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Many Moons Ago

Posted on Jul 09, 2017 @ 4:13am by Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Edited on on Jul 09, 2017 @ 4:13am

Mission: The Romulan Way

“Many Moons Ago”
(Continued from “Diplomatic Chatter in a Different Setting”)

=/\=

Location: Ki-Baratan, ROMULUS
SD: [2.17]0708.1545
Scene: Reception Area

=/\=

“How are you finding Romulus, Lieutenant?”

It was an innocent question, but was being asked by a venerable looking Senator who had worked his way around a business luncheon or two. Oloth was in his mid seventies, not the eldest of the group by any means, but his hair and groomed beard were pure white, a rare trait even among older Romulans.

The temperate climate had been a panacea to her Cardassian physiology, while the reason for their visit had her mind, both trained on military and psychological matters, still thinking and observing. The Apnex Sea sparkled like a liquid sapphire in the background, unaware of the history it was a witness to. “It is unique and beautiful.”

Senator Oloth was a specialist in Art and Culture, and one could tell he thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge base he had amassed. But he was far from pompous; he actually reminded Eve more of a teacher, like those at the Academy. And as much as she had wanted to discuss with a Senator of Medicine or Health the social and mental ramifications of a people who took pride at their domination in battle, this was the Senator she had been partnered with. However, he proved no less interesting. And he was certainly a few notches above the unnecessary knifeplay involving Kass, Kane, and Chevet.

“The tapestries are all original. Our scientists estimate them to be at least four hundred years old. The colors of the threads had faded with time, and the fibers themselves were deteriorating, but they were able to be fully restored with the work of artisans over a three year period.”

“What about the statues?” Eve found herself asking.

“Sadly, these you see here are reproductions. There are a few originals left from whence these were modeled after, but they are museum pieces. Most statuary was outside and open to the elements while tapestries and mosaics were kept, for the majority, in buildings or structures.”

The Counsellor touched the cool stone, feeling the waxy texture of the rock and the lines and grooves that embellished the design. “Were they made by hand, or machine?”

“Both. A three-dimensional modeler carved the basic image, and afterward someone added the fine details with special tools designed for that purpose.” He paused. “How much do you know about ROMULUS, Lieutenant?”

Eve smiled. “Very little, as if that weren’t obvious. A planet in the Beta Quadrant. Two moons, MEGARA and AMYCLAE-”

“Oh no, no,” Oloth corrected her. “Those were the names given to our moons by the early chartmakers. They picked names from Terran mythology, as they often did to be able to refer to them by name, rather than scientific nomenclature. Our moons are called PIREK and ELVRENG.”

“I think you just proved my point, Senator Oloth.”

He nodded and clasped his hands together with excitement. “I suppose I did. Now I must tell you the story.”

Eve looked at him quizzically. “The story of what?”

“The story of the great warrior Pirek and his beautiful daughter Elvreng. In the ancient times, when the Romulan people were merely known as Vulcans that had emigrated to another land, and had left the teachings of logic, survival was an imperative nobody could ignore. ROMULUS as you know it was not our first home. We began to settle planets back in the Fourth Century, this being only our final destination. The climate on these first worlds was harsh and unforgiving and the predators even more so. The most fearsome of these creatures was the Veruul,” he said in a dramatic, hallowed decrescendo.

“Some say the persecution of our people by the Veruul was our punishment for turning our backs on Surak’s ways. You see, these creatures existed on VULCAN as well, stalking their prey within the Womb of Fire on Vulcan’s Forge. It was said that never had a being or creature met with the Veruul and survived it.”

Eve pondered this. “But if no one had ever seen one before without dying, how did the new Romulans know what it was?” she asked mischievously.

Oloth gave her a stern, almost grandfatherly look, and continued his story. “The Veruul was a fearsome beast over forty meters long, and covered with thick, steely scales. One lash of its tail could destroy a small structure outright, and its fiery breath could turn a man or any lesser beast into charcoal. It sometimes maneuvered on gigantic wings, with speed impressive for a monster of that size.”

“A dragon,” Eve said matter-of-factly. “You’re describing a dragon.”

“Is it you or I who is telling this tale of woe?” Oloth asked, his eyes alight with some level of enjoyment.

Eve inclined her head, barely suppressing a smile. “I apologize. Please continue, Senator.”

“The people naturally found this quite a hardship. They looked for a direction in which to go. They prayed to the Elementals for guidance.”

“The Elementals? Are they Gods, or uh, were they Gods?”

“Ah, yes. They symbolize the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. In addition, they believed that an Archelement oversaw the others and helped maintain balance. Some of our people still espouse this Faith today.”

“Did the Elementals answer their pleas?”

“It did not seem that they were listening, and the settlers became disheartened. The leader of their group, Pirek, a mighty warrior, proposed that they become cave dwellers and craft spear-based weapons and crossbows by scuttling parts of some of the ships they had voyaged on. This protected them to an extent, but they were outnumbered. For every Veruul they conquered, more came to rain fire and mayhem upon them.”

“Wouldn’t they have had energy weapons of some kind to battle with?”

Oloth stroked his beard, eyes peering out from under his angled haircut. “Perhaps,” he admitted grudgingly. “But this story has been passed down from generation to generation, and that hasn’t been mentioned in the version I am privvy to. So, while Pirek and his men fought with all their might, his daughter, the beautiful and strong Elvreng, taught herself to fashion armor and shields from the scales of the animal, which furthered their cause. She eventually donned her own gear and fought the legion of Veruul with a crossbow, in order to help her maintain a safer distance. This strategy worked until one fateful day.”

“What happened?”

“That very day, they had all worked together, Pirek, Elvreng, and the group of fighters, to bring down a mighty beast, the largest they had ever seen. It was at least a third larger than the average. It was a boon to them as the scales they could harvest were larger as well. Elvreng wasted no time beginning to dispatch the body and gather the animal’s natural protective coat. But none of them had realized the gigantic Veruul was the male of a bonded pair.”

“Before the celebration of their victory had reached its climax, the female swooped in, enraged at the death of her mate. With all the fury of a devastated widow, she torched the sky and the surrounding area, and Elvreng was mortally wounded.” Oloth paused for effect, hardening his gaze and looking at Eve with sadness.

“Pirek fell to his knees at the death of his only daughter. But quickly, as the safety of the others became paramount, his sorrow became anger. He took his spear, called to them to regroup, and prepared to wage battle against the vengeful mate. He climbed the carcass of the fallen Veruul in order to gain a better vantage point. The female charged at him. He did not waver. As she came in for an attack, he jammed the spear into her neck, trying to twist the weapon and put an end to her. But she did not die. She rose into the sky, carrying the spear and the dangling form of Pirek with her as she tried to shake the pain and the unnatural appendage. He clung to the spear while flying wildly into the air, taking a knife that was strapped to his waist and attempting to finish the job, but the scales were too thick for such a meager weapon. The female began to weaken with the loss of blood, but Pirek’s arms gave out before her life was extinguished, and he tumbled hundreds of feet to his death. The female eventually followed with a heavy thud. They had succeeded, but their loss was great.”

“With their two heroes gone, what could they do?” Dalziel asked in a small voice.

“The only thing they knew how to; they retrieved the bodies of their fallen comrades, retreated to the caves and prayed for guidance. They once more begged the Elementals for a solution to their problem. Then, they tried to sleep, knowing the days that followed would be filled with the same quest, but two of their finest would no longer be joining them. Early the next morning, they were awakened with an intense rumbling of the ground and the sound of shifting rocks. They ran outside, fearing an earthquake, worried that the cave would collapse upon them. But that was not what was happening.”

“They looked up to see five seraphic beings floating in the air, partially translucent. Four of them formed a circle, and the last one was spaced equidistant from the others in the center. The one in the center was the only one who spoke. ‘I am the Archelement, and we have not ignored your cries. May the souls of Pirek and Elvreng forever guide your way. Their bravery has not gone unnoticed.’ The remaining settlers watched in awe as the bodies levitated and the ground shook with vigor, dirt and sand rising and beginning to envelop them. While their corporeal lives had ended, the Archelement and the Elementals transformed them from flesh and blood into earthen spheres and raised them up high into the firmament, turning them into moons, or as you might say, natural satellites looking down upon us. Then, somehow beyond science and explanation,” Oloth paused, making a face very much like a wink, “they travelled with us from that moment forward to our eventual home, where they remain to this day.”

“But what of the Veruul? Surely there were more left to terrorize the Romulan people?”

“Oh there were. But the Elementals, in their wisdom, had gifted us with the moons.”

“What could the moons do about the Veruul?”

“The moons, while made of earth, controlled the tides, which are water. This began to affect the fire-breathing monstrosities, changing their genetic structure, making them less predatory, less threatening, and unable to fly.”

“And so, the Romulan people survived,” Lieutenant Dalziel said with satisfaction.

“And thrived. But the Veruul still exists today. While still dangerous, it is now an amphibious creature much smaller than its predecessor and no longer breathes the fire that some say it was forged in. And all because of the sacrifices of Pirek and Elvreng.”

Eve grinned. “How many times have you told that story?”

He smiled widely, an odd expression for a Romulan. “Far too many to count. But each time I enjoy it that much more.”

“I do have a question though,” she said, making sure her braided bun had stayed above the collar of the back of her dress uniform jacket.

“Yes?”

“If the planet was so dangerous, why didn’t they just get back on their ships and go somewhere else to begin with?”

Oloth folded his arms. “You are a much more challenging listener than the younger ones that usually have the benefit of my company. Obviously, if that had happened, we wouldn’t have a tale of how our two moons came to be. And, furthermore, it’s the Romulan Way. To fight, to overcome. To destroy threats. To be victorious even in death.”

“Senator, do you think the Romulans can take compromise and find the victory in it? To overcome their nature to rule in favor of peace?”

“That remains to be seen,” he answered honestly. “We all know agreement among our ranks is not sure, so agreement with each other has some... obstacles also. But wouldn’t that be the most amazing story of all to tell our grandchildren?”

“That’s why we’re here,” Eve agreed.


=/\=
NRPG: Some of this material comes from Memory Alpha and Memory Beta as well as our own Wiki. The rest is from my imagination. I hope it was as much fun to read as it was to write.

Susan Ledbetter
Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Cns
USS PHOENIX

 

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