Down Below

Previously, on Star Trek: The Next Generation....

And now, the continuation....

Darwyn Carson as
"The Romulan Tal'Shiar Operative"
Minister Kijar of
the Romulan Finance Ministry
On Romulus, the death of a high-ranking Senator was no small matter. It would not go away quietly.

Especially not with the death of Senator T'Kora.  She'd served the Empire for over a hundred years and her sudden, tragic demise had everybody talking.  In addition to mourning the sudden, tragic loss of Senator Vreenak, all of Romulus now mourned T'Kora.

Well, not all of Romulus.  Commander N'Hara and Subcommander T'Sanne of the Tal'Shiar arrived her wake thirty minutes early clad in their best dress uniforms, determined to sip expensive kali-fel from dark glass flutes, indulge inane chit-chat with rival politicans, and make sure the old bat was dead.

"Look at them," T'Sanne murmured to her colleague.  "How many of them do you think are actually grieving?"

"The ones who benefited from her protection certainly," N'Hara snorted.  She smacked her lips and looked into her glass.  "I thought they'd serve cheap stuff, but I can see her family spared no expense."

Indeed they hadn't.  The wake was being held at T'Kora's mansion in the capital.  The giant 300-year-old structure, surrounded by sprawling gardens, high statues and rushing fountains, further displayed her family's obscene wealth in form of high ceilings, Tholian silk curtains, priceless Beduvian rugs, and furniture inlaid with real latinum.  It was sickening.

This bitch, T'Sanne scowled.  She'd spent her childhood and teenaged years growing up in a two-bedroom cottage.  This mansion was big enough to house her entire home village!

It was a good thing she'd made T'Kora's death look like a common accident, otherwise she probably wouldn't be alive now.  The Senator had been far more influential than she'd initially assessed.

"See that woman there?" N'Hara discreetly nodded towards a well-dressed attendant.  "That's Serian, T'Kora's eldest grand-daughter.  She owns half of Bolaria VI."

Serian, swathed in a greenish-gray gown of shimmering velvet, had painted her brow with black ink in mourning.  She kept a somber look about her, graciously accepting condolences from her guests.

"And that man there?"  N'Hara nodded again, "That's Minister Lorin, T'Kora's youngest son.  She left this entire property to him, along with 2.5 million bars of latinum."  Shrug.  "He was her favorite."

T'Kora's youngest son was a youthful man, olive-skinned and tall.  He wore somber dark blue silk robes, with his brow also elegantly painted in black.  T'Sanne glanced once more at their palatial surroundings.

"Is he single???" she blinked.

"Engaged," N'Hara chuckled.  "He's marrying some pampered daughter of a pro-consul.  It's strictly for political reasons, of course; Lorin doesn't even like women."

"This family really has its tentacles in everything," T'Sanne remarked.

A new voice suddenly joined their conversation.  "T'Kora had three husbands, nine children, fourteen grandchildren, and about ten great-grandchildren.  Everyone who is of age is either in politics or the military, but the younger ones are now showing an interest in finance as well."

T'Sanne turned towards the familiar voice, keeping her voice and face as neutral as possible, though inwardly, she cringed.

"Uncle Kijar," she greeted calmly.  "I thought you were on Vulcan."

"I was on Vulcan," the well-dressed Minister replied.  "In fact, your aunt and I were preparing for our annual trip to P'Jem when we got the news about T'Kora."  He gave her a meaningful look.

T'Sanne ignored the implication and instead introduced him to N'Hara.  "Commander," she said in her most professional voice, "this is my Uncle Kijar.  You may recognize him as one of our Ministers of Finance."

"Minister," N'Hara greeted with a polite nod.  "I hear you've been gone a long time."

"It is good to be home," Kijar readily admitted.  "Our Vulcan cousins, though a civilized and honorable species, are a most tiresome people.  My evenings primarily consist of which chess house to visit or which lecture to attend."  He yawned.

"How dreadful," N'Hara shuddered.  "I too have Vulcans in my extended family.  I never visit them, of course.  I spent one dull summer on Vulcana Regar in my youth and told my mother if she ever sent me there again, she'd wake up on fire."

N'Hara and Kijar shared a hearty laugh while T'Sanne could only muster up an uncomfortable smile.  Kijar was her father's brother, and the two were different as night and day.  While Dr. Pajar was a humble professor, content to teach at his small university and live in their ancestral village, Kijar was every bit as ambitious and elitist as the honored guests surrounding them now.

Normally, that wouldn't be an issue - T'Sanne herself was quite ambitious - except she owed Kijar far too much.  With his wealth, he'd sent her to one of the top universities on Romulus, and had pulled strings to get her into the Tal'Shiar.  He'd never been unkind or unselfish towards her in anyway; in fact, he'd fawned over her all her life.  And though he constantly said it was about family, T'Sanne knew it was more about investing in said that he could come back to collect.

Politicians died all the time on Romulus; in fact, the popular (albeit inaccuate) saying went that if the death rate of politicians was any higher, it would rival the death rate of the Reman slaves working in the mines.

Yet this was the first time Kijar had actually returned to Romulus to pay his respects for anyone.

As though he'd read her thoughts, Kijar said right on cue, "Commander, if you don't mind, I'd like to borrow my niece for a moment.  We have some family business to discuss."


"What do you want?" T'Sanne demanded as soon as they were alone.  It wasn't hard to find a quiet a spot in mammoth building like this.  There were whole sections of the mansion which the family probably never used.  "You never had dealings with T'Kora.  You didn't support her politics.  You can't possibly be here because of her."

"Of course not," her uncle replied simply.  "I'm here because of Ambassador Spock."

"The Vulcan?  What about him?"

"He's here," came the dry response.  "On Romulus."

"What do you mean Ambassador Spock is on Romulus?"  And how dare he say it so calmly?  And in a nearly public place?

"He has joined an underground movement on this planet which teaches Romulan youth about Vulcan culture, to hasten the day of Reunification," Kijar answered simply.  "Surely, as a Subcommander in the Tal'Shiar, you've heard this."

"I've been busy," T'Sanne bit out.  She impulsively drained the last of her Romulan ale; her uncle's presence almost always drove her to drink.  "I only recently returned from a mission."

"Oh, yes," Kijar chuckled.  "So I see."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she snapped.

"Oh, please," the older man snorted.  "I warned you of this weeks ago when you first started talking to that old woman.  I told you that you wouldn't see eye to eye.  And now look what's happened."

"She died of illness, Uncle."

"Yes," Kijar said, clearly bemused.  "'Illness.'  I've lost track of how many Romulan Senators have died from...illness once they become entangled with the Tal'Shiar."

"What do you want?"

"I need your help, of course," he shrugged comfortably, ignoring her tone.  He had no need to get into a bickering match with her; they both know she was going to do whatever he asked.  After all, he'd shown her the same courtesy her whole life.

"I'm not making a move on Ambassador Spock," she exclaimed incredulously.

"I'm not asking you to," Kijar continued in his laidback manner.  "Spock is not the actual issue, my dear girl.  You see, over the past few years he's amassed an impressive underground network.  Young people, old people; cynics, idealists.  Patriots...and dissenters."

T'Sanne's head rose and fell in immediate understanding.

"This is about one of Spock's followers."

"A particularly influential one," Kijar nodded, suddenly grim.  "Unfortunately, his identity is something of a mystery.  He cannot leave Romulus at this time, but my sources say that if he were, it could be disastrous for our government."

"You need me to unveil a dissenter."

"As I understand, it's one of the primary missions of the Tal' case you're worried about a conflict of interest."

"I am not."  T'Sanne slowly started to relax.  Though she had criticisms of Romulan government, she couldn't abide dissenters.  They had the annoying habit of defecting to other worlds and blabbing important state secrets.  They made the jobs of the Tal'Shiar exceedingly difficult.  "What is your plan?"

"Spock's network is only as strong as it weakest member," Kijar reasoned.  "He has Romulan and Vulcan supporters spread out all across this sector.  They are the reason he's been nearly impossible to find.  They are also the means by which dissenters are being moved from Romulus into Federation space.

"My associates and I managed to uncover the identity of a supporter on Vulcan.  He's now aboard Starfleet's flag ship, the Enterprise."

T'Sanne's head immediately snapped towards Kijar.  "Uncle...what are you suggesting?"


  1. All who are in love with Taurik, say, "Aye."

  2. "Aye!"

    He's hot. And I'm loving these pics...

  3. "I will have you ejected into space, Sub-Commander! Is that clear?"



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