Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: Remembrances Past, Part Eight
Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom
Flashback Setting (Saldar/Kamranov): Takharesh X

--------------- The Darashevi Caverns---------------

"Like you. You look like a beggar, but yet.." the Prince started to say. He was very wise and observant for such a young boy.

"Me? I'm taking you to a safe place," Saldar interrupted not wanting to discuss who he really was. "We will rest a bit, then we have to make it through the tunnels to be picked up," he finished, hoping that the boy wasn't too scared of caves, bats or the darkness.

The little prince shook his head yes again. Saldar let out a sigh of relief and scratched his head. He found the head covering very uncomfortable and itchy.

"Where are you taking me?" the little prince asked.

"I don't know the final destination yet, just that it has changed. For now, I am taking you, to a place to meet a friend who can take you the rest of the way. I was going to take you to your cousin Mahldemi," he started to explain.

The boy looked fearful. "He was the one who gave me to the bad people who locked me in the cell," he said.

"You are sure?" Saldar asked. He wanted to be careful not to telegraph what he believed to be true and to hear it from the young prince himself. He had come to this conclusion earlier when he recognized the voices when he was hiding.

"Yes," he replied.

"How?" Saldar asked. He believed the prince and his memory for voices, but needed as much informational ammo as possible if he was going to end up fighting the orders he had from Starfleet and disobeying them.

"Dreyn Mahldemi invited mother and me for lunch with his children, when we got to. . ." the boy started to say but, was interrupted by a coughing spell, " . . . dining hall, four men I have not seen before seized us," he finished.

Saldar observed his health carefully and had scanned him earlier. He wanted to do it again, but felt that would impede the conversation. "But then you did not see him?" he asked.

"Not then, but he has visited me in the cell after they took my mother. He told me to do everything they said and not to complain or cry or they would kill my mother. He also asked me where certain things were hidden in the palace," he said nearing the point of tears again.

"Thank you. I had only suspected and thought I heard his voice," Saldar replied, deliberately minimizing his skills in this area.

It was only because of years of practice that he did not flinch when the child repeated what Mahldemi said of his mother. ~Apparently they did not tell him that they had already killed her.~

"How long ago was this?" Saldar asked.

"Eight novenei prayers before you came. I pass and measure the time this way," the boy explained.

Saldar stopped for a second recalling the prayers and the time of day they were usually performed. He quickly did the math in his head. Assuming the boy would take a little longer than a practiced adult, (he'd seen monks who could chant one in 8 minutes), then that was only an hour and a half to three hours before he'd arrived. ~That means 2 days after she was killed,~ he thought. At that point her death was common knowledge. This would be enough now to justify his course of actions to others in the immediate future to help convince them to disobey orders with him.

Saldar gave the boy more bread. He wanted to save it in case Emma or the others never came to get them, but the boy was so hungry and would sleep better on a full stomach. Saldar ate only half his portion to compensate.

"He will kill me when you return me to him. I am not afraid to die. But then he becomes Kahnrahazhee," the crown prince explained.

"No one is going to kill you if I have anything to say and I do. You are not going to die. There are many good safe places in the galaxy. You are not going back to your cousin," Saldar said with emphasis to get the boy to believe him.

He was definitely NOT taking him to the cousin as ordered. He didn't know if someone on the inside in Starfleet, Intel or UFP Council was rotten or only deliberately misinformed by the cousin and his people. For now though none of the reasons mattered. Saldar was just simply not going to do it. The trouble was that not doing it was not simple and Saldar need a plan, a very good plan, to get away with it. That part he hadn't figure out yet.

"Will my mother be joining us?" Prince Rahdemi asked. He had a special connection with his mother. While in the cell, he dreamed she had died and visited him to say she loved him, good-bye, and to remind him of the special coin used as the secret signal of safety for the royal family in years gone past. He could trust the bearer of the coin and should follow him. Saldar wore that coin around his neck. He had seen it. Although the boy did not understand completely, he believed the dream came from his mother and listened to her. He had a vague memory of a time before outside of a dream when she had told him the same thing.

"No, not at this time," Saldar said as of it were no big deal and that the boy's mother were still alive.

~Hopefully never,~ Saldar thought not wanting either of them dead and not wanting to tell the prince the truth about his mother.

"You will need to live without her for a while to be safe," was all he could say.

The boy looked like he would cry.

"Your mother will want you safe. That will be the best gift you can give her, to hide somewhere safe for a while." This was one reason the Intel Chief didn't want to have children. He never wanted to put them and their mother at risk like this. Even with the memory wipes, he was privy to a lot of information that mustn't fall into the wrong hands and had made several powerful enemies. The most notable one was believed to be behind several forcefields on an ultra high security prison colony...

Saldar changed the subject. "Do you like jalfran? I like jalfran. I have some," Saldar said hoping the boy did. Most of the children he had met on this planet seemed to love this treat made from stiffened sap.

The boy stopped a sniffle.

Saldar took out the jalfran.

"Where did you get that?" Prince Rahdemi asked.

Saldar shrugged. "I can't say right now. We have to get moving," he explained starting to clean up the cup and crumbs and other signs that they had stopped. He couldn't tell the boy anything of how his people operated on the planet and any alliances regardless. He needed to keep those allied with the Intel group safe. He took this to be very sacred and an imperative in how he did his job that anyone who helped him and his team would not be abandoned, forgotten or sacrificed as was too often done in Federation politics and Earth history. He knew that the best way to keep everyone safe was to have no loose ends and tightly control most of the information. "Ready?" Saldar asked as he made the sling ready and got the mask.

"I can walk," the prince said.

"We must conceal that we are two for now to have a greater chance to escape. There is a good place for you to walk up ahead," Saldar said to give the prince room to save face. He did not believe yet that the boy was ready to walk yet.

Instead of fighting him the prince waited to be picked up.

"Why do the Jullai want the Holy River and Marsh?" Prince Rahdemi asked as Saldar was about to slip the mask on.

"There are more than one side to things in war. Perhaps they really want the minerals in the bogs? Perhaps it is about its strategic location? Perhaps it is about the religious significance and who should be their custodian and have the rights associated with that? Perhaps it is just all part of a plot for your cousin to try and grab the throne?" he said to get the boy thinking about these things.

"People fight for a number of reasons. Sometimes they tell you the real reason. Sometimes you have to figure it out on your own. Quite often, greed and power are at the end of whatever the situation is, but only a few at the top know that secret and the truth.

Regardless what people say are reasons to fight you need to address them and their perceptions. Some things though are outright lies ... for example, we were told that Jullai had taken you prisoner when it was really your cousin."

"So lies in lies like a spinning in a circle until they get dizzy?" he asked.

Yes," Saldar replied impressed. "Often in war the lies get so spun and respun so that people can start to believe them if they hear them enough. Some evil men count on this too," Saldar said recalling the propaganda machine of Nazi Germany from his planet's past.

"That is terrible and strange," the Prince said.

"Yes," said Saldar. "War and greed are terrible and strange."

Just as he slipped the boy's mask on and his, the bats became frightened and flew around confused. Even Edgar didn't roost on Saldar's head as he was fond of doing to Saldar's mild annoyance.

~More of the terrible part,~ Saldar thought as he moved quickly out towards the extraction point.

~Company. I've got to get him there fast or be able to sustain hiding here.~

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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler


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