Time And Time Again

((So apparently I wrote this a while back and just kinda forgot about it? Can't remember why this wound up buried in my Oldé Prose Repository, but I figured a few of you might appreciate this, so here ya go!))

At the head of the tribunal stood Justice Betran, a stern man dressed in the stern ceremonial garb of the high Romulan courts. At either side stood his Attendant Justices; the newly appointed Raelas standing in for her late mentor and predecessor, and his long time compatriot the elder Justice Urael. All three stood tall on their raised bench, looking monolithic over the woman in the empty courtroom floor.

Hers was a name spoken in hushed whispers, and a story that spanned the darkest nightmares. She was the mastermind of massacres, and the original who crafted of herself a great unknown many. And yet the legend seemed no match for the woman adorned in drab prison garb, standing before them amidst the harsh under-lights of the cavernous hearing chamber. Set against the myth, her reality seemed little more than a pale shadow.

"D'Kera i-Thierrul t'Mandukar," Betran began, "you stand accused of the high crimes of treason, sedition, insurrection, and use of a weapon of mass destruction. Furthermore, you attempted to subvert the very laws of nature to exert your will upon the whole of galactic fate. While I would gladly have you shot here and now, by law you are afforded the Right of Statement before this tribunal. What say you?"

Before him, the woman stood in silence. Betran could only stare down at her, at this lone woman who, in the vastness of the empty stone courthouse, seemed so small. Years as a Justice had taught him to disregard whatever pity he felt for those before him. He had seen innocents decry the courts, heard the guilty break down into tears hearing their deeds repeated. In this life, he knew better than most, people were capable of atrocities whose scope defied comprehension and challenged reason. In the Tal Shiar he had seen the depths to which one would sink. In most cases the Imperials were wise to stay silent.

Betran was raising his hand to adjourn the hearing when the woman spoke.

"I say that I have done nothing that was not demanded of me by mnea'sahhe. Blood begets blood, and I have shed and drawn my share. I do not deign plead innocence; I have done what you say. I am D'Kera, and I have killed worlds."

A pause, perfectly timed, let her voice ring through the chamber. Green eyes, flickering like flame, peered up at the Justices through her wild mane of obsidian hair. "I did what you lacked the stomach to. I was poised to set history to right. Call my measures 'extreme' if you must, summon up whatever distaste for me eases your conscience, but know that what I destroyed paled against what I was poised to restore. That is my statement, and when you lie awake tonight with memories of the true homeworld haunting your late hours I hope you remember my words."

"Take her away!" Betran could no more say when D'Kera's voice had turned from a harsh whisper to bitter spite than he could place the moment his hands had begun to shake. A pair of uhlan, summoned by a shout audible through heavy wooden doors, gripped the shackled D'Kera by her arms and led her, still glaring at the Justices, from the court room.