Honor

by ~Onyx

posted  first time July 2002

 

Disclaimer:  Paramount owns Star Trek; I’ve just borrowed their vehicle.  I have no intent to copyright or make a penny from it.

Codes: J/7.  Rating: G.  If your inclination is to not be open minded about same sex relationships then this is not the place for you, nor do I want to hear from you about it.

Remarks:  What if the Vulcan’s weren’t the first aliens to Earth?  How would it have all turned out?  I suppose this is one possible way.

 

 

Blood, the color and thickness of mud coursed through the commander of the Romulan war-bird.  She sat motionless looking out the view screen at a planet that had yet to detect their presence.  Her short auburn hair squarely framed her face; which showed the emotionless heart within.  Commander Ka’lin J’Way was tired of searching for the rebel base.  And she now sat above a planet that their operative had indicated housed the manufacturing plant for the rebel ships.  Ships used against her empire.  It was going to be an honor for her to destroy the planet and all who raised their hands against the empire she loved.  She would be the first human Romulan hybrid to bring such honor back to the Romulan Empire.

“I want their leader brought to me at once.”  She commanded. “Alive… Or forfeit your own lives.”  And with that command, five war-birds de-cloaked off her port.  Hundreds of troops transported to the surface at once.  It was over before it began and the last of the rebellion seemed to have died.  Any human blood that survived would soon become mixed with the mighty green of the Romulan Empire.  Long live the Empire and she proudly smiled to herself with this thought.

They had chosen many years before not to kill off human existence.  Instead, they incorporated the technology and the most skilled into their own culture.  The humans were at the dawn of warp technology when the Romulan Empire descended upon them, much the same as they took the last of the rebel bases.  The mixing of the species took years before acceptance came with honor, and only when the red blood of the humans looked more like the color of mud mixed with the green of the Romulans.  And it was this honor that allowed Ka’lin J’Way, a hybrid and the first of her kind to sit in the command chair of this war-bird, and at the head of the Romulan fleet.

“Commander.  First officer Verlon reports from planet side.”  She was informed.

“On screen.”  She commanded brusquely, her eyes moving to the screen.

“Commander.  We have succeeded.”  Her second in command reported as he forcibly held on to one of the human rebels.  Smoke and fire masking what remained of the surface behind him.

“See that you destroy it all.”  She spoke with malice.

“No!”  Cried the human Verlon held in his clutches. 

He grabbed the face with his large hand and squeezed, “Dare you speak!”  He spat then looked back at his commander.  “This one is their leader.  She is nothing more than a weak human female.”

“Weak and female are not synonymous, Verlon.  Bring her to me now.”  Ka’lin growled.  The view screen she stared at went black before her.  Later, she thought to herself she would teach him that weak and female were not one in the same.  His death would be not proud.  She cared not for anyone who thought less of her because she was female, nor would she have that mindset aboard her ship.

It took only minutes before Verlon entered the command deck with the female.  He flung her to the floor in front of his commander and stood over her.

Ka’lin silently sat starring at the body laying face down before her.  Waiting to see if she would look up in defiance or remain as she was.  This one chose insolence, a pinch of warmth grew within Ka’lin.  She enjoyed boldness in a woman.  It showed strength of character.

“You are?”  Ka’lin commanded her eyes taking in the face that finally glared back at her now.  She saw the fire in the blue eyes.  Ah yes, the hatred burns within this one, she thought to herself.  “What is your name?”  She commanded one last time.  But instead of a verbal answer the young woman spit in her face.  Her second in command grabbed the blonde hair and rammed his fist into the side of her face.

“Your name!”  He growled. “Or your life.”

She looked at him then with madness in her eyes and a sneer, “Take my life you Romulan pig.”  She spat at him.  He yanked her hair harder and pulled back to hit her again.

“Verlon...let her go.”  Ka’lin commanded as she gripped down hard on her chair’s armrest.

He looked at his commander in bewilderment.  The fury displayed on her face giving him pause.  He let go of the blonde hair.

“What is your name?”  Ka’lin then commanded evenly, “It would be much easier for you if you told me.  Less so if I must extract it from you.”

Again the young woman looked at Ka’lin with the same blazing blue eyes filled with hatred.  “I am Anik Hansen.”  She spoke, “Now you may kill me, because I will never…never serve the Romulan Empire.”

Ka’lin nodded as if understanding, “Your position on this…base?”

“Water.”  Anik spat, “I require water.”

“Your position then your water.”  Ka’lin spoke pointedly.

“I…” Anik hesitated thinking about how much she could share and exactly what she would not, “ I am the lead engineer for this base.”

Ka’lin motioned, “Get her water.”  And her order was carried out.

“This base?  There are others?”  Ka’lin inquired, but knew she would not get the answer right here, right now as the young woman in front of her chose silence, her thirst quenched.

“Take her to the brig.”  Ka’lin ordered,  “And take us out of orbit!”

 


The commander of the Romulan fleet retired for the evening.  The day had been long, but of great value.  Verlon had been eliminated and her new first officer, Belan Tor had been left to the command deck.  The proud blonde human came to her mind as she prepared for bed.  She would get the information regarding other rebel bases one way or another from this woman.   Without second thought she picked up her uniform jacket and put it back on.  Her thoughts of the young woman who sat in her brig brought a question to her mind.  Perhaps it was all in the way she handled her.  Quickly, she left her quarters and made her way to the brig.

“Leave us alone.”  She roughly ordered, entering the brig, meeting no resistance from the guard.  They had cleaned the young woman up and given her a change of clothing.

“You have been fed?”  Ka’lin asked with a soft even tone.

“They brought something fit for a goat.”  Anik spat in anger.

“I will give the chef your compliments.”

“Please do.”  The young woman sneered.  “You have come for my life?”

“I have come for the locations of the rebel bases.” Ka’lin answered pointedly.

“I will never give you that.”

“Alright.”  Ka’lin replied.  She walked into the other woman’s personal space and stood inches from her looking for something in the cold cerulean eyes and finding it. “Then I suppose we will do this my way.”

“I will die with honor and the information that will keep you from ever destroying the rebellion.”

“There will be no honor in your death.” Ka’lin replied smiling. “Because there will be no death.”  She turned and walked away from the young woman.  Happy with what she knew she would do.

“You will kill me!”  Anik yelled after the smallish Romulan commander.

Ka’lin stopped as she reached the door and looked back at the again infuriated woman.  “No… I will not kill you, Anik.”  She chuckled softly with huskiness in her voice as she looked back at the beautiful young woman, “But I will… take your humanity.”  She exited the brig without looking back, her mission for the evening having been accomplished.

 


The sound for admittance woke her.  She sat up from where she had been sleeping.  “Enter.”  Commander Ka’lin J’Way groused.

Belan Tor, her sub-commander entered, promptly standing at attention.  “Commander J’Way, we have just received word from the Kiptut.  It will intercept us in less than one hour.”

This was not good news.  She thought her earlier message to the Romulan home world would have forestalled this event.  She stood and adjusted the uniform she had slept in.  Her short auburn hair framed her impassive face.  “Make sure the prisoners are prepared.”  She ordered her sub commander, who had turned to leave, but then turned back around.

“Does this include their female leader?”  Belan Tor asked.

“You serve me well, sub commander.  No.  It does not include their leader.  She will remain aboard.”  The commander replied.  With a slight tip of her head, her sub commander turned and exited the commander’s chambers.  Ka’lin J’Way stood for a moment longer.  She took in a deep breath and felt a surge within her.  The Romulan/Human blood coursed through her veins powerfully.  It warmed her and reminded her of what she was and where she had come from.  She would bring high honor to this world she knew and loved, and to the house of J’Way.


“Chairman Pe’Krad.  What do I owe this honor?”  The head of the Romulan Fleet questioned stiffly, her face inexpressive.

“Your prisoners require debriefing, which I am sure Commander, you have already done.”

“Yes, but I am sure you and your people will do a more thorough job of it than we.  You need not have come all this way for the handful that I have on board, however.”

“You have one of their leaders.  I wish to start there.”  The head of the Tal Shiar stated.

“Yes, I am sure you would, but I require her assistance.”  Commander J’Way answered without moving a muscle.

“Why is that?”  Janlu Pe’Krad asked.  Sensing something more he stood from his seat and filled the view screen with a frown on his face.  “I wish to speak with you in private.  Now, commander.”

“As you wish, Chairman.”  Ka’lin acknowledged and cut the communication immediately.  She had stood toe to toe with the chairman before and would do so again today or any other day for that matter.  He would not have this particular prisoner.  He would not be allowed to break this one.  He would not be allowed to entertain her with the tortures of the Tal Shiar.  He would not be allowed the honor of taking her humanity.  No not this one.  This one belonged to her.  A slight grin played across the commander’s face, but when she turned to her sub commander it was not to be seen.  “You have command while I am aboard the Kiptut.”  This commander knew she would return the victor for she had never lost a battle. 


The Kiptut was the Romulan Tal Shiar’s flagship for its chairman.  His mission was simple and assured.  He was to break the prisoners for any and all information regarding the rebel cause.  Then it was his job to rehabilitate, to raise the conscience awareness of these downtrodden people and absorb them into the Romulan Empire as if they had always been a part of it, if they served a purpose.  Commander Ka’lin J’Way would not come between the chairman and his job, but nor could she allow the woman in her brig to be taken away.  It all lived within this beautiful young woman, all the coordinates, the planets, and the plans of her rebel cause.  Ka’lin knew this to be true.  And it was hers for the taking, just as the young woman had been and always would be.  She knew from the first moment she had laid eyes on her, from the way the hatred burned in the clear blue eyes that this young woman would become a part of the commander’s house and a part of her life.  She was sure of it.

“You cannot do this, Ka’lin!  This is not the way to handle such matters.”  He hissed at her.

“Chairman, she has further knowledge to be gained.  I will extract the information from her and act upon it immediately.”

“No, I will extract the information.”

“And my fleet will sit idly by waiting.  It is a waste of the Empire’s resources and time, which we have little of.  If there are other rebel bases I want to act, not react as I have always done in the past.”  Ka’lin hissed back.

“We have been chasing these demons around this quadrant for years.  What is your hurry now?”  He questioned looking for the ulterior motive.

“Because we are almost done.  In a few months I intend to be sitting on the balcony of my home drinking hearty Romulan ale with my family.  I am tired, Chairman Pe’Krad.  I would like to feel the ground under my feet again.  If only for a short time.”

“As am I, but we have our ways, Ka’lin, as we always have had.”

“As have I.”  She granted him that.

“What is your guarantee that this one will give you what you want?”

“Her humanity cannot withstand the ways of the Romulan Empire, Chairman.”

“So sure are we that you would jeopardize your future?”  Janlu asked, knowing he would take the same risk if need be.

“My future will be fine, Chairman.  I assure you that.”  Commander Ka’lin J’Way stated evenly without malice.

“Then I will take my prisoners and leave you with yours.”  He stood and raised his fist in a salute with the commander.  She exited his chambers and beamed back aboard her ship as his prisoners were beamed aboard.  Issuing the command, her armada cloaked, and exited the shared coordinates.  There was no time to waste. 


Anik Hansen wished her childhood could have been like that of her ancestors.  A world where she had been allowed to play, have friends and grow up with compassion for her fellow man.  But that had not been the case.  The Romulan Empire had invaded Earth centuries before and methodically changed the history of a once great people, enslaving them, stealing the technology of the time and tearing apart families for the good of the empire.  Many of Earth’s people were able to hide from the Romulan guard, and it was those people who, through time, became known as the rebels.  They slowly and quietly over time fought back against the oppression, against the Romulan Empire hoping to one day take their world back.

Her parents were members of the rebel cause.  They were scientists who worked every day of their lives to insure that their cause was supported by the best technology.  They worked long countless hours away from their home when they had one.  They traveled from rebel base to rebel base, and from planet to planet testing theories, implementing and upgrading technology.  This is what Anik Hansen was born into.  She spent more time traveling in spaceships than living on planets.  Her parents had schooled her.  Friendships rarely lasted beyond six months, which was the average time spent anywhere.  The rebel cause moved constantly.  It was forever elusive to the empire.  In time and with age she began her training within the cause and by the time she was 18 she was more than capable of handling life without her parents.  It was then she was sent to Aurealus Prime to become an engineering apprentice. It was also then that the Romulan Empire discovered the first of the rebel bases.

She learned of the destruction as she worked on the planetary cloaking device.  The regret she felt dwarfed her.  Had they been ready, had they had the cloaking device past the testing phase, perhaps the massive destruction would not have occurred.  But it was the news she received hours later that moved her further into the belly of the rebel cause.   She received news that her parents had been on the destroyed planet.  Their bodies were not found among the dead.  No, of course not.  The Romulan Empire’s greatness was built on the backs and knowledge of Earth’s greatest scientists.  She cried the tears of a daughter for her parents.  She cried the tears of a believer for those who had lost their lives.  She then spat the vow of a rebel for her Earth. 


On the Command Bridge, Anik had been placed on a lower step at the foot of the Romulan commander.   Her back was to the hybrid allowing the steel toed of J’Way’s black boots to dig into the small of the young woman’s back.  The commander sat above her, unspeaking, unmoving merely watching the view screen in front of her as space passed by them.

“Commander.  We will reach the coordinates in one half hour.”  Her sub commander informed from behind her position.

“Put it on screen.”  Commander Ka’lin J’Way commanded.  Then she turned her attention to the woman at her feet.  “I believe, Anik, you will find our mission most interesting.”  She stated, knowing how devastating their mission was.

“There is nothing you could possibly show me that I would find interesting.”  Anik spat.  She did not turn to face the woman above her, but she felt the boot in her back.  It was a not too subtle reminder of her current position in life.

A planet came on the view screen as they rushed toward it.  And as it grew in front of them the commander ordered her vessel to halt.  She spoke again to the woman below her.  “You are a beautiful woman, Anik.”  It was spoken evenly, softly to her as if it were for no one.  “It would please me not to have to put you through this, but you have left me little choice.”

“I will leave you no choice as long as I am alive.”  Anik hissed having turned to look up into the hybrid’s silver gray eyes.  She saw them deepen in color, almost a blue then quickly moved back to gray, why?  She hated this woman.  She hated how she looked, recognizing the human in her face, but noting the squareness of her build, the expressionless mask she wore was that of a Romulan.  The blood that ran through this woman’s veins was the color of mud and she hated it to the core of her being.  Yet she knew that somewhere in this woman’s past she was as much human as herself, a history likely never known.

“Indeed?”  The commander answered relishing the thought, “We shall see, my, Anik.  Sub Commander Tor, I want the leader brought to me at once.”  She commanded, “Alive!  Or you shall forfeit your own life.”  And it was with that command Anik watched five war-birds de-cloak onto the view screen.  What she did not know was that hundreds of Romulan troops had already transported to the surface of the planet.  What she could not see were the lives being taken from the rebel cause.  Any human blood that was allowed to survive would soon be mixed with the honored green of the Romulan Empire.  It was twenty minutes before the first reports started to come across the lead war-bird’s communications center.

“Commander J’Way.  Sub commander Tor reports from planet side.” This communication brought a smile to the commander’s face.

“On Screen.”  She commanded coldly digging her boot into the woman below her.  Causing the blonde to look up at the screen.  After all, it was all for her benefit.

The scream came from deep within her as she saw what was happening on the planet below her. “No!”  Anik cried. 

“Commander.  We have succeeded in this mission.”  Sub commander Tor reported.  In her hand she clutched a man whose eyes showed the fear he held for his survival.

“Make sure that you destroy it all and leave no one behind… alive.”  The commander spoke with malice.

“My wife!”  Cried the writhing human Belan hung on to.

She took her eyes away from those of her commander and spoke to the man in low ominous voice, “She will forfeit her life unless you tell us more.”  The man hung his head.  She turned back to her commander.  “I will transport the prisoners now.”  And the view screen went black.

“You murderous bitch!”  Anik screamed from the floor.  The fire of hatred rekindled in her eyes.

Ka’lin chuckled coolly, “Perhaps.  Yet if that were true you would not have had the front row seat I have provided you.”

“You would kill his wife?”

“That would be his decision.”  The commander stood and looked down without expression, “Or perhaps your decision.  Guard!  Take her back to her cell.” 

The Romulan guard stepped to her and moved to help her up.  Anik pulled away from him and stood on her own looking into the hybrid commander’s eyes.  “I will never make that decision.”  She hissed.

“Oh, but I’m afraid you shall, and soon Anik, very soon.”  Ka’lin smiled at her, “Once he gives me what I want it will become your decision as to whether I shall kill him and his wife.”

“What?”  She asked as if hearing incorrectly.

“It will be your decision.”  The commander repeated looking deep into the fiery eyes.

“You are cold-blooded.  You are a monster!”  She yelled at the back of the small robust woman as the guard moved her toward the exit.

Commander Ka’lin J’Way turned to watch the guard drag the young woman from her command deck.  And before the door shut behind them she reminded her beautiful young prisoner, “And there will come a day, when your belief in man’s humanity will turn it’s back on you.  You will see.”

The commander turned back to the view screen in front of her.  She sat down in her command chair.  “Take us out of orbit, Sub Commander.”  She issued.  And the star field leaped into movement before her.  Yes, she thought to herself, there would come a day.

 


Captain William T. Riker of the rebel vessel Pegasus knew he was only minutes from receiving his orders.  The Pegasus had been sitting at gold alert for a day, as was the rest of the rebel fleet assigned to Earth’s sector.  He knew that the rebel ships had gone undetected stationed around Earth for a week now, having gone undetected many times before.  They had been patiently waiting for this very day.

The Romulan Star Empire knew the number of ships required to protect its acquired planet was now at a minimum, it’s strength having waned through time.  In the centuries the Romulans maintained their presence on Earth, the planet had become little more than a place marker in the alpha quadrant.  It housed a handful of the empire’s military unit mixed with a sprinkling of citizens and scientists who had chosen to live off their home world.  There had been no rebel up-risings in well over a century, and alien encounters had been minimal.  Romulan ground forces were scattered on various continents across the planet’s massive surface and had grown complacent in their patrol.  Their comings and goings from Earth were now routine, with the last supply ship having left orbit weeks ago.  And so it was that Earth sat virtually defenseless.

The rebel command had been patient, monitoring what had once been called home by their ancestors.  It had taken the early rebels a century to find and regroup the remaining Terrans who survived the hostile Romulan take over.  Years more had passed before the rebel forces were able to amass the knowledge, spirit and strength they once possessed as a people, and even longer beyond that to become space born.  It took another century to build off-Earth colonies and to build the command structure and government that now defined the Terran rebel forces.  Planetary decoys had been strategically placed over time across the alpha quadrant for the Romulans, and rebel agents planted throughout the Romulan home world.  The rebel forces had grown strong and numerous.  They were prepared to show an Empire what being Terran was all about…what it was to be human.

The twinkle in Will Riker’s eyes was no indication of how he truly felt.  It would be his first large-scale battle, but he knew that it would not be his last.  Yet knowing this did not quash the small amount of fear he carried with him.  Years of training and planning were about to be put to the test.  His years of piloting smaller fighter ships and participating in raids against solitary Romulan ships had prepared him for the seat he now possessed.  Having to accept the disappearances of his comrades from rebel planets over time had served to bolster his inner resolve.  And now the brilliant blue-eyed twinkle he possessed was an outward sign that he truly believed the mighty Romulan Star Empire would not know what hit them until it was too late. 

It was to be a quiet battle, one to keep casualties at a minimum on both sides.  They would retake the sector of space surrounding Earth first, and then once all Romulan vessels were secured, the ground troops would finish the Romulan evacuation with efficiency.    Transport vessels cloaked, light years away, would arrive within hours bringing crews to set up Earths new protection grids, which would be used to cloak the giant planet.  Romulan ships would be escorted out of Earth’s space and into an area the rebel government had deemed as neutral.  These ships and their crews would be used as hostages in future negotiations with the Empire.  This plan, if carried to completion, could lead to a swift repopulation of the planet Earth within an extremely short amount of time.

A light on Riker’s command center flickered from a pulsing gold to a solid green. 

“Prepare for pre-planetary sequence.”  He announced.  His hands moved to grip the arms of his seat.  He said a silent prayer for tomorrow as the cabin around him jumped to life.

“Captain, there are eight Romulan vessels stationed around the planet.”  Stated the young female Terran stationed directly behind him, “There are only 507,000 life signs on the planet.”  Of course he knew this, but it was her job to check before he gave the final order.

“Initiate Tactical plan Earth Alpha-3,” commanded Captain William T. Riker.

With those fateful words, it all began.

 


“Commander.  We will arrive at your specified coordinates in five hours.”

The course lines of a frown appeared across the commander’s face.  Her reply a growl,  “Make it three.  I want to know when we are one hour from this destination.”

“Commander.”  The young pilot hesitated then continued, “To achieve your coordinates in three hours will greatly stress this ship’s engines.”

“Really.”  Commander Ka’lin J’Way replied her voice laced with contempt.  She turned to glare at her Sub Commander.

Hearing her commander’s tone, Belan Tor straightened up from where she had been folded over her workstation.  She recognized and understood the scornful command mask J’Way wore.  “I will personally come get you in two hours time, Commander.”  Belan assured as their eyes met.

“See that you do.”  The commander replied pointedly as she entered the war-bird’s turbo lift.

She strode purposefully into her brig with an agenda.  The tall blonde standing in her cell, whose pale eyes followed the commander’s moves, was ignored, for the moment.  J’Way stopped at the cell holding the man captured on the last rebel planet.  She spoke to him as he stood behind the force field.  “Your wife bleeds a beautiful red.  I believe there are flowers that bare the same color on your – Earth.  Roses, are they not?”  As she taunted him her face showed no emotion.

“Don’t you hurt her!” he yelled lunging at her only to be thrown back by the force field.

“Might I suggest the same of you?” She replied her voice even as she sized him up.  She had not moved a muscle.  “How many rebel bases are there?”

“I don’t know.”  The prisoner groaned painfully as he pulled himself up.

“I see.”  Ka’lin replied then looked toward the guard at the door.  “Have her beaten again.  Tell her that her offspring will make wonderful children to an honorable Romulan couple, and explain to her the unfortunate circumstances of her husband’s death.  Then ask her one last time how many rebel bases there are.”  She shifted her gaze back toward the prisoner as he prepared to lunge for her again.  His actions, halted in the wake of another voice’s warning.

“Stop!  She is lying!”  The voice of the blonde penetrated the air.  “She is manipulating you and she would say anything to get what she wants!”

Their gazes met.  The steel gray of the commander’s hardened along with her face.  She hissed at the blonde through clinched teeth.  “Are you so sure?  Will you risk this man’s wife because you hate me?

The cold blues held her gaze, measuring it as if there were any chance to stop the Romulan commander.  The young blonde was determined to try.  “I loathe the Romulan Empire.  And I especially abhor those within the empire whose heart can process the very blood that courses through my own body and have forgotten who they truly are.”  Anik coldly informed J’Way, watching as she saw a spark ignite in the gray eyes.

Ka’lin, however, smirked at the young blonde’s statement, “I can’t say that I care much for you, either.  But regardless of the color of my blood, I am a Romulan.”

“You are also Terran.  What of that?  You honor the Romulan, but what of your other heritage?”

“My Terran heritage is immaterial.  But this man’s wife… is she?  How many rebel bases?”  The commander’s eyes cut back to who she thought was a little man.  She could see in him a selfishness that would risk the needs of the many.

“You make me sick.”  Anik spat having expected the commander to banter with her longer – in fact, needing the commander to banter with her, not the other prisoner.  She drew Ka’lin’s attention back by striking the force field.

And now not because the woman was asking for it, but because she would waste no more of her precious time on the man who held little respect for his cause, her steel gray eyes sought out the cool blues.  “I ask you one last time.” The Romulan commander asserted, her voice as steely as the mask she presented. “You will risk this man’s wife?  Of course you would, your arrogance defines you.  How many rebel bases are there?”

Anik studied the scared man standing in the cell next to her, a simple engineer who had no doubt been born and raised on one planet; a rebel by birthright only.  He had spoken the truth: he did not know and with that truth, he would lose his wife and his family to the revoltingly aggressive ways of a Romulan hybrid.  If she herself were to answer, Anik considered, perhaps she could spare him the decision thereby absolving him of guilt he would carry the rest of his life.  “There were 12 rebel bases.”  She answered without contrition.

“Were...” Ka’lin repeated, “Meaning there are three left.”  She smiled as she realized the light at the end of her journey. 

She stood inches from the blonde with only a force field between them yet she could still feel the warmth pulse off this human female.  For a moment she wondered if the warmth was purely hatred.  She rather enjoyed this feisty young Terran.

When she was finished today there would only be two bases left and she would have their coordinates.  Once she brought the last of these down she would take her command and her honor home to the house of J’Way.  She had grown tired of her years hunting the rebel bases.  She longed for the ground beneath her feet and the arms of a woman. She looked at the young blonde through the force field and pondered what it would be like to hold her or to be held by her.  The sudden snap of the force field brought her attention back as she refocused on cool blue eyes.  The Terran’s hand a mere inches from the field.

“What is it that you think you’re doing?”  She demanded her command mask firmly in place once again.

“I do not know.”  Lied Anik.  The rebel woman had watched the hybrid lose herself for a short minute.  In her mind she glimpsed something that she had not seen there before.

Ka’lin narrowed her eyes in disbelief then walked away.  She stopped at the door and turned to look at her prisoners.  In a little over an hour, “I will be sharing my view of the next rebel base’s destruction with you, Anik,  “We both know how much you’ll enjoy that particular scenario.”  Then she turned her piercing gaze on the man in the next cell, “Will the woman you love be brave in her death?”  And with that she swept out of the brig hearing the blood-curdling scream of a man who had simply told the truth.

 


“Commander Tapek, our communications system is off-line.”

“Source?”  The commander asked.

“Unsure.”  Responded the communications officer as he continued to investigate.

A shallow blast rocked their ship.  “Commander!  We’re being fired on!”

“Put it on screen!”  Barked the Romulan commander, his eyes widening in surprise as the view screen showed their assailant.

“Who are they?”  He demanded, his fist clutched as his eyes took in the hundreds of other vessels.

“They have opened communications, commander.” 

A voice deep and confident hailed them.  “I am Captain William T. Riker of the Rebel Fleet . . . Stand down.  You are out numbered and out gunned.”  With a smile annoyingly self-assured, Riker suggested, “So do yourselves a favor, surrender peacefully.”

His face was on all their view screens at once.  All their ships’ communications arrays had been disabled, all of them had been fired upon and all ships were now surrounded.  Riker waited for the Romulan commander’s decision.  He knew that regardless of this decision it would all end the same.

Tapek spoke up, not yet fully understanding or believing.  “We will not surrender to you or anyone else.”

“Check your sensors, Commander.  As I see it you have no choice.  There are twenty rebel ships to every one of yours.  Every one of my ships has as much fire power as yours, if not more.”  Riker urged diplomatically.

Tapek motioned to his sub commander and within seconds the rebel’s words were confirmed.  He swallowed visibly as his mind raced through hundreds of tactical plans finding none to assuage their situation.  He took a deep breath.  He knew there would be no honor, just as there would be no mercy.  The house of Tapek would fall.  “Stand down.”  It was the hardest command he had ever given.  It was the last he would ever give.

Within seconds the sound of transporters filled the air around him.

 


“Commander.  There is nothing here.  It is deserted.”  Sub commander Tor reported.

Ka’lin did not respond immediately.  She had sensed something was different the minute they dropped into orbit around the small planet.  Something had changed and she could not put her finger on it.  She nudged the woman in front of her with her boot.  Not necessarily trying to cause pain, but more a subtle reminder of her tenuous station on board the Romulan vessel.  “I will put your brig mate out of his misery for this.”  The commander hissed to Anik’s back then nodded at a guard stationed by the turbo lift.  Acknowledging his assignment without question, he stepped into the turbo lift and disappeared.

The rebel woman’s shoulders slumped, “I wish it could be me.” 

The commander laughed.  “Sub commander Tor.  I want a report as soon as you get back.”

As the view screen went dark she issued another order.  “Hail the Tal Shiar.”

Her communications officer keyed in and hailed.  “I have the Tal Shiar, commander.”

“Commander Ka’lin.”  The deep robust voice of the Tal Shiar resounded as his face appeared on her view screen.

“Chairman Pe’Krad.”  Ka’lin bowed her head toward the man out of respect, “Do you have what I have asked for?  She questioned.

“I have.”  He replied impassively understanding well the method she was about to employ.

“Put them on screen.”  And with that two Terrans appeared largely on the view screen.  The woman on the screen seemed startled and quickly gasped, “Anik.”

The younger woman at the end of Ka’lin’s boot looked up in surprise as her name was uttered.  She also gasped crying out,  “Mother!”

Ka’lin leaned forward in her seat with a smile having witnessed the display she had hoped for.  “Anik.”  She said silkily to the shaken young woman, “you will give me the coordinates for the next base.”

The young blonde rebel sat in silence staring at the screen.  The Romulan commander stood from her chair and bent down, putting her lips next to the young woman’s ear.  She took a deep breath, smelling the fright.  How lovely the scent of this woman she thought.  Then she spoke evenly, more softly yet without emotion, “Anik... you will give me the coordinates or I will take the life of your mother.  It is…your decision.

“No!”  The young woman cried out surging to her feet.  Standing she whipped around and unflinchingly looked at the Romulan eye to eye, and she knew then exactly how it was the proud Romulan would take her humanity.

 


Praetor Johan walked expediently through the looming halls of the Empress's palace, not stopping until he reached the guard standing before the large ornate doors. "I wish to speak with the Empress on a matter of utmost urgency."  The guard acknowledged the request then disappeared behind closed doors.  He returned moments later directing the Praetor into the opulent dining chambers.

"To interrupt my evening repast, Praetor Johan, one has to wonder what the nature of the urgency is."  The Empress, irritated, spoke slowly and the Praetor stopped at the far end of her dining table.

"It is a matter of grave importance, Empress," he answered seriously looking at the floor.  Even in his position he would never be so presumptuous as to look at the Empress directly without first having received permission.

She let a moment pass as she finished chewing, then wiped her mouth and placed the napkin across her half-finished plate.  "You may approach."

As he walked toward her, she motioned to offer him an evening's meal.  "No.  No thank you, Empress.  I have brought a matter that requires your immediate attention."

"Suit yourself, Johan.  What is it that brings you to my home at such a late hour?"  The Empress questioned as she sat back in her chair letting him remain standing.

"The Proconsul has just received word from the rebel government," he began.

"The rebel government?"  She feigned laughter, "What does that entail?"

"We are unsure at present, Empress, but it would appear that they have a means to govern themselves now, as well as a military to defend themselves."

"How is this possible, Johan?  Have we not destroyed their bases, taken their people?"  She questioned the indignation colouring her tone.

"So we believed.  However, I think we have been somehow led astray in this belief."  He answered knowing that the words he spoke would cost him his position as Praetor.  After all, it had been his job to ensure that the rebels remained a minor inconvenience.

"Speak to me Johan!  Tell me how this could happen!"  She spat at him her voice showing her anger.

"I… I do not know, Empress.  I am at a loss for an answer."  He replied his eyes falling to the floor in front of him.

"Is this all that you have?"  She asked having changed the tone of her voice to one in which to elicit comfort.

"No, no it is not.  The rebel government is located on Earth.  Their military has retaken the planet."

"And what of our people, our ships?"  She questioned.

"They wish to negotiate with us.  I informed them that I would bring the matter to you with haste."

"As you have.  However, I am not so inclined to readily believe that they have our people or our ships, or even that they have recaptured Earth.  How will I know any of this for certain?"

"Empress, I have taken the liberty to dispatch a small contingent of scout ships.  We should have word within time.  I instructed them not to engage in any hostile activities, but simply to bring back substantiated word of the situation."

"Very forward thinking on your behalf, Johan.  However, it will not save you from your errors if, in fact, this proves to be true."  The Empress informed.  She loathed laziness in her government.  She had disagreed with the management of Earth, as it had not been attended to as their other Romulan outposts.  The Praetor, the Senate, and the Proconsul had assured her that all would remain well.  Their Old World beliefs were quickly being shown for what they truly were, old.  If in fact the information the Praetor had brought to her was true, she would find it necessary to replace certain members of her government - immediately.

Her thoughts turned to the commander in charge of her fleet and the possibilities and challenges that having an honored hybrid, as either Praetor or Proconsul, would bring.  Their culture had changed remarkably with the introduction of a certain amount of Terran blood.  It was a part of their existence now and had been, over time, well managed as to not dilute their entire species.  Also, having opened their society to a controlled segment of the Terran people, their technology and medical breakthroughs had been astounding.  It had for the making of a more perfect civilization.  A fact her father, the Emperor before her, would never accept.  He had been a Romulan of the old ways.  He had ruled with archaic Romulan beliefs, much like those of a few of her present day senate members.  They were beliefs that had led them nowhere with the passage of time.  Today she found them irrelevant, unworthy of carrying forward in her Romulan Star Empire.

Bringing her attention back to the Praetor, she spoke, "I expect to know first thing in the morning.  And you do realize, Johan, had we maintained Earth as I once dictated, this would not be necessary, and you would not have interrupted my evening meal, which I was, until now, enjoying.  I want a full senate meeting first thing in the morning.  I require the Proconsul and the Tal Shiar's presence as well.  You are dismissed."

He nodded, turned and swiftly departed.  She watched, as he seemed to flee.  Yes, she thought, Ka'lin J'Way would make an excellent Praetor or Proconsul.  She had watched her grow and take command of the fleet.  J’Way had been brought to her attention while in attendance at the Romulan Military Academy.  It had been her straight forwardness that had thrown most all her instructors off from her potential; it was not like a hybrid to embrace the empire with both arms as Ka’lin had done.  This had not been lost on the Empress.

Perhaps this would be the way of things to come.  New blood and new ideas, thought the Empress as she smiled and relaxed back into her chair.

The Romulan Star Empire would be perfect.

 


They would give the Romulan Star Empire a chance to acknowledge their loss, having anticipated the Empress would not take the news at face value.  One hundred ships of the rebel fleet stood in a one-light year zone they had deemed neutral.  They were cloaked and not available to the eye, but they were there.  Another three hundred-ship contingent was stationed around Earth and the old Mars Settlement.  All waited for the Romulan scout ships to insure there were no hostilities as the Romulans had promised.  The three Romulan scout ships had passed a marker placed just outside of Mars sector.  They would be within Earth's orbit in the next few hours and the Empress would soon receive confirmation.

"What if she will not negotiate?"  Captain Will Riker asked.

"What other choices does she have?  We have spent several centuries building our fleet.  We out number them in both strength and size."  A smile played on the Admiral's lips and in his eyes.  He picked up his baseball; a family heirloom passed down to him, and rolled it around in his large hand.  "Even if the Empress could, she would never be able to get enough of her fleet into this zone in time to afford us anymore than a skirmish.  We have successfully split up her fleet."

"Have we heard from Commander Yar?"  Riker asked eyeing the admiral as he continued to play with what Will thought was a toy.

"No, but I anticipate that she will report in anytime now.  I'm sure she has made her connections and will be holding up part of the Empress's fleet as planned."  He answered, setting the ball down on its pedestal, then leaned back comfortably in his chair.  He looked at the blue‑eyed captain with assurance.  His dark face well seasoned from his years of experience as a rebel leader.  Admiral Sisko needed the younger captain to keep his own mask of leadership in place.

"Well, you'll let me know when you hear something?"  Riker asked standing up from his seat in the Admiral's ready room.

"You'll be the first.  I assure you."  He bass voice informed, "Oh and Will.  It is not a toy."  His gaze moved knowingly from the captain to the baseball that sat at the front of his desk, and for the briefest of moment his brown eyes boasted a sparkle.

It's significance to the Admiral registered effectively on the young captain.

 


This was not part of the plan.  At no time did she figure her parents would be used as bait.  Anik had lived without her parents for quite some time, and having glimpsed them on the view screen she was not about to take this risk.  Her arrogance and humanity was now sufficiently challenged.  She needed to hear the warning klaxons now, as she stood toe to toe with the small but swarthy Romulan commander.

"Commander!  Three birds of prey have just de-cloaked off our port bow!  Their weapons are powered up!"  Came the answer to her prayers.  But before the red alert klaxons could scream a welcome relief, Anik took hold of J’Way as their forms shimmered from the deck of the war-bird.

"I am not done with you."  Ka'lin spat not yet realizing she had been transported.

"And I am not done with you."  The taller woman retorted, her expression no longer one of worry.  She looked around the command deck of the ship where they now stood.  "Commander Yar.  It is about time."  Anik spoke as her eyes found who she was looking for.  "What took you so long?"

Commander Ka'lin J'Way also looked around in shock, wondering what had happened.  This was not her command deck.  These were not her people.

"You know the Klingons as well as I.  At best they are quite difficult to work with even when they are on our side."  The shorthaired woman responded then smiled, "I am glad to see you too, Captain."  She stood and stepped aside making a gesture toward the Captain’s chair.

Ka'lin looked at the woman standing next to her.  The shock of her situation showed through her command mask.  "Captain?"  She questioned as the gravity of her circumstances started to balance in her mind.  The confusion on her face turned to recognition.

"I am Captain Anik Hansen of the Rebel fleet.  We are now on‑board my ship, The Raven."  She explained, her eyes showing a steely blue, and then ordered, "Take her to the brig!  I believe we have part of the Romulan fleet to detain."

A security officer stepped up to the small woman and took hold of her arm.  J’Way jerked it away.  "Take your hands off me."  She barked only to have the officer take hold more securely.

"Ensign, try to get her there without damaging her in any way."  Captain Hansen remarked, "Otherwise I will confine you to a cell next to her."

"Aye, Captain."  He responded using a little more muscle to remove the struggling Romulan from the command deck.

"Ensign." Captain Hansen called after them.  "Replicate for the commander a pair of comfortable shoes then bring her boots back to me at once.  They will no longer serve her any useful purpose."

With a questioning look on his face, he nodded as the doors of the turbo lift closed.


Empress M’jel was anything but happy.  The information she had received back verified the rebel overthrow of Earth.  The Chairman of the Tal Shiar had brought with him news of the attack on the part of the Romulan fleet under Commander Ka'lin J'Way's command.  The Klingons had imposed an assault, crippling any quick return of that portion of her fleet.

Additionally the news of Commander J'Way's disappearance greatly distressed the Empress.  It was unknown as to her exact whereabouts.  Once these other matters were attended to she resolved to find her commander. 

Returning her thoughts to the Neutral Area, where the rebels waited, was light years from Romulus, Remus and her crippled ships.  The rebel plan had become a reality right beneath their very noses, something the Empress could not fathom.

"What do we know of their fleet?"  She questioned her Praetor.

"Very little I’m afraid," he answered.

"How did this happen?"  She yelled, pounding the table in front of her, causing all eyes to dart in her direction.

A tall male stood up from the long table.  He was nothing more than an old man, but he recognized the opportunity when he saw it.  He cleared his throat and spoke, "Empress, if I may?"

"Senator Spock, you have something to share?"  She questioned.

"I believe I have a way of making the rebel situation tolerable."

Her curiosity peaked she quirked an eyebrow granting permission to him as all heads turned to the older Romulan.

"The rebels maintain they have 18,000 of our brethren as well as our ships.  Albeit, it is an extremely small segment of our population, we still need to bring them home.  We need to accept that we have failed in keeping what our ancestors bequeathed to us, understanding that blood shed will not right this error in our judgment."

"Failed is not a word that I want to hear, Senator Spock."  The Empress groused.

"Nor I, but logic dictates that it is so.  I have failed the senate by not staying more aggressively involved in our Terran affairs.  We, the Senate, have failed you by discounting your earlier views on how to govern Earth.  And now we, as a government, need to recover quickly, having learned from this unfortunate occurrence.  We must move forward in a positive manner for the sake of our own people." He concluded.

The murmurs around the table held both disdain for the older senator and awe for his bravery at having spoken.  The Empress quieted them by pounding again on the table.  "Quiet!"  She spoke; her voice echoing through the great hall then she turned her attention, once again, back to the older man.  "How do you suggest we go about this?"

"I will meet with this rebel government, first to gain back our ships, then I will negotiate for our people.  I am sure that there are Terrans here on Romulus and Remus who wish to leave.  I would like to see defections kept minimal."

"We cannot afford to lose any technological advantage because of this," she challenged.

"The hybrid population is not negotiable, Empress.  I believe that is where the difference will lie.  I feel strongly that the days of intolerance toward those who are partially of our own extract is over and we should move on to the more inherent problems here on Romulus and on Remus."

She shook her head in agreement as she rested in her chair.  Her eyes searched the grey ones of the noble senator and found nothing but a truth she could not escape.  This one would remain a part of her new government, perhaps an integral part.  He shows faith in his heritage and honor in his courage to face me, she thought, with what he believes.  "When will you leave?"  She asked.

"If it pleases you, I will embark today, the sooner the better."

"You have my leave.  I shall forward notification that you are to have full use of the privileges of my vessel."  She ordered.

"Live long with honor."  He replied as he stepped away from his chair and made his way through the great hall.

"As with you."  She replied more to herself as she watched him depart.  Then she focused her attention back on the remaining.  She was not happy and the men who sat before her no longer served her any useful purpose.  “Praetor…” she began, the intent of dismissal in her voice.  The great hall’s silence loomed hopelessly around them all. 

 


Her ready room was spartan.  Her length of service shown in what few trophies she harboured.  Her recent acquisition, a pair of tall black leather boots sat off to the side of her desk.  The trim on her furnishings bore an eerie green against the chrome.  A single solitary plant sat illuminated behind her.  It was the command red of her uniform and her bright blue eyes that offered the only contrast.

"Enter."  Captain Anik Hansen ordered hearing the chime to her ready room.  She looked up from her computer terminal to see the lovely face of her second in command, Tasha Yar.

"Captain, I have your status report."  The commander spoke.

The captain accepted the small handheld computer from her commander and motioned for her to sit.

"Were we able to download anything from their databanks?"  She inquired.

"We got all their tactical and medical data before the Romulans managed to get their shields up."

"Good."  Anik replied as she entered something into her computer, "What else?"

"The Klingons have informed us that the Romulan vessels will not be leaving their territory for several weeks.  It would appear that they sustained a fair amount of damage to their fleet."

"Any casualties?"  The captain prompted seemingly paying greater attention to her screen than the commander.

"None reported."

"From your tone of voice you think differently?"  Questioning Anik looked up.

"The Klingons do have a brutal tendency, Captain."  Her commander reminded.

"Yes they do, but we shall have to take their word this time.  We need to get back across the Neutral Area."

"The Romulan warp signatures we have encountered are days old."

"So, we're not in the clear, yet."  Anik replied.  "What else?"

"What of the Romulan commander?  She is most uncooperative."

"That could change."  The captain spoke.  She smiled and turned the computer screen toward Yar.  "Ka'lin Janeway born to Edwin & Gret Janeway.  Her father is Terran and her mother Romulan."  She declared.

"She is as she looks, Captain… a hybrid."  Yar spoke crisply.

"And you have a problem with this?"  Anik questioned raising one brow.

"I have several issues regarding our prisoner."  The commander spoke gently.

"And I am sure you are going to tell me."  Anik replied with a smirk.

"We kidnapped the head of the Romulan Fleet, Captain.  It was not part of the plan.  She is also a Romulan hybrid.  They will come looking for her."

"Her grandmother and grandfather were taken from Mars Settlement."

The commander wrinkled her brow as she thought about the captain's last statement, and then replied, "So what you're saying is that she is not a pure hybrid."

Anik nodded in agreement, then added, "A pure Romulan hybrid… the perfect hybrid goes back at least three generations."

"How do you suppose?"  Yar asked.

"That she got to her current status?"  The captain finished with a twinkle in her eye.  She tapped her keyboard and they watched the information run across her computer screen.

"Her mother was the daughter of the Romulan Praetor, how interesting."  Yar read aloud.

"I just have to find the Terran within her that is lost."  Anik stated as she stood, looking out the view port of her ready room.

"Captain.  She is half Romulan.  She was raised Romulan."

Anik whirled around.  "What would be the alternative, commander?  Give her back?"  Her blue eyes steeled meeting her commander's gaze until the commander looked away.

Ending this line of their conversation Anik asked, "Will I presume we have finished the status report?"  Her command mask now well back in place.

"Yes."  The commander replied then exited the captain's ready room quickly as she quietly wondered why the captain of The Raven had such a keen interest in the woman who sat in their brig.

 


She leaned back in her captain's chair.  Her commander's concerns had been noted.  She turned and looked at the boots sitting on her desk and considered her irrational act of taking them from the Romulan… from the Terran, she corrected herself.  Reaching out, she stroked the fine leather as her thoughts of the small scabrous woman filled her thoughts.

Why does she captivate me so, she wondered.  She sighed, remembering the look in this woman's eyes as they had stood in the Romulan brig earlier.  What had she seen in them, was it compassion? She questioned, No, not compassion.  The bruise on her back reminded her differently.  Perhaps I glimpsed loneliness or a longing of some kind.  Then her mind snapped back to what she had read on her view screen.  J’Way’s grandparents had been taken from Mars Settlement.  Another idea sprung from within.  She jumped from her chair, adjusted her uniform and walked out onto her command deck.  "Ensign, hail Admiral Sisko."  She ordered, taking her seat.

"I have the admiral, Captain."  The young Ensign informed.

"Put him through."  She replied her eyes going to the large view screen in front of her.

The older man appeared on screen.  He commandingly sat behind a desk, rotating a baseball in his hand.

"Admiral Sisko, I am sorry if I have interrupted you."  Anik spoke.

"It is a pleasure to see you, Captain Hansen.  I trust you escaped without any undue harm?"  He asked.

"I am well, Admiral.  I was treated acceptably… considering the circumstances."

"You look no worse for the wear.  Now, what is it that I can do for you?"  He asked.

"Admiral Sisko, I did not come away from the Romulan fleet empty handed."  She edged into the conversation.

Hearing her statement, he frowned.  He leaned forward and placed the baseball down out of sight.  Hesitatingly, he asked, "What is it that you have?"

"Who, sir… I have taken the Romulan fleet's commanding officer, Sir."  Her eyes did not leave his gaze.  "She is now a guest of this ship's brig, Sir."

"I see."  The admiral responded.  His face was unreadable.  "To what do we owe this boon?"

"The reason, perhaps was not sound at that time.  But I have since learned otherwise."  She stepped lightly.

"Captain Hansen, what is it… exactly… that you need?"

"I need your permission to look at the sealed files on Tomas and Mary Janeway of Mars Colony."

"What have they to do with your guest?"  He questioned.

Anik paused to emphasize the importance her next words.  "They are her grandmother and grandfather."

He raised his eyebrows at her answer now knowing what she had. "I don't know what it is that you think you are doing, Captain.  And I hope that I am not going to regret it, but I am going to trust your judgment in this."  He stated, "I will have the files sealed with your command encryption and you will then see me immediately upon your arrival.  Understood?"

"Aye, Admiral."

"Until then."  His bass voice rumbled as the view screen turned black before her.

All eyes of those on deck were looking at her.  She knew they questioned her motives.  But she was their captain.  And she knew she had made a sound humane decision.  It had to be.  It was a decision that she would live with for the rest of her life.

 


“Senator Spock, I simply do not know what to tell you.  We do not have this Commander J’Way in our midst.”  Admiral Sisko spoke, his command mask well in place and the truth well hidden behind it.

“She disappeared from the command deck of her ship at the same time as the rebel woman.”  Senator Spock explained again, “logic dictates that it was the same transporter beam, Admiral.”

“Granted, it was our ship that transported our captain off your vessel, Sisko replied, “but we did not take your commander.  What purpose would that have served?"

“Then perhaps we need to speak with the Klingons?”

“I will put some of my people to the task of finding out any information that I can.”  Sisko advised, “But I must tell you that when your government confronts the Klingons it need be careful… if you hope to get her back alive.  They don’t seem to be the most…diplomatic species, as you well know.”

Spock listened to what the admiral said understanding that the rebel had washed his hands of the situation.  He replied, “I would appreciate your efforts, Admiral Sisko.  But before you do that, I believe there is someone with whom you should speak to perhaps hasten your efforts.”

“And that being?”

“The commander’s parents were aboard the last transport from the empire.  They wish to find their daughter.”  Spock explained.

“I see.  Where are they now?”

“Waiting outside to speak with you.”

Admiral Benjamin Sisko nodded his head, steepling his fingers as he pondered this dilemma.  He finally spoke as he reached across his desk and picked up the baseball, “Show them in.”

Spock escorted the couple and another much older man in then departed.  A much older man, whom the admiral recognized immediately, had accompanied them.  He stood from behind his desk and shook their hands as the introductions were made.  “Please, sit.”  He offered, motioning to the chairs in front of his desk.

“You are surprised to see a Romulan leaving her home world, Admiral?” the woman asked having noted the look on his face as they shook hands.

“Yes, I guess I am a little.” He answered kindly as he took in the older woman’s face.  The square lines of her face, and the short boxy haircut did nothing to detract from her aged beauty.

“I knew that when I fell in love with this man,” she said looking at the gentleman next to her, “one day I would leave my world for his and that time has come.”  She reached out and took his hand in hers.  Her husband smiled back with all the assurance of a lifetime written in his eyes.

“Well, I’d like to make this transition for you as smooth as possible, Mr. and Mrs. Janeway.”  The admiral smiled at the couple in front of him.

“A smooth transition to us, Admiral, would also include our daughter, Kathryn.  However, since she is missing in action we were in hopes that there would be something you could do to help us to locate her,” the man asserted smoothly.

“I’m sure I could look into this for you.”  Sisko replied, his face unreadable.  He felt the eyes of the older gentlemen on him.  He knew this man.  He knew him well.  He remembered being pulled from his fighter as flames engulfed it.  It had been his first real mission many years ago.  This man had saved his life.  Admiral Sisko quickly amended his statement, “I will personally look into your daughter’s disappearance myself.”  He assured this without hesitation.

“In that case, Admiral, I believe these belong to you.”  The younger of Sisko’s gentlemen guests leaned forward and handed the admiral a handheld device.  How the younger man had managed to get this off the Romulan home world was of no concern to him.  All that really mattered is that he had. 

 


Having received the sealed files from Admiral Sisko, Captain Anik Hansen finished reading them, but she kept coming back to them drawn by the eyes of the child in a picture.  She leaned back in her chair and sighed, wondering how she could reach the still very angry grown woman in her brig.  The Romulan commander’s grandparents had been operatives sent to Romulus to keep track of the Terran population.  They had one son, Edwin.  Once he graduated from the Star Empire’s Academe his father enlisted him to carry on the mission.  Edwin Janeway worked like all other Terrans, but unlike many, fell in love and married a Romulan woman.

Gret Janeway was born into a Romulan family with high social standing, her father being Praetor.   The social status of the one family carried over to the most honorable J’Way family.  A year into their marriage a daughter was born.  With her mother’s standing in the empire and her features only hinting of her mud colored blood, Ka’lin J’Way had gained access to the Star Empire in all its greatness and honor.

Anik downloaded part of the file into a handheld device.  She snapped off her terminal and stood adjusting her uniform then headed for the brig.  She knew exactly how to reach the auburn haired woman, now.

 


The negotiations were rapidly coming to a close.  There were only two more days of tense, but peaceful exchange scheduled and then the Neutral Area would become the dividing line.

Admiral Sisko scratched his goatee in irritation, leaning forward to press a button on a communications panel.  “Hail The Raven,” he ordered firmly, “Inform the captain that she is required here in the Neutral Area immediately.  She is to report to me upon her arrival.”  He flipped off the button and leaned back.

He had served under the older man who had been sitting opposite him earlier.  He would not disappoint him under any circumstances.  The Janeway family would be welcomed back by both the rebel government and military.  The lists of names that they had provided would take the negotiations to another level.  It was his intention to bring back as many of those names as the most honorable Romulan senator would allow, including the parents of The Raven’s young captain.

Sisko smiled knowing the presence of the young captain’s parents would be his trump card in getting the Romulan commander off her ship if need be.  The Raven was at least four days away at low warp.  Of course a reasonable captain did not command The Raven, but still he had time to negotiate.

 


“What have you done?” the Romulan commander growled as Anik ordered the force field off and walked toward the woman in her brig.  Their gazes locked.  “You should have left me with my fleet.”

“I could not do that.”  Anik whispered.

“I need to get back!”  Ka’lin hissed and moved toward the captain. 

The guard posted at the brig door drew his phaser and leveled it taking a step in their direction.  Anik, feeling his movement, looked back over her shoulder casting her eyes on him intently.  He stopped his advance, and after reading her glare, holstered the phaser.  She turned her attention back at Ka’lin.

“I want to help you,” Anik started, “But I need to understand why you choose to ignore your Terran blood.”

“No! I’ll tell you what it is.  You can’t understand what it is to be Romulan!” the smaller woman snapped.

“You are correct.  I cannot, but I can imagine.”  Anik spoke kindly.  She looked at the dull metal gray eyes and sensed life behind them.  She took a step and entered the woman’s personal space, walking closely around her.  Wishing to not appear aggressive, she clasped her hands behind her back.  “You were a part of the Romulan Star Empire.  Because of your strong beliefs you were able to bring great honor to your world, to your home, and to your family.  You were highly recognized, rewarded and in return, given the distinction of commanding its fleet. ”  Her words, her tone, her closeness caught the auburn haired woman, striking a long forgotten need deep within.

“You have been taken from that.”  Anik conveyed again tenderly.

“I am nothing if I am not a Romulan.” Ka’lin hissed her voice colored by more than anger.  The older woman sighed as if in regret.

“That is unacceptable.”  Anik replied, seeing a touch of what?  Pain perhaps?  She searched the Romulan’s face and for the first time she looked upon its beauty.

“I need to go back!”  Ka’lin spoke, her voice rising as she squeezed her eyes shut.  Not wanting this woman within her grasp.  Wanting only to get away.

“I will not give you back to the empire.  And, you are not alone.  You are part human.  You are a part of us.  We may be Terran, but we live and work together just like the empire.”  Anik spoke slowly, reaching out and touching the woman’s face; softly she pulled it toward her, the blue and the gray of their eyes meeting.  Why have I reached out to this woman?  She thought to herself.  And why has she not pulled away?

Ka’lin felt the effects of the captain’s words.  The eye contact between them caused her deep need to surface giving her something to cling to.  “It’s not enough,” she answered, offering almost a plea.  The hand on her face felt right regardless of her mind’s warning.  She did not pull back.  Why has she touched me?  Why have allowed this?

“It will have to do.”  Anik answered in her command voice, then softened.  “The fact of the matter is you will be needed.”

It was the steadfast face of the Romulan commander that met her remark.  Then J’Way’s eyes darted away.  “I won’t live this way.  I can’t be human.  You’ve left me stranded.  I am alone.”  Ka’lin’s voice was almost a shell of what it had been when in command.

“You are not alone.  I will help you.”  Anik responded knowing she was reaching her, touching something.  She was not willing to lose this first battle.

“If that were true you wouldn’t do this.  You need to take me back to my ship.”

“You are with your own kind.”

She ached with need.  What is this that I feel because of this woman?  She thought as the feelings within her throbbed, causing her blood to heat.  Only the reward of Romulan honor had ever caused her blood to boil before.

Anik walked away from her to the brig control panel and picked up a handheld computer padd.  She brought it back and handed it to her.  “Do you remember her?” she asked as the display the woman held showed the image of a smiling red haired girl.  “Her name is Ka’lin Janeway.

“What is this?!”  Ka’lin hissed as she looked from the padd in her hand to the woman.

“I have some arrangements to tend to.”  Looking at the confused and seemingly lost woman, Anik suggested. “Perhaps you would be more comfortable in your own quarters?”

“I will betray you,” the voice of a commander spoke.  The look on her face showed a hint of betrayal, but it also revealed something else.

Anik pondered the Hybrid’s words but assured, “I believe I shall not allow you that opportunity.  However, I will have you moved to your own quarters.  You are a guest on my ship, not a prisoner.”

“You will regret it.”

“No… No I shall not.” the young blonde captain replied with certainty, “If anything was betrayed it would be the commander’s honor by a captain’s humanity.”  Captain Anik Hansen stopped at the doorway.  She looked back at the auburn haired woman whom now looked a little less Romulan for some indefinable reason.  There was a humanity to her, a woman beautiful in her own right.  It was there and she saw it.  Warmed by the sight she turned and left the brig.

 


The Raven dropped out of warp as it neared the neutral area.  The ships on screen, both Romulan and rebel, floated alongside each other as if in harmony.  It was a momentary illusion.

Captain Anik Hansen immediately transported to the Admiral’s ship.  It was his deep voice that granted her permission to enter his ready room.  If the gentlemen who sat with the admiral surprised her, she did not show it.

“Admiral Sisko.” she spoke in recognition.

“Captain Hansen,” the admiral announced her, “I’d like you to meet Retired Admiral Janeway and his son, Edwin Janeway.”

The smile he shared with her seemed one of triumph.  She extended her hand to greet both men.  Her mask was still in place.

“Please, Captain, have a seat.”  Sisko pointed to the only empty chair.  She sat, although she really would have preferred to stand.

“Captain Hansen is it?”  The retired admiral asked, “I believe I know a Magnus Hansen.”

“My father’s name is Magnus.  Perhaps they are one and the same.” she replied evenly.

“Perhaps, and perhaps you will see him soon.”  The older man spoke, “As I hope to see my granddaughter soon.”

Anik’s eyes darted between the two admirals.  Her commanding officer returned her gaze and nodded his head.  She sighed knowingly.

“No disrespect, Admiral Janeway, but I kidnapped your granddaughter.”  The young captain admitted.

“Not without a fight, I suspect.” the older man replied as he quirked his brow.

“You are correct.”

“She is a proud Romulan, Captain, how did you manage to take her without her permission?”

“I knew that I was going to be transported from her ship.  I… grabbed hold of her just before this occurred.”

“I see.” he answered.  He hesitated then asked, “Why?  For what purpose did you take her, Captain?”

“I was drawn to her humanness, I could not let her remain on the Romulan ship.”  Anik admitted part of the truth.  The rest of the truth was hers only.

“Very brave of you.” He laughed. “Very crazy, but very brave.”

“So I guess we owe you a debt of gratitude.  If it had not been for your impulsiveness, we would probably never see her again.” the younger Janeway spoke up.

“She… she is not happy.”  Anik informed.

“She’ll get over it.”  The older Janeway retorted.  “Her mother will show her the way.”

“I have told her that I would be willing to help in anyway possible.”

“Perhaps in time she will come to understand that.  If I know my daughter, I’m quite sure her pride has gotten in her way.  I believe her word for it is honor.  When can we see her?”  Her father asked.

“I will be transporting back to my ship as soon as we have finished here, you may accompany me if you would like.”  Anik informed.

“Perhaps you would be willing to transport the Janeways back to Earth, Captain?”  Admiral Sisko spoke up having listened quietly through the entire exchange.

She did not yet want to give up the woman on her ship.  She was not ready to admit that her infatuation was beyond protocol or duty.   She gauged the look on the admiral’s face.  Of course it did not waiver.  She replied, “I believe it can be arranged… Sir.”

“It will be an honor to get back to Earth in one of our rebel best!”  The retired admiral smiled.

“It would be an… honor and a privilege to have you aboard, Sir.”  She replied as they all stood.  She shook his hand knowing that if nothing else he could possibly be a bridge across the gulf that divided herself and his granddaughter.

 


“Lieutenant, take us out of here.”  Captain Hansen commanded, “Set a course for Earth.”

“Aye, Captain.” he acknowledged, hands moving across helm controls.

She watched the view screen as her ship moved away from the other vessels.  She recognized the shrinking sight for what it had been and would be no more after tomorrow, a momentary illusion of peace.  Her ship gracefully moved across the starscape as it turned toward Earth and jumped to warp 5.  They were finally headed home.

In her mind she reviewed the last days.  She had taken a Romulan commander from her ship, but more than that, from her people.  Again she contemplated the reasons for doing such an impetuous thing, but was it impetuous?  She had spent many evenings after her duty shift engaging, encouraging and arguing with the swarthy woman leaving herself spent, and no closer to understanding why the woman clung to her Romulan heritage.  She had allowed the woman a small amount of freedom on her ship but always attended by security.

Ka’lin had not betrayed her as she had threatened, but had remained defensive until they had reached the Neutral Area where they had picked up unexpected passengers bound for Earth.  They had been special passengers who helped turn the tide for the lonely, distrustful Romulan hybrid.  Anik had watched the familial exchange between parents and child, watching as the defiance drained from Ka’lin’s heart.

The admiral had ordered her to transport two more Terrans back to Earth.  It had annoyed her at first because The Raven was a Scout type ship, not a Valiant that could handle such accommodations.  He had insisted that she greet these people personally, saying it was the very least she could do as captain.  Her ire had accompanied her to the transporter room.  She had watched as the transporter materialized two people.  Although she did not truly see for her thoughts were elsewhere.  It was not until she heard her name being called that she in fact saw who it was.  After the kisses, the hugs and the tears, she escorted her parents to guest quarters promising to join them again later, but that was several days ago.

Anik stood from her command chair.  “Commander Yar.  You have command.”

“Aye, Captain.  Have a good evening.” the young commander replied, standing to take the captain’s vacated seat.

She left and proceeded to her quarters.  Though she wanted to visit the Romulan woman who was taking up most of her thoughts, Ka’lin was with her family so Anik would not disrespect the woman’s privacy.  Determined to find a way to keep the woman out of her mind, the captain decided tonight would be just for her, if only for a little while.  She would regenerate and think of what the future held for her.  Thoughts of her parents came to mind and of the relationship she could have with them now, but not tonight.  Again she asserted, tonight was for her.

Upon entering her quarters, she quickly drew herself a bath adding bubbles and salts then relaxed into its warmth.  But try as she might, her thoughts came back to the feisty hybrid woman and she felt her body react.  She smiled, understanding the message.  Only she chose to ignore it for now, as she slid down into the bubbles. 

But as Anik ran her wet hand across her shoulder, her arm grazed a responsive nipple sending a pulse rippling through her.  She shuddered, exhaling slowly and closed her eyes.  In her mind’s eye she saw gray eyes deepening to a blue.  Unasked, her hands languidly caressed her breasts.  Slowly, she circled the now extended nipples.  She took them between her thumbs and fingertips massaging until the rest of her body begged to be touched.  The bath water rippled with the increase of movement, and in her mind’s eye she was stepping up to the smaller woman, laying her hand on Ka’lin’s face gently feeling the soft skin beneath.  The vision and her fingers’ motions charged through her.  In her mind, her hand caressed Ka’lin’s face and drew it close to her own.  Blue eyes searched grayish eyes as she moved to meet her lips.  Anik’s hand responded to the vision one hand slid down into the bubbly water, sliding down to where she undeniably ached.  She slid fingers between her folds, arching into them and inhaling deeply.  Exhaling only to begin again.  Picturing the elegance of the moment Anik kissed the lips gently, until she felt the woman’s response then deepened it wanting more... needing more.  Fingers slid fluidly along, intensifying her ache, her breasts breaking the plane of the water as her breathing heightened.  Her mind began to meld her quickening into the vision.

Anik pulled the woman toward her, until they lie down, the Romulan’s knee sliding up between her legs.  The pressure increased as Anik closed her eyes and lost herself to the vision, lost herself to what she truly wanted, and the nearness of her orgasm rippled through her.  Sensing this the smaller woman increased her demands, her breath ragged against Anik’s skin as her lips sought out the younger woman’s breast.  She flicked her tongue across the rigid nipple.  Anik’s shook and tensed, her vision rushing her to the edge, the water spilling beyond the confines of the tub echoing her internal rush.  She felt lips encircled her nipple and… 

The chime to her outer door sounded.  Like some punitive psychological experiment Anik wondered if she had heard correctly.  Perhaps she was hearing things in her state, but the chime sounded again.  She let out a growl in great frustration as the all too real world made itself known.

“Computer.  Inform my visitor that I will be a minute.”  Anik spoke as she shook off the remains of self-passion and pushed herself up out of the now cooling water.  She felt her center throb as she toweled off, then glanced at herself in the mirror and found a greatly annoyed woman looking back.  She reached for her blue silk robe and stalked into her living area tying the donned robe off, and shaking her long blonde hair out. “Enter,” she commanded.  The mask of command sat well in place.

Ka’lin took one step in and stopped.  Embarrassment pinked her cheeks, as the young captain tall and striking captured her gaze.  The robe, like a whisper, soft and delicate, told all that lay beneath.  Ka’lin had seen something in Anik’s expression as she entered these quarters.  What was it? She thought to herself.  But as quickly as she could have identified the look, Anik dropped a cloak down over it.  The security officer stepped up behind her.  

Anik looked beyond the woman and ordered, “Take a break, Ensign.  I will call you when she requires further assistance.”  She watched as he retreated, the door to her quarters sliding closed behind Ka’lin. 

“Commander?” she questioned resting her attention on the woman before her.

“I suppose that title is no longer fitting.”  Ka’lin replied dejectedly.

“Perhaps.”  Anik spoke.

Ka’lin suddenly felt that she had somehow intruded, there was a tension in the air she could not place, she offered. “I’m sorry if I have disturbed your evening.”

“You have not.”  Anik retorted, walking to the replicator, “I was about to prepare something to eat.  Would you be interested in joining me?”

Ka’lin hesitated, studying the figure that swept across the room.  She wondered whom she was dealing with, the woman or the captain.  One was certainly more disturbing than the other, she now understood.  The captain she had begun to understand, but the woman stirred something she hadn’t felt in years.  As a commander she had never been one to take great risks, but she was no longer that commander, she was no longer in search of the honor required of a Romulan.  It appeared that risk was all she had right now.  “I believe I would.”  Her voice, entreating.

A spark of hope hit Anik and she turned toward her guest. “Please… sit,” motioning the other woman toward her sofa,  “would you care for something to drink?”

Something strong Ka’lin thought to herself, “Whiskey…on the rocks, if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all.”  Quite human, I’d say, thought Anik a slight smile playing on her face.  With the drinks replicated she programmed the replicator again then walked back over to the woman now seated and handed her the glass.

Moments passed then the older woman took a sip and spoke, “I… I believe I owe you an apology, Captain Hansen.”

“Indeed?” the younger woman questioned quirking her brow, curious as to what brought this on.

“I’ve not made it very easy between us these last few weeks.  I had no idea.”

“Your apology is not accepted for it is not necessary.  You cannot be held accountable for your parents decision to keep your identity from you.”

“Somehow I think I should have known.”

“They worked very hard so that you would not.  They had a mission to accomplish and sought to limit all possible problems.”

“I was never a problem.”  Ka’lin replied defensively.  She was astounded that this young woman would be so presumptuous.

“I did not mean to infer that you were a problem.  I only meant they chose to handle the possibility of unforeseeable problems.”

The older woman was silent for a minute.  Ka’lin searched the ice in her glass for answers to questions she was sure she would never ask.  Anik did not push her further.  Finally the older woman spoke.  “I suppose I need to thank you also.”  Looking up she found the softest and bluest of eyes.

“Something you are not use to doing I assume, Commander?”  Anik asked with a grin.

Ka’lin caught that she was being teased and replied, “I am part Romulan, yes, but not obtuse… or inhuman.”

“Ka’lin, please don’t...” Anik started not yet realizing the jest.

“But you are right, Captain,” The hybrid smirked, “it is not… something I am use to.”

Anik rose from where she was sitting, seeing the woman’s tease.  Making her way to the replicator Anik announced.  “Dinner is ready.”  Placing the dinner on the table she offered another drink.

“I can get the drinks,” the Romulan answered, carrying her glass to the recycling unit.  “What will you have?”

“Nothing while I eat, thank you.”

Ka’lin replicated another whiskey then joined Anik.  She sat down taking in a magnificent aroma.  “Hmm smells wonderful!”

“Chicken Kiev, rice pilaf and asparagus with hollandaise sauce.  I hope that you will enjoy it.”

“I’m sure that I will!”  The smile she gave Anik was easy and oddly enough, familiar.

It was one of their first positive exchanges.  They talked lightly over dinner, both enjoying their meal too much to carry on a conversation.  After the last morsel disappeared from their plates Anik offered coffee, which the Romulan woman gladly accepted as they retired to the sofa.

“What will you do now?”  Anik asked setting her cup down.

“I haven’t really thought about it.  I suppose I’ll help get my parents settled.” She replied getting lost in her thoughts.

Anik studied the woman seeing the forlorn look that she held.  “You could apply for a military position.”

“Oh, I’m quite sure the rebel government is not going to turn me loose in one of their ships.”  She laughed as she sat her cup down.  “I doubt seriously they’ll risk betrayal.”

Looking into her cup, Anik quietly said, “Why not, I did.” Then the young woman looked up meeting the woman’s gaze evenly.

The compelling blue eyes captured Ka’lin and her heart sneaked an extra beat.  She was astounded at how quickly a look from this woman could sweep her up.  A week ago their relationship was antagonistic at best.  Perhaps her previous aversion of the young woman had masked her true feelings, and only now was she recognizing it as need.  She had wondered at one time how it would feel to be with her, but her command kept those thoughts distant.

“You did not betray me.” Anik’s voice called to her.

“No I didn’t.”  Ka’lin smiled gently, adding genuinely,  “and I am glad of that.”

Feeling the walls between them fall a bit too quickly for her comfort, Anik turned the conversation toward more practical matters, “I will put in a good word for you if you would like.  As I am sure your father’s and grandfather’s word will go quite far.”

Ka’lin took a deep breath recognizing the diversion, “I’m sure it would, but for now I believe I shall spend some time getting used to my change in environment.”

Anik again worried that she would lose contact with this woman and so reassured, “Well, I am here for you should you need.”  Adding,  “Ka’lin… I have… enjoyed our conversations of late.  They have been quite… philosophical.”

“To say the least!” the older woman laughed then turned somber again as she focused on Anik, “What of you?  What will you do now?”

“I am captain of this ship.”  Anik replied.

“Yes, you are that, but I’m speaking of the woman, not the captain.”

Anik searched Ka’lin’s face for what she thought her words meant.  She never dreamed they would be sitting here in her quarters talking, as if they had always been friends.  She found it easy to now trust this woman who held sincerity in her voice.  “I will spend some time with my parents before I get my next assignment.”

“I see… Perhaps then we’ll have time to talk again before that assignment?  I’d like for my family to get to know you.”  Then she chuckled, “You know, there aren’t many who have stood up to me so effectively.  I believe my parents are intrigued with that.”

Anik blushed answering, “I will make sure of that, but for now, would you care to share with me what it is like being a Romulan?”  Anik asked, wanting to keep the conversation going.  Wanting more from this woman now than she had weeks before.

“Only if you’ll share with me what it’s like being human.”  The smile Ka’lin displayed as she answered was beautiful to Anik.  She scooted back into the sofa finding comfort, stretching her arm out along its back edge.  Her hand could feel the heat rising from Anik’s shoulder beneath the exquisite blue silk robe.

Anik sensed the boldness in the once and future commander.  She tucked her feet up under her and insinuated herself into the sofa closing the gap between them.  Their faces greeting each other with warm smiles as one understood what the other might be thinking.  “Perhaps you require your boots to tell the story?”  Anik asked playfully.

Briefly she weighed a response.  Taking it as a playful challenge with possibilities, the small but still commanding woman replied huskily, “Only if you do.”  As she smiled at the young woman she remembered the first time she had seen her.  The cold blue eyes had been filled with hatred, but then later in the Raven’s brig compassion filled the same eyes as they held on to her.  It was a compassion that allowed, Ka’lin and her honor to remain intact, but it would seem that humanity was also now within her grasp.

 


 

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