WELCOME TO ROMULUS
By Richard Martin
Inner Ra'tleihfi, ch'Rihan (Romulus)
Intelligence College Student Block
Floor 1, Room 3.
"Computer end holographic record," Deletham Ra'tleihfi Llweii said sighing. The Federation's war with these, 'Sphere Builder' aliens in the Delphic Expanse was entertaining to watch, but also troubled him. The decision for the Romulan Empire to stay neutral was strategically sound as always, but there was something that felt wrong about it. There had not been a single protest against the preator's decision in the senate. Every one knew that Preator Lhaerrh was a good politician, but not even he was that good. Something was up. Deletham shook the thought from his mind as he got out of his chair. Such things should not be his concern, being only 18 earth years old. He preferred the human's age scale. It was... more liberal then it's tradional Rihannsu counterpart, and was a lot easier to use in his opinion.
"Computer what is the time?"
"The time is five dierhar and thirteen siures," the computer replied in it's genderless voice. Deletham preferred a genderless voice, unlike most of his friends at the intelligence college who had young female computer voices and they laughed at him for being the odd one out. But personally, Deletham thought that they were just big babies and needed a female-like voice to replace their mother's. Nnerhai, and Kakabam especially.
"Is Rhiana Ra'tleihfi Khnialmnae Llaiir still in the college's guest halls of residence?" He blushed as he said the fourth name. In Rihannsu, the fourth name is a private name only to be shared with close friends or lovers. Rhiana, (ruled by fire) was Deletham's betrothed, and neither of them were adverse to the match.
Deletham blushed again, more greenish bronze than before. Though he had no lessons for roughly another two dierhars, and was therefore free to go and meet her, he was unsure whether he should or not.
Teenage pregnancies were possible, but in Rihannsu society they were socially unacceptable, especially among houses in such noble standing as theirs. Most of the Romulan population didn't even know of their very existence, but standards still had to be maintained. "There is no separate rule of social law for those protecting the Romulan state," his father had told him once. And as always, there was an undeniable logic to his teaching, which Deletham understood. But he was also in love with Rhiana; that too was undeniable. Deletham sighed and checked his wrist chronometer (a device which humans called a watch), seeing there was 1 diehar, and 55 siures left until his first lesson. Plenty of time. Hurriedly he packed his work and reference PADDs into his compact backpack, along with a small bottle of water, and walked out of his room, feeling nervous but also happy.
"Computer deadlock all access points to my room, authorisation: Deletham-Omega-1912-Charlie-Lock".
The sound of pressure locks could be heard successively down the middle of the door. Deletham smiled as he walked through the hallway and down the corridor that lead to the turbolifts. Deadlocking his room was a little over the top, but if he was to become an intelligence officer, such things were a good habit to get into.
Intelligence College, Guest Hall of Residence.
They were happily betrothed, yes, but he was still nervous about being around her. Before she had left on her latest assignment, his mother had told him every male was nervous about meeting their partner before their marriage, and even for a short while afterwards. But it didn't help. Deletham stood outside Rhiana's guest room for two siures before plucking up the courage to ring the door chime. He pressed it again.
"Come in," came a sad, quiet voice from the room and the doors opened.
The sight that greeted him as he opened the door was not what he was expecting. Rhiana was curled up on the small two-seater sofa, like a wounded Setleth, her eye's red form crying. Quickly he dumped his bag on a nearby chair, went over and kneeled down next to his love. "Llaiir, what's wrong?" he asked taking her hands into his caringly. Seeing her like this made Deletham feel bad, he loved Rhiana and wanted her to be happy.
"They're dead, lai. They're both dead," she said before breaking fresh tears, burying her head into the nook of his shoulder.
"Who's dead, Lalaiir? Who's dead?"
There was a short pause before she managed to say through her muffled sobs, "Mummy and daddy".
"What?!" Deletham was shocked by what he had just heard. Rhiana didn't lie this seriously. She was adept to deceit like any Romulan, but not to the level of creating something like this. He could tell what she said was the truth. All he had to do was look into her eyes. Moving slowly and carefully, he manoeuvred himself so he was on the sofa, next to her, repositioning her head from his shoulder, which had started to hurt, into his lap.
He didn't ask her the question again straight away. She needed time; time to calm down before she did anything. One of the many pearls of wisdom his parents had given him, and another social grace lost on his floor mates. Deletham didn't care if it took deirhars, or even eisae. He had to be with her now. Deletham wanted to cry with her. He had lost more then just a pair of in-laws, but friends, family friends. But he knew he couldn't; he had to be a rock for his betrothed, his beloved. Despite the portrayal of Romulans as being cold, heartless, and calculating throughout the galaxy, the bond between family members was strong in Rihannsu society, almost on a par with that of Cardassians.
'S'LKaol and Dhael dead?' Deletham worried as he lovingly kissed the side of her forehead. 'That's...that's... not possible. 'Like mum and dad, they always come home, or at least make a subspace transmission. Why hasn't father told me? Both S'lKaol and Dhael worked for him, especially S'Lkaol. They're like brothers...' Deletham's train of thought was interrupted by Rhiana turning so her face was looking up into his, tears still streaking down her cheeks like a small trickle of the Rhynne (the river that ran through Ra'tleihfi and has always provided the water for the moat around the hill of the senate building since the ancient times). The white's of her eyes, themselves greenish bronze as a result of all her crying; the brown pupils looking into his eyes, looking for something, some reassurance to cling to. Silently she slipped her arms around his lower waist.
The siures past, as they just look at each other. After about a deirhar, a medium length, low pitched beep began to emanate from Deletham's backpack; the lesson 'bell' that all the students received on their timetable P.A.D.D. to tell them their lessons were about to begin within the next 2 siures. But Deletham ignored it; he wasn't going to lessons today. Not now.
"Aren't you going?" Rhiana asked him, her voice quiet.
"No. Your more important to me then any of those stupid lessons," Deletham replied, deciding to risk a small smile. He would be in trouble for missing lessons, but he was neither worried nor didn't care.
A second medium lengthed, low pitched beep came from his backpack, the professor's 'polite reminder' sent to late students absent from the start of lessons. Again he ignored it. Hopefully Professor Mavus already knew, and the reminder bleep was to confirm he was still in the college building, and where exactly inside it. Deletham hoped.
Rhiana, sat up, taking her head of his lap, and turned her head away from his to look at the computer terminal in front of them at the other side of the room; a sign she had begun to calm down. But still Deletham didn't ask her the question. "Lai," she said, her voice still sad and shaking, but also developing a kind of calm and serious undertone, "Promise me that you'll always come back."
Deletham sighed under his breath so Rhiana didn't here it, "I promise."
The door chime sounded. For a few seconds Deletham thought about denying them entry, but it occurred to him that it maybe an official, or his father coming to tell them personally what had happened, or rather confirm the terrible news, in which case they were needed to be seen.
"Come in," Rhiana called out, sinking her head back onto Deletham's shoulder, closing her eyes as a fresh set of tears began running down her cheeks.
The lady that burst into the room as soon as the doors opened wide enough for her to enter was of thirty-six earth years, tall (only just taller then both Deletham, and Rhiana, at 5ft 9 in human measurements), had an angular chin and an angry look on her face, the slight wrinkles of experience on her forehead reinforcing her anger. This was Professor Mavus (strong sister), and was Romulus's answer to either Margaret Thatcher (a historical figure from Earth's history) or a Klingon female from the House of Duras, Deletham could never figure out which. She always 'rounded up' her absentees personally.
"You, Deletham Ra'tleihfi Llweii are in deep trouble. Very deep trouble," Professor Mavus spat at him angrily.
Deletham's understanding and love for his Lalaiir turned into anger and hatred against the Professor, but he tried to stay calm and said indignantly but innocently, "Hello Professor, shouldn't you be teaching?" He then smiled at her sweetly while Rhiana tried, unsuccessfully, to suppress a giggle.
"Shut up Deletham, you little Setleth dropping. You're coming with me," Professor Mavus replied, her anger increased by Deletham's words as she grabbed him firmly by the left arm and pulled him off the sofa. Deletham's calm facade dropped, digging his left hand's nails into the skin of the under side of the Professor's arm, making her let go of the corresponding arm. Once his left hand was free, Deletham used it to grab the professor's left wrist, forcing her arm behind her back, pushing her against the wall. His right hand removed a type 6 personal disruptor from his pocket and placed the nozzle against her neck.
"I think, Professor Mavus, you need to remember who I am," Deletham replied, his voice seething with anger. "I'm the ira'Faelirh of the chairman of the Tal Shair, and my betrothed has had some very upsetting news. So I think you will realise that it's important for me to be with her at this difficult time, despite my lessons. You'll realize this, or you'll be having one permanent nightmare, understood?" Deletham, without another word, discharged the phaser and Professor Mavus fell to the floor, stunned.
"Sweet dreams professor."
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© Copyright 2009 - Richard Martin, Paramount Studios