Clinging Desperately to Hope
Posted on Mon Aug 28th, 2017 @ 9:30pm by Nal Rehu MD
Edited on on Mon Aug 28th, 2017 @ 9:33pm
Location: Transport Vessel Arus
D’Nal tr’Rehu struggled against the two sets of hands that had firm grips on his biceps. “No… wait, this is a misunderstanding. Nothing was going on!” He growled at the two officers as he tried to pull away, their grip tightened. He looked to the man he loved, another Romulan. It was like a needle in a haystack finding S’Tejul but they had found each other. Yet, D’Nal was the one being arrested and hauled off like some criminal.
You are a criminal… by Romulan standards anyway.
His gaze met S’Tejul’s and the love, affection, and lust were gone from the dark pools. What happened between last night and now? he questioned himself. Now, the man he called lover, friend, comrade just stood there, his demeanor cold and dismissive. There was something amiss here, yet he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. S’Tejul’s body language said a lot, and D’Nal had a feeling he was set up. But why? Who would have even thought to set him up? He knew there was witch hunts like these, he would read and watch news stories about such things.
But he never…
Sadness crashed into him as if a strong wave crashing into the shore. He finally stopped fighting, simply because he knew in his gut that it wouldn’t matter if he fought or not. He would be deemed guilty even before his court martial. He of course would get representation, well… maybe, but it didn’t matter. These trials were hardly fair, and he would be condemned.
He wasn’t entirely sure how to feel now. Sad, angry, hurt, betrayed, all of it? He knew there was more at work here, and he knew somehow that his father was involved. But to set him up like this? There had to be something big in it for S’Tejul to continue this charade for almost a year. More than that, they were intimate together, and even more than that, there was love. They loved each other. Right?
D’Nal was certain that S’Tejul loved him. Almost a year they had been together, sharing time together, sneaking away together. The first time they gahu’yhfev, S’Tejul could have turned him in. So no, their love was real. The only thing he could think of was either A) S’Tejul was a really good actor, or B) there were real feelings there and the promotion or money was hard to pass up. No doubt S’Tejul would be given the rank of Riov and then given a command of a warbird. That would be hard to pass up. Well, hard to pass up for an ambitious Romulan. S’Tejul was ambitious, he talked about wanting more out of his military career, that he wanted to command a warbird. But, that wasn’t alarming, because most Romulans in the military were ambitious. Even he was ambitious somewhat, but he wasn’t hungry for a command or his own vessel.
D’Nal figured S’Tejul would end up getting married – that is if he wasn’t married already – and have a life that would be good. I hope his ship gets blown to pieces! he thought angrily.
“Lets go!” came the gravely voice.
“ishae’elh h’rau ARIENNYE, S’Tejul!!” D’Nal spat, he hocked up a wad of saliva, and with as much strength and force he could muster, spit. The wad of saliva landed squarely on the other man’s cheek, and at that D’Nal smirked then sneered. His last view of S’Tejul was the man wiping his saliva from his cheek, a look of disgust crossing his features.
The Next Day:
D’Nal stood in a cell. It was a cell that had clearly been an ancient one, it wasn’t well kept and it was drafty and damp. He wasn’t exactly sure where he was, but he knew it was underground. He had been stripped of his clothes earlier, poked, prodded, beaten, and violated – only after that was he given a threadbare gray jumpsuit and worn shoes. The cell had a cot, and bucket in the corner to urinate and defecate in. There was no way to wash up, which was evident by the stink that hung heavy in the air of the prison.
He was never one to give into hope; hope was for those who already knew the cause was a lost one. However, he was now at the end of his cause and now all he could do was turn to hope. In an hour he would be brought before an inquiry board, evidence would be presented of his wrongdoing, and he would be convicted. At this point, all he could hope for was to have his head separated from his body. He couldn’t live in a cell like this for the rest of his days, or in a colony for deviants. The Romulan Star Empire may have considered his lifestyle deviant, but he wasn’t a deviant. He was a Romulan, a Romulan who happen to love differently. Why was that so bad? Why were the Romulans—who were supposedly superior—come in behind even such cultures as the Vulcans when dealing with whom one loved?
D’Nal began to pace, he was starting to feel closed in and he went back and forth from one wall to the other like a caged beast. He even bared his teeth the moment two guards came to retrieve him—at blaster point mind you. He didn’t fight, hell; he didn’t even say anything he just… put one foot in front of the other. He refused to hang his head in guilt; instead he held his head high, as high as possible. He continued to hold his head high once in front of the officers who made up the inquiry. They all sat there, eight of them, at the dark wood, semi circular bench. They wore gray and maroon robes, rank insignia on the collar. All D’Nal could do was keep his gaze forward and listen and those who spoke, spoke against him. Even his own advocate didn’t speak, just asked for leniency at the end due to faithful service to the Empire.
Then one by one, each judge declared pictae and turned their backs. D’Nal swallowed hard, and despite his unflinching demeanor, his insides were screaming. He knew they would find him pictae—guilty—yet he didn’t seem prepared for it. You can wake up from this nightmare now, he pleaded with himself. Except his nightmare just continued. His punishment: Exile. Followed by being stripped of his family name. They didn’t care what he chose for a name just as long as he no longer was D’Nal tr’Rehu. His life was officially stricken from the record. His birth record, service records would all be sealed and he would no longer exist in the eyes of the Romulan Star Empire.
Now who will I be?
Again he was taken by the biceps and hauled from the courtroom, as he did so he caught the gaze of his father. For a brief moment he could see the fear, the anger, and the disappointment in the older man’s eyes. D’Nal tried to plea with his own eyes, to tell his father he was sorry, that he loved the man despite what he did.
Instead his father just looked away…
The drop out of warp had pulled Nal from his reverie. The PADD he had been holding remained on the same page that it had 20 minutes prior. It was a letter from his mother, and when he had received it he had been shocked. It had taken months for the letter to reach him, but it had reached him. There wasn’t much to the first couple of pages, just that she missed him, but on the flipside blamed herself for his ‘deviancy’ as she called it. He had only got half way through it when the memory of being caught had surfaced. For the next 20 minutes he had relived the ordeal. This particular memory had been surfacing a lot lately. He wasn’t sure why. Maybe he was lonely? Maybe he missed Romulus? Maybe he missed being around other Romulans? There was a part of him that doubted that. He could never truly miss the people who condemned him to exile.
He was condemned.
Condemned to a life of cargo hauler and part-time doctor and sometimes scientist. A life he wished he didn’t have, but was necessary to survive. He lived a life where people were suspicious of him. He lived a life where people thought he was a Vulcan. He lived a life where he at times felt the need to bed hop just to feel like he was needed, and wanted, but really just wanted to get off. He felt his identity slipping with each passing day, and wasn’t sure how to stop it.
With an exasperated sigh, he laid the PADD down gently on the table. There were others in the mess hall of the transport vessel, but none of the patrons had bothered to even say hello. He glanced out the viewport and watched as the stars drifted past at sub-light speeds. Soon he would be disembarking at Deep Space Nine and then onto Bajor for a meeting with a new captain. He hoped the interview went well and he would get the job, simply because he needed the work.
Nal then felt something hit the back of his head, and it dropped to the floor. He looked down to see a piece of balled up meatloaf splattered on the desk. Again he sighed, but didn’t bother to look to see who the culprit was. What did it matter anyway?
I’m condemned, he thought darkly, and all of a sudden he felt himself clinging to hope.
Desperately, and whole-heartedly clinging to hope.