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Meeting the Duke

Posted on Fri Oct 8th, 2021 @ 4:59am by Lieutenant Commander Aeryn Jameson & Telhas thu'S'Terion Sa-Shasol'kor t'Cheleb-Khor

Mission: Mission 4 - A New Home
Location: S'Terion Estate, Varanmar Mountains, Rator III
Timeline: Mission Day 5 at 1630

The Varanmar Mountains were an old ridge, mostly covered by pine-like forests. Rarely, the blank rock could be seen or a peak reached high enough to be covered with snow. In a valley, only connected to the capital by a primitive road, was the new estate of House S'Terion. The only street in the valley was interrupted by a gate with a couple of guards wearing the uniforms of the S'Terion House Guards.

When the speeder approached, the guards stopped chatting and went into position. They were not too happy that their calm watch was interrupted, but duty was duty. An elder man signaled the speeder to stop and went to the driver. "Your name and your reason for being here, please."

“My name is not important” T’Eleijha smiled. “My reason for being here? Is that I had no idea this home was here! I’m new here, to be honest I’m a little lost...” she purposely flaunted herself hoping to catch the guard’s interest. “I don’t suppose you could help me?”

Stelam, the elder guardsman, always had the weakness to help younger women in need. "Madam, this is the estate of Senator Telhas thu'S'Terion. I cannot let you in, but maybe I can give you directions. What is your destination?"

She pulled out a map, “I was trying to get to this area here but I don’t seem to have had much luck.” She had intended to pretend to faint but in the hot sun she was starting to feel that way for real. “I don’t suppose I could err...” she didn’t finish as she keeled over practically into the arms of the guard.

Stelam caught a hold of her and helped her back onto her feet. "Careful, young lady."

“Ohh, err... thank you” T’Eleijha smiled. “I guess I wasn’t best prepared for the heat” She fanned herself with her hand. “Could I... trouble you for some cold water?

'You are in trouble, Stelam,' the guardsman thought, but he smiled. "If you... uhm..." He pointed at a tree from where the way to the palatial main building went half a mile straight through a park with many groups of trees. "Take a seat in the shadow of that tree. And please don't move any further into the park."

T’Eleijha nodded and smiled. “Thank you.” She did as she was asked, moving to sit under the shade of the tree she fanned herself as she took in her surroundings.

Some minutes later, Stelam returned with a glass of water. "Here, I hope it helps. Could you recover a little?"

“Thank you very much” T’Eleijha sipped the water thankful for a cool drink. “I’m sorry if I’ve inconvenienced you, I will apologise to whoever owns this beautiful home.”

"This won't be..." Stelam rose to attention. "My lord!"

Telhas had watched the scene long enough and decided to leave the woods. It was easy for him to distract the senses of his guards, as he knew them well. He signaled Stelam to leave. "Your apology is accepted, Miss" he reached for her mind and caught her name. There was always a thought about the own name when a sentence was left open like this. One just needed to capture it before it faded. Telhas smiled. "T'Eleijha."

She nodded. “That’s correct. I feel I should be honest with you Ambassador....” she paused. “This wasn’t a chance meeting, I needed to speak with you! It concerns a woman named Aeryn Jameson, she’s in trouble! It also seems that she’s... my half sister.”

"You are Senator Barel's daughter." Telhas was just stating a fact. "And you should know that your father and I are not friends. He criticises me whenever he can. Possibly he thinks that I betrayed our Romulan ancestors by turning back to the old ways of our Vulcan ancestors?"

“I know and I’m not going to deny it” She nodded. “He would have asked for your help but my father thought you would refuse him hence why I’m here.”

"Anyway, back to the reason of your visit." He signalled her to follow him and walked into the park, on a way that would lead them to a place near his house, although it would take time. "You say Aeryn Jameson is your half-sister. How did you learn that?"

“My father was contacted by the people holding her. They had proof of her identity, my father didn’t even know she existed until then.” T'Eleijha paused. “You know how important family is, if she is my half sister then we have to save her!”

"YOU have to save her," Telhas replied harshly. "If you ask for my help, I may consider my options. And if I help you, you will be in my debt." Then he added, "Just to avoid any misunderstandings: When I say 'you', I mean you, as a person, and also you, as representative of your father, hence your entire House. This is clear?" Of course, Telhas had already decided to help. His information must have been intercepted. It was his fault that Aeryn was in this situation. But he would not be a Senator, if he would let this chance slip away.

T'Eleijha nodded. “I understand and I accept your terms Ambassador, as does my father! Please help us!”

Telhas nodded thoughtfully and continued to walk without saying anything for a couple of minutes. They entered the woods and the air became filled with the scent of pines. "What do the kidnappers want?" He finally asked.

“They want my father to public-ally announce his infidelity, to come clean about the fact he has another daughter. You know what damage that will do to my father’s image on Romulus! He’s willing to do it if he has to.”

Telhas walked for another minute, thinking about the options they had. "It is a plot to bring down your father. But if he refuses to co-operate with the kidnappers, things will even get worse. He has to do what they ask him for. And he should act pro-actively. He shall confess and retire from the Senate. It is the only chance to find out who is behind this."

T'Eleijha nodded. “If that’s what is needed to save my half-sister then so be it.”

"The only thing which seems strange is the fact that the kidnappers do not want to use him as a puppet," Telhas said thoughtfully, "and instead they want him to ruin his career. This is not a faction plot. This is unlikely to be from within the Senate. I will take care of this. There are some old friends of mine who will help. Your half-sister will be liberated, and the plotters will be revealed."

T'Eleijha breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you so much! If there’s anything I can do to help then please ask. I’m not afraid to do whatever is necessary.”

"Do not thank you me. You may regret it." Telhas spoke calmly, with no emotion. "Your father needs to do exactly what I tell you now. He will not only retire from the Senate, he will also announce that he will commit suicide. This is important. And as a reaction to his announcement, I will challenge him for a duel. My claim will be that I have a right to get satisfaction for all the speeches he held against me. As he is the one who is challenged, he may choose time, place, or weapon. He will select the right to choose the time, and he will choose three days in the future. Then I can choose either place or weapon. I will select the weapon. It will be swords, regardless of their kind. Then your father will choose the place. I suggest a place not publicly accessable, maybe his own estate. Did you understand everything so far?"

She nodded firmly. “Yes I understand.”

Telhas nodded. "Good. The three days are important, because we will need time to prepare everything. We will need his blood. It will be put into flat bags, which are placed on his chest and back for the duel. When I stab him - and I will stab him - it will look like he is impaled. He will drop to the ground, and he will be bleeding his own blood. Some witness may be willing to take a sample of the blood. Allow it, it is your father's blood. But do not allow anyone to examine the 'corpse', since he will not be dead. Should anyone question his death, I will threaten that person with another duel. They will not dare. Is everything clear? Do you have any questions?"

“Plenty... what will this prove? If my father appears slain then what of my half-sister? Won’t she become expendable at that point? What’s going to stop them killing her?”

"They cannot kill her, because she will not be in their hands any more." Telhas seemed to be very sure about that.

“How do you know that?” She looked at Telhas curiously

Telhas grinned. "Because I will take care of it."

T’Eleijha nodded and smiled. “I hope you can rescue her. Is there anything I can do to help?”

"Listen, T'Eleijha, your father is a war hero, his actions are well known. But I also fought in wars, only that my wars were not public at all, yet no less dangerous. Believe me, I have my methods and strategies. And the less you know, the better it is for you."

"Now, let us get back to what your father's, say, death, will prove. It will prove who will succeed him in the Senate. It will prove how this person will be supported. It will allow me to check this person's background. There is a lot of information available then, and it all originates from one simple question: Who profits most from the destruction of your father?" Telhas sounded like an instructor explaining the basics of politics.

T’Eleijha nodded. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that before? I’ll relay your plan to my father and we’ll get started right away.”

Telhas nodded. "T'Eleijha, there is one more thing of importance. I want you, your husband and your children hide for a while. If anythimng goes wrong, you will be in danger. Inform your father about the plan, then hide. Understood?"

T’Eleijha nodded. “I understand. I have a hidden holiday getaway I can go to for a while. Thank you for all this, we owe you.”

"Yes, you do. Watch your back, T'Eleijha, this is not a game." Telhas bowed slightly and left her near the way back to the entrance to his estate.

{OFF}

 

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