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Pomparath Nebula: Romulan Star Empire

Stardate: 54455.1

"They've found us…

Rellas choked on the words like bitter poison.

"How?" Onorok said in disbelief. "We left no trails to follow! No clues!"

"It doesn't matter!" Lucretia shouted. "Those warbirds will be here in less than fifteen minutes. If we evacuate now, we can at least salvage some of our forces."

"I'll begin rallying the people in the northern caverns," Onorok said. "Lucretia, take the southern caverns."

"Right," she said preparing to move. Rellas stood silently as stone. He gripped the sides of the computer console until his blue knuckles turned white.

"It's time to go, old friend," Onorok said putting a hand on Rellas' shoulder. He tried to lull him into action, but Rellas suddenly lurched away. He took a few steps and stared back at them.

"No…" he said shaking his head.

"No?" Onorok answered in disbelief.

"What are you talking about?" Lucretia asked just as bewildered. "We can't stay here."

Rellas took a deep breath and began to speak:

"And Kahless and his last twelve followers did climb into the Hamar Mountains. The forces of Molor pursued them until all were deep in the ravine of Qol'qes. When the followers of Kahless saw there was no escape, their faith waivered. They turned to the Unforgettable and pleaded with him to surrender. One man who was named Ar'tob, Son of Mattar, shouted. 'We are trapped, we must throw down our weapons and plead for their mercy. There is no alternative.'

Kahless raised his sword and cut Ar'tob's arm. The blood from the wound stained the stones at Kahless' feet. The Unforgettable held his bat'leth high and spoke so that his voice echoed from the high walls around them.

'You shed the blood of a Klingon, but your tongue is not of our race. The path grows hard and you wish to surrender? How little does your honor matter if you sacrifice it so easily? WE ARE KLINGONS! A Klingon does not surrender nor does a Klingon run away from his battles. That is the path to Sto'Vo'Kor. That is the way to paradise.'

His words brought courage back to his followers and they did turn and fight. When the results of the battle reached Molor's fortress, the tyrant wailed in rage, for the holy thirteen had beaten his army… These are the words of Kahless, the Unforgettable"

"That is a story!" Lucretia shouted. "This is reality!"

"A story?" Rellas muttered with a chuckle. "Just a story…maybe you're right. Maybe it is just a story, but it is also a guide to a new way of life. Kahless was an outlaw, a pariah, a criminal to be captured and crucified, but he would rather die than live under the yolk of another's tyranny!

To them, we are nothing: just fugitive slaves and bandits. They expect us to run away like cowards. However, in this nebula, their cloaking devices and shields are useless and this facility is deep inside an asteroid made of solid gallondium."

Onorok walked over.

"What are you suggesting, Rellas?" he asked with knowing eyes.

"Lucretia," Rellas said, "Prepare the civilians for evacuation in the emergency shuttles. Carry as many replicators and supplies with you as you can. It could be a long time before you find a safe place to land. Onorok, gather anyone else who can use a weapon. We have to hold them until they are all safely away."

"You damned fools," she said with a sigh. "For both your sakes, I hope Kahless is real."

"He's real as long as we believe in him!" Onorok said putting a hand on Rellas' shoulder. "What are your orders, Leader?"

Rellas took a deep breath and threw his shoulders back.

"Arm anti-ship missiles and space defense artillery batteries. Activate transport inhibitors and emergency forcefields." He turned to look Onorok and Lucretia in the eyes. "Today, we make the story a reality."

"And if you fail?" Lucretia asked still hoping to convince them to flee. Rellas took another breath.

"Then today is a good day to die."

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