Ansha is once again back and sitting in her compartment onboard the USS Dragon. She has hung up her dress uniform until the next wedding or inspection, the humidity is at 100%, heat is at 32 Celcius, and she is in her little happy place until her next shift. She was wearing only a tank top and her panties and looking forward to a detoxing night of bad movies, and trashy novels.
On her wall were several digital picture frames. One held a picture of Nashal zh’Bast. One held a picture of her Earth family, Dr Vakmar Singh, Veema, and Ansha’s adoptive human siblings. One displayed Charvas in his hula Orion girl shirt and Ansha in her dress whites taken on Risa only a few days earlier. Her arm barely around his large back waist and his large arm holding her at the shoulder. The last one was blank.
When CMDR Reese had said Dog and Pony show, an old phrase from centuries ago, she did not know what he meant… until the last couple of days. Whatever sublime, tranquil experience she had hoped for at Risa while visiting and sharing with the New Wind People Collective, was shattered by what can be effectively described as a Dog and Pony Show made possible by press and what have you, and she was either the dog or the pony, she wasn’t sure. It was an uncomfortable spectacle made worse by the addition of a UFP Public Relations Officer coaching her on what to say and what not to say.
What she ended up saying wasn’t exactly what the officer wanted, but it was true. A tactful way of telling the press to leave her alone. The attention is a sublime experience but an uncomfortable one and not something she appreciated. It was more chaotic than any battle she had been in, and worse, she at least has some measure of control in battles. This was off the rails.
She had also finished up an hour long conversation with her guardians on Earth, Dr Singh and his wife Veema, who had to ask a thousand questions. She loved them dearly, no more questions she thought to herself. No more.
Her PADD showed a notification for an incoming message. “Great” she thought. Another request for an interview or something. She opened it begrudgingly and her eyes became wider, her jaw dropped… It was from Evoch. A video message from Evoch.
It was encrypted and required a bioscan, so no telling what the message says. “Surely he knows I will have to report this,” she thought as she placed her finger on the PADDs bio scanner and opened the message.
A familiar green face looks up at the camera recording the message. Evoch, also known as the Rhadai Khaiell, or ‘Wind People’ in Romulan. He smiles.
”My cousin,” he said in his well polished accent albeit far more gently spoken than previously, “or… better yet, my sister. I think I like that better. I hope you are in good health after our adventure on board the Von Gruber. I do apologize to you for the conditions by which I had held you, and that it resulted in you freezing as did I, but as you saw, I had to make it look real for Dhisuia. My plan worked well, almost too well.” he looked down then back up at the camera. “We are tough though, and we are survivors, much like Romulans are. I do admire their resilience so.”
“She…. Is gone.” he breathed a heavy sigh. “I have strangely mixed emotions on this, a most sublime experience indeed. I thought I’d be happy but… I’m not. One day I hope I can share that with you soon, and perhaps get your input on what I’m going through. She was cruel. She treated me like a tool, or a pet, and yet… I… she was the only mother I knew.” he smiled, “I must admit, when I shared with Charvas, felt the love he was given, and met his mother who, without knowing the bad things I’ve done, hugged my neck and then fed me dinner, I was so jealous. It was then… my entire perspective changed. My mission was no longer THEIR mission. It was my mission… my plan within a plan.”
”So I hope you understand, I… I was never going to kill you, but as you have felt, I had to have Dhisuia trigger the failsafe she had implanted in me, albeit modified by me to reduce the toxin’s potency and decrease its half-life. I couldn’t tell you right off because our species is terrible at lying, and the way I’ve learned to do it is through painful and rigorous training, I assumed correctly you would have never gone through that.”
“As long as she thought she was in control, she would be less likely to come guns blazing and instead give one of those horrid speeches she so loves to give. It was quite painful…” Evoch snickers, “the speech and the toxin, which I’m sure at the time you found one quite painful to listen to, but more importantly, the other was quite realistic. That dumb bitch never even blinked. You saw for yourself MY relationship with MY mother. She’s always been so supportive” he said, rolling his eyes.
”I knew you would be smart enough to figure out what the stem bolts were for. Took me a while to rig that up without being seen. That was well played, Ansha. Well played indeed. You know, it’s a shame you and I can’t work together. Maybe one day, sister..”
”I’ve been watching the news. You and Charvas have made contact with the New Collective and shared our experiences. ‘Sweet Wood Island, on Risa. I like it. Not quite the poetic flow of ‘the Grove of the Sweet Wood’ but the climate there is absolutely amazing. I am going through a new experience for me with that thought, the thought that the Wind People are finally united and free. I am… for once in my life experiencing… joy and peace. You gave me those emotions, Ansha. Thank you. I mean it. Thank you. This is so sublime indeed.”
”And I am delighted to see that they have formed a speaker. See, we were right, weren’t we? One can’t simply transfer complex emotions and experiences without the context and that requires another mode of communication… and apparently, this Vulcan, Jarkael, had identified that flaw as well. Good. I am glad to see that between him, the government of Risa, and most all the powers that be are making overtures in the right key so to speak. Time will tell if they are in fact singing a proper song. I will be watching, as I imagine you will be too.”
”I suppose you’ve been watching the news and seeing my exploits as well. Heh, accidents and natural causes they said. Yes, that was me holding the blade so to speak, but in my defense I did hold back and only took out a sufficient number, five of them, to raise the alarm within the company’s power structure, and I left calling cards so they’d know the topic that we were discussing… in blood. After anonymously filing the evidence of Janessen Yashal’s wrongdoing to proper authorities within both the Klingon Empire and Romulan Republic, I watched them run for cover like insects exposed to the light of day. Even Old Evan Janessen started making deals to save his hide, with prosecutors and judges, and trying to buy his way out of this, but I made sure he would be held responsible by releasing everything to the public as well. It was the headline! None of those I left alive will be worming out of it this time, and if they do…” he smiles and laughs in a very unnerving manner.
”I don’t expect you to agree with my methods, Ansha. Just know that, my figurative heart for once in the right place…. Sort of… maybe. I did leave most of them alive. You see? You and Charvas seem to have had a good influence on me.” He laughs.
”I regret that I do not have time to contact our brother, unfortunately. Please tell Charvas, I send my regards and hope he, and his sweet wonderful mother are adjusting well, now that they are living on Earth at … uhm…Winchester Kentucky? I think that is what the city is called. I hope it is more pleasant than Vassar. Looks rather nice, but I do not know my Earth cities. I have never been to Earth. Maybe one day I can go, and we can all meet and go on a tour, but I digress, please let him know that I… I care about him as well. Tell him and his mother they don’t have to work so hard now. I gave him a fairly large amount of currency.”
He pauses for a moment. “We are Wind People, my sister. We are the last true wanderers. We are the explorers of emotions and the collectors of experiences. Our people rode the winds to find new adventures as did we. Never, ever, forget that. You, me, our brother Charvas, all those at the new collective who can finally take to new winds…and be carried to the stars like us. I know you said otherwise, but we are special, Ansha. We forged a new path. We have risen from the ashes and are living in a brand new age for our people! Isn’t it wondrous? Think of what we will accomplish.”
He pauses for another few beats. “Well, I must return to my new job. I am helping… friends of yours… the Romulan Republic… strange bedfellows indeed. Please let Commander Nathes know what I am doing now and tell her I said jolan tru. I know many of them, most likely even her, would just as soon drop me into a live volcano anyway, but I think I’m growing on them with every sweet tidbit of information I give them.”
He smiles then pauses again, looks down and looks up again, “You and Charvas, you are my family now, and I love you both so much. Please be safe. Alright?” Evoch smiles warmly. “Until we meet again, may you ride on strong winds, my sister.” Evoch’s head goes to the side of the recording camera, and the recording cuts.
Ansha smiled, closed her eyes and hugged her PADD to her chest. She pulled it back and slid her finger to rewind the video in stills mode to find a good frame shot of Evoch smiling. She stared at the picture, with a few gestures the picture filled the one remaining blank frame. She leaned back on her bed with a smile on her face.