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[ARMADA] Arbiter of a New Dawn

Posted on 03 Apr 2012 @ 10:08am by Lieutenant JG T'Sara & Lieutenant Tin Sel Granth & Lieutenant Commander Brul Unger
Edited on on 31 May 2012 @ 4:06pm

Mission: Linearity
Location: Triumvirate Citadel, Vulcan
Timeline: Daytime, During First Contact with Earth Confederacy

Previously: The Third Fleet

Beyond the large windows of the Citadel, the bright shining sun of the Vulcan star system pierced through the atmosphere and assaulted the gargantuan capitol building of the Armada's leading body: the Triumvirate. From here, the ruins of one of Vulcan's once most developed cities could be seen upon the horizon, and on some days, fires could still be seen burning powerfully amongst the decaying structures.

Closer, there were other settlements, no longer home to the indigenous species of the planet, but instead populated by citizens of the Armada. As the de facto capital of the imperialistic realm, Vulcan housed many great buildings - primarily of Xenexian design - across the planet, built following the Conquest almost three decades ago, which were filled with the various mighty houses, families and leaders of the three primary powers, each attended by a mighty household, personal guard and military detachment from their worlds.

As a world conquered by King C'leb of Xenex early in his reign, the Xenexians had the greatest stake in the planet, but its proximity to the Angosians - arguably the least influential of the three - equalised the power imbalance. Were there ever to be a discrepancy between them, the Angosians would be able to make the swiftest claim over Vulcan, sparking a war even deadlier than that with the Romulans.

And with what S'a'ara had just learned, that was increasingly likely. As the Arbiter of the King of Xenex, she had been amongst the first to hear of Emperor Si Cwan's sudden and debilitating illness on the Romulan frontline and of his impending death. The rumours were poisoning - a woman's weapon, apparently - but so far these stories were unsubstantiated.

When Si Cwan died, it would leave his sister Princess Kalinda to become Empress of the Thallonian Empire, a woman who had descended into madness during the past decade, and leadership would fall to a regent. As the illegitimate daughter of King C'leb, the ruler of the Xenexian Empire, S'a'ara was privy to all of these particular details, and with her role as Arbiter requiring her to remain abridged of all political affairs, she would know exactly how to play this to her advantage.

It would be her duty and responsibility to attend the next Delegate of the Triumvirate Meeting this very day. Being Arbiter meant she spoke with her father's voice in all matters of state, from declaring war, deeming men traitors, taxation and trade to simply appearing at formal occasions and dining with nobles of all creeds, although many in the Empire were outraged by her appointment to the role. Not only was she an illegitimate child of King C'leb, but she was also half Vulcan, one of the few left in the galaxy that had the blood of 40 Eridani in her veins. Her mother, the Lady T'Saman, was amongst the many captured when the Xenexians came, but had been taken by C'leb as his personal mistress, and she was the fruit of that coupling.

Every bit her father's daughter, S'a'ara was even well-loved by many subjects, held in far greater esteem than the true heir Prince Cl'm'nt, but Xenexian custom would never allow her to be any higher than this role bestowed upon her: a role arguably more challenging than the King's, at times, but he knew she was more than capable. As powerful as he was with a sword, she could be with words and charm, and the love between father and daughter was matched only by C'leb's disdain for her half-brother.

Brushing away brown hair behind her pointed ears, the Arbiter turned to see her steward, the courtly Tin Sel Granth, had arrived, no doubt on time to inform her of the calling of the Delegate Meeting. The Verosian was an age over her own, but the well-mannered man was always courteous and considerate, to a degree S'a'ara was unused to amongst her father's people. The Verosians had been amongst the more recent additions to the Armada, and a people who had allowed themselves to be subjugated, rather than face destruction - although a certain grouping of their people had indeed caused a nuisance for local governors until recent times, when High Leader Danar had wiped them from the face of Veros.

"I presume I must be changing into something more urbane?" She asked with a smile, her violet eyes glinting.

The dark-skinned steward gave her a thorough glance then formed a smile, "I think that would be best, my lady," he advised, "These events tend to require a more formal attire. You are speaking to the entire Triumvirate, after all."

She gave the older man a kind laugh and gentle grasp on the shoulder before they made their way together towards her chambers, not far from their current room. S'a'ara's current robing was loose-fitting linen material, crafted in the common manner of Xenexian natives, and in fact not a far cry from some simpler Vulcan designs, although its appearance was not becoming for a figure of high office such as her.

They arrived after a brisk walk, the hot weather - although suited to both S'a'ara and Tin Sel - not warranting much space for officious movement or over-exertion, as it was abundantly clear today was going to be a strenuous affair already. The King's daughter was quick in disrobing and cladding herself in the purple and beautifully woven materials of regal Xenexian dress: a long but close-fitting outfit with golden scripture trailing along one silken drape. It had been a gift from her father shortly after her appointment as his Arbiter, and was one of the few tokens of his affection Queen V'via had not been successful in destroying. The thought of her step-mother and her incompetent son brought a smile to her golden-mauve hue lips as she presented herself to her steward.

Making a mock presentation before her manservant and friend, she asked: "Fitting enough for the daughter of a king?" Her usual voluptuous smile danced across her face as she continued her pose for Granth. There was a difficult time ahead for the Arbiter, and it was only right that she take light of the situation where possible. It would not be long before conflict and turmoil would be on the menu of the day.

The Verosian smiled as he keenly observed S'a'ara's presentation. He had been a good manservant to king's family these last few years. Many a time he had considered the shame of his position - serving the family that demolished the still-young Verosian civilization. However, he had risen above the troubles of the past and made a new life in the Triumvirate. He couldn't say he felt any strong allegiance to his new governance, especially not to the king, but he had found a compassionate soul in S'a'ara, whom he was pleased to serve.

Granth made a few notes on S'a'ara's posture, with a near-sarcastic grin towards the young politician before noting the time on the large pocket watch attached to his waistcoat.

"We'd better get a move on," Tin Sel warned, tapping the watch thrice, "Deliberations cannot begin until you give your opening statement. We don't want to be the cause of any unnecessary confusion."

S'a'ara smiled again as she hooked her arm around Tin Sel's and they began their journey towards the High Atrium of the Citadel, a large antechamber within the core of the capitol building that encompassed most of the structure's innards; it was a circular audience area, with room at the centre for Triumvirate members and their delegates, as well as many rows of seating that encircled the outer areas for observers and servants of the presiding and present officials.

Although the Atrium was of a magnificent size, one could only access the main floor where the Arbiter would be expected to speak from the ground level, which required taking a few flights of steps from her chambers to reach their destination. "Is there word from the Third Fleet?" She asked, as they continued to make their way.

"I did receive a message from one Colonel Unger of he Third Fleet," Granth replied, clearing his throat as he attempted to recall the message as accurately as possible, "He wanted to inform you that the mission had been a success and that they are currently making first contact with Sol III. It all sounds very exciting, my lady."

"Oh, it most certainly is, my friend," S'a'ara replied with a positive and happy tone. "Although the Armada will mourn so many passings this day, today is a fine day to be marked in the history books as a day where it all began." The Vulcanoid Xenexian knew perfectly well that Tin Sel had only the most fleeting understanding of the Arbiter's recent plans and workings - enough for him to be aware, but not enough to truly know and use it against her - but that was enough as they finally reached the entrance to the High Atrium.

Its titanic doors were wrought of the increasingly rare indigenous wood of the planet Vulcan, and carved into the deep brown material were images chronicling each of the three races of the Triumvirate's rise to high power, expressed in the artist's own way. To the left, Thallonians could be seen marching towards the centre, where Xenexians were fighting their way upwards, crawling over a depiction of Danteri overlords being slain with aid from the Thallonians, their figures appearing diminutive by comparison to the other brave warriors. To the right, the genetically-engineered Angosians could be seen towering over their former masters - the men and women who made them - and stepping upon them and forcing them to menial labour, whilst they extending their arms to war and above. Finally, towering over each three - with each nation's people reaching towards it together - was a large fleet of ships, signifying the Armada itself.

S'a'ara always found the gateway to the Atrium a magnificent sight to behold, even with the Conquest of Vulcan being amongst the great battles portrayed in the Xenexian section as a bloodthirsty and great achievement. Although she could not deny this piece would always be an article of history for the Armada and its peoples, she had no love for what it stood for. This was quickly pushed from her mind as the Arbiter claimed her place at the centre, whilst the other delegates arrived and assumed their positions around her. Many observers had turned out in the audience seating around them - Tin Sel included - with Thallonians featuring in their masses, many of whom were crying.

Mourning for their presumably now-late emperor, no doubt, S'a'ara mused considering the fact Si Cwan should have now passed, but she gave the visage of a deeply saddened official, although she knew her kingly father would simply scoff at the turn of events. (And no doubt was.)

She made a brilliant show of her entrance and held her head up high for another day of deciding the fate of billions.

Next: The Strings of Authority


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