((Starbase 118 Ops - Janul’s Quarters))
DeVeau: But you’re here now. Do you think Starfleet would really hand you over?
He turned back to his guest. His mother and her ship were long since vapourised, but the shadow of her treachery remained.
Janul: If necessary. What is one life, compared to many?
DeVeau: Surely the Commodore wouldn’t allow that to happen if he can help it.
But he might not be able to help it - which could be the problem.
Janul: I do not believe he would. But there are stronger players in this game, commander.
This was a game of Councils, and Diplomats. Such lowly figures as a Commander and a Commodore were tiny targ in comparison.
DeVeau: Yeah? I’m pretty sure Starfleet will win it.
Janul: I believe the human phrase is, “time will tell”.....
DeVeau: Time will tell indeed. In the meantime, you’re safe here for now. Hopefully it will stay that way, which means I’ll get more opportunities to visit you.
Alora started to take a sip of the drink and realised that it was still prune juice. Alas, no fairy had come to magically change it into something more palatable. Lowering it back down, she queried.
DeVeau: I’d love to know more about you if you’re interested in talking about yourself.
About himself? Tales and boasting around a fire with copious amounts of drink, casual fighting and jovial insults was one thing, and really quite natural. Sitting in a massive armchair, a glass of prune juice in one hand and polite discussion? It felt… strange.
Janul: What would you have me tell you?
DeVeau: Anything. Everything. Whatever you wish. I’d like to get to know you better.
He’d gone against everything he’d been raised, turned against his own people, his own family to do what was right. In Alora’s mind, Janul was well worth knowing.
Taking a gulp of the prune juice, which was quite excellent, Janul thought for a moment.
He grunted thoughtfully.
Janul: I was born in Ketha Province on Qo’nos. In your Terran years I am thirty-eight. I am married. At sixteen standard years I joined the Klingon Defence Forces as a Crewman. ::He drained his glass.:: A month later I was a Sergeant.
So the man had lost even more than she had originally thought. Separated from his wife, unwillingly...and yet willingly. He had more to lose than most. Yet, that hadn’t stopped him from doing the right thing.
Janul: I was backed into a corner and forced to fight. And so I did. ::Fingers drummed on the arm of the chair.:: I assumed his post as Deck Officer and claimed my right to his rank of Sergeant.
Janul shrugged his massive shoulders. Advancing through the ranks of the KDF was a very different animal to Starfleet.
Janul: As far as I know, he still eats his meals through a tube. And still cannot walk.
That wasn’t uncommon. Such challenges were made on Klingon ships, and while not the Starfleet way, it was certainly their way. As to the status of the former Sergeant? She wasn’t surprised. Janul was...massive.
DeVeau: I can imagine that any enemies who’ve felt the sting of your hand would cower at the memory. How long did you serve as an officer?
Janul: Almost six years as a Sergeant. I was promoted to Lieutenant and sent here, attached to your security forces.
DeVeau: I saw that. I find that rather interesting.
Massive shoulders shrugged once again before he answered.
Janul: The promotion was political. I have more awards than many of the High Council, and even those prideful old fools would not send a lowly Sergeant as an exchange officer.
Alora arched an eyebrow at that She wondered at the machinations of the Klingon people, why they chose to do things the way they did.
Janul: I spent two and a half years under Commander Kasun, before being promoted to Commander and given my own ship. ::He growled.:: All political. Again.
DeVeau: I see. What happened afterward?
Janul: After that, I followed my orders. Patrol routes and escorting transports. Until my immediate commanding officer - General Krala - ordered me to take my ship to Vankoth II for military exercises.
DeVeau: Your mother.
Janul: General Krala.
He left it at that. His natural glare darkened a little, although the wrath it contained was not aimed towards his guest.
DeVeau: Was that right before the battle?
Janul: More or less. I made rendezvous with the General’s ship, and several Birds of Prey. Signatures that matched Imperial vessels belonging to honourable commanders.
He was sharing the story, something she’d only read about in the reports that she had perused in order to attempt to get an idea of the current political climate. From the documentation, things were quietly volatile, a bomb ready to explode at moments notice. Even so, she only got a sense of things. Testimony, eye witness accounts straight from the mouths of those who had been involved, information that wasn’t necessarily on the screen, was far better at giving her a true sense of things sometimes.
Janul: Our arrival over Vankoth was routine, the Birds of Prey with us were not the Imperial vessels we had left with.
DeVeau: They were enemies.
A growl burst forth. Long and loud.
Janul: They were Cult ships, from the fleet of my own House. Their signatures masked.
And thus was his mother’s involvement revealed. Alora couldn’t imagine the anger that must have burned at discovering that. From what she saw, still broiled beneath the surface.
DeVeau: And your mother. She finally revealed herself to you?
Janul: I was ordered to fire upon the Narendra. A direct order from my commanding officer.
DeVeau: Despite that, you turned away from the cult. You chose honour.
Indeed. He had chosen his own honour. He had chosen the soon to be ruined name and honour of his House. He had chosen to ignore orders from his superior, an act that would see him condemned as a traitor to that House no matter the reasoning behind it. He had chosen to open fire, not against, but alongside the Narendra. And in doing so, he had chosen to destroy an Imperial Klingon vessel and take a General with it.
He had chosen.
He had chosen to stand beside his family.
Janul: I did what was necessary, Commander.
DeVeau: Indeed. Even if it meant you lost everything.
Janul: Had the Narendra been the one to destroy the Vr’Chok, the Federation would now be at war with the Empire. This I guarantee you.
DeVeau: I have no doubt of that. And because of your actions, you gave yourself up so that others wouldn't have to suffer the consequences. It sounds as if the Cult wants war.
Janul: The Cult wants power. War is a happy by-product.
DeVeau: But we can’t let them have it. The cost is too high. We’re going to have to bring them down once and for all.
Janul: Once and for all? That is a tall order, Commander.
DeVeau: Maybe. But there’s too much at stake not to.
He shrugged his massive shoulders once more.
Janul: I cannot do very much from my quarters. I no longer have a ship to command, and House Kravzo’ch is ruled by my cousin.
DeVeau: I’m sorry.
He’d lost so much just to do the right thing. That was the way with the galaxy sometimes. Even when someone did the right thing, that didn’t mean they didn’t lose. Alora sat, her expression unreadable. To show sorrow for what the man had given up would surely make him think she devalued him in some way. That was not the case. If anything, she respected him more for it.
There was a grunt.
The House could not be ruled by anyone better than Tahl. Immediately after declaring herself as the new Matriarch there had followed several weeks of brutal and bloody purges. Several ships and many warriors of the House had been obliterated as the vengeful warrioress smoked out those who remained loyal to Krala. His wife, Ol’onn had been among them.
Janul: My House will become strong again with Tahl at it’s head.
DeVeau: Would you fight again if given the chance?
Alora knew what the answer would be. The man was a warrior, through and through. How could he be anything else.
Janul: If chance arose, I would fight.
His voice was a growl.
While his House may have been cleansed within by Tahl, there were still a great many without that needed to be crushed beneath his boots.
DeVeau: Would you fight again with us? With Sal?
Janul leaned forwards, clenching and unclenching his massive fists slowly.
He paused, carefully placing the Starfleet combadge first given to him by Commander Kasun upon the table. He had been an exchange officer, with his own means of communication. It had been completely unnecessary to give it to him. Yet there it was.
And it had been worn every day, nestled amongst his KDF and House medals and ribbons.
Janul glared at it, and then at his guest.
Janul: If asked, Commander. I would fight and die for the Commodore. For his crew.
DeVeau: Then I shall do the same.
Alora offered a grim smile. She’d been given a glimpse of what was coming. However, not to face it would bring about repercussions that were far too horrific to entertain that idea. No. They would face it. As Janul had said, they would fight and die for the good of others. That’s what they did. That's who they were. They were Starfleet.
Klingon Defence Force
Prisoner of the Federation
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops