she wanted to say to him - things that she'd been able to whisper to him while he was unconscious but that now that he was awake she found it so much harder to speak.   She was uncertain about what it was that they were to one another.  While she was silent, his first words upon waking were not quite what she would have expected. 

While she had sat the Latihk holding his hand, Kemala had purposely avoided thinking about what her younger brother had done, and how she'd ordered him incarcerated.  All her focus she kept on Latihk, otherwise the stress of worrying over two would have made her ill. 

Latihk's first words however, open the flood gates of her thought. Telmuk's attack made no sense to Kemala.  Why would he try to kill his own brother? Obviously on the order of the Tal'Shiar... but why would he agree to such a thing?  She wouldn't have believed it possible if she had not witnessed herself. 

She swallowed back the feeling of nausea as it rose in her throat, and gave Latihk's hand a squeeze.  "Do not dwell on it.  You are receiving treatment from Tess herself," Kemala pointed out.  In the month they have been aboard the Amalthea, Rayek couldn't say enough about his wife's talents and skills.  "...and he - is locked up."

NPC Ambassadorial Aide 'Rhienn tr'Hei' (disguise of Telmuk tr'Lhoell, Tal'Shiar operative)
[USS Amalthea - Deck 16 - Brig]

NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

There wasn't much that needed to be done for Taheen. Padrini soon finished treating her. Just as he nodded at the Security guards to take her back to her quarters now, he overheard the call coming in at the reception desk. He only paid extra attention to it, because he recognized Rayek's voice.

"I will take care of that", Roberto said quickly to the nurse. He was curious to know what exactly was going on there. Grabbing a medical kit he headed straight out of the sickbay and to the brig.

Telmuk's return to consciousness had come swiftly but he made certain almost immediately that those watching him were unaware.   He kept his breathing rate slow and steady as if in unconsciousness, while he used all his senses to take stock of where he was and his situation.   From the minds of his two guards, he gleaned that he was in the Amalthea's brig, being held while an investigation was underway to determine if he had accomplices. 

A slight shift of his body position, informed Telmuk that he was bound and lying in a semi- prone position on a hard cot or bench.  It seemed that prisoner standards were the same throughout the galaxy.

The sound of a door opening drew his attention and he brushed over the mind of the newcomer.  Ah!! The doctor come to do DNA testing at Rayek's bidding.  So his brother had doubts that it was really him. 

What was even more interesting to note from the man was that he held a deep-seated hatred for his brother - and pretty much all things Romulan because of that.   That could be useful.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 30, 2022, 10:57:34 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck One >>>> Deck 5 - Executive Officer's office]

Rayek left the Holodeck after he'd spoken to his wife.   On the walk to the turbolift, Rayek made a call to Sickbay.  He called Reception since he didn't want to disturb his wife and her care of Latihk.  =/\= "I want a full medical scan and DNA work-up of the individual being held by Security in the brig." =/\=

Rayek wanted DNA confirmation that the aide known as Rhienn tr'Hei was actually his biological brother, Telmuk tr'Lhoell, as Kemala claimed.  He also wanted the aide tested against any known Thinker-clone detection methods.   

During the turbolift ride, Rayek checked in on the Brig, but their detainee was still unconscious.  The Security on shift assured him they would call the minute he woke.

All too soon Rayek was standing outside his office.

NPC Ambassador Virahk Jarok - Romulan Free State
[USS Amalthea - First Officer's office]

Ambassador Jarok sat in one of the comfortable chairs near the replicator unit as he waited for Rayek to arrive. Only belatedly he had become aware of the invitation to a ritual Romulan combat taking place in the ship's holodeck. To his utter surprise, the combatants were Taheen and the ship's Captain, Tess t'Lhoell. Of course, he was surprised for several reasons.
That had not stopped when he arrived at the holodeck - somewhat late, unfortunately - and found it guarded heavily by Starfleet security. Not only that, but they refused to allow him to enter. It rose many questions and suspicions.

So now after he was offered and provided with a drink, Jarok waited, ready to pose his questions and demand explanation.

The moment that he stepped into his office to meet with the Ambassador, Rayek recognized that he should have taken the time to change into his uniform proper befitting his position as the Amalthea's XO as well as her Chief of Security.  Instead, he was in his casual wear.  The fact that he'd not thought of it before then, highlighted to him just how off bothered he was about the whole situation.  He had yet had a moment to himself to let the events of tonight sink in.

With a nod towards the security escort, who had fortunately had the wisdom to offer the Ambassador a comfortable seat and a refreshment, Rayek dismissed the man to wait outside while he moved to take a seat behind his desk. 

"Please forgive my lack of uniform, Ambassador, events have conspired to interrupt my family time and there has not been opportunity to rectify my attire." he explained, as he looked over the young ambassador. 

"I understand you have questions, Ambassador Jarok.  I have a few of my own for you, as this situation has become a criminal investigation, with your aide currently being held in custody for aggravated assault, and attempted murder.   I will do my best provide you with what details I can but please understand... our investigation is still ongoing."

(Kemala t'Lhoell)
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay - ICU unit]

Turning back around she approached Kemala at Latihk's side, clutching his hand. It took but one glance for her to see that she seemed to be quite shaken. She didn't speak but just gently squeezed her shoulder as a gesture of support.

Latihk had slipped into a deep dream. In that dream, he was at his favorite place - the firefalls. It was a place of good memories for him. A place he used to feel safe and content. He almost thought he could feel the warmth of the fire plunging off the cliff on his skin. At the same time, though, it felt like he had to fight off a coldness that tried to engulf him.

Suddenly he felt something at his hand. In his dream he lifted his hand to see what was causing the sensation. He stared at it in concentration, trying really hard to spot what was wrong with his hand but it was as though it constantly slipped out of his mental grasp. It wasn't an unwelcome sensation, though. It was warm. And soft.

In the sickbay, Latihk moved his hand slightly as if trying to hold Kemala's hand as well. His breathing quickened a little as he started to stir slightly.

Kemala looked away from Latihk's haggard looking face briefly when she felt Tess' hand at her shoulder giving a comforting squeeze.  She didn't smile but gave a nod of appreciation.

As she turned back to watch his face, that's when she felt his hand move.   A moment more and it seemed as it he were trying to wake.   "I think he's coming out of it." Kemala whispered to Tess uncertain if that was a good thing or not.  "Thank the Elements! He had me so worried."

While she kept hold of his hand with her own, her other hand stroked up and down along his arm, progressing slowly up towards his bicep, then shoulder and neck, until finally her hand cupped his face, fingers resting lightly on his beard - hoping that the sensation would draw him more awake.   She needed to know that he truly was out of danger from the poison.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 30, 2022, 12:04:46 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

NPC Rahul Skuyanhjin
Ra'hul was relieved when Rayek confirmed that he could leave. Though, before he could do so, his brother-in-law held him there a moment longer along with the doctor to direct words of thanks to them. It was an almost solemn moment which made the Ba'ku pull himself together a little and take a moment to recognize the words. "That really went without saying", Ra'hul replied and lowered his head briefly in a gesture of accepting his thanks.

A short moment later, he was then accompanied by a young man and brought back to his quarters.

NPC Lieutenant jg. Roberto Padrini (Medical)
Roberto caught Rayek's fierce glance towards him in response to his question. Finally a reaction the medic was able to relate to. Who wouldn't be furious about what just had happened? He knew from the tricorder reading that the other tr'Lhoell was okay except for being stunned so he had no reservations to leave him in security's custody.

While Rayek issued orders to the security team about how to handle Telmuk and spoke to his brother-in-law, Roberto returned to Taheen who was flanked by two security officers by now. He checked her once again with the tricorder to make sure the suture was holding since he had to interrupt his work so suddenly. It needed some more work which could be finished in the sickbay.

He was just about to leave when Rayek held him up, together with Tess' brother. He listened to Rayek's words and felt sickened by them. What a hypocrite! Feigning thankfulness when he could have prevented this whole ordeal in the first place. It was disgusting. "There's got to be somebody who acts like a sane person around here", was Roberto's blunt reply. Without really waiting for Rayek's reaction to this he turned away to add some information to the different tricorder readings he had taken. That would make the paperwork later easier and quicker.

Just as he was done, Rayek asked him to inform him of Captain Aefau's condition. He nodded briefly at that, overhead that Rayek's sister seemingly was about to head to the sickbay, too, so he waited for her to walk with her together. Though, he left her before they reached the main sickbay, to do some work in the medical lab.

The stark difference between the two men's reactions and replies highlighted to Rayek just how much the physician despised him.  Even when Rayek was trying to be grateful and appreciative of the man and the things he did, it was thrown back in his face in spite.  Padrini's attitude was abysmal but the man kept his position because he was an excellent doctor - and could be relied on in any situation regardless of his personal feelings.  Today proved that.

After the others left, Rayek and his Security team continued to gather evidence.   One of the first things that Rayek did was call on the Beta shift Science lab techs to run intensive scans on the blade to determine the exact poison that was used, and had them forward all information on the poison and its effects to Sickbay.  Maybe something in there would help in Latihk's treatment.

Then with the exact make-up of the poison now know, Rayek sent the ship's rover security teams to do a deck by deck intensive scan for any other trace of the substance.  Lastly the holodeck program was saved and uploaded to Rayek's PADD for review. 

Surprisingly, several times throughout the investigation, a number of the ship's Romulan complement arrived at the Holodeck, being stopped at its entrance by the Security securing the scene.  They inquired about the Challenge.  The first to arrive after the incident was Phara t'Movel. 

Rayek questioned the woman himself as to how she even knew about the Challenge. Phara pointed out the message she and every Romulan received from Taheen.   When asked how she knew Taheen,  Phara denied knowing her at all and remarked how she'd come to give her support to Tess. 

To be honest, Rayek was operating almost on automatic throughout most of it.  His mind still churned heatedly every time he thought about the incident.  It was only when Tess commed to give him an update on Latihk that the red haze lifted from his mind temporarily. 

(Kemala t'Lhoell)
[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

[USS Amalthea - Sickbay]

Captain Tess t'Lhoell
Tess was made aware of the Romulan Riov demanding to be given information on Aefau's condition. She exited the CMO's office she'd been speaking to Tamo'nar in for a moment to ask if he and Fvienn were alright, and noticed not only Kemala had arrived but also Taheen - accompanied by two security guards. No surprise.

"I will take care of this matter", she told the nurse who rightly had refused to give any information on the patient. Tess wouldn't fault her for that. "Thank you." She then turned to Kemala, just as Roberto entered the reception area.

"Do you need assistance?", he asked Tess.

She shook her head. "I'm fine. I'd be grateful if you'd see to Ms. t'Raghaellh."

Roberto nodded. "Sure. Commander tr'Lhoell asked to be informed of Mr. Aefau's condition."

"I will take care of that." She then turned to Kemala while Roberto walked over to Taheen. "Riov t'Lhoell", Tess spoke, addressing her formally since they weren't alone. "If you will follow me, please."

She waited for Kemala to join her and then led her away from the reception area, down a slightly curved hall way to one of the separate ICU bedrooms. Tess opened the door and went inside. Latihk still was connected to the ventilator. His skin didn't look as pale and grey anymore but had regained some color. He had his eyes closed and his chest was heaving slowly.

"He will be okay", Tess assured her. "He was very lucky he was able to receive immediate medical attention." A minute or two later and the damage to his organs, especially his heart and brain, would have been extensive. Her gaze wandered up to the biobed monitor. The poison was now completely gone from his system. The blood flow was almost back to normal and the oxygen levels neared normal as well.

Kemala followed the Amalthea's Captain through the Sickbay reception area and into a private ICU room where Latihk was hooked up to a ventilator.   She immediately moved to his side and covered his pale grey hand with hers giving it a slight gentle squeeze as if doing so might let him know that she was there with him.

Kemala listened to Tess' comment of how lucky he was, and nodded in agreement and understanding.  She didn't say a word, merely held Latihk's hand trying her best not to show the true depth of her worry in front of the doctor that had just said that he would be okay.

As much as she liked Tess, Kemala was grateful when the Captain stepped away to give her some privacy.

"You idiot.  When saving someone, you aren't supposed to take the hit yourself - that's just stupid." Kemala offered her wisdom quietly.

She sniffled then, fighting the tears that stung at her eyes.  She was scared by how weak and sickly he looked.  "Don't you dare do something so reckless again.  I can't lose you." she whispered, still holding onto his hand.

Tess gave Kemala a moment with Latihk and stepped away into the far corner of the room. She used that moment to contact Rayek.  =/\= "t'Lhoell to Commander tr'Lhoell. Rayek, I'm here with Kemala and Latihk. We've stabilized him for now. He will be okay. Are you alright? And Ra'hul? I've spoken to Tamo'nar a couple of minutes ago. Fvienn is fine." =/\=

While she spoke she glanced over to Kemala, signalling her availability should she ask her any questions or make other comments.

Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Rayek was relieved to hear that Tess had been able to stabilize his friend.  Rayek distanced himself a few meters from the remaining security that were finishing up on site with him.

=/\= "Thank you, e'lev - for saving his life.  I am quite familiar with the poison that was used.  That you were able to stabilize him..  is nothing short of remarkable.  I know that being practicing physician is not your position anymore, but it remains your true calling." =/\=

Then to express his sincerity Rayek thanked Tess in Rihan=/\="Hann'yyo hwiiy." =/\=

Anything more Rayek might have wanted to share was interrupted by an overlapping comm from the Security at the door.

=/\= "Security Team Beta Three to Commander tr'Lhoell.  Ambassador Jarok is here outside the Holodeck. He's here about the Challenge invitation and is wanting to speak to you, sir." =/\=

Rayek grimaced. Of course, Taheen would have especially sent an invite to him.  Rayek sighed, before tapping his comm in a sequence that kept Tess' comm open while answering the new comm. =/\= "Have the Ambassador escorted to my office.  I'll meet him there in five minutes. tr'Lhoell out." =/\=

He closed the comm to the security team then continue his comm with Tess. =/\= "It seems. I have to go explain the current situation to the Ambassador and then see if he's willing to answer a few questions about his aide.  I'll check in when I'm done." =/\=

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 29, 2022, 03:08:05 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Roberto Padrini
Roberto gasped and groaned in an effort to hold Telmuk down. Even with Ra'hul's help, they barely managed it. The revelation that this was Rayek's brother only ticked more boxes for his prejudice towards Romulans. Treacherous, ruthless individuals with no sense for loyalty or decency, even towards their own family members. What else was supposed to happen? What if some of these Lhoell maniancs tried to harm Tess? It made him angry.

Suddenly, there was excited screaming towards them about something that Telmuk was doing. Roberto spotted the Romulan trying to bite down on something; the poison capsule! Releasing one hand, Roberto tried to force his fingers into Telmuk's mouth to keep him from swallowing the poison, while Taheen pleaded with him as well not to do it. Roberto didn't feel any sort of capsule, pill or otherwise as far as he had been able to check, if at all. A second later, Telmuk's body became limp after the security team had stunned him.

Still crouching beside him, Roberto carefully lifted Telmuk's head and opened his mouth. He saw blood. But no remnants of a bitten capsule or otherwise. "I don't see anything here. I don't think he swallowed it!" He let go of the face and moved to fetch the tricorder Tess had left here and quickly started to scan him. "Confirmed. No poison." He turned to Rayek. "Do you want me to wake your brother up?"

Ra'hul Skuyanhjin
As soon as Telmuk was stunned, Ra'hul let go of him. The Ba'ku looked utterly distraught by all of what happened. For a moment he just stood there, as if trying to figure out what to do with himself. He took a step here and there, but he was rather disoriented at the moment. Where was the exit? It all looked the same.
His only point of reference was Rayek, so he turned towards him, looking rather pale. "Are you alright?", he asked with wide eyes. His gaze flickered over to Kemala and her blood-stained clothes. There was blood on the floor. On the knife.

"I ... Do I need to stay here?", he asked shakily.

Brian Chase
While the others of his team handcuffed Telmuk, a young security Ensign picked up the knife with gloved fingers and carefully put it into a sterile container so this piece of evidence wouldn't become contaminated or important traces be destroyed.

He took a couple of steps further while scanning the floor with a tricorder. Suddenly, he spotted something. Bending down, he picked up a single tooth. Though it felt like something was wrong with it. It seemed to be way too light.

"Sir", he said, turning to Rayek as his DH and commanding officer. "I have found this over there", he gestured behind him near Telmuk and showed him the tooth in his palm.

With Kemala's support, Rayek hobbled closer even as he watched Padrini sweep his brothers mouth and come away with nothing.  A moment later and the tricorder confirmed no poison in Telmuk's system.  There was a moment of relief before a swell of anger took hold. 

Why the Areinnye should he care if Rhienn... Telmuk suicided?!  His brother had just tried to kill him!... May have killed Latihk!!.. Could have struck Ra'hul, Tamo'nar or even Fvienn - who had been directly behind him!!!  Rayek's fury burned fiercely.  Though it was targeted at his brother presently, Rayek blamed himself for not recognizing the threat.  How had he not known?!

Rayek glanced with a fierce gaze towards Padrini as the doctor asked if he should wake his brother.  "No." Rayek's answer was nearly spat.  "Leave him to Security."

He turned to address the pair of Security officers who were securing the unconscious Romulan.  "Use every precaution with him.  He is to be under double guard at all  times.  Keep him in restraints even when in the brig.  Do not underestimate him, and call me the moment he shows signs of waking.  I'll deal with him then.  Also assign double guard to keep watch on Ms. t'Raghaellh in Sickbay and thereafter.  She will be confined to quarters while this incident is investigated." Rayek couldn't be sure that she wasn't working his brother all along.  She was fortunate he wasn't throwing her in the Brig as well!

Only after issuing these orders did Rayek turn to face his brother-in-law, who looked visibly shaken and pale.  That Ra'hul would ask after his well-being in the midst of everything was a bit of a surprise that it shook the Romulan out of his anger momentarily. 

"Yes. I'll be fine." he answered the Ba'ku male's question even as Ra'hul asked if he needed to stay. 

Rayek glanced about - more security personnel were arriving, as were a team of medics - likely called by one of the first Security team members at seeing Taheen and himself injured.  While Security personnel would need to get Ra'hul's statement of the incident, Rayek realized that his brother-in-law would probably fare better answering those types of questions away from the scene of such violence.   "No.  You don't need to stay."

Quieter and with his head lowered slightly, Rayek spoke sincerely towards both Ra'hul and Padrini. "Before you leave, I want to recognize what you both have done."  Rayek wouldn't say outright that they had saved him personally - that was reserved for Latihk's stupid action - but he could acknowledge their aid.

"Your swift reactions, kept the situation contained, and ensured the safety of those around us.  So I thank you, as the ship's Executive Officer and as a father, and a husband"  Rayek lowered his head once more in an acknowledging bow.

It was just afterward that Ensign Chase approached with a poison capsule that he'd found.  "Thank you, Ensign."  Rayek nodded approvingly at the find, then had an idea.   "Bag it, tag it - and then if you would, please escort Mr. Skuyanhjin to his quarters and get his statement - once he's feeling more collected."

Rayek knew he could trust Tamo'nar to look after Fvienn until this whole ugly mess was dealt with. 

Amalthea's First Office then turned to Padrini.  "My duties require me to remain here for a while yet.  I suspect you are headed to Sickbay to assist Tess... please inform me of La... Captain Aefau's condition once it is known.  Until we complete our investigation " 

He then cautiously took a step away from his sister, freeing her from needing to be his crutch.  "Go.  Be there for him.  I'll head there once I am done here."

(Kemala t'Lhoell)
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Kemala, though worried about her brothers - both of them, couldn't deny that she felt she needed to be in Sickbay, closer to Latihk, ensuring he knew that he had reason to fight for his life.   "Okay." she agreed with little hesitation.  "Don't be long." 

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

As soon as Tess arrived in the sickbay with Latihk she issued her orders. First, she wanted Latihk's blood oxygenated to make up for the deficit caused by the poison. Then he was given two medicines: one that would dilute his blood and dissolve clots, and a second to neutralize the poison itself. Latihk was put on a ventilator because by the time they arrived here his breathing had become dangerously shallow.

With these initial measures initiated, the initial stress fell away from Tess, though Latihk was still in critical condition and was closely monitored by her. She gave him a decent shot of an analgesic and then started to see to the wound at his arm. While she did that she finally had a moment to process the events. Telmuk ... Was it really Telmuk?! He was after his brother's life? Only now did she realize that her life had also been in danger. After all, Taheen had used this knife in their fight. Was Taheen involved in this? The two seemed extraordinarily close the last few weeks.

As shocking as the notion of Telmuk being the one that had been trying to assassinate Rayek, the relived she was now that they seemed to have caught him.

Her thoughts wandered back to Rayek, wondering how he coped with the fact that his brother tried to kill him. That his best friend's life was in mortal danger. As she thought that her gaze briefly flickered over Latihk's unconscious form.]

There was brief commotion in the main Sickbay area as the nurse on duty at the time politely refused to give Kemala any details on 'Captain Aefau's' condition when she asked about him.

"Well, I'm not leaving until I know he's okay!  Where's the Captain?  She'll give me some proper answers!"

Having been beamed to sickbay along with her security escort, Taheen was laying on a biobed waiting for a doctor to become available to finish up treating her wound, and wondering what was going to happen to her... and to Rhienn.. or rather Telmuk, Kemala came in to the room and made a ructus, demanding to know his condition.

Taheen had suspected the two had grown 'close' on the long journey to the Gamma Quadrant through Federation space.  Seems she was right after all.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 27, 2022, 12:47:04 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Unexpectedly Rayek was shoved hard from the side, out of the path of the incoming blade, just a second before he anticipated its impact.  The shove had been so sudden and forceful that Rayek didn't have the reflexes swift enough to adjust his footing to compensate, and instead ligaments tore.  Pain flared in his ankle and it gave way; unable to support his weight, Rayek found himself collapsing to the ground.  His head struck the arena floor with a dull thud and his vision darkened for a second or two.   

When it cleared, Rayek looked about in a semi-daze to see where the new threat had come from.  What he saw chilled him. 

Latihk stood shaking where Rayek had been but moments ago.  An emerald green stained his friend's shoulder where the thrown knife blade had struck.   The wound itself was positioned in a rather unconcerning area. It was something that any doctor on the ship could deal with; but the shaking that seemed to overtake Latihk almost immediately was what filled Rayek with dread.   "Poison." he tried to forewarn but his words was barely audible even to himself.  The fall had knocked the wind out of him.

Around him, everyone was in movement while he tried to assess the scene.  Tess ran to his side, but with a waved hand he urged her to see to Latihk first.  Kemala had rushed to Latihk and was cradling his friend's head in her lap urging him to breathe.  Ra'hul, who had passed off Fvienn to Tamo'nar was rushing to aid Padrini with holding down the struggling aide who had thrown the poisoned knife.   

Was that really Telmuk!?   Rayek stared uncomprehendingly towards the pinned Romulan. 

To his relief, Tess had called for a site-to-site transport and within a heartbeat both she and Latihk were gone. 

(Telmuk as Rhienn)

The moment he let fly the dagger, he spotted the blackmarketeer, Aefau, moving to intercept.  No. NO. NO!!  Fvadt!  Why did it seem everyone was willing to sacrifice themselves for his brother?!  It was like the Elements were conspiring to keep Rayek alive.

Telmuk watched, with mixed feelings, as his brother was shoved out of the way.  Aefau was struck with the blade in the shoulder.  What a waste.  But maybe all was not lost.  Rayek's head had struck the ground hard and for a moment he didn't move.  Maybe it would be enough to do the job?

With his attention focused on the two Romulans in front of him, Telmuk only had a moments warning of the doctor rushing him from behind when he heard the man shouting Tess' name.   The movement of the medkit passing by him on the floor, drew his suspicious attention - thinking it some sort of weapon - and kept him from turning to face the doctor.  The attack came from behind and Telmuk was shoved to the ground. 

Tal'Shiar training should have made it easy for Telmuk to get loose from the human, but in his fall he too had struck his head on one of stone blocks that made up the fighting arena.   He tasted coppery blood in his mouth and it seeped down into his eyes blinding him.  Dazed, he silently cursed the Elements for their favoring his brother. 

A moment later... and another was aiding the doctor in holding him down.  Telmuk struggled for a minute trying to throw them off but combined they had the advantage.  He continued to try until Security arrived.  Fvadt!  He was out of time.

There was only one thing left for him to do. Follow Tal'Shiar protocol and end his life before he could be captured. 

(Kemala t'Lhoell)

Kemala had wasted no time in getting to Latihk's side after he was struck by the blade.  She was concerned by how quickly he had collapsed afterwards.  His shaking and difficulty in breathing wasn't normal and though no one said it, Kemala suspected the blade had been poisoned.  It was the only think that made sense. 

She lifted his head onto her lap and stroked at his head as she fought back worried tears.  "You have to keep fighting to breathe.  Don't give in.  I need you to keep breathing."  she encouraged even as Tess arrived beside them.   She looked to Rayek's wife pleadingly. 

Kemala watched as the Captain and former doctor scanned Latihk with a medical tricorder.  The call for a site-to-site transport to Sickbay was a relief.  But that unfortunately didn't include her.  She was left sitting on the arena grounds covered in Latihk's blood.

She looked around.  Telmuk was effectively pinned down by Rayek's brother-in-law, Ra'hul, and the doctor who had treated him after the shuttle explosion, Padrini.  Rayek, on the other hand, hadn't gotten up from where he'd been shoved down and his gaze looking about seemed slightly unfocused.   With a shaky sigh, Kemala rose to her feet and moved to her elder brother's side.   

"You can't stay out of trouble for a moment, can you?" she joked, trying to use humor to deflect the overwhelming seriousness of the situation.  Their younger brother had just tried to kill Rayek.  How was that possible!?   "Come on.  I'll help you up.  You need  to get to Sickbay as well."

With Rayek doing his best to assist, Kemala managed to get him to his feet, just as the doors to the Holodeck opened.  In rushed a team of five Starfleet security.  Kemala smirked.  Better late than never.  That seemed to be Starfleet's motto.

She pointed towards where Telmuk was still struggling pinned by Ra'hul and Padrini.  "Take that man into custody.  He attempted to kill Commander tr'Lhoell but instead has poisoned Captain Aefau.  His name is Telmuk tr'Lhoell and he's our younger brother."  Then realizing the implications of what that meant, she added a warning.  "I would stun him and check him for a poison capsule.  He's likely a Tal'Shiar agent with orders to suicide if captured."

As if her words were the prompt for action, she saw her younger brother bite down in an exaggerated snap.  "Telmuk! No!"

Her words were echoed by Rayek who also shouted "Telmuk! Don't do it!"  and another voice who encouraged him to live  - much like how she had encouraged Latihk earlier. 

Rayek tried to hobble towards the pinned Romulan, but would have collapsed again if not for her steadying him. Kemala watched her younger brother with baited breath for any sign of reaction to the poison he'd just tried to use.

Security was quick to respond to the man's sudden action.  With precise aiming, they stunned Telmuk, who was still held down by Padrini and Ra'hul.  But had they managed to stun him in time?  Or was poison coursing through his body even as he lay unconscious?

Taheen watched the chaos unfold in the coliseum as she struggled to sit up after the doctor left her side to tackle down Rhienn.   She didn't understand what was going on. 

It was only as security arrived and Kemala briefed them on the situation that Taheen got any sort of explanation.   Rhienn was actually Telmuk??  And he was the Tal'Shiar agent sent to assassinate Rayek??  His own brother?? 

Taheen heard the loud clack of teeth as Rhienn bit down hard almost immediately after Kemala gave her warning to the security team.  That he was trying to take his own life, filled Taheen with panic.  No!  What he'd done was wrong, but he didn't deserve to die.  She wanted him to live!   Taheen called out in an attempt to get him not rethink his suicide attempt.

"No! Rhienn... I mean Telmuk... Don't! Spit it out! We have so much still to talk about. You can't die on me yet!"

For a moment, before the whine of phasers stunned him, Taheen saw Telmuk turn his head to look towards her.  He opened his mouth, as if to speak but fell unconscious from the combined effect of three phaser shots before he could speak a word.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 26, 2022, 11:32:02 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Tess t'Lhoell
Tess heard Rayek cheering behind her and she couldn't help but let out a happy grin, even as she was still bent down, holding the blade to Taheen's throat. When she then announced her the winner officially, Tess immediately dropped the blade and let out shaky breath of relief. Her first thought was to rush to Rayek and celebrate their victory with him. She looked up, searched his eyes and gave him a beaming smile. But before she could actually do so and get to him, Tess in the weapon's room had summoned the hologram back as soon as she had heard her win being announced through the door. She was nervous that Telmuk or Taheen might discover the cheat. So with just a grin back to Rayek hologram Tess disappeared into the weapon's room.

Latihk listened as Kemala confirmed her belief that this portly aide of the Romulan ambassador was her brother Telmuk.

He quickly glanced over to Rayek to gauge if he knew this was his younger brother. But he seemed to have only eyes for Tess at the moment. With his good eye he observed as the Romulan walked into the fighting area and picked up the blade. His eyebrows twitched into a slight frown as he stood there with his arms still crossed over his chest.

Rayek was a bit bewildered when after her beaming smile towards him, Tess turned away and headed straight for change room.  He reached out towards her with his mind to convey his pride at her win and to be certain she was alright, but once more it was as if he blocked from her.   This earned a worried frown and Rayek took a step or two towards the change room intending to check on Tess, but he was stopped by a hand laid on his shoulder.   It was Tamo'nar.  Rayek looked towards the wisened face of the former Son'a.  "Give her a minute to process.  That fight couldn't have been easy on our sister."

Rayek hesitated a moment, wanting to be there to help her through this moment - but if her brother felt she needed some space, perhaps it was best he wait.  The Romulan husband eventually nodded but kept his eyes glued to the change room door.

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
With poisoned knife in hand, Telmuk was all to aware of how many witnesses there would be to this poorly planned attack.  There was no way he would be able to hide his intention and he didn't have an escape route planned.  There was no where to go.  This was likely to be his last act as a Tal'Shiar operative. 

He heard Taheen's admission of defeat and Telmuk wondered how she could sound so noble and calm, while everything she desired came to naught.   When Tess turned and walked away leaving her injured opponent, Taheen, on the floor, Telmuk was honestly surprised.  Everything he'd learned about the Captain both on Katra and on the Amalthea suggested that she was caring and compassionate.  But that didn't seem the case at the moment. 

Perhaps it was the shock of harming another that had the former doctor out of sorts.  Hurting others was not an easy thing to do.  As Tess disappeared into the change room, Telmuk glanced down to the dagger held in his hand.  This was going to harder on him than even the shuttle explosion.  He would have to look his brother in the eye as he struck with the knife, and watch as the poison took hold. 

Telmuk came out of his morbid thoughts as he heard rushing footsteps approach.  He tensed, knife held ready to strike if it was someone coming to capture him.  But it was just the other doctor - Padrini - hurrying to Taheen's side.   

Telmuk frowned seeing the deep slash that Tess had inflicted.  It was no wonder that Taheen had to admit defeat.  Any deeper and it could have been lethal.  For a moment, Telmuk watched in concern as the doctor began treating the wound.  He was glad that the knife used to inflict that would hadn't been the poisoned blade or the medics efforts would be in vain. 

(Kemala t'Lhoell)
Kemala continued to stare gape-mouthed at the portly figure of her brother as he stood unmoving on the arena floor.  He seemed fixated on the blade in his hand and only looked away from it when the doctor ran past to treat Taheen's injury. 

His presence on the Amalthea made no sense to Kemala, until she recalled Rayek's mentioning of clones used by some of the Federation's enemies.  Was this a clone of her brother? 

Without looking away from the 'officiant' - who hadn't officiated at all after the Challenge ended - Kemala spoke quietly to Latihk.  "Could it be a clone? Like the ones Rayek had told us about"

As soon as this stupid combat was over, Roberto grabbed the small medical kit he had brought with him and rushed to Taheen. To be honest, he was a little disappointed in Tess that she lowered to such a level to participate in something like this. But probably it was Rayek's putting pressure on her or even manipulating her with his telepathy to make her do this. It was disgusting.

Reaching Taheen, he crouched down and opened the medical kit. "Don't move. Let me take a look at the wound", he said and pushed the top of her combatant's gown upward to reveal the deep slash at the woman's side, green blood oozing out freely. He'd have to suture it quickly. So he grabbed the laser device for it and moved to treat the wound.

Taheen gratefully complied with the order not to move.  She glanced down to look at the wound when the doctor revealed it then squeamishly looked away.   Her eyes met with Rhienn's.  The aide was standing a short distance away watching her and the doctor.  He looked worried.   Taheen found that kind of sweet.  She made an effort to offer a weak smile towards Rhienn.   "You don't have to worry.  I'll live." Then because it seemed that he might be blaming himself for her condition, she added. "Thank you, for aiding me in resolving this, even if it wasn't the outcome I hoped for.  My mnhei'sahe is satisfied."

Tess t'Lhoell
Allowing herself a moment in which the others might believe she changed back into her normal clothes, she eventually emerged again with the hologram gone. Of course, she headed directly towards Rayek while she noticed in the corner of her eye Rhienn standing in the arena watching Taheen, in hand one of the weapons. Not thinking much of it, she looked back to where Rayek was standing. She noticed her brothers bar Ben'jin there as well, Ra'hul even cheered along with Rayek with Fvienn in his arms; Kemala and Latihk were there too and even Roberto. Hopefully they hadn't noticed anything either!

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
Taheen's mention of mnhei'sahe, reminded Telmuk of his own.  Hard as it was for him, he had a job to do.   

But first... he acknowledged Taheen's words with a nod. "I'm glad.  I enjoyed our talks together."  The two had met several times over the course of the month discussing Taheen's options and making plans.  "I will miss them."

Telmuk then turned away from Taheen and the doctor, and headed for where Rayek stood surrounded by his friends and family.  He had one shot at this.  He didn't know why his sister hadn't raised the alarm at his presence, but it gave him this opportunity to succeed in his mission.

As much as he would have preferred to be less conspicuous - approaching with a dagger in hand -  it was too risky to attempt to hide the blade on his person without its sheath.  One nick and he would be poisoned rather than Rayek.  Instead, Telmuk strode with a purposeful gait towards cluster of people with the blade held cautiously down at his side. 

Telmuk noted that his brother's attention seemed intent on the approach of his wife.  Good.  It was less likely that Rayek would notice the attack until it was too late.  Telmuk needed to be sure he didn't miss.

(Kemala t'Lhoell)
Kemala had watched in growing concern as Telmuk (or was it a clone?) strode towards Rayek with intent, the knife partially hidden at his side.   Her face paled in realization "He's the assassin." she whispered in horrified disbelief.  Then raised her voice in warning.   "Rayek!  Watch out! Telmuk has a knife! He's the assassin!"

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
Telmuk grimaced at Kemala's warning.  But what was done was done.  He was committed to the action now.  Picking up his pace, Telmuk charged towards his brother who at the warning had done a quick glance around before fixing his sharp gaze on him.  Rather than attempt to flee, Rayek charged forward as well.  Perfect.  Telmuk could use Rayek's new position to his advantage.

Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
Knife combat so close to his brother-in-laws and Fvienn was too risky.  It was better to face his opponent without endangering others, Rayek thought.  As he ran forward, Rayek tapped his comm badge.  "Security to Holodeck One"

But Rayek belatedly, realized his mistake as his opponent stepped to the side and threw his dagger from about 10 meters away.  While Rayek could dodge at that distance, if he did the blade's trajectory would be directed towards Fvienn and the others.   Steadfast, Rayek didn't move from its path.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 26, 2022, 01:24:48 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

With his attention on watching Tess' assured victory, Rayek only distantly heard Padrini's judgement of Rihan customs. It didn't surprise him at all that the man didn't understand or respect his people's ways.  Once more, reality fell short of Federation ideals for tolerance of diversity.   

But then the Romulan heard Tam'onar words to Ra'hul.  Rayek looked over towards the Son'a a bit surprised, but  acknowledged the older man's words with a nod.  "Thank you.  I did attempt to dissuade her, but she choose to accept the Challenge that Taheen issued..."

It was just after Rayek had pointed out tr'Hei to his sister that Tess made her move - hooking Taheen's ankle and taking her down.  Rayek's attention was drawn and riveted to his wife as she placed her blade against her opponent's neck.   He was oblivious to all else.   Tess has won!

"It's over!  She won!  Tess won!  Way to go, e'lev!"

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
The moment he'd tried to avoid was unavoidable.  Kemala had recognized him and called him out.  He glanced briefly towards her in alarm and then to their elder brother.  But judging from Rayek's excited shouting, the traitor hadn't heard their sister's question to him.  This would be Telmuk's last opportunity to fulfill his mission.

Without answering, Telmuk quickly strode into the fighting area - to a casual observer it might seem that he as the officiant was moving toward the pair to announce the winner; but he stopped before reaching them and bent down to retrieve Taheen's dropped honour blade.  The blade that he had laced with poison earlier.

(Kemala t'Lhoell)
It was Telmuk.  She was certain of it.  He'd looked right at her and then Rayek briefly before striding off towards Tess and Taheen.

She didn't look away from him even when Latihk murmured at her ear quietly.  "I don't understand how he's here... but that's my younger brother.  The officiant that Rayek named tr'Hei - that's Telmuk.  I'm positive."


Taheen couldn't comprehend how this had happened.  She was the stronger and more trained of the two of them, right?!  How had she ended up like this? 

She felt the press of Tess' blade against her neck and knew she'd lost.  Her heart felt heavy at hearing the cheers from Rayek.  It seemed this was the will of the Elements after all. 

Taheen let out a sigh of defeat as she heard Telmuk's footsteps approaching, obviously to make the announcement official.   

No.  She would announce it herself!  Taheen lifted her head to expose her neck more in show of submission, then spoke out clearly the proper words to end the Challenge. "I am defeated.  Tess, you have the blessings of the Elements upon you.  Our issue is no more."

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 24, 2022, 04:13:57 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

"A ritual combat challenge?!", Rahul echoed, incredulity in his voice. He watched back to his sister and he couldn't believe it. The Ba'ku were such a peaceful people, how was it now that he had to watch his sister fight like that? "What if she gets hurt?!", he asked bewildered as he looked back at Rayek. He really didn't understand a thing.

Rayek understood Rah'ul's disbelief.  At his question about injury to Tess, Rayek tried not to let his own worry take over.  "Then it's good thing that you brought Padrini with you.  But there is no way Tess will fail." he stated confidently looking to the fight once more.  "She's already disarmed Taheen." Rayek pointed out proudly just as Tess made her attack.  He was so damned proud of his wife in that moment, though he suspected she might have a bout of guilt afterwards for having harmed another.  He silently promised to be at her side to hold her comfortingly through the tears.

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
The challenge bout and Rayek's presence beside him had distracted Telmuk from reacting immediately to a silent alert notification, a vibration, he'd received on his Romulan PADD.  Weeks ago he'd set a proximity alert to warn him when his sister's bio-sign was within 50 meters of him on the same deck.  He'd done so with the intention of making sure he could avoid encountering her; and it had been a quite successful so far.  But when it had vibed a short while ago, he'd dismissed it. 

That was a mistake he realized - after a second stronger vibration was felt.  Kemala was getting closer.

He felt the vibration intensify as the trio of men moved to stand with them and Rayek answered more of their questions.  Being the officiant of the challenge, there was no opportunity for Telmuk (in the guise of Rhienn) to 'slip away' as he would have liked.  Instead Telmuk stood with the onlookers, so that he was partially hidden from view of an others arriving. 

His caution could not have been better timed, as Kemala and the annoying Aefau tr'Dhael arrived.  Telmuk recognized now what Taheen had done on her borrowed PADD earlier, she'd invited Rayek's friends and family to watch the Challenge thereby making it's ruling more binding on his brother.  He had to hand it to Taheen, she was smart.

However, her summoning the other was problematic for him.  His disguise might not fool his sister, who knew his facial features and voice all too well.  He made a point to keep his head lowered and facing towards the fight. If he'd still had the robe on, he would raised the hood but as it was all he had presently was the black unitard, typically worn under the tradition fighting robe.

(Kemala t'Lhoell)

The high priority message Kemala had received stated that a Challenge had been issued between Taheen and the Captain of the Amalthea and that witnesses to the bout were needed immediately.   While Rayek's sister had no clue what the Challenge was about, she couldn't ignore the summons.   

And it seemed she arrived at just the crucial moment, for as she looked towards the Coliseum fighting grounds she saw Tess deliver a serious strike with her blade.  Emerald flowed from the laceration and Kemala saw Taheen stagger a few steps back, one hand pressed to her wound in an attempt to staunch the bleeding. 

She noted Taheen's other hand though held up defensively, lacked any weapon. 

"Who is officiating here?" Kemala called out towards the cluster of men standing on the side watching. She noted one head looming above the others - her elder brother's. 

"Rayek, is this Challenge to First Blood or to the Death?" she questioned him as she looked towards the combatants once more briefly to see if Taheen would retaliate. 

Kemala was torn as to who she was hoping to win.  She'd known Taheen since before attending Military College together.  She'd grown close to the woman over the months of traveling together on this search for Rayek - or so she thought; but nothing Taheen had shared with her explained why Taheen would attempt to Challenge Tess.  Kemala felt a slight obligation to side with Taheen out of loyalty to a longstanding friend, and fellow Romulan

Yet despite her loyalty to the Romulan Republic's ideals of a Romulan government governing without Federation aid,  Kemala found that individually she liked many of the Federation Starfleet officers she'd met on the Amalthea - Tess most of all.  She was a strong Captain much like herself.  Kemala had no desire to see her harmed.

Rayek, not looking away from the fight himself, answered her question. "To First Blood. Though it is clear who the winner will be at this point." Then he stepped aside, clearing Kemala's line of sight to the portly officiant dressed in black. "tr'Hei - the Free State Ambassador's aide is officiating."

Kemala's attention was drawn to Rayek's movement as he stepped aside, then fixed her gaze on the figure that had his head lowered and turned partially away.  There were several distinct differences in him since she'd last seen her brother - lighter hair, a more chiseled jaw that was hidden by obesity, but the shape of his features hadn't changed any since their last face-to-face video call.

"Telmuk?  What are you doing here?" In her surprise, Kemala had completely ignored the fact that Rayek had named him differently.


Captain Tess t'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]
The hologram Tess was solely focused on the combat. She didn't take her eyes off Taheen for a second but watched every move of hers carefully. That the weapon was out of reach for her opponent now was good. Did she really plan on fight her with her bare hands?

Tess immediately took advantage of the moment Taheen was distracted. She lunged forward, slashing the woman in a way that would injure here severely enough but not kill her.

No. NO. NO!!   She couldn't be losing to this woman!  Taheen kept a hand pressed to her wound as she tried to continue to fight but the shock of her injury kept her from thinking clearly and she staggered uncoordinatedly rather than circle her opponent like she had been intending.   "I won't concede!"

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 10, 2022, 03:52:41 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Rayek could 'read' from Taheen's stance that she was about to attack and it took a conscious effort not to leap into the midst of the two to intercept the slash before it happened.  As it was Tess just narrowly avoided the blade.   This was hard for Rayek to watch.  His cheers faded and he merely focused on the combatants.

Tess' spin kick connected with the blade and sent it clattering to the floor several feet away.  Though it wasn't a 'win', it certainly bettered Tess' overall chances.  Rayek fist-pumped in silent reaction. 

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
Telmuk on the other hand, was disappointed that Taheen hadn't landed her first strike and that Rayek's wife had managed to retaliate so swiftly.  She was a better melee-martial arts fighter than he would have suspected for a Federation Captain.

His attention to the fight was diverted when the holodeck doors opened to allow entrance to three others... well four technically, if the infant was counted.   The doctor, and two of Tess' siblings along with Rayek and Tess' son.  What were they doing here?!

In the guise of Rhienn, Telmuk answered the Ba'ku's question.  "A ritual combat Challenge that Captain t'Lhoell agree to.  Any interference on her behalf will result in her immediate forfeiture.  Do not interrupt."

Rayek looked towards Rahul with a worried expression.  "He's right.  We can't interfere." he confirmed the aide's answer before expanding on the why.  "The situation is too involved to explain fully but the sum of it is that Tess is fighting to keep our marriage intact." 

Tess' kick had knocked away her blade but Taheen was confident that she didn't need a weapon to defeat the Federation Captain.  She resettled into a fighter' stance and then moved in to attack again this time with her bare hands. 

She was slightly distracted by the arrival of Tess' family and her medical colleague.  These were not the ones she had hoped would arrive to witness your defeat of Tess.  Where were Kemala and Aefau, who would understand the meaning of this Challenge and be able to put pressure on Rayek to abide by its ruling?

As if on cue the holodeck doors opened once more.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: November 04, 2022, 01:56:48 am »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Rayek didn't reply back to the aide after his not so unwarranted comparison between Romulan and Federation combat training.  Certainly a Sec/Tac officer would be on par with your average Romulan officer, but Tess had been in the Medical Department for years and then had a child and now was a Captain.  Add onto that the fact that she wasn't at her peak physical condition, mostly due to lack of sleep and he could understand the aide's judgement.   

However, what the aide didn't know was just how paranoid Rayek was of Tess being unprepared for any sort of violence against her or their son.   The Dosi, and the Drecacon had proven that he couldn't always be there to protect her.  So he'd been giving Tess additional combat training for the past two years.

He watched as the two women circled, each looking for an opening.  Rayek was surprised that it was Tess who attacked first.   It wasn't that he doubted her combat skills   It was just he knew that most Federation officers had it ingrained  in their mind that their combat training was defensive only.   That Tess was on the offensive was a good sign that she could and would win this.   

Rayek thinking his wife might prefer him to show his support, cheered her strike. "Nice one! Don't give her a moment to recover!"

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
Telmuk looked at his brother in annoyance, at Rayek's cheering.   No proper Romulan would demean the solemness of the Challenge with such antics; yet here his older brother was doing exactly that, but with Rayek's attention on the fight, he missed seeing Rhienn's eyeroll.

Tess' kick knocked Taheen back a foot but the Romulan kept her balance.  She was determined and moved back to just out of striking distance, pulling her blade so that it was in hand and she weaved it before her in a display of proficiency before moving in to strike.   A quick slash towards the Ba'ku woman's hands.  She couldn't hold a blade if her hands were injured.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: October 29, 2022, 08:59:39 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

From Rayek's perspective, there didn't seem to be any reaction by Tess to his comm.  She neither allowed him in her mind nor replied.  A furrow of concern formed on his brow as he watched Tess present herself before Taheen.  Was she upset at him for this turn of events?

It was only when she turned to look to him and offered a slight smile that Rayek's worry lessened.  He felt her reassurance reach out to him though she still kept her mind distant.  He nodded back in acceptance. 

"I-jol au, e'lev. Be careful." he near silently murmured to her through the comm.

He moved back, motioning to the aide to join him off to one side - in order to give the combatants space. 

"You researched this type of Challenge... Is there some manner of time-limit that the bout is held to if they are too evenly matched?" Rayek inquired of the aide as the two women prepared themselves.

(Telmuk as Rhienn)
Telmuk's palms itched as he walked over to stand beside his brother.  He made sure his mental walls were strengthened, uncertain if Rayek would be trying to glean information on how skilled Taheen was from him.   

The Tal'Shiar agent was unhappy.  His plans once more were falling apart; and he had no one to blame but himself.  If he'd only been more thorough with the shuttle explosion, this would all be over.   There had been plenty of opportunity on the Station to get rid of his brother... but Telmuk had used the excuse of 'studying' Rayek's habits to delay doing what was needed.  Now hesitation and the heroic actions of a single Vulcan had led to this. 

Thinking ahead, Telmuk tried to prepare for other potential opportunities.   The poisoned blade would of course be blamed on Taheen, but maybe if he timed it right, Telmuk could influence Taheen to lash out at Rayek as well when the irate husband confronted her about his wife's poisoning.

Rayek's question about a time-limit drew his attention from his predictive thoughts on what was to come next.

"No disrespect intended to your wife, Commander, but I suspect this will be over quick. You, better than most, can appreciate the difference in training between the former Empire which Taheen grew up under - and what Starfleet officers undergo."

This was it!  Her moment to show Rayek how poorly he had chosen when he let himself be led astray by foreigners.   All she had to do was defeat the Federation officer and then Rayek would come to his senses!  Taheen believed that fervently.   

Because of her Vulcanoid hearing, she was aware of the conversation between the two men.  It meant a lot to Taheen that Rhienn answered so confidently about her skills.   The aide had helped her beyond measure in explaining her rights and about the Challenge process; without him she would likely still be hiding away pining for what was taken from her. 

After she returned to the Romulan Republic with Rayek, she hoped she could still keep in communication with the Free State aide.   She'd grown rather fond of the man.  That he had been willing to face Rayek in combat on her behalf was more that she would have ever believed.  She wondered if in some way he liked her.

She glanced towards the Coliseum entrance wondering if she should delay.   No, there was too strong of a chance that someone might postpone the challenge if it was not already in progress when they arrived.   She would just have to hold off on delivering the winning strike until it could be witnessed.

"I too am ready." she announced.

Rhienn took on the role of officiant.  "The fight will begin on my mark, and continue until one combatant is defeated or admits defeat."

He let his words settle for a moment, raising an arm overhead; then called out "BEGIN!" as he dropped his arm signaling the start of the combat.

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: October 26, 2022, 01:30:29 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Rayek watched as Tess left to get changed.  He was still a bit stunned that she would go through with this.  He glanced to Taheen who was busy ordering the aide out of his combatants garb.

Telmuk looked downright sour as undid the knife belt and pulled off the robe which he wore overtop a plain black unitard.  Taheen chose to just wear the robe over her regular clothes rather than change into the traditional garb fully.  She kept looking towards Rayek, as if ensuring he hadn't left and was going to stay and watch the combat.

"This is a bad idea" he muttered, but with Rayek present he couldn't 'fix' it.

"Yes it is" Rayek agreed, having overheard the aide, Rhienn.  He tried once more to talk sense to the Romulan woman.  "Taheen, this challenge is for naught.  It will not gain you my heart.  Please, end this." he pleaded before explaining the truth. Even if you should win, there is no way I will leave Tess for you."   

But his words seemed to have the opposite effect, as Taheen's expression turned more determined.  "We will see about that." she snapped before picking up a borrowed Starfleet PADD and tapped away rapidly on its surface.   Within moments, the message was sent, leaving Rayek to wonder what she had planned that she thought could conceivably change his mind.   His paranoid thoughts turned to his son's safety.

Taheen seethed, that he threatened to refuse to abide by the conditions of the Challenge.  No!  She would ensure that both his family and friends were here to witness Tess' loss.   She'd sent a shipwide invite to all Romulans aboard to be witness to the Challenge between herself and the ships' Captain.   He would lose face badly now should he refuse to abide.

Rayek's own PADD vibed at the arrival of a message in his inbox, but he didn't have the sense of mind to check it.   The Watchers could be bearing down on the ship.. and still he would not dare leave until he knew Tess was safe.

When Tess emerged from the change room, she looked rather somber.  The robe she wore was perfectly-sized for her, which if she had used the one provided should have been a bit long on her since it had been intended originally for him.  She must have the holodeck adjust the sizing to avoid tripping.  Smart. 

He reached out towards her mind to offer more of his support and to note how lovely she looked in the garb. It seemed the only times he ever recalled liking Romulan fashion, was when it was worn by Tess.   

But his mind seeking out hers, encountered nothing.  Rayek's eyes widened in surprise.  Was she blocking him somehow?  Possible... given her Ba'ku talents... but why?

Rayek lifted a hand to his neck and rubbed at it, hiding the fact that he was activating the silent-mode on his comms.   He turned away from the sight of Tess and the other in the coliseum as if upset by the sight, then mouthed the commands to open a comm line to Tess' own in-ear comm unit.

"Tess, why are blocking me? I can help! I might even be able to share my skill with you if you just open your mind to me."

USS Amalthea / Re: S1M5 - O Other, Where Art Thou?
« on: October 20, 2022, 11:54:14 pm »
Commander Rayek tr'Lhoell
[USS Amalthea - Holodeck]

Rayek couldn't believe his ears when Tess accepted.  "What!?" He stared at her gape-mouthed like a fish for a moment.  But when she took his hand and asked him quietly to trust her, his shock deflated.  He'd asked that same thing of her many times in the past and she'd always trusted and supported him.  It was his turn to do the same. 

His hand gripped hers tightly a moment before he nodded.  "Of course, e'lev.  You've got this." he encouraged her.

Taheen watched the exchange somewhat sourly, but was satisfied that Tess had agreed.  Taheen intended to prove to all that she was the better choice for Rayek. 

"You can don the traditional garb, if you like.  But it's not required." Taheen stated as she indicated the same doorway Rayek had been directed towards.

Telmuk was incensed at what was transpiring.  He'd worked hard at manipulating Taheen to agree to this challenge.  How could she ruin this for him!?  "No!  This isn't what we discussed!" 

Hearing his own voice raised in agitation, Telmuk realized he needed to calm himself and come up with a better plan.  He took a step away and let out a long huff of frustration before trying again; speaking more calmly this time towards Tess.  "Captain, you are under no obligation to go through with this.  The challenge was issued initially to Rayek - it should be him who fights."

But it seemed no one was listening to him.  Even Rayek, who he would have thought would argue hard to protect his wife was seemingly okay with the challenge continuing... but then none of them knew about the poison.

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