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Government District, Ki-Baratan: Romulus

Stardate: 54506.4

As soon as he was appointed to the Continuing Committee, Senator Trallian purchased a small townhouse eleven blocks from the Senate Hall. It only made sense considering that he often didn't see his bed until several hours after midnight. It also kept his wife and two daughters safely away from the capital city. He always felt better when he remembered they were enjoying life at the family villa on the far shore of the Apnex Sea.

The townhouse was small enough that it didn't require house slaves. Instead, he hired a housekeeper that would arrive shortly before dawn to clean and prepare his morning meal. By the time he returned after the Senate and Continuing Committee adjourned for the evening, she had long since departed for the night.

The yellow silhouette of Remus loomed large in the night sky as Trallian shuffled along the stones of the ancient city. He cursed under his breath as he fought to keep his eyes open. It had been an exhausting and utterly sycophantic day. Proconsul Semachs was uncharacteristically chipper following a report that slave revolts had dropped to zero since the destruction of Rellas' asteroid base in the Pomparath Nebula. Slowly, the Empire was returning to normal.

Semachs even hoped that with a few more weeks of stability, he would finally be able arrange the death of the constant thorn in his side, Praetor Neral. A regime change was something Semachs lusted after, but was impossible until the Empire could establish the illusion of tranquil superiority once again. Soon after Neral's imminent demise, he would be replaced with a puppet that would obey the Senate unconditionally. Hiren, the junior Senator from the Sharusk District, looked to be a promising candidate.

Trallian trudged up the steps to his front door, entered his access code, and stepped inside the marble and brick, three-story Sekarian Revival. The front entryway was pitch black as he hung his cloak on the wooden stand next to the door. Afterwards, he stumbled down the marble hallway towards his living room before freezing as he sensed he wasn't alone. He reached into his robes and pulled out a disruptor. He pointed the weapon at a shadowy silhouette sitting in the senator's favorite armchair.

"Lights!" Trallian shouted. The room came to full illumination revealing a figure draped in a grey cloak. The man rose and pulled away his hood.

"Careful, Senator," Rellas said condescendingly. "You'll hurt yourself with that."

Trallian dropped the pistol and cursed again.

"What in the name of the Holy Raptors of Seleya are you doing here?" he shrieked. "You're supposed to be in the Klingon Empire!"

"You mean living in comfort like you in this palace?" Rellas said pointing to the opulent surroundings with disgust.

"If a Romulan senator doesn't live according to the standards of his noble rank," Trallian explained through gritted teeth, "people start asking questions. That's not good for anyone…"

"Questions?" Rellas said taking a step towards him. "Questions like why you hadn't come to the Pomparath Nebula for almost four months before our base was obliterated?"

"I'm on the Continuing Committee now!" Trallian said walking over to tray on the bar and pouring himself a double glass of Kali-fal. He downed it in one quick gulp. "I can't just disappear whenever it suits me. It would raise…"

"Too many questions?" Rellas muttered dropping his chin to his chest.

"Yes, as a matter of fact." Trallian replied rubbing his eyes. "And don't you dare insinuate that I turned my back on you," the senator said pointing his empty glass towards Rellas. "I was doing more for your cause in the halls of the Senate than you can possibly imagine."

"Onorok is dead!" Rellas screamed back at him. "Our forces are obliterated! You call that help?"

Trallian sighed and shook his head.

"What do you want me to say? I had nothing to do with any of that."

"How did they find us?" Rellas asked curling his lips back to reveal his teeth. Trallian placed the glass back on the bar and walked over to the sofa. He collapsed in an exhausted heap.

"Two months ago, the Imperial Navy reported that they were developing the ability to trace dormant warp trails by using high-intensity scans in the subspace omni-band. I didn't feel the need to risk warning you because it was only a theory…"

Rellas' eyes bored into him from across the room.

"Over one hundred brave warriors are dead because of your oversight, Trallian."

The Senator paused.

"For that, I am truly sorry, but there is nothing I can do for them now. However, it's not too late for you. As my last act on your behalf, I'll figure out a way to get you off Romulus. I might be able to arrange passage to a neutral system without raising too much suspicion…"

"Oh no, Senator," Rellas said shaking his head. "Your job isn't finished, the Soldiers of Akarath are not defeated, and our revolution against the Star Empire is just beginning. It's amazing what you can accomplish when Romulan arrogance presupposes the homeworld is invulnerable…"

Trallian's eyes grew wide.

"Oh gods, what did you do?" he asked barely above a whisper. Rellas looked at a clock hanging on the wall.

"You're about to find out."

A blinding flash of light burst outside. Six seconds later, the shockwave hit with a blow more powerful than a thunder clap. Dust poured from the ceiling, pictures clattered down the walls, and a marble statue of the winged goddess Romula fell from the mantle over the fireplace. It shattered into pieces against the marble floor. As the echoes subsided outside, the sound of emergency sirens began filling the streets. Trallian leapt up from the couch and ran to the windows.

He covered his mouth in horror as he saw the source of the blast a mere two kilometers away. A column of fire and smoke rose from the crater where the Romulan Ministry of Defense once stood. Rellas smiled behind him.

"Revenge is a dish which is best served cold, Senator."

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