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Trallian's daughters slept soundly in their side-by-side beds. Their room was on the very top floor of the villa. It was cheerfully decorated with toys, dollhouses, and pictures scrawled with crayon on construction paper. The three-meter tall arched window looked out towards the Apnex. Mora, their Elohsian nanny, had left it open on this rather warm evening so her beloved charges could sleep with a cool sea breeze.

Nine-year old Sevon slept soundly clutching her stuffed set'leth. Her little sister, six-year old Sepina, was curled around her favorite doll. Neither of them stirred when a long, black rope dropped down from the roof of the villa to the floor of their balcony.

One at a time, three Reman commandos slid down and entered the bedchamber. The trio raised their disruptor rifles and quickly spied their targets lying in the darkness. The leader clicked his mouth as he sent telepathic commands to his two soldiers. The first nodded and made his way over to Sevon's bed. He stared down at the sleeping Romulan girl and bared his fangs in disgust. Then, he pointed his razor-sharp double bayonet directly at her chest. He wanted to cleave her heart in two on the first thrust so her screams wouldn't wake the sister…

A mighty kick from the hall knocked the wooden door completely loose from its hinges. It crashed to the ground and caused all three Remans to look up with surprise. Both girls opened their eyes. When they saw the demonic shapes standing over them, Sevon and Sepina shrieked in terror at the top of their lungs.

A flash of grey and green silk dove straight at the first Reman soldier. Samilla spun the shaft of the teral'n around her neck to give the outer blades momentum. Then, she snapped her wrist and let the weapon loose in a mighty strike that took the Reman's head clean off. It dropped to the stone floor and rolled towards the other commandos while trailing green blood behind it.

The second Reman attempted to raise his rifle, but Samilla was already on him. She roared in rage as she used the teral'n to knock his disruptor away. The Reman tried to bring the blades of his bayonet around, but Samilla parried every strike with incredible speed. Finally, she slammed the blunt end of the shaft straight down onto his boot. The sound of crunching bone echoed from the walls as he yowled in pain. Samilla then silenced him by thrusting the three curved blades of the teral'n straight into his chest. When she ripped it free, the resulting hemorrhage covered her from head to toe with green gore. With another twist of her hips, his severed head joined his friend's on the floor.

The Reman squad leader stared at this blood-spattered woman with utter rage in her fiery eyes. Samilla dropped down to her back leg and raised her weapon like a sand-scorpion's tail ready to strike.

"I'm ninety-two years old,"Samilla sneered at him "I've seen things in my life a lot scarier than you. What else have you got?"

He shrieked in terror and turned to run back out the window. Samilla raised her teral'n and heaved it with all her might. The blades slammed into the Reman's back completely impaling him.

Trallian and Valaa arrived in the doorway just in time to see Samilla crush the squad leader's skull with her foot and pull the teral'n from his back. They watched speechless as she stood holding her gore covered weapon silhouetted in the moonlight.

"Ho…ly…Shit," Valaa said staring at the Reman bodies. The floor of the nursery was now completely covered in a deep pool of green blood.

"Mommy!" Sepina cried out. Sevon was still too in shock to speak. She merely sat upright clutching the plush set'leth to her chest as tears streamed down her face.

"My babies!" Samilla shouted sprinting over between the beds. She lifted both girls into her arms and held them tightly. "It's ok. It's ok. Mommy is here and nothing will happen now. You're safe! You are safe!"

Trallian grabbed his chest and dropped to his knees with relief.

"Romula, Queen of Seleya, and the pantheon of your raptor children, thank you. By all the gods, thank you," he prayed trying to catch his breath.

"What happened?" Rellas shouted as he arrived with a limping Seebo at his side. Valaa only pointed to the carnage.

"By Kahless!" the Gralluscan exclaimed. "Who did this?"

Samilla turned to him, still clutching Sevon and Sepina tightly. When Rellas saw the blood-stained teral'n at her feet and her robes spattered green, he made the sign of the tIq ghob.

"When you found you," Valaa said clutching her rifle, "you were doing needle point on a plush couch. Now, you take out three Reman special ops commandos like it's nothing! Who taught you to do that?"

"Before time began," Samilla replied while still holding her terrified daughters close, "Romula, the Raptor Goddess, Queen of the Universe, ruled from her nest at the top of Mount Seleya. For half the day, she would stand guard over her eggs for she loved her children more than all the treasures of the heavens. The other half of the day, she would bring her starry blanket of invisibility down over the world to keep her nest safe and warm as she patrolled the limits of her domain…"

Rellas, Valaa, and Seebo were confused, but thought better than to interrupt.

"Far beneath her holy peak, Vulca'an, the Sand Dragon, Destroyer of the Holy, searched for a way to bring Romula's reign to an end so he could rule the universe. For untold centuries, he plotted and planned, but could not find a way to pierce her cloak of invisibility. Finally, in a fit of rage, he thrust his tail deep into the ground. Fire roared forth, and burned away Romula's cloak of invisibility. The darkness became as bright as day. Vulca'an could see her unguarded nest. He slithered to the top of Mount Seleya and swallowed her eggs whole. Then, he retreated back to the ground.

Romula returned and wept for her lost children. Her endless tears filled the oceans and quenched the fires that Vulca'an had brought forth. She swore revenge.

First, she plucked the feathers from her body so that Vulca'an would not recognize her. However she left two hidden by her long hair to always remind her of her divine, avian heritage."

Samilla lifted her dark hair to reveal her pointed ears.

"Then, Romula ripped the wings from her back. From their bones, she fashioned a shaft. Next, she ripped the talons from her hands and made them into blades sharper than steel."

Samilla picked up the bloody teral'n and held it so they all could see.

"Her creation was the teral'n: the mother spear, first of all weapons. With it, she came down from the heights of Seleya, and found Vulca'an resting. His stomach was full and his eyes were heavy. He did not recognize the creature in front of him, and so he let himself fall asleep. Romula sliced off his head and slit his belly wide open. She rescued her eggs from inside Vulca'an's corpse, and then used his bones to carve the peaks of the valleys of the world."

Samilla thrust the end of the teral'n into the floor with enough force to crack the marble.

"That is why all Romulan women learn to use this weapon," she said gritting her teeth. "Because Romulan women don't appreciate it when you fuck with their children."

Trallian ran over and wrapped all three of them in his arms.

"Oh," Valaa said shrugging her shoulders sarcastically. "Is that why the planet is called 'Vulcan?' Cool, learn something new every day. Oh, we probably should go before all the Reman soldiers outside try to kill us again!"

"Enough!" Rellas shouted trying to regain control of the rescue. "We have you all now. Let's get out of here."

"My Lord!" Gras suddenly shouted through the communicator. "The Remans found us! They're jamming all the transporter frequencies. I can't get you out. They're also shooting at us…"

The transmission suddenly cut off into static.

Rellas, Trallian, and Valaa ran out to the window just in time to see a bright flash of heavy weapons fire flash across the southern hill. They could see the Remans laying waste to the brave fighters left guarding their escape route. Then, there was a massive explosion in the small creek bed where Gras and their security skiff were hiding. A fireball rose two hundred meters into the air.

Rellas shut his eyes and looked to the heavens. He implored that Kahless would accept his fallen men and women into his arms.

"Your followers are the bravest men and women I have ever seen. My family will forever be grateful for their sacrifice," Trallian said softly trying to soften the sting of loss.

"As will I," Rellas said with a deep breath.

"My Lord!" Esrak loudly chirped as he ran into the room followed by three other fighters. "The Remans have us surrounded! Their forces are moving in from the west, south, and east. We're trapped!"

Rellas looked down to the fields to see ten dark shapes slicing through the outer edges of Trallian's kheh fields. They were too distant to see in the darkness, but soon the unmistakable sound of grinding metal tracks reached their ears.

"Those are Reman tanks!" Valaa said with a sharp breath.

"Do you have another ship?" Trallian asked. Rellas merely shook his head.

"Why aren't they attacking from the north?" Valaa said.

"The northern hills are almost sheer rock face," Trallian answered. "If you don't know the area, you'd think they were impassable."

"But I'm guessing you do know the area?" Rellas said looking over with a bit of hope.

"We can take the service passages out towards the servant's quarters," Samilla said stepping forward. Her daughters were still clutching the sides of her robes "If we can get through the fields, there's a small draw that will take us through the cliffs unobserved. There are also many caves we can hind in until we can get to Nepor village on the other side. We can find transport there."

"Through the fields?" Seebo said in disbelief. "I don't know if you all are keeping track of the current events, but do you not see the massive front of Reman soldiers down there?

"We have to try!" Trallian spit back at him.

"He's right," Valaa agreed. "We can't just stay here and wait like hlai'hwy for the slaughter."

"Alright," Rellas said nodding his head. "Senator, it's your house. Lead the way."

Trallian turned towards the doorway and declared:

"I'm not a senator anymore…"

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