Perseus: Son Rise Sun Set

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DavidFalkayn, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Son Rise Sun Set is the first story in my Perseus series which takes place beginning in 2376 following the Dominion War and chronicles the adventures of Captain Christopher Hobson, Captain Shelby's former first officer, and his crew on the Intrepid-class starship, Perseus. Some familiar faces from the Sutherland appear here such as Hobson's first officer, the Deltan Anara Rysyl and his chief engineer, Lieutenant, soon to be Lieutenant Commander, Angela "Treasure" Barrows, along with a lot of new faces. A new "old" face is the v'tosh ktar tactical/security chief, T'Pren whom you'll meet soon as a Starfleet cadet in the Sutherland story "Messages from Earth" and in a short story which I'll post soon, "Most Illogical." The Perseus has a quite different atmosphere than the Suthy as Hobson is a much more restrained individual than our Liz. But, as the saying goes, still waters run deep and you'll find that's especially true with Chris Hobson. This story takes place on Magna Roma, the planet Kirk and co. discovered where the Roman Empire did not fall. I hope you enjoy the story.
  2. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Son Rise Sun Set: Part 1

    “Entering planetary system 892.” Lieutenant (jg) Yitzhak Shalev announced from his position at the helm of the USS Perseus as the Intrepid-class starship glided past a ringed greenish hued gas giant accompanied by three Io sized moons and a dozen smaller companions.

    “Any sign of interplanetary travel?” The captain of the Perseus, Christopher Hobson, asked as he leaned forward in the center seat.

    “No Sir…” The Denobulan science officer, Lieutenant Velen, responded from his position at the science station. “No indication of any sort of space flight at all—manned or unmanned. No satellites in orbit around the planet either.”

    “Communications signals?” Hobson inquired.

    “None directed towards space in what would appear to be any sort of SETI or radio astronomy program, Sir.” Lieutenant T’Pren reported from the tactical security station, “There’s some signal bleed from the planet, but it’s mostly radio in the AM band. Some FM…some of what looks like it might be television.”

    “Assume standard orbit, then, Mr. Shalev.” As the former Border Services officer and current senior helmsman from Eretz Israel smoothly slipped the vessel in orbit around the blue white globe, Hobson pressed the intercom button on his chair arm, “Continue orbital scans and senior officers will meet in Conference Room Three in one standard hour.” Getting up from his chair, he flashed a slight smile at the Deltan woman sitting next to him, “Commander Rysyl…the bridge is yours.”

    Entering the turbolift, Captain Hobson ordered, “Deck Three.” Taking advantage of the opportunity for reflection, the brown haired starship commander’s thoughts went back to two months ago, when the orders for both his promotion and assignment to his new command came in.


    “Congratulations, Captain.” Captain Elizabeth Shelby grinned as she came out from around her desk. Taking her soon to be former first officer’s hand and shaking it, the blonde-haired captain of the Sutherland praised, “You’ve more than earned that fourth pip, Chris. I’m only sorry that it took so long for Starfleet Command to figure that out.” Her smile broadening, Liz remarked, “The Perseus is a fine ship and a great first command. I assume that you’ll want Mr. Rysyl as your first officer? I think she’s ready to take the next step, and I’m sure she’ll serve you as well as you have me; but, of course, if you have someone else in mind…” Shelby smirked, knowing that her former first office was quite sure that he wanted the Deltan as his XO, “...that would be your prerogative. The decision’s yours.”

    “My first command decision?The newly minted captain joked, his lips turning up into a slight grin.

    You might say that.” Shelby quipped, her grin growing wider. “Still…it’s an important one. You’ll want someone who can balance your weaknesses with their strengths, and I think Anara does that for you—just like you did for me.” Her smile vanishing, the experienced captain further recommended, “The warp nacelles on the Intrepids are as sensitive as a man’s…well…you know what I mean.” Liz paused, “…I don’t have to tell you how delicate they are and I’m sure you’re also up to date on the new swirl-mix engine core they use—you should make sure that you’ve got a crackerjack chief engineer. And no…you can’t have Jadon—he’s all mine. So…any thoughts?”

    “Actually, Captain…” Chris replied, “I do have someone in mind…”


    Tapping her toes to the early 23rd century techno-pop dance tune currently playing in the Intrepid-class ship’s engine room, Lieutenant Angela ‘Treasure’ Barrows flashed a broad grin as she surveyed her new domain. “Keep an eye on the mix ratio, Deneel!” She called out to the young Bolian ensign monitoring the matter-anti-matter flow from his console. Walking over to his station, her smile grew wider, “These babies aren’t like the old matter—anti-matter reactors ya’ll practiced on at the Academy. Those ol’ things, you can push and abuse ‘til the cows come home and they won’t complain. They just keep on truckin’. But not these babies…” The Northstar native explained in the thick Texas accent characteristic of that human colony, “You gotta be nice to ‘em. They’re like Catullan racers—fast and powerful, but very…very touchy. If you don’t treat ‘em right, they’ll frinx you over when you need ‘em most—like right in the middle of a battle, and ya’ll don’t want that, do you?”

    “Yes, Sir…I mean, No, Sir…I mean…” The young ensign, fresh out of the Academy and eager to please, answered back quickly, “I’ll be more careful in the future.”

    “Relax, Sugar.” The chief engineer replied her smile growing wider as she saw the worried look on the Bolian youth’s face, “Ya’ll didn’t do anything wrong! You just gotta remember to keep an eye on what you’re doing—especially when things are nice and quiet like they are now.”

    Turning away from the Bolian ensign, the lieutenant’s comm badge chirped, followed immediately be the Vulcan security chief’s voice. “Treasure?”

    “Yeah, T’Pren?” Lieutenant Barrows replied, responding to the nickname given to her years ago back on the Sutherland.

    “The captain wants the senior staff to meet in Conference Room Three in an hour.”

    “Thanks…” The chief engineer responded, “I’ll be there.” Turning to her assistant, Angela smirked, “Ya’ll heard the lady. We got an hour. Knowing the captain, he’s gonna wanna put us through our paces and I don’t intend for us to be caught with our pants down. So, let’s get to it.”


    The door to his quarters sliding shut behind him, Captain Hobson eyes flashed briefly on the made up double bed that he shared with his first officer this morning before settling on the replicated oak bookshelf that stood against one of the bedroom walls. Walking over to the shelf, Chris took out a green leather bound volume with the title, “The Collected Works of Seneca”, in gold on the spine. Turning it to a page already marked, Hobson read: "the inhabited world... in huge conflagration it will burn and scorch and burn all mortal things... stars will clash with stars and all the fiery matter of the world... will blaze up in a common conflagration. Then the souls of the Blessed, who have partaken of immortality, when it will seem best for god to create the universe anew… will be changed again into our former elements. Happy, Marcia, is your son who knows these mysteries!"

    “I wonder…” Hobson muttered to himself as he carefully placed the book back in the exact same spot from which he had taken it earlier. “...if Seneca was truly right here. Maybe Marcia’s son would be better off not knowing some mysteries.”


    “Odd...” Lieutenant Velen noted, “According to Captain Kirk’s logs, the ‘Romans’ who controlled 892-IV possessed a technology equivalent to mid-20th century Earth with television widely available. It would appear that they haven’t advanced at all in over a hundred years—if anything, it seems they’ve regressed somewhat. I’m surprised—I would have thought they’d have at least later 21st century level interplanetary flight by now.”

    A thoughtful frown on his face, Hobson replied, his patrician tone adding a professorial authority to his words, “It’s not really that much of a surprise, Lieutenant, if you think about it for a moment. Remember, the Preservers had seeded 892-IV approximately two thousand Earth years before Captain Kirk encountered them and they’d only advanced to a mid-twentieth century level of technology when the Enterprise arrived in the system. Ancient Roman society on Earth …” the amateur historian lectured, warming up to the topic at hand, “…especially during the Empire, was actually very conservative and highly suspicious about anything new. So…it would be logical to assume the same about these Romans.”

    “That makes sense.” Lieutenant Commander Devon Miller, the Perseus’s operations officer said, speaking from his post. “Also, with slave labor being quite common—institutionalized to the point of slaves possessing benefits including old age and disability pensions, in fact—the incentive to innovate wouldn’t be that great.”

    “Exactly.” Chris affirmed, nodding his head approvingly at the dark skinned Dominion War veteran. “I’ll also wager that there’ll be no evidence of nuclear power in use either. Remember…” the captain pointed out, “…that the splitting of the atom and the development of nuclear fission took place directly as result of the Second World War and that the use of nuclear power as an energy source, not to mention the development of nuclear fusion, was a product of the Cold War. A stable Empire without any serious external threats would have no need to take that route.”

    “Well, Sir…” Lieutenant Velen responded, his lips turning up into the wide grin characteristic of his species, “That’s a bet you’d have won. I’ve detected no sign of the use of nuclear fission—much less fusion. No sign of solar power either—although there does appear to be use of hydroelectric power as well as extensive use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil and some natural gas.” Pausing for a moment, the Denobulan science officer commented, “Also, our scans picked up what appears to be fairly large troop concentrations near certain cities and along certain geographical features.”

    “Mr. T’Pren…” Captain Hobson interjected, "Can you put those deployments up on a tactical map?”

    “Aye, Sir.” The Vulcan security chief replied. Moments later, a holographic tactical display of Magna Roma appeared above the conference table. The cities appeared as glowing yellow dots of varying size and brightness. Rectangular shapes then appeared: some surrounding or near some of the dots, while others occupied other positions on the map.

    “Those formations near the cities…” T’Pren noted, “…could be there to put down urban revolts. The others, however, seem to be positioned to carry out an invasion of this territory.” The Vulcan concluded, the area threatened now highlighted in red.

    “Could be a prelude to civil war.” Hobson speculated, drumming his fingers on the table before him. “On Earth, they were endemic throughout periods of the Empire’s history.”

    “I wonder…” Anara proposed, “…whether it might have anything to do with this Son worship that the Enterprise cultural anthropologists concluded was a local variant of Christianity.”

    “Possible.” Chris conceded, sparing the lovely Deltan first officer a subtle smile, “Depending on conditions on the ground, this troop build up could be the prelude to a persecution.”

    “Perhaps…” The lovely Deltan first officer seated next to the captain remarked, “…we could pick up some information from their newscasts.” Addressing the Vulcan security officer, Commander Rysyl asked, “Are you getting any transmissions like that, Mr. T’Pren?”

    “Aye, Commander.” T’Pren replied. “I’m picking up something that sounds like it might be a news program.”

    “Put it on the monitor.” Captain Hobson ordered as he leaned forward in his seat. Lines of static quickly resolved themselves into the image of a man wearing what appeared to be a twentieth century business suit seated behind a desk looking into the camera.

    “This is Lucius Manlius and you are watching Veritas, the news program the Empire does not want you to see.”

    “A pirate broadcast?” Miller speculated, stroking his chin.

    “Probably.” Hobson replied thoughtfully, “Let’s watch.”

    “And now for our lead story: Negotiations have broken down after the third day of talks between representatives of the Empire and leaders of the breakaway province of Nova Libertas. The image on the screen was of two men and a woman walking out of a conference room, the woman walking in the middle of the two men as they strode single file, their heads held high, through the opened door. At the conference table, one man sat on an elevated chair on the opposite side from three empty chairs, with two other men on smaller chairs seated to either side of him. We can thank a courageous citizen-journalist, along with his cameraman, both of whom succeeded in posing as members of the Imperial Broadcasting Corporation, for these pictures of Proconsul Elabrius sitting on his throne surrounded by his functionaries. Those same citizen-journalists were also responsible for the following interview with the rebel spokeswoman, Valeria Tiberia, conducted a few hours later in her secure retreat.”

    “Thank you for the interview, Donna Tiberia.”

    “You’re welcome!” The chestnut-haired woman responded with a smile, “And please, call me Valeria, not ‘Donna’. I’m not a stuck up Roman matron. I don’t go by any titles. My great-grandmother was a slave and I’m just a regular person like you.” Her lips turning up into a grin, the charismatic woman asked, “So…what’s your first question?”

    “Thank you, Valeria. Can you tell us what caused the negotiations to break down?”

    “Yes.” The attractive woman replied, her smile vanishing, “The Proconsul’s refusal to take our demands seriously

    “And what demands are those?” The reporter asked.

    “Besides the right to worship as we choose…” The rebel spokeswoman responded, “I’d like to read this, the preamble of our Declaration of Principles, it’ll give you the gist of what we seek: “We the people of Nova Libertas determined that our posterity shall be free of war and strife, and to reaffirm faith in the fundamental rights of all humans, in each person’s intrinsic dignity and worth, in the equal rights of all regardless of class or gender, seek the right to elect our own governors and senators, to travel freely, to engage in whatever occupation we choose, to have a free and open press, to possess the right to freely assemble…” Pausing for a moment, the chestnut haired woman concluded, “…and last…but certainly not least…we demand the abolition all forms of slavery within our territory.”

    “And if the Proconsul continues to refuse your demands?”

    Her smile now replaced by a look of steely determination, the chestnut haired woman answered back, “The Empire must realize that the old days and the old ways belong in the past. Thanks to those who came to us long ago and from whom some of us are descended, we know that there is another way—a better way—and we will not settle for less. If the Empire refuses to listen to us, we shall secede and declare ourselves an independent state using the Declaration as the basis for our new society.”

    As the senior staff of the Perseus listened quietly, Lieutenant Barrows spoke in a low voice, “What she was just reading sounded an awful lot like the Federation Charter.”

    “The preamble to be precise.” Captain Hobson concurred. Stroking his chin thoughtfully, he remarked in his usual patrician tone, “Did you also catch what she said about ‘those who came to us long ago…”

    “…and from whom some of us are descended…” Anara interjected, completing the captain’s recitation. It appears that between the Beagle and Captain Kirk and his people, a lot more was left behind than was thought.”

    “Kirk did point out in his log that Captain Merrick told him that not all of his crew were killed—that some had adapted to life on the planet’s surface.” Lieutenant Shalev pointed out.

    “It would make sense that they would have descendents.” Lieutenant Velen added, “And that…even subconsciously…that they might pass on some of their heritage to their children.”

    “Regardless of its cause…” Chris announced, “It looks like we have an incident of cultural contamination here. We need to find out just how serious and far-reaching the contamination is without making it worse.”

    “While we’ll be able to do quite a bit from orbit…” Anara remarked carefully, “…we’ll need to make closer observations.”

    “A landing party…” Lieutenant Commander Miller argued, “…might make things even worse.”

    “You make a good point, Mr. Miller…” Hobson declared, having already made his decision, “…but I think Commander Rysyl is right. We’re going to need boots on the ground here. Landing party will consist of the following: Myself…”

    “Sir?” The Deltan first officer interjected, “I must protest. The risks…”

    “I know, Commander…” Chris interrupted, holding his hand up, “And under most circumstances I would agree with you, but in this instance, I believe that it is necessary that I lead the party. I am probably the only person here who can be described as a classicist, and I’m also almost certainly the only member of this ship who is grammatically fluent in Latin.” Ignoring the withering glare his first officer/lover was giving him, the captain continued, “Second…” he said, smirking inwardly as he anticipated his paramour’s reaction to his next statement, “…Commander Rysyl…”

    “Sir?” The dark-skinned operations officer interjected, “You and the first officer both planetside? It’s bad enough you’re going down, Captain, but taking Commander Rysyl as well…”

    “I’ll need her empathic abilities. Also…as something of an art historian, she might be able to contribute certain insights that might otherwise go unseen.” Hobson explained adding, knowing that his next words would entice the ambitious second officer to drop his objections, “You’ll be in temporary command of the ship, Mr. Miller.”

    “Aye, Sir.” The Dominion War veteran responded, rising at once to Hobson’s lure.

    “Mr. T’Pren…” Chris inquired, addressing his tactical officer, “I’ll need you as well. You and Commander Rysyl will report to Dr. Nor for cosmetic surgery. After all…” He quipped, his lips turning up into the slightest of smiles, “We can’t have you looking like ‘barbarians.’”

    “Aye, Sir.” Both women responded, clenching their teeth slightly at the prospect of having their appearance altered to appear more human.

    “Finally…” Hobson declared, turning to the ship’s helmsman, “Mr. Shalev…you’ll complete the landing party. You’ll need more experience in handling these sorts of situations than you would have gotten in the Border Service if you hope to advance any further in the command track.”

    “Yes, Sir.” The dark haired helmsman enthusiastically responded.

    “One other thing…” Hobson instructed, clearing his throat, “Treasure? Can you duplicate what the Enterprise engineer did to the ‘Roman’ power grid if necessary?”

    “Not a problem at all, Sir.” The engineer answered back with a toothy grin. “Anything that ol’ Connie can do—we can do better.”

    “Excellent.” The fastidious captain exclaimed as he stood up. “If there are no more questions, then the landing party will meet in Transporter Room One in one hour. Lieutenant T’Pren? Make sure that we have clothing that would fit in with the planet’s inhabitants—as non-descript as possible if you’d please.”

    As the gathering began to disperse, Anara approached the chestnut-haired captain, “Chris?” She asked in a low voice as the door slid shut behind the last of the officers, “Do you have a moment?”

    “Certainly, my dear.” Hobson replied with a smile on his face as he regarded the olive skinned woman before him. “What is it?”

    “It’s the composition of the landing party.” The Deltan first officer tentatively began, “I didn’t want to bring the subject up in front of the others…”

    “And I appreciate that.” Chris interjected, his eyes reflecting the sincerity that he felt while his face still maintained its usual flat expression. “So, what’s the problem…” his lips turning up into a slight grin, he added, “…as if I don’t already know.”

    “It’s well…” Anara stammered, “…I need to know one thing…and please, Chris…tell me the truth…”

    “As if I could lie to you…” Hobson quipped, then, seeing the grave expression on his lover’s face, he amended in a much more serious tone, “You know I’ll tell you the truth—whether you want to hear it or not.”

    “Fair enough.” Anara replied, her lips turning up into a slender smile as she looked up into Hobson’s face, “Why are you leading this landing party? Are you trying to protect me?” Her smile vanishing, the empath warned, “Because if you are…”

    “I promise you, that’s not the reason.” Chris immediately stated. Her empathic senses readily picking up on the sincerity of her paramour’s feelings, Anara nodded her head in satisfaction as he further explained his reasoning. “Part of the reason is what I told everyone at the briefing—I am the only one on this crew who is fluent in Latin. But…” he smiled, “…as you already know from the look you gave me at the briefing, that’s not the only reason.”

    “Go on…” His first officer encouraged as, walking to the replicator, she fetched glasses of water for her and her captain, “I’m listening.”

    “The other reason…” Hobson explained, his face revealing an almost boyish enthusiasm that few—other than the woman standing before him—ever got the chance to see, “…is because I’m genuinely curious to see this society and to see for myself how profound the cultural contamination resulting from both the Beagle and Enterprise. And the only way I can do that is to be there on the ground to see it and experience it for myself.”

    Chuckling, the lovely olive skinned Deltan woman reached up on tiptoes to gently kiss Hobson on the lips, “You really are an explorer behind that icy mask, aren’t you, Chris?”

    “Ssssshhhhh…” Hobson whispered as he returned his lover’s kiss, “Keep that to yourself, Dear. We don’t want the others to know, now do we? After all, I’ve got an image to protect.”

    “Don’t worry, my Captain Iceman.” Anara teased, “Your secret’s safe with me.”
  3. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 17, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I liked the Perseus series and hope to see more. It's a great spinoff from the Sutherland!
    DavidFalkayn likes this.
  4. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Thank you, and there are more Perseus stories coming. It has a different vibe from the Sutherland with, I think you're going to find, a bit more intrigue as Hobson has a past...
  5. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Perseus: Son Rise Sun Set: Part 2

    “And if the Proconsul continues to refuse your demands?”

    Her smile now replaced by a look of steely determination, the chestnut-haired woman answered back, “Then we shall secede from the Empire and declare ourselves an independent state using the Declaration as the basis for our new society.”

    Proconsul Marcus Vipsanius Elabrius, rising from his luxurious chair, stomped angrily towards the large 27 inch screen mahogany wood console television set that sat as the center piece of his villa’s living room. Turning off the set, he turned towards a man seated on a plush couch at right angles to the Proconsul’s chair. “I thought you told me, Aedile Drusus, that your people were close to shutting that station down.”

    “We thought we were.” The aedile responded obsequiously, “But every time our detection units triangulate on their position, they shut down before we can move against them.”

    “What about jamming their signal?” Proconsul Elabrius demanded, not willing to let his underling off the hook quite yet.

    “They keep changing their broadcasting frequency, Proconsul.” The cringing official replied, “Or they cease broadcasting temporarily and flood the area with mimeographed broadsheets.”

    “We could simply arrest her and her people.” Another figure, this one wearing a beige tunic and black trousers, with a gold badge embossed with the fasces of the Imperial police on his chest above the heart, suggested. “My people are ready to move whenever you give the word, Proconsul.”

    “Not yet.” Elabrius demurred, shaking his head, “Not before Legate Pompey has his troops in position. Then, once he’s ready…” he declared, his lips turning up in an evil grin, “…we strike. And when we are done, that mongrel descendent of a slave and all her supporters—and the barbarian heresies they espouse—will be removed once and for all from the Empire.” His eyes taking on a steely cast, the proconsul solemnly vowed, “This I swear.”


    “I thought that went rather well.” A tall well-built man remarked as he entered the room. Sitting at the table across from the rebel spokeswoman, he ran a hand through an unruly mop of sandy-blond hair. “People all over saw and heard that interview. The Proconsul has to negotiate!”

    Shaking her head, Valeria Tiberia spoke in a somber tone, “I wish I had your optimism, Bradleius.” Her eyes falling on the yellow armband on her friend’s sleeve emblazoned with a blue ‘B’ in the middle as she fingered first the pendant hanging from a bronze chain around her neck engraved with the image of a human face surrounded by a sunburst, and then the bracelet around her right wrist, engraved with the image of a broken chain, she pointed out, “As long as we have to wear those things…as far as most of the people outside Nova Libertas are concerned I’m nothing more than a freedwoman and a Son worshiper and you’re nothing more than the descendent of barbarians.”

    “And if the Proconsul ever discovers the truth about you and who your great-grandfather was…” another voice, this one belonging to a slightly built, petite, olive skinned woman with short curly black hair also bearing a ‘B’ device, this one in the form of a pendant, declared, “…you’d be worse shape than us.” Bearing a pitcher in her hands, the young woman poured wine into three goblets before handing two of the full glasses to the others in the room. Taking the last glass for herself, she asserted in a grim tone, “The Proconsul is not going to negotiate.”

    With a snort, Bradleius responded, “Another one of your ancestor’s gifts, Rysyla?”

    “If you want to call it that.” Rysyla retorted. Turning back towards Valeria, the olive-skinned woman cautioned, “Proconsul Elabrius has no intention of compromising. His mind is made up. He is merely waiting for the proper conditions to strike. And…” she warned as she took another sip of her wine, “…he believes that he will have those conditions soon—very soon.”

    “Then we should be prepared.” Valeria responded as, drinking down the last of her wine, she stood up. “Alert the others. I want us ready to move at a moment’s notice. I was hoping we could settle this peacefully, but if it’s a confrontation Elabrius wants…” she declared, her eyes taking on fiery cast, “…then it’s a confrontation he shall have. And may the Son have mercy on us all.”


    Smirking as she glanced in the direction of the Deltan first officer, her normally bald pate now covered by luxuriously fine jet-black hair, Lieutenant T’Pren quipped, “Look at it this way Commander—at least you’re not a blonde.”

    “Hey!” A voice from the sickbay office called out, “No blonde jokes in here!” Exiting her office, Dr. Helen Nor protested with upward turned lips, brushing aside a stray golden lock from her slightly ridged forehead. Giving Anara a quick visual onceover, the Perseus’s human-Kataran CMO nodded her head approvingly, “Not bad—if I do say so, myself.”

    “This is reversible…isn’t it?” A somewhat dubious Anara inquired with a frown as she examined the doctor’s handiwork through a mirror, “You’ll be able to get rid of this…fur…” she asked, blanching in distaste at the full mane of black hair on her head, “...and I won’t have to worry about it growing back…right?”

    “Don’t worry, Sir.” Dr. Nor replied in a placating voice, “When you return, I’ll just turn off the genetic markers stimulating follicle growth that I turned on earlier and you’ll be back to your usual self.”

    “Good. This stuff itches!” The Deltan woman remarked as she scratched her scalp, her lips then turning up into a smug grin of her own as she heard the doctor’s next words of impending doom—these aimed at the Vulcan woman.

    “And now, it’s your turn Lieutenant. Just hop up on this table here.” The doctor ordered, patting the examination table next to where Anara sat, “And I’ll get started on bobbing your ears.” Seeing the panic stricken look overcoming the emotional Vulcan’s face, Helen chuckled, “Don’t worry, T’Pren…I’ll put ‘em back the way they were when you get back.”

    “You heard the Doctor.” Anara grinned as she hopped off her table. “See you in Transporter Room One when you’re done.”


    “Master?” A dark-haired woman wearing a silver chain necklace called out deferentially as she entered the Proconsul’s luxuriantly furnished spacious office. “Legate Pompey is here…”

    “Excellent!” Elabrius exclaimed from his desk, “Send him in Livinia and cancel all the rest of my appointments and hold all my calls until further notice.”

    “Yes, Sire.” The beautiful receptionist-slave acknowledged as she left the office only to return moments later followed by a burly man wearing a brown uniform with red trim, his epaulettes bearing the oak leafs and three stars of an Imperial Legate.

    “Legate Pompey!” Proconsul Elabrius greeted as, stepping out from behind his desk, he rendered the Imperial salute, “Hail Caesar!”

    “Hail Caesar!” The Legate crisply responded, his eyes briefly falling on the slave woman standing, head bowed, to the side.

    “You may go now, Livinia.” Elabrius commanded. Flashing a leer as the young woman walked away, the proconsul remarked, “Pretty, isn’t she? I bought her at the last auction—family had the bad luck to fall into financial difficulties…” Returning to his seat, the proconsul motioned to an empty chair on the other side of the desk. “Is everything in readiness, Legate?”

    “Very nearly, Proconsul.” The legate responded confidently. “The last of our units have completed their deployment and our security forces have the locations of the rebel caches. We can move anytime you’re ready.”

    “Then…” Proconsul Elabrius smiled, “…we move at dawn. I want Valeria Tiberia and her gang of rebels brought to me in chains.”

    Standing up, Legate Pompey saluted, “Then that is what you shall have, Proconsul. Hail Caesar!”


    Restraining the impulse to smile as he saw his now raven haired first officer and security officer with human looking ears, Captain Hobson tugged at the loose fitting brown shirt he wore. “Polyester?” He remarked, a look of distaste on his face as he glanced down at the matching pants and shoes.

    “You specifically instructed that we were to look nondescript, Sir.” Lieutenant T’Pren reminded, a ghost of a smile on her lips. “This is standard clothing for free proles. Also…” she added as she slipped her hand phaser in its holster at the small of her back, “…they’re loose enough of a fit where we can easily conceal our weapons and instruments.”

    “Point made.” Hobson replied as he addressed the ship’s surgeon, “The subcutaneous transponders please, Dr. Nor?” Turning to his second officer, he instructed, “Mr. Miller…if a twenty four period should lapse without one of us checking in with you, you are to immediately beam us up using the transponder signals. Finally…” Chris instructed with his usual poker face, “…under no…I emphasize—no—circumstances are you to beam down any further landing parties. If something should happen to us, then you are to take command of this vessel and return to Starbase 23. Understood?”

    “Aye, Sir.” Miller promptly responded.

    “Very good.” Hobson replied as he and the rest of his landing party took their position on the transporter pad, “Energize.”


    Materializing in an alleyway between two buildings, the landing party quickly crouched as they heard the staccato of automatic weapons fire followed by a scream and then sobs. Then after a momentary pause, the retort of a pistol shot, followed by another rang out. After that, a barked order and the sound of boots crunching down on gravel fading rapidly away.

    Catching T’Pren’s eye, Hobson gestured for the Vulcan security chief to cover the left flank around the building, while he did the same on the right. Signaling for Shalev to accompany T’Pren, Chris nodded his head at Anara, indicating silently to the Deltan woman to follow him. Each team moved silently and cautiously as they rounded the corner of the large single-story structure, keeping to the shadows until, finally reaching the opposite corner, Hobson warily peered around the edge. As his eyes took in the tableau before him, it was all the normally stoic captain could do to maintain his expressionless demeanor. What appeared to be a family: father, mother, and daughter, mother and daughter still in each other’s arms, lay sprawled on the ground, their blood already pooling around where they lay. Turning back towards Anara, he shook his head as he tapped his comm badge. “Do you see it?”

    “Yes, Sir.” The young Vulcan answered back with an angry bite to her voice.

    “Have Shalev maintain position and meet me at the sight.” Hobson ordered as he turned to his first officer, “Hold position here for now, Anara. I don’t want to risk being surprised by whoever did this.”

    “Understood, Chris.” The sensitive Deltan replied, her voice tinged with sadness as she saw the bodies lying motionless on the ground.

    “I saw sights like this all the time during the Dominion War…” Lieutenant T’Pren remarked, her voice barely above a whisper as she knelt down next to where the woman and little girl lay, the mother still holding the little girl in her arms. “…but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.” Spotting a metallic glint coming from around the woman’s neck, the young Vulcan bent down closer. Discovering a copper medallion hanging from a slender gold chain, T’Pren carefully removed the medallion from around the woman’s neck. “Captain? What do you think of this?” She asked as she presented the object to Captain Hobson.

    “Interesting.” Hobson commented as he noted the faint image of a man’s face surrounded by what appeared to be a halo with rays emanating outward. Examining the other bodies, the two Starfleet officers saw that they also wore the same medallion around their necks. “I would say that this family were Son worshippers.”

    “Hmmm…that would make sense.” T’Pren agreed as Hobson signaled Anara and Shalev to join them. “The halo and rays would fit in with the sun imagery while the man’s face…”

    “Would serve as an abstract image of Christ.” Hobson said, completing his security officer’s thoughts. Carefully replacing the medallion around the woman’s neck, Chris first closed her eyes, and then those of the little girl and her father. Standing up, the normally punctilious captain remarked, his voice taking on an especially icy tone, “We need to move, we’re too exposed here.”

    Her eyes scanning the area, Anara jerked her head towards what appeared to be an abandoned shack, “What about there? It appears to be unoccupied.”

    “It’ll do.” Hobson agreed as he signaled his team to follow. “Remember keep low and keep to the shadows. I don’t want any incidents until we get a better read on the situation.”
  6. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Son Rise--Sun Set: Part 3

    Entering the abandoned shack, Hobson immediately pointed to T’Pren’s tricorder as Anara and Shalev took covering positions beneath two windows, their glass shattered by what appeared to be rocks and bullets. Nodding her head at her captain’s unspoken command, the Vulcan security officer took out her tricorder. Ensuring that it was set for silent operation, she quickly took her readings. Pointing wordlessly at the floor, the security officer then held up four fingers.

    Nodding his head, Hobson signaled the olive-skinned Vulcan to move towards the center of the readings. Answering back with a single nod of her head, T’Pren crept silently towards the center of the room from the left as Chris did the same from the right. Meeting in the middle, the Vulcan flashed a quick triumphant grin as her fingers discovered a small groove in the floor. Feeling around, the captain found a similar groove on his side. Motioning for Anara to take a covering position, Hobson raising three fingers counted down. Then, upon reaching zero, he and T’Pren flung open the concealed door, shining their lights down into the concealed cellar as they simultaneously aimed their phasers.

    “No one move!” Hobson ordered as his and T’Pren’s lights played upon four huddled sobbing figures—two women, a teenage girl, and what appeared to be a toddler.

    “Don’t hurt us!” One of the women cried out, “We have children!”

    “Don’t worry.” Chris replied in a calm, reassuring voice, “No one is going to hurt you.” Holstering his phaser, the captain held both of his hands out. “See…I’m not carrying any weapons.” Moving slowly down the stairs, taking them one step at a time so as to not frighten the huddled sobbing figures more than they already were, Hobson slowly approached the older woman, her aged watery eyes revealing their distrust for the intruder. “We’re just like you. We’re trying to escape what’s happening outside.” The captain said, partly telling the truth.” Observing through the dancing flashlight beams cuts and bruises on all four of the bolt hole occupants, Chris offered in a deliberately low tone, “We have medical supplies and food…we’ll be happy to share if you want.”

    “Thank you.” The other woman, apparently in her thirties, responded as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “When we heard them coming we ran here as fast as we could. We’ve got a food and water stored down here and some medical supplies, but they came before we could stock up and…well…Julia hurt her arm getting away from a patrol…” she said, tilting her head towards the teenage girl, a dirty and bloody bandage tied around her arm, “…and Margaret” she said, her eyes falling on the toddler, “…she got hurt when I stumbled going down the stairs…”

    “Anara…Yitzhak?” Chris called out softly, gesturing with his hand for his Deltan first officer to approach. Turning back to the woman he was talking to, Hobson explained, “My friends, Anara and Yitzhak are coming down with some food and a first aid kit.” Flashing a comforting grin, the normally stoic captain added, “The food might not taste very good, but it’ll keep your strength up.”

    “Hello…” Commander Rysyl smiled warmly as she carefully approached the wary teenager. Absorbing the young woman’s pain and anxiety, the Deltan first officer projected an aura of compassion as she knelt down next to the girl. “Julia…right?” Anara asked gently as she opened the medkit, receiving in return an answering nod in return. “This will help ease the pain.” She explained as, holding the hypospray to the girl’s neck she injected her. Turning her attention back to her captain, Commander Rysyl reported, “I’ve injected her with a pain-killer and mild sedative. Once she’s asleep, I’ll use the dermal regenerator.”

    “Thank you.” Chris replied as he took several packets of emergency rations from Lieutenant Shalev. Handing the packets to the woman he was speaking to earlier, Hobson explained, “These are field rations. As I said, they’re not the most appetizing…”

    “They’ll do just fine.” The woman replied as she handed one of the packets to the old woman. Ripping open another packet, the woman bit into the contents. “This might taste horrible.” She exclaimed, making a face, “But when you haven’t had anything to eat for a while, it’s a feast fit for the Imperial Court.” Watching as Anara administered first aid while the women ate, Hobson once again gave the woman a reassuring smile, “Can I ask your name?”

    “I’m. Camilla.” The woman replied, “And this…” she said, jerking her head towards the elderly woman, is my mother, Antonia.”

    “Well, Camilla…” Chris smiled, “I need to ask you a few questions…all right?”

    Nodding her head, the woman replied, “Go ahead…ask.”

    “First…” Hobson queried, “…when did all this begin?”

    “The attacks?” The woman questioned, continuing as the chestnut-haired man gently interrogating her nodded his head in affirmation, “They began a couple of hours ago. We were sleeping…” she explained, her eyes moistening, and we heard explosions and then the sound of trucks and testudos...”


    “You must be from one of the island provinces…” Camilla chuckled, her laughter possessing a near hysterical quality, “…to not know about testudos. They’re the armored cars used by the legions to crush riots and rebellions.”

    “I see…” Hobson replied, “Go on…”

    “My husband…Marcus…he’s a follower of the Son, just like us…but he’s also one of the Children of Flavius…”

    “Who are the Children of Flavius?” Anara interjected.

    “They’re named for the legendary gladiator Flavius Maximus who was also a Son worshipper. The Children of Flavius are part of the followers of the New Covenant…like us. We believe that the Son will return one day in triumph and deliver all those pledged to His name. Many Son worshippers are committed to nonviolence.” The sobbing woman explained, “But the Children of Flavius believe that, because it is written in the New Covenant that the Son will return as a conqueror and judge, that it is not only permissible, but expected, for children of the Son to resist injustice through violence.”

    “Interesting…” Hobson replied, “I’d like to come back to this New Covenant later, if that’s all right with you, but for now, I’d like you to tell me what happened to you earlier…”

    “Of course.” Camilla responded, daubing her eyes with a handkerchief. “My husband woke us all up and told us to get dressed quickly. The soldiers then came towards our house. My husband and oldest son told us to go out the back door…that they would hold the soldiers long enough for us to get away and then join us at the safe house. We ran…and then we heard shooting…and more shooting…and we ran faster. That’s when Julia fell and cut herself. We managed to stay away from any more patrols and made it here and then just a few minutes after we got here…you appeared.”

    “Thank you.” Chris replied and then requested, “You wouldn’t happen to have a radio here by any chance, wouldn’t you?”

    “Yes.” The woman answered back. Standing up, she went to a clothes hamper. Opening the hamper, she took an object out. Returning, she handed the brown-haired starship captain a small transistor radio. “The batteries are fresh.” She declared and then warned, “But keep the volume down…if we’re heard…”

    “I understand.” Hobson responded, nodding his head. Switching the radio on, he adjusted the tuner until acquiring a signal. Crackling with static, the captain and his first officer, along with their host, leaned in close to listen to transmission.

    “Stay off the streets. The legions and lictors have gone mad. They’re shooting men out of hand…and as for the women…better not to say. Children of Flavius are ordered to report to their cell leaders if able. This station will transmit whenever possible, but we cannot stay on the air long. Valeria Tiberia is safe and encourages all to have faith—we will prevail. Libertas!”

    “Valeria Tiberia? Wasn’t she the woman we saw earlier…on the news feed.” Lieutenant Shalev exclaimed.

    “Valeria Tiberia is a true patriot.” Camilla declared as the elderly woman, silent until now, huffed angrily.

    “Valeria Tiberia is a deceiver. She fills the people with false hope. The Empire is too strong…” The old woman lamented, “In the end, as always, it will win. The only way to survive is to submit.”

    “Mother!” Camilla reproached, but before she could say anything more, T’Pren whispered from the top of the stairs, “Troops coming our way!”

    “Get down here and close the trap door.” Hobson immediately ordered as he and his landing party drew their phasers.

    Closing the trap door behind her, the Vulcan security officer hid in the shadows at the base of the stairwell on the left while Lieutenant Shalev took the position on the right. Motioning for Anara to take the women to the back of the tiny sanctuary, Hobson crouched behind the clothes hamper where he had a good field of view of the stairway. Hearing the sound of boots on the floor, the captain made a gentle downward motion with the palm of his hand, signaling for the others to stay low and quiet.

    “I tell you I saw something move in here!” A disembodied voice coming from the other side of the door adamantly contended.

    “And I’m telling you to shut your mouth!” Another, gruffer, voice barked back. “All right…since we’re here, we might as well go ahead and see if there’s anything of value in here that hasn’t already been taken. Look in the back room, Ahenobarbus. You, Marcellus, search the kitchen—maybe there’s some food left over—I’m starving.”

    “At once, Subdecurion!” Two voices promptly answered back. As the sound of footsteps grew louder, Hobson glanced in the direction of the women and little girl, noting with concern their increasing unease as the sound of boots hitting the floor above grew closer and closer until the older woman, her eyes wide with panic and fear, cried out.

    “Don’t hurt us! We give up!”

    “Damn!” Hobson whispered inaudibly as he turned towards Anara, his eyes locking with hers. Immediately understanding what her lover wanted, the Deltan woman placed her hand on the old woman’s arm.

    Radiating feelings of tranquility and peace, the empath soon quieted the panicky matron, but too late as they heard the gruff voice of the subdecurion command, “Ahenobarbus…Marcellus! Here!” A few moments later, the hidden landing party and the women they were protecting heard the trap door slowly creep open. “All right in there!” The gruff voice barked out, “Come out slowly with your hands up.” After a few seconds of silence, the called out again. “If you don’t come out, I’ll just toss down a grenade. You have three seconds.

    Seeing the flash grenade in T’Pren’s hands, Hobson nodded his head as the voice counted down, “One…” Before he could count two, the Vulcan security tossed the grenade up as she and the rest of the landing party covered their eyes just in time to avoid being blinded by a brilliant blue-white flash followed almost instantaneously by a crump that shook the ear drums of all in the basement. His ears still ringing, the captain fired his phaser at what appeared to be a man on his knees clutching his face in his hands. Storming up the stairs, T’Pren and Shalev took quick care of the other two soldiers, their phasers stunning the two already dazed men.

    “All clear, Sir.” T’Pren called down as she and Yitzhak moved quickly to disarm the three men lying on the floor. Moving quickly and efficiently, the security chief bound all three with pieces of rope as the swarthy Shalev took a defensive position near the window.

    “Very good, Lieutenant. That was fast thinking on your part.” Noting the smile on the young Vulcan’s face, the fastidious captain then reproached, “But when we get the time, we will have a little talk about your taking unauthorized equipment on landing parties.” Noting in satisfaction the smug grin vanish from the emotional Vulcan’s face, Hobson, seeing that the Roman women were now in a near panicked state, called back to Anara, “See if you can settle them down, Commander. We’re going to need to move quickly.”

    “Understood, Sir.” Anara replied as she turned her attention back to the women and little girl. Smiling her warmest smile, the empathic Commander Rysyl seemed to radiate waves of calm assurance, soothing not just the frightened women, but also those in the landing party.

    “Well done.” Chris praised as he placed his hand on his lover’s shoulder. Looking into Camilla’s eyes, the Perseus’s captain gently inquired, “Where was your husband and son supposed to report?”

    Feeling oddly tranquil in the presence of the dark-haired olive-skinned woman standing next to the distinguished looking man speaking to her, Camilla replied, “Before I answer your question, I want you to answer one of mine.” Taking the man’s gentle nod of his head as assent, the woman asked, her face filled with hope, “Are you the Heralds? Have you returned as the sacred writings foretold?”

    Catching at once the Roman woman’s reference to ‘sacred writings’, Hobson spent a few moments in careful thought before speaking in a calm, level tone, “We are not…these…heralds, you’re talking about, Camilla. We merely come from a distant island province of the Empire. As you can see from our clothing, we’re simple traders and workers—nothing more.” Pausing as he mentally crafted his next words, Chris inquired, “But I am interested in these writings you mentioned. What do they say about the return of the Heralds?”

    “Later.” Camilla answered back, her eyes glinting with renewed hope as she gazed at each member of the landing party. “We have to go now. The lictors will be back soon. Come…” she requested as she, with Anara and Shalev’s help, gathered together the other women in the room, Lieutenant Shalev carrying the little toddler in his arms. “I know where to go. You’ll be safe there.” As the group prepared to leave their basement hiding place, no one noticed the tiny piece of paper dropped by the old woman as she gathered her meager belongings. As she joined the others, her lips turned up into a slight smile. Her daughter and granddaughter might be fools, but she would save them from themselves.
  7. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Son Rise...Sun Set: Part 4

    “It has begun.” Legate Pompey reported as he strode confidently into the Proconsul’s office. “The Twelfth and Thirtieth Legions have crossed into ‘Nova Libertas’…” he declared, his lips curling into a sneer as he mentioned the name given to the province by the rebels, “…and we are in control of their capital city.”

    Looking up from his desk, Proconsul Elabrius grunted before asking sarcastically, “And Valeria Tiberia and her group? What of them? Are they waiting in the antechamber for you to bring them to me in chains?”

    His face flushing crimson, the legate responded, his earlier swaggering tone somewhat diminished as he protested “Valeria Tiberia and the members of her cell are still at large, Proconsul. But it’s not the fault of my legionaries! It’s the lictors—your special ‘security police’. They seem to delight more in raping and looting than in doing their jobs.”

    “I’ve placed the lictors under your command, Legate!” The proconsul roared back, rising from his chair, “If you can’t control them, then perhaps I should find someone who can.” Seeing that he had sufficiently cowed the man standing before him Elabrius softened his tone slightly as he further inquired, “Do you have any leads at all?”

    “Yes, Proconsul.” Pompey replied, “We do. A loyal citizen has left us information as to a probable principle rebel hiding place.” His expression now a mixture of both worry and hope, the legate added, “Even if we don’t capture Valeria Tiberia, we might be able to capture a far greater prize.”

    “And that would be?” The Proconsul questioned, the sarcastic edge returning to his voice.


    “They’ve returned?” Elabrius exclaimed in a hushed voice, a look of both astonishment and dread on his face.

    “If the message we just have received was accurate.” Pompey replied adding, “And it might be.” His lips turning up into a smug grin, the legate explained, “A patrol from the Thirtieth Legion found three lictors bound and gagged in an abandoned house. After releasing them, the subdecurion leading them showed the patrol a root cellar that was apparently being used as a hiding place. That’s where the note was found. Further, the subdecurion told the patrol leader that one of the barbarians threw a grenade that exploded in a bright flash of light. When he and his men woke up, they found themselves tied up.”

    “That tells me nothing.” Elabrius growled, shaking his head in disbelief. His eyes glinting steel, the proconsul declared in a low, threatening tone, “I want Valeria Tiberia and her people captured. For now, that is your first priority. If the barbarians have returned, then we will deal with them. Now go and don’t come back until you have that rebel witch in chains.”


    Immediately upon hearing the sound of boots crunching on gravel, Camilla, pointed at a darkened alley as she tugged urgently on Hobson’s sleeve, “Quick!” She whispered, “In this alley.”

    “Move.” Hobson ordered in a low voice as Anara and Shalev shepherded the four refugees into the safety of the alley. The sound of the boots growing louder, Hobson and T’Pren slipped into the alley just in time as a patrol of soldiers clad in grey uniforms and carrying rifles marched past their position. Watching and waiting until the soldiers had marched out of sight, Chris turned to the Roman woman who was their guide, “That’s the third patrol. How much further do we have to go?”

    “Not much.” The woman answered. “It’s just a few streets over.”

    “Let’s hurry then.” Hobson urged, “The longer we’re out here, the likelier our chances of being discovered.”

    “You’re right.” Camilla agreed as she pointed in the direction of a small shop. “It’s behind that bakery.”

    “You heard the lady.” Hobson ordered as he turned back to the others, “Let’s get a move on before another patrol comes through.”

    As the party made their way down the alley towards their destination, the old woman muttered under her breath, “Young fools.”

    Coming to a nondescript house behind and attached to the bakery, Camilla grasped Hobson’s arm. “Wait!” She cautioned, “They don’t know you. If you approach without warning, they might open fire. I’ll go first and let them know you’re not soldiers or police.”

    Nodding his head, Hobson answered back with a simple, “Go.”

    Crouched down behind a small, but thick, hedgerow Hobson watched carefully as the Roman matron approach the back door of the house. Moments later, he saw her apparently speaking and gesturing excitedly towards where he and the others remained concealed. Then, upon seeing her motion with her hand for them to approach, Chris turned to the others. “Right. We go in. They’re probably going to search us. The communicators we can probably explain away as jewelry. But the phasers and tricorders…” Then, his lips turning up into a slight smile, he instructed, “Anara…Shalev…give me your phasers and tricorders and take the women and go on ahead. T’Pren and I will follow in a few moments.”

    Waiting until Anara and Shalev had safely led their charges away, Hobson whispered as he securely wrapped their gear up in a piece of cloth. “Note the location, Lieutenant.” The captain ordered as he clawed out a hiding place for the devices within the hedgerow, ignoring the scratches from the thorns and brambles. “If we should get separated, you’ll be able to find them.” Carefully covering up the hiding place, Chris then sounded a cautionary note, “Needless to say, if either of us should get captured, we say nothing about this hiding place—no matter what.”

    “Understood, Sir.” The young Vulcan grimly replied, “Don’t worry, Sir. I might be v’tosh ka’tur, but I still remember my mental training. I won’t break.”

    “I know you won’t.” Hobson nodded his head as he tapped his comm badge. “Commander Miller. This is Captain Hobson reporting in. Maintain current status.”

    “Understood, Sir.” The Perseus’s second officer’s voice responded through the comm badge.

    Turning his attention back to his security chief, a slight smile crossed the Iceman’s face, “Well, Lieutenant, let’s go and meet our new allies.”

    Crossing the threshold into the house, Hobson and T’Pren were immediately confronted by the sight of two men pointing automatic rifles at the heads of their comrades as another man aimed his pistol directly at a point between the captain’s eyes. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t shoot you where you stand.”

    Maintaining his stoic calm as he gazed straight into the eyes of the man holding the gun on him, Hobson replied in a level tone, “Because if you do then you’re an even bigger fool than you look like. Only an idiot kills without reason.”

    Laughing, the man holding the gun retorted as he cocked the hammer back on his pistol, “I think you’re Impie spies. That’s reason enough for me.”

    “If we were ‘Impies’…” Chris coolly replied, “…then we would have simply stormed in. We wouldn’t have come in with Camilla and her mother and daughters.”

    “So you say.” The man responded.

    “He’s right, Bradleius.” A female voice declared. Entering from the adjacent room, the woman, an attractive chestnut-haired woman, accompanied by another woman, this one with olive skin short dark hair, entered the room. “Greetings.” She said as she approached the man holding the gun on Hobson. Gently, but firmly pressing down on her associate’s gun, forcing him to lower it, the woman smiled, “My name is Valeria Tiberia and if you are who I think you are, then we have a great deal to talk about.”


    “Rysyla? Could you see to these people?” Valeria Tiberia asked, jerking her head in the direction of Camilla and her family. Speaking to Camilla, the rebel leader spoke in a reassuring voice, “Go with my aide. She’ll see to your needs.”

    Instantly upon Valeria Tiberia uttering that name, Anara looked up with a start. Seeing that she was speaking to the woman with short, dark hair, the Deltan first officer turned her attention to the younger woman. As their eyes met, both women immediately felt an almost electric connection. However, before she could speak, the moment was broken as Valeria once again spoke, this time to Captain Hobson.

    “And if you and your friends will come with me…” The rebel leader’s words trailed off.

    “Christopher.” Hobson helpfully provided. “Just call me Christopher.”

    “All right, Christopher.” The chestnut haired woman answered back with a sly grin as she gestured towards the room from which she came, “Come. We have a lot to talk about.”

    “Sir?” Anara interjected, “Could I accompany Rysyla and the others?”

    Nodding his head in assent, Chris replied in the affirmative, “Go ahead and take Mr. Shalev with you.”

    “Thank you, Sir.” The Deltan woman answered back, her lips turning up into a warm smile as she regarded the slender dark haired woman standing before, “Do you mind?”

    “No.” Rysyla responded with a hopeful grin of her own, “In fact, I was hoping we could talk.”

    Swooping the squealing little toddler up in his arms and putting her up on his shoulders, Yitzhak chuckled merrily, “Wanna go for a ride, Margaret?”


    Entering a small office that had been turned into a makeshift headquarters, Captain Hobson shook his head as he noted just how little the number of rebels in Valeria’s main base actually was.

    Seeing the look on her guest’s face, Valeria Tiberia nodded her head, “I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. There just aren’t enough of us. If the Romans find us and attack in force…”

    “I assume you have escape routes planned for yourself?” Hobson noted, with just the faintest note of cynicism edging into his patrician voice.

    The lovely rebel leader responded, her voice now carrying an earnest tone, “Understand one thing, Christopher—or whoever you really are—I care about these people. I—and they—have sworn themselves to this cause. To a better life. Not for ourselves, but for our children.” She uttered as, walking to her desk, she opened a drawer. Taking out a bronze bracelet, she tossed it at Captain Hobson. “Take a look at that and tell me what you see.”

    “And while you’re at it…” Bradleius added with a sneer as he handed Hobson the embroidered ‘B’ that he had once worn on his shirt, “…why don’t you look at this as well.”

    Examining the bronze bracelet with the engraved broken chain, Hobson ventured, “I would assume this shows that you’re a freed slave?”

    “My great-grandmother was actually the slave.” Valeria responded, “She was one of Proconsul Claudius Marcus’s concubines…his favorite in fact. He granted her manumission when she became pregnant with my grandmother.” Her lips turning up into a smirk, she quipped, “I guess he didn’t want his child to be born as a slave.”

    “So…your great-grandfather was a proconsul?” Hobson inquired with a raised eyebrow.

    “Not exactly.” Valeria replied, flashing a sly grin. “He only thought that he was the father and great-grandmother was smart enough not to give him reason to think otherwise.”

    “I see.” Chris drawled as he focused his attention on the embroidered patch. “I assume this ‘B’ indicates that whoever wore it is descended from one of the ‘barbarians’?”

    “Very good.” Bradleius interjected with a sarcastic sneer. My great-grandfather in fact.”

    “Enough, Bradleius!” Valeria ordered, admonishing her surly aide, “Why don’t you go and check on the guards.”

    Watching as her grumbling assistant strode out the door, the rebel leader apologized, “You must forgive Bradleius, he lost someone close to him in the recent fighting.”

    “It seems a lot of people have.” Hobson noted sympathetically.

    “Yes.” Valeria agreed, nodding her head sadly, “And I’m afraid a lot more people will die before this is done.” Motioning for Chris to take the chair on the other side of her desk, the chestnut haired woman smiled, “So…after so long, why have you decided to come back now?”
  8. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    Son Rise...Sun Set: Part 6

    Anara looked on, her lips turning up into a warm smile, as Rysyla assisted Camilla and her family into a small room, introducing her to a woman who she called a physician. Watching as Lieutenant Shalev continued to play with the little girl, Anara was startled as Camilla called out to her.

    “Thank you, Herald!”

    Addressing Rysyla, Anara asked in a low voice as the lithe dark-haired woman approached her, “Why did she call me ‘Herald’? That’s the second time she used that term around me and my people. “

    “Come with me.” Rysyla smiled as she gently took the Deltan woman’s arm, taking a deep breath as the connection that she once again felt the connection that she had felt earlier, “I’ll try to explain. And…” she added hopefully as the pair walked down the hallway, “…maybe you can answer a few questions of my own.” Entering a small bedroom, Rysyla, sat down at the edge of a narrow bed, and then motioned for Anara to take a seat on a wooden desk chair facing her. “Camilla is a New Covenanter…”

    “I’ve heard that term before…” Anara interrupted, “What does it mean?”

    “When the Originals…the ones people like me are descended from…” Rysyla began haltingly, “They didn’t come completely empty handed. Some of them…a few…brought what they could of who they were. Amongst the many things they brought were what many consider to be missing chapters of the Book.”

    Realizing at once that the cultural contamination that her lover had feared had, in fact, taken place, Anara requested, “Do you have this Book with you?”

    “No…” Rysyla replied, shaking her head, “I’m not really a follower of the Son. But I’m sure the woman you brought with you does. Perhaps you can ask to borrow hers later?”

    “Thanks, I will.” Anara answered back before further inquiring, “So…what makes the New Covenanters different?”

    “Like the Old Covenanters, they believe that the Son will return, but unlike the traditional Son worshippers, the New Covenanters believe that the Son’s return will be a triumphant one—as a judge and conqueror. That he will end the Empire in fire and usher in a new era. His return, according to the New Covenanters, will be preceded by the arrival of Four Heralds. Many New Covenanters believe that these four Heralds will, like the Originals, come from above.”

    “Shiara’s Kiss…” Anara whispered, “I have to tell Christopher this…”

    “Later…” Rysyla pleaded as a troubled look overcame her face as she spoke in a halting voice, But first…please…. I know you had to feel it…when we met because I felt it. A…connection. It’s not strong…at least not for me…” she said, shaking her head, “…but it’s there. Please don’t deny it.”

    Sighing, Anara debated internally which approach she should take with the troubled young woman seated before her. Be honest and violate the Prime Directive or lie and deny her distant kinswoman. Or, go with a half truth. Deciding on the latter option, the Deltan woman replied in a soft voice, “I…did…feel something. Maybe it’s just a form of extra-sensory perception?”

    Chuckling nervously, Rysyla answered back, “Open the desk drawer and take out the medallion you see there.” Watching as the other woman opened the drawer; the slender dark-haired woman nodded her head as she picked up the right piece of jewelry. “That’s it. The circle with a ‘B’ engraved on it. Do you know what that means?” Her laughter growing louder, she answered her own question, “Of course you don’t. It means ‘Barbarian.’ You have to wear one of these if you’re a descendent of one of the off-worlders who came here over a century ago.” Removing a locket hanging from a gold chain from around her neck, Rysyla handed it to Anara, “Go ahead and open it.” Opening it, the Deltan woman gasped as she saw a photograph of a hairless woman, who also was obviously a Deltan as well. “My great-grandmother.” Rysyla announced proudly. “She was with the traitor—Merricus. She—like all the other survivors—made sure to pass on who and what they were to their children, who in turn handed the stories down to theirs, who then handed them down to us. So, you see, Anara, I know who and what I am.” Her lips turning up into a warm smile, the lovely dark-haired woman added, “And I know now that I’m no longer alone.”

    “No…” Anara smiled warmly at her distant kinswoman as she took her hands in hers, “You are not alone…not anymore.”


    “What are you talking about?” Hobson asked innocently only to be brusquely cut off by Valeria.

    “Don’t take me for a child or a fool, Christopher. I know who and what you are.”

    Seeing that only the truth would satisfy the woman seated before him, Chris answered back, “Very well. Then you should know that one of our most important laws is that…”

    “You cannot interfere in the affairs of others.” Valeria interrupted, “Yes, I know. The Prime Commandment.”

    “Directive.” Hobson automatically corrected only to be waved off by the rebel leader.

    “Whatever. Look…” Valeria declared, “I’m not asking you to interfere. I’m not asking you to provide soldiers to fight our battles or even weapons for us.”

    Inwardly relieved that the rebel leader was not going to ask for military assistance, the Captain of the Perseus asked in a guarded tone, “So…what do you want?”

    “The current Proconsul sees this as his opportunity to take care of all of his problems in one brutal campaign. He believes that he can not only exterminate all of the Descendents, but that he can also wipe out the followers of the Son. That’s why the fighting has been so brutal. Of the Son worshipers, the Old Covenanters will go to their deaths placidly while the New Covenanters are divided. Some will be like the Old Covenanters and become martyrs without resistance, but others, especially the Children of Flavius, will fight—and fight hard.”

    “What about you?” Hobson asked, “Where do you fit into this?”

    “If you’re asking whether I am a Child of Flavius—no…I’m not.” Valeria answered, shaking her head, “Although I agree with them that there are things worth fighting for—especially freedom.”

    “So…” Chris asked, “Why are you doing this? You’re not a Son worshipper…”

    “I never said I wasn’t.” The chestnut-haired woman chuckled, “I just said that I wasn’t one of the Children of Flavius. But you see…” she explained, “…I don’t define myself as being a follower of the Son so much as being something else. I’m a Descendant.”

    “You are?” Chris asked with raised eyebrows. “I take it the authorities don’t realize that.”

    “No…they don’t. “And, if they ever found out who my real great-grandfather was…” she chuckled, “Well…let’s just say that it wouldn’t go very pleasantly for me. The funny thing is…even though I’ve never met him—all I know of him are stories passed down from one generation to the next, I sort of have a love-hate relationship with the man. I love what he did to Claudius Marcus…and how kindly he treated my great-grandmother. But I hate what he did—or rather didn’t do for the Originals. That’s something you can correct.”

    “I see…” Hobson drawled. “So…what do you want me to do?”

    “I’m not asking anything for myself.” Valeria pleaded, “My place is with my people, but, many of the Descendents…especially the children and elderly…” she shook her head sadly, “…the Romans are killing them out of hand. I want you to take them with you. Give them a safe home. Then maybe…in the future…when the Empire has fallen…they can return. But for now…I just want them away from here…away from the killing.”

    “I can’t make any promises…” Hobson replied in a quiet voice, “But I’ll see what I can do.”

    “I guess that’ll have to do, then.” The rebel leader sighed, and then shaking her head, added, “You know…” she said, managing a shaky grin, “You still haven’t asked me who my great-grandfather was.”

    “I have a pretty good idea.” Chris responded. However, before he could continue, Bradleius entered the room.

    “Valeria.” The young man called out in an urgent voice, “Junius reports that two large Roman forces are headed this way. One of them has a testudo.” He added somberly, referring to the lightly armored cars that the Romans used for riot suppression.

    “We have to go.” Valeria quietly announced. “Christopher. You and your friend come with me. Bradleius…” She requested, turning to her friend. “Go to Rysyla…tell her to guide Christopher’s friends and the refugees to the redoubt and then meet up with us outside.” Turning to Hobson, the rebel leader managed a shaky grin. “We have to go now. They’ll be here soon.”

    “My other people…” Chris began only to be cut off.

    “Will be fine.” Valeria assured, “Rysyla will see them to safety. We can’t travel in one group—there are so many of us that if we do we’ll stand out at once.”

    Seeing the wisdom of her strategy, Chris nodded his head, “Very well.” Tapping his comm badge, the Perseus’s captain spoke, “Hobson to Rysyl…”

    Hearing her comm badge chirp and then her captain and lover’s voice calling out to her, Anara quickly responded, ignoring for now the look of astonishment on the face of the young woman, “Rysyl here.”

    “We have a problem, Commander.” Chris declared, “Roman troops are on the way here. You, Lieutenant Shalev, and the women are to go with…Rysyla. They’ll take you to a location where you’ll meet up with T’Pren and myself.”

    “Understood, Sir.” The Deltan commander replied.

    “I’ll see you later, Anara.” Hobson concluded as he ended the transmission, the slightly worried note in his voice only apparent to his lover. “Be careful.”

    “You too.” Anara answered back as she turned back to the slender dark-haired woman who had already risen to her feet.

    “Your name…” Rysyla gasped, “Are we…”

    “We can talk about that later.” Anara interrupted, speaking in a kindly, yet urgent, voice. “Right now though, we have to get the others. We don’t have much time.”

    “You’re right.” Rysyla agreed, “Come. We have to hurry.”

    “Have you finished?” An impatient Valeria asked.

    “Yes.” Hobson replied as he motioned T’Pren to join them. “We’re ready when you are.”

    “Good.” Valeria declared as she motioned for one of the guards to join them. “Let’s get the Hades out of here.” A worried look on her face, the young rebel remarked in an almost inaudible voice, “I hope it isn’t already too late.”


    “Hurry!” Rysyla urged in a hushed tone as she guided Anara, Shalev, and the other refugees, little Margaret cradled in the helmsman’s arms. “The soldiers will be here any second.” Moving swiftly, the little group stopped at a darkened street corner. Peering around the corner, the lithe dark-haired Descendent ducked her head back quickly. Bringing her finger to her lips, she signaled for everyone to be quiet as a bright light shone down the road.

    Clinging close to the shadows, Anara held her breath as an armored car appeared, a helmeted soldier manning a machine gun mounted in the cupola. A squad of men on foot, their weapons at the ready and looking right and left, moved behind the armored car as it travelled slowly down the road. Watching in relief as the soldiers passed them by, Anara was about to exhale when the old woman cried out.

    “Here! We surrender!”

    ” Mother!” Camilla whispered as the old woman stood up, making herself visible in the spotlight now shining on where they had been concealed.

    “All right you!” A voice called out from a loudspeaker mounted on the armored car as the man manning the machinegun pivoted his weapon in the direction of the spotlight. “Come out now with your hands up or we open fire!”

    Gritting her teeth, Anara reluctantly nodded at the woman crouched next to her. As both women stood up, Anara spotted a small alley opening near Yitzhak’s position. Praying that the helmsman had spotted the escape route as well, Anara, standing up, held up her hands, signaling the rest of the group to do as well. The other women, following the Deltan woman’s lead, also stood up and began moving slowly towards where the old woman stood. Watching as the women gathered together, a voice once again rang out from the loudspeaker as the foot soldiers approached. “On your knees with your hands clasped behind your head—NOW!”

    “Do as he says.” Anara whispered as she caught Yitzhak out of the corner of her eyes, the little toddler bound to his chest, quietly slip out down the tiny alleyway. Letting out a sigh of relief, the Deltan first officer slowly knelt down and placed her hands behind her head, the others soon following her example.


    “What in Hades are you doing?” Valeria Tiberia called out as Hobson and T’Pren dashed towards the hidden cache where they had put their phasers and tricorders. Recovering their devices, the chestnut-haired Hobson replied as they rejoined the rebel leader. “We had to pick something up.”

    “Whatever it was, I hope it was important.” Valeria answered back as she pointed towards a back alley. “This way. It leads to a storm drain opening. We make it there…then we should be safe.”

    “Let’s go then.” Chris responded, taking position next to Valeria as T’Pren dropped back beside Bradleius. Hearing the sound of a large vehicle drawing nearer, the Perseus’ captain declared, “If that’s what I think it is, we don’t have much time.”

    Sprinting as fast as they could, the little group made it into the cover of the alley just in time as a squad of soldiers accompanied by an armored car appeared before the door of the rebel hideout. “Testudo.” Valeria whispered as the turret of the armored car rotated to face the doorway of the building. Moments later, the sound of large caliber machinegun fire echoed throughout the area as the doorway disappeared in a shower of splinters. “That’s why we had to get out fast. Nothing can stand up to one of those.”

    Knowing that while that armored car probably couldn’t stand up against even an old World War I tank, it could very easily kill him and everyone with him, Chris grunted his agreement as he motioned in the direction of the storm grate. “We better get going.” He advised, “Hopefully Anara’s made it out safely by now.”


    Watching dejectedly from his hiding place as the Romans led Commander Rysyl, her hands bound behind her back, into the back of a waiting truck along with the other women, Lieutenant Yitzhak Shalev whispered softly into the ear of the little toddler he was holding tightly to his breast. “Sssshhh…little one. This is just like hide and seek…we don’t want them to find us. Come on…” he said gently as the pair slipped even deeper into the shadows, “…we have to go. Don’t worry, we’ll see your mother again…” his face taking on a grim demeanor, he solemnly vowed, “I promise.”

    Keeping to the shadows as he made his way through the alleyway, Yitzhak froze as he heard a noise, “Pssst…over here.” Barely perceiving the forms of a man and woman in the darkness motioning for him to join them, Shalev cautiously approached, holding the little toddler’s hand as he brandished a two-by-four in his other hand.

    “Who are you?” The helmsman demanded in a low, raspy tone as he gently pushed the little girl behind him.

    “Friends.” The man replied, “You look like you could some right now.”

    “If you really are friends…” a skeptical Shalev replied, “…then you’re right. But how do I know you’re not going to turn us in for a reward?”

    “You don’t.” The man confessed with a shrug of his shoulders, “But you don’t really have much of a choice, do you?”

    “Not really.” Yitzhak admitted as he hefted his makeshift club, “All right…lead on…but don’t make me regret my decision.”