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S-Plot | JL| Empress Xue'Daio, Captain Vokar | "The Taste of Twilight"

Posted on 241709.11 @ 7:54pm by Captain Vokar

Mission: Reconciliation & Reconstruction [Fleet Plot]

Summer's end had begun, fall knifing it in the back and the crimson of such loss had begun to paint the leaves on the trees with sanguine admiration. The palace garden was still filled with bird card, though the calls were not the sweet serenades of spring or the admonishments of summer when nests began to empty. These were calls of heavy work and the relishing of sunshine before the frost came and ushered in wintertide snow. Xue was there, ever present, sitting upon a bench and curled around a book with her young daughter in her lap. Her fingers lazily braided the child's blue-black mane, carefully avoiding the pointed tips of her precious ears - some of the only hints of her Romulan heritage. The quirk of her brows would be another give away, the way her wide almond shaped eyes seemed to study everything and anything all at once would be another. The only hints of any form of hereditary mutation were the babe's snow colored lashes and splash of blanched skin across her chest and belly. It made no difference to the young Empress, S'anra was the most precious gift Maec Tr'Verelan could have ever given her and she was loved wholeheartedly.

The fall of a shadow across them brought the albino's rose colored eyes to seek its source, the last sentence from the book hanging on the air as Xue silently questioned the massive Makta that had arrived. Demanding, without words, the nature of his intrusion on a time so tender and precious.

"The Pendragon, your Grace, has returned."

"Vokar..." She whispered his name, blinking back concern and slowly weaving late summer flowers throughout the braids of her daughter's hair, "Has he hailed? Given reason?" He didn't need reason. The Vanguard did as they pleased and Vokar was well aware that his invitation to Apsha, to Aleine, was open ended.

"No. Shall I send him away?"

"Absolutely not." The Empress scoffed, her alabaster fingers deftly placing a primrose at the front of the crown where it would shine bright against the child's dappled skin, "You will send him to me when he arrives. Now go. I'm quite busy." The same hand waved the guard off, her good mood returning once his body no longer blocked the warmth of the sun. "Now... Where were we?" She smiled, taking up the book again and settled back into her quiet nook. Vokar would come to her and he wouldn't need the guidance of her guards to find her.



That's what he was seeking.

Not just for himself but for his entire crew, the Vulcan had been pushing them hard since his return and so far they'd been unable to track down the Romulan who had destroyed the Vindicator. Vokar moved through the corridors of the Pendragon on unsteady legs, assisted as always by the cane which rang out with every other step, banging against the carpeted deck plating. Around him the crew readied the ship for shore leave, he was sure that the Empress would not deny his request but he was going to be cautious when broaching the subject with her.

Turning the corner to the transporter room, the Vulcan stepped through the door and gave a simple nod to the man behind the console, "Have you located her?" he asked as his single good eye narrowed and focused on the man, he shifted his weight around as he came to a halt on the transporter pad and adjusted his grip on the bottle he was carrying.

"I have, sir." came the simple reply that Vokar had been hoping for, "She is in the palace gardens."

"Then put me down nearby, but not too close, I don't want her guards overreacting." Vokar replied as he tugged at the zipper on his jacket and adjusted its fit slightly over his shoulders, he was going to arrive on the planet in his own fashion this time and certainly in a fashion much less spectacular that falling through the atmosphere in a damaged escape pod that threatened to burn up and destroy everything he was, "Energise."

Repairs had been affected on the transporter system in the time since the ship had launched and the last set had forced them to use a combination of Starfleet and Klingon parts, the beam produced was a dull orange and it surrounded the Vulcan and his gift for a few moments before he dematerialised.


A brilliant flash of light approximately six foot tall appeared in a grass clearing in the gardens, the orange a stark contrast to the greens that surrounded the figure that materialised within the beam, it faded as the last parts of his being came into existence, looking himself up and down for a moment, he raised his head to scan the area for the woman he was looking for and noted her a short distance away.

"Ilo hila sassta’shima sise kaji pan hila sibi..." Xue's voice was soft and tender as she chuckled at her daughter's delight, the little girl clapping at the holo imagery of a cow leaping over a crescent moon and dinnerware running off together to only the Gods knew where. Fairytales made little sense, but they made S'anra deliriously happy to have her mother and father read and they were all too happy to indulge.

Something in the air changed and while the Empress's smile failed to fade, the baby fine silver hairs on the back of her neck began to prickle. There was unwieldy power lurking within that new presence, an ungodly amount of it all carefully bound within a fraying package. Vokar. A sigh of relief passed her lips as she set S'anra on her feet and looked up to watch his approaching form, "Go, darling," She said as she pat the girl's shoulder, "give your uncle a hug. He's traveled a long way." The girl took off like a shot, running as fast as her little legs would carry her towards the limping old Vulcan. The albino rose with quiet grace to stand in wait of her return with the man at her side. He'd been there the day she was born, one of the first to ever lay eyes on her when it was certain all was well after an arduous labor, and the child had bonded to him... Stuck as if she'd coated herself in sap from one of the delicate maple trees the Empress had sent to her from Earth.

The sudden turn of speed from the child caught the Vulcan off-guard and he was ill-prepared for her cannoning into his legs, she gripped him around one of his knees and almost sent him careening backwards, it was only the cane that kept him on his feet, placed carefully behind him and his weight transferred onto it before he fell. Carefully he pushed himself back to an upright position and hooked the cane in the crook of the arm carrying the bottle before reaching down to lay a hand gently onto the child's head, but only when he was sure he had full control over his faculties, he hesitated for a moment before tussling her dark hair and retrieving the cane, he used it as a support so he could drop to one knee before wrapping an arm around her to pull her in close, "S'anra," he only said her name as he looked up and regarded the Empress approaching them both.

"Would appear that she missed you." Xue chuckled lightly as she finally made it to them both, "Neither one of us expected to see you again for quite some time." If at all, she failed to add. It was always a possibility that Vokar would perish in his hunt to end V'rith Tr'Bak and the Romulan would be left to continue his maniacal rein across the galaxy. S'anra, of course, couldn't have cared less about Tr'Bak or her mother's concern and distaste. She was too busy hugging the Vulcan and nodding along with every word said.

"Can he stay?!" The little girl chirped, hanging her head backwards enough to be able to catch her mother's eyes.

"I'm sure he'll stay for a bit." Xue nodded much to the girl's merriment. The happy squeal was almost too much for her to handle, and she quickly mouthed an apology to Vokar. "However, I think you need to run along and find your father. Your uncle and I have some catching up to do." The suggestion would be met with a pout and a quick hug, but S'anra knew better than to argue. Arguing would mean Vokar would be disappointed and no child wanted their hero to be disappointed in them. No sooner did she run off towards a waiting guard than the albino turned to the Vulcan and held out a delicate hand to help him to his feet, "Now... Pleasantries aside... Why have you come?"

"Rest," the Vulcan strained as he forced himself to his feet again using the cane and her hand as a support, he steadied himself and took a deep breath in, "For both myself and my crew, if you will have us." he continued while presenting the bottle before him, the deep amber liquid held within shifted with the movement, "A gift, to warm you on any cold nights you may face." he added with a slight smile.

A slender snowy brow rose and Xue's head turned to give the Vulcan a wary, sidelong glance. Her lips quirked into a wry smile at their corners and she slowly began to nod as she considered him and his request, "I think we both know that you won't be denied." The bottle felt heavy in her hands, it's rich contents sloshing as she studied it with avid interest, "How sweet," She crooned, "you remembered just how much I appreciate things from Earth. Thank you." A quick bow of her head conveyed her appreciation and a sweep of her hand lit the way back through the gardens and to the palace interior. Vokar was aging faster and faster it seemed, his good eye perhaps a bit more dim and maybe even troubled than last she'd seen. Even Vulcans didn't live forever, youth was just a fleeting moment as a whole. Seeing him was a painful reminder of just what time would afford those who dared to trifle with the stars and those who would see them extinguished from the night sky.

Xue was slow as she walked beside him, quiet as a church mouse until she was certain they weren't being followed or listened to be anyone that could have mattered. "Our emissary graduated from the academy and was set to serve on Cold Station Theta..." She began, watching to judge his reactions as she spoke, "Ivanova chose to keep her aboard the Vindicator. Am I to believe that this is a far better fate and a sign of acceptance or a sign of distrust?"

"Perhaps a little of both," Vokar replied as he moved alongside the young woman, "I am glad to hear that she graduated though, she will be a credit to the uniform and her people." he continued as they moved through the gardens, he was beginning to age and the aches and pains were mounting on the Vulcan despite his young age. In the grand scheme of things he was still young for a Vulcan and that too was weighing on his mind. A cough wracked his broken form and he doubled over for a few moments, his stride faltered and the cane dropping to the ground as he raised his hand to his mouth. When he bought it away he examined it for a few moments and it was speckled with copper-green blood, he wiped it off on the leg of his pants and retrieved the cane, straightening up back to his full height.

"Vokar!" The bottle she carried nearly shattered as she half dropped it, half set it down, but Xue wasn't interested in preserving its integrity right at that exact moment. Her hands gripped the much taller Vulcan's elbows, trying to support him with her meager weight. The actions had caught the attention of her ever vigilant guards, ushering them to the pair at once. "We need a doctor!" The albino exclaimed, sending a pair off them off to fetch her personal physician as fast as their legs could carry them. "Don't fight me on this, we're getting you to a suite and into bed."

"You'll find no argument from me." Vokar replied between stifled coughs that drew his figure in smaller, "Forgive me, Empress, I did not mean to draw you into this." the Vulcan replied as he allowed himself to be supported by her and used his cane to ease some of the burden.

Xue's head shook as he spoke and they made slow progress through the halls, "No apologies necessary, save your breath." Getting him to bed and tended to had become priority number one, talking about it certainly fell far further down the list. It was needless and likely painful. The reprieve of placing him somewhere comfortable couldn't come fast enough and then, only when she was certain he'd be well enough to handle it, she'd ask him the five thousand or so questions that ran raucous through her mind.

(To Be Continued...)

Empress Xue'Daio Nox
Empress of the Stenellian Ascendancy
Regent of Aleine
Queen of Apsha


Former Captain Vokar
Vanguard Commander
VCD Pendragon


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