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Idle Chit-Chat And Witless Prattle

Posted on Jul 04, 2017 @ 8:49pm by Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Jul 04, 2017 @ 8:49pm

Mission: The Romulan Way

"Idle Chitchat and witless prattle"

(cont. "from a distance")

* * *=(/\)=* * *

Location: Ki-Baratan, Romulus

Stardate: 2.14.0704.1636

Scene: Senate reception room

Kassandra was, ostensibly, talking to a gormless young female Senator named Ael Velal, whom Kassandra gathered had arrived at her appointment as a Senator though family ties, not through any real talent. Not that it could really be said that Kassandra did any talking. The young woman was fascinated with Human culture, and chattered on in a very un-Romulan stream of consciousness, barely allowing Kassandra to get a word in edgewise. Not that Kassandra had much to add, it was topics such as human fashion, music, and holovids which were not exactly something she paid much attention to.

“- And, like, I can’t imagine what it must be like to go to one of those fashion show things in Pa- well, not there, but Milan! We don’t have anything like that here. Fashion isn’t a thing, unless it’s military fashion, but we haven’t even changed our uniforms in like, forever. Starfleet just did, right? Because I totally don’t recognize those uniforms that you’re wearing right now.” Kassandra was about to politely respond that they had, indeed changed the uniforms, and joke that they hadn’t bothered to make them more comfortable, but the moment had passed and Ael was already on to a different topic. “And, why don’t you talk like the rest of them, anyway?”

Kassandra waited for her to move on, but the woman had stopped and was looking at Kassandra expectantly. Kassandra couldn’t help but uncharitably think to herself that it was a miracle the Senator had even noticed her accent, considering she hadn’t let Kassandra speak at all.

“On account a me bein’ from a colony. Ain’t from the core worlds, I’m from Sherman’s Planet, out by Klingon space.”

“And they didn’t teach you to speak properly?”

“Ah, ain’t like that. Language for us is naturally flexible, livin’ thing, and all that. Where we go it changes, an’ we’ll steal bits n’ pieces from other languages as we see fit. Sherman’s planet is perhaps a bit more drastic n’ most, since we have a fairly sizable population of disgraced Klingons livin’ there, so we picked up some linguistic tics from them. Though, got one of my Marines that don’t use any of the ad- words, you know, adverbs, adjectives, an’ such- since her colony world has real low oxygen, so their language evolved to be short n’ sweet.”

“Romulans would never allow something like that to happen,” Ael said, her tone somewhat shocked. “Allowing our culture to be diluted would be inconceivable, especially by our own people. I can understand imperfect recreations by some of the vassal races, but allowing your own people to subvert your language and way of life?”

“Don’t think we think about it as dilution, more like variations on a theme. Like cultural genetic diversity. An sometimes it keeps bits of culture that mighta died alive, for example, Sherman’s planet has a sizable population that worship Demeter, an ancient Earth goddess a’ the harvest. I dunno if it started out as ironical, us bein’ a grain producin’ planet, but now people do it in earnest, even though I think mosta us would agree there’s no gods.”

“And do *you* worship a god?”

“That’s a rather personal question-” Kassandra said sharply. The Senator’s face fell and Kassandra quickly rushed on. “But I ain’t one to stand on ceremony, like, so I don’t mind ya askin’ but you just might not wanna ask the others, yanno? Me? There was an old Earth sayin’ about no atheists in foxholes, that’s some sorta ancient Earth fortification, an’ I guess that holds true. Call it luck, call it a God, whatever, sometimes it does a heart good to believe that there’s somethin’ out there that’ll help you outta a tight spot if you beg hard enough. Marines, we’re more superstitious than most, I guess. Anu, Andraste, Odin, Mars, Menhit, Tumatauenga, Durga, Kali, St. Michael, I think I’ve seen them all worshipped in their own way before a battle.”

“And which one had you chosen?”

“Me? None of them, I went a different tack, I went with Guan Yin.” Kassandra felt sheepish talking about what amounted to an antiquated superstitious belief that she should have been able to put aside. “She ain’t a god a war, she’s a god a mercy an’ compassion. Figured that was more use ta me. I got the soldierin’ bit covered.”

“Oh. Romulans don’t have a religion, not with gods and stuff like you do. It’s something more similar to Earth Confucianism, you know, filial piety, honor, that adherence to structure and knowing your place is the way to greatness for the empire. Of course, it is really the only true religion, and Humans would benefit greatly from it, even though you’ll aren’t able to attain greatness because you are an inferior species, no offense, but your religions are so adorably, delightfully *quaint*! Anyway, I have just gotten my hands on some recordings of Earth music and-”

**I bet her obsession with earth pisses her parents off to no end. I bet by the time I leave she has her hair cut like me or one of the others. She’s either an idiot, or Tal Shiar.** Kassandra thought sourly, as she deftly maneuvered Ael to be closer to the front of the line where Captain Kane was walking with Senator Chevet. Kassandra turned subtly to indicate to Jasmine that she was checking to see if everything was alright on her end. Jasmine nodded slightly. Kassandra relaxed. Yu was remembering the layout of what they could see of their accommodations, and taking note of security procedures. Kass was… Well, Kass wasn’t doing much of anything at the moment. If things went well, then she wouldn’t do much of anything for the rest of this little trip. If things went tits up, well then, she’d be there to smash their way out.

For now, though, she consoled herself with guarding the Captain. If the Romulans were going to try something, it would probably start with Captain Kane. War hero, interfered with their plans for sweeping into Federation territory, yeah, they’d definitely go after him first.

* * *=(/\)=* * *

“Captain Thytos is remarkably patient woman,” Senator Chevet suddenly said, glancing off somewhere just out of Kane’s view. Kane blinked, not letting his surprise show on his face. The MCO could be described in many ways, but Kane was fairly certain that ‘patient’ was a word that had never been used in connection with the woman, unless the modifier ‘not very’ had come before it. “Senator Ael Velal is our newest, and youngest Senator. She’s from a very respected family…” Chevet let the implication of that hang in the air for a moment. “She young enough that her enthusiasm has not been tempered by the restraint of age, and that makes her somewhat trying. She is something of a ‘chatterbox,’ I believe your colloquialism is.”

“I’m sure the Captain doesn’t mind. Many of her Marines are of a similar age, she’s used to youthful enthusiasm,” Kane said politely, knowing well that he was probably lying through his teeth, but equally certain that the Marine was not going to do anything to embarrass them, though she may vent once they were safely out of earshot.

“Nonetheless, perhaps we should invite them over. It would at least make the poor Captain’s job of guarding you easier,” Chevet said lightly.

“She’s not guarding me, Senator. I assure you we have no reservations about your intentions-” Kane began to protest, but there was a sudden flurry of motion, and suddenly Kassandra was standing in front of Kane, her back pressed up against him. In front of her, Chevet stood with a cruelly hooked blade in hand resting against the Marine’s stomach. Kane felt the woman’s muscles tense, readying for a counter attack.

“No, Kassandra,” Kane said with authority. The use of her name had the desired effect of throwing her off balance, and she hesitated, before relaxing. She didn’t move either, and Kane resisted the temptation to pull away. It was unnerving to be in such close proximity to another person, he didn’t think he’d even touched another person since, when, Jane or Selyara? Kane became aware of the sudden silence from the rest of the party. The stillness seemed to stretch on forever, though it was probably only a second or two, he could feel the tension in Kassandra’s shoulders, see a bead of sweat trickle down the nape of her neck, and knew that if something didn’t happen soon, she might not be able to resist her instincts to fight back.

Chevet began to laugh, and he flipped the knife around and offered the pommel to Kassandra.

“I believe she might argue that point with you, Captain. My apologies, Captain Thytos, I’m afraid it was unkind of me to test you like that. I’ve not encountered Marines before, I understand they’re something like our Praetorians, and I couldn’t resist seeing how you compared. Please, accept this by way of apology.”

“Captain?” Kassandra’s voice was questioning. She still hadn’t moved from her position in front of him. Kane placed his hand on her shoulder and moved out from behind her.

“Go ahead, Captain. Senator, if you wanted a demonstration you should have asked, I’m sure the Captain would be more than pleased to oblige,” Kane said, keeping the reproof in his tone mild. Kassandra’s shoulder tensed under his hand, she was clearly not buying the Senator’s apology. Reluctantly she reached out and accepted the knife, bowing at the waist by way of thanks.

“I would be happy to demonstrate later. You might also be interested in seeing a demonstration by Mister Yu as well, as her style is much different than mine,” Kassandra’s voice was bright, but Kane knew her well enough to know it was forced and unwilling. There was the expected murmurs of agreement from the other Senators and the Crew. As Kassandra turned to rejoin Senator Ael, she whispered at Kane sotto voce out of the side of her mouth: “You know that thing is bugged, right?”

Kane was not terribly surprised.

* * *=(/\)=* * *

NRPG: Uhhh. So hopefully this is OK.

Alix Fowler


Kassandra Thytos

Fish out of water

USS Phoenix


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