First City Departure Terminal: Qo’nos
As Tekloth maneuvered the aero-car toward the entrance to the terminal, Laria gripped Tigranian’s hand and rested her head on his shoulder. The remainder of their visit had passed far too quickly.
“That place was magical,” Laria said with a relaxed smile.
“I’m glad you think so,” Tigranian smiled back. “Soon, it will be as much your home as it is mine.”
“Elessa even offered to teach me her recipe for Rokeg Blood Pie,” Laria said with a satisfied smirk. Tigranian raised his eyebrows.
“You have no idea what an honor that is. She won’t even share that recipe with me or Torlek.”
“Yes, she said ‘there are some things too important to be left to the ineptitudes of men.”
“I guess that means she really trusts you…” Tigranian said trailing off with a hint of wounded pride.
“Of course she does. I’m her new daughter,” Laria said still smirking. Tigranian simply shook his head.
The aero-car descended to the ground and came to a rest outside the entrance to the departure terminal. Tekloth stepped from the driver’s seat and rushed to open the door for Laria. After helping her step onto the curb, he wrapped his arms around her.
“It fills my heart with joy that our house continues to grow.”
“And it fills my heart with joy to soon join it,” Laria replied. Tigranian stepped out next and reached out a hand to Tekloth. The two men grabbed each other’s wrists and nodded.
“Qapla’, Daniel, Son of Tigranian. I hope this means we will see you more frequently.”
“Qapla’, Tekloth. I think more time on Qo’nos is just what I need.”
“I will ensure your bags are beamed aboard your ship. I wish your voyage to be honorable and free of troubles.”
“Goodbye, my friend.”
Suddenly, a commotion near the terminal’s doors caught their attention. Two Imperial Guardsman, the gendarmerie entrusted to maintain law and order on Qo’nos, were shouting at two scared children near the doors. A crowd of commoners were yealling at the guardsmen to leave the children alone, but when the lawmen pulled a pair of painsticks from their belts, the crowd stepped back.
The guardsmen then turned their attention back to the frightened children: a boy and girl. One of them shoved his painstick into the girl’s arm and laughed sadistically as she collapsed to the ground screaming.
Laria charged forward.
“What is going on here?” she commanded with a new authority in her voice. Tigranian followed just behind her.
“This is none of your concern, Alien,” the guardsman with the painstick shouted back.
“Dishonorable conduct is always my concern, petaQ!” she said sticking her chest out aggressively. The Klingon towered over her, but she still didn’t back down.
“How dare you, Creature!” The guardsmen moved their painsticks towards her, but with a flash, she pulled a dk’tahg from behind her back and held its blade to his throat. With a sneer, she clicked open it’s blades. The shocked Klingon looked down and saw the crest of a noble house staring him in the face.
“I am under the protection of the House of Torlek and I demand to know why two grown men feel it is their right to treat innocent children like this?”
“These children are not innocent,” the other guardsman said cautiously keeping an eye on Tigranian. The captain stared back at him. His eyes showing he was ready to strike if necessary.
“All forms of begging outside of the departure terminal are illegal. It is well within our rights to send these children to the workhouse.”
“Perhaps instead, you should ask them why they need to beg?” Laria asked.
“As I said, it is none of your concern. No true member of a Klingon Great House would care about a couple of street vermin.”
“I am told that times are changing in the Empire,” Tigranian said unsheathing his own dk’tahg.
“Yes, My Lord,” the second guardsman said sarcastically. “In the old days, a man knew how to properly control his woman.”
Tigranian immediately unclicked the blades of dk’tahg.
“I don’t know what whore-house gave birth to you, but if you don’t walk away right now, the two of us will send you back there in pieces.”
“Assaulting an Imperial Guardsman during the commission of their duties in punishable by death.”
“Not for us,” Laria said cocking her head to one side.
“In any case, are you confident that you could kill us both? It’s just the two of you with your blades,” the first guardsman said not taking his eyes away from Laria’s dk’tahg: the blades still at his throat.
“And we have an advantage,” the second guardsman said drawing a disruptor pistol from his belt. The blade of a bat’leth immediately kissed his neck.
“Make that three,” Tekloth said appearing from behind them. The House of Torlek’s ghIntaq never went anywhere without the ability to defend his family’s honor.
“Actually, it’s a lot more than that!” A woman shouted. The angry crowd had closed back in around them. They stared at the two guardsmen ready to charge.
“I suggest you drop your weapons and leave now.” Laria said. The guardsmen knew they were outmatched. They dropped their painsticks and disruptors and ran like scared prickle mice.
“You have not heard the last of this!” They called over their shoulder as they disappeared down the street. “Not even the noble houses are above the law anymore.”
Once they had vanished, Laria sheathed her dk’tahg and knelt down next to the trembling children.
“It’s alright, they can’t hurt you anymore.” The boy was still cradling his sister in his arms.
“My name is Letok,” he said trying to steady his voice. “This is my sister Shresh. Our father was a Soldier and fought under Chancellor Martok during the war. He fell in battle at Avenal VII. The stipend the government gave us has run out and my mother is now too sick to work. I am sorry to disgrace my family name by begging, but if we don’t, we’ll starve.”
Laria gently smiled as she stroked the boy’s matted hair.
“The only dishonor here, Letok, was theirs,” Laria said. Her touch immediately calmed him down. “I know what is like to live with nothing.” She reached into the pocket of her dress and pulled out two strips of gold-pressed latinum and placed them into his hand. “Now, go. Get some food for your sister and mother.” The look of gratitude in the boy’s eyes almost brought her to tears. He took his sister by the hand and disappeared into the crowd.
Laria climbed back to her feet and looked at Tigranian.
“If I’m going to be noble, Daniel,” she said resolutely. “I will use my power and privilege for the right reasons.”
“It is good to see that at least some of the Great Houses have not forgotten their true purpose,” the woman at the head of the mob shouted at Laria. “They should protect the people! Glory and Honor to the House of Torlek, My Lady.” The woman bowed and the rest of the crowd soon followed suit.
Laria was amazed as Tigranian whispered in her ear.
“I told you there was nothing common about you.”