Into the Valley ~ Epilogue (#Uhura)

Previously ~ Honor

Subcommander Netris raised an eyebrow, unsure of what he saw before him. Rumors traveled faster than warp nine in the galaxies, and now was not the time to debate fact from rumor. He wasn’t in the mood.

“You should change your name,” he suggested dryly, leaning back into his desk. Outside his office was nothing but blue soils and black skies. On days like this, he missed the blistering sun. He was probably the only inhabitant of Bolaria IX not charmed by its ghostly beauty. “Our sociologists’ studies show that in the past fortnight, no one on the homeworld carries the name N’Tal.”

The slender, well-built girl raised her own eyebrow. “My name is irrelevant. I am my family’s only known surviving member. All that was my father’s belongs to me now. That, Subcommander, is what is relevant.”

“How did you get off Earth?” he asked, torn between alarm and amusement. “Reports say you are dead. Your body was found. It sent one young man into madness, and plunged the rest of the students into grief.” He tilted his head to the side. “Not what I would expect from a daughter of Romulus.”

“The Headmistress and I contrived to fake my death,” N’Tal replied briskly. The death of her father had aged her drastically. She carried herself with the grim grace of battle-weary commander. “The young man who found me was looking at a holographic corpse. I was already off-world by that time.”

She leaned boldly towards him, both palms on his desk. “A true daughter of Romulus thinks of avenging her family first before ending her own pain.”

Again, Netris’s eyebrow went up. “Your family is dead,” he reminded her coolly. “As much as I honored your father and planned to accomplish great works with him, I have accepted that he is gone. In this business, many die and leave us behind. We too, N’Tal, shall die fighting for this.”

N’Tal’s voice came out colder than the skin of a Trill.

“Then it is our duty to take as many enemies as we can when we go.”