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The Deplorable Word

Posted on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 @ 3:51pm by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Kasik Torr

Mission: Battle Front. Season 2, Episode 2
Location: Promenade
Timeline: During the Klingon Celebrations

Harlan watched the other figure carefully. Jared was quite obviously of his species but… that didn’t mean they would get along. Quite the opposite usually. Harlan was taking a great risk but there reason was indisputable.

Jared was in the thick of things in the bar, it the middle of "The Ballad of Borik's third leg" - a song about a Klingon of whom history remembered only one detail.

"With one leg he'd kick his foes to the ground,
With the second he'd stand straight and tall.
But his third leg was such a stump of a thing,
It never saw use at all..."

The ground was already joining in with the chorus, so catchy was the tune, and were stamping their feet and beating their mugs on the table in time.

When the bar singing was in full swing Harlan began a keening. It was a harmony to the main lyric, but it was in a language so old that the UT had no chance of understanding it. Jared would recognise it at once of course.

Jared's reaction. He visibly flinched, and the hair of the mohawk-ridge down his back bristled up.

Kylasin Harmonics! The last Kylasin light-weaver died before any of these cultures had even discovered fire made food taste better.

He faltered mid verse. As the humming and stamping around him collapsed into chaos he scanned the crowd around him, finally catching a fleeting glimpse of vivid purple eyes amongst the patrons.

Harlan saw that the other had seen him and he stepped quickly out of the bar and took a lift to the upper Promenade terrace where there were fewer people.

Jared looked apologetically at the crowds around him, who were just beginning to voice their protests at his having stopped. He held his hands up in a conciliatory way.

"I'm sorry my friends! With the chaos of our victory against the pirates, I seem to have forgotten how this one ends! I'll take a rest and I'm sure I'll remember it again. It the mean time, how about a round for everyone?"

"Mr bartender, if you'd be so kind as to treat my delightful audience here to a drink!"

He deposited a handful of Latinum on the counter. It probably amounted to a couple of months wages. Jared had always been bad at remembering the value of modern coinage.

That done, he slipped out of the bar and made his way up to the upper level of the Promenade, watching carefully to see no-one was showing too much interest.

Catching sight of the other Vetus in a quiet corner of the upper level, he nodded warily, with little warmth.

For many races, seeing one of your own kind was a heart-warming experience. Not for the Vetus. The term "too much history between us" didn't even come close to describing why. Jared was wishing for the first time in a long time that he still carried weapons.

When Harlan saw him he rolled up his sleeves and bared his arm, eyes narrowed in distrust. Harlan knew who and what he was. Did the other? Would he let himself be known?

Jared eyed the other's markings with an eye for detail no-one but a Vetus could rival. So... not a relative then. Not even close. That was something at least.

He warily slid back his own sleeves and displayed his own markings for the other to see.

Harlan spoke in the old tongue of his people; older than the sun they now orbited.

“You have a ship and crew?”

Jared frowned. Surely he wasn't trying to book passage on Jared's ship?

"Of a sort," he replied cautiously. "I'm travelling with the Klingons"

Technically the word "Klingon" didn't exist in the Vetus tongue. But the slang term - literally meaning "Kahless' youths" - generally held meaning with most of his kind.

“Miletus has been found.”

Jared's blood chilled at the sound of the ancient, familiar name.

"Miletus?? Are you sure?"

Harlan growled.

“Do you think I would risk talking to you if I was not? The Vulcans and Romulans plan to take a team there within the week. I cannot get to the Deplorable Word in time, or without raising suspicion. Can you?”

Jared thought quickly. The tension between him and the other was... set aside for now. This was too important.

"I think perhaps I can. Can you stall the expedition any?"

"They desire technology to make them great, much like the Packleds and Borg. I am hoping I can distract them with Tenasan communicators. I doubt it will last long. We have maybe ten days at most. At the moment it is still in the Neutral Zone and neither race can approach it. "

Jared nodded.

"Our ship has a cloak, and we have crew aboard that know their way around Federation and Romulan politics. I suspect my captain will be interested in the lesser salvage. We can probably be there in six days if nothing goes wrong."

"I'll try and signal you if I can get to the Word in time - with a broadband sub-ether pulse if nothing else. If we fail for some reason... do you have a way to destroy the station if they bring it back here? Perhaps a pinpoint singularity charge?"

"I will be with the Vault team if they go to Miletus. I may be able to get to the device in trasport. Otherwise," Harlan's face was grey but his eyes flashed almost red, "They probably aren't the first people I have killed."

Jared said nothing, but nodded. There was nothing more to say.


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