- Text Size +

Proconsul's Chambers, Ki-Baratan: Romulus, Romulan Star Empire

Semachs grinned from pointed ear to pointed ear as he walked over to a sideboard for a bottle of kali-fal and two glasses. Shinzon brooded a few meters away with his arms crossed over his purple and gray armor.

"Would you care to join me in a drink? I think this particular brand is about to become quite hard to find," Semachs said before rotating the bottle's label toward Shinzon.






"I only drink Romulan Ale when I have something to celebrate…" Shinzon growled.

"Are we not celebrating?" Semachs asked incredulously as he filled both glasses to the brim. "There are no signs of any rebel activity anywhere in the Star Empire. The last remnants of the slave army lies rotting in charred fields just across the sea from where we stand, and the greatest traitor in the history of the Romulan state is gone. I have to admit, Shinzon, I'm impressed."

"We didn't find Trallian's body in the ruins of the villa!" Shinzon countered. "He could still be alive!"

"So what if he is?" Semachs said dismissively as he took a sip from his glass.

Shinzon angrily furrowed his brow.

"Forgive my confusion," he spit back, "but I thought the entire point of the operation was to capture and execute him!"

"Maybe at first," Semachs mused, "but you've given me something much more valuable than another corpse."

"And what is that?" Shinzon asked annoyed.

"You've given me a symbol: a cause to rally the entire empire around!" Semachs said triumphantly. "Trallian is now so much more than just a normal agent of sedition. You see, now we have evidence the slave revolt didn't happen because of any fault of the state. The Romulan government is still without fault."

Shinzon scoffed.

"How exactly to you figure that, Proconsul?"

"Now, we can state the revolt happened because there was an ultimate betrayer of our sacred ideals. This serpent slithered his way into the very heart of our government because of the most vile and treacherous of words forced on us by our alliance with the Federation during the war: 'reform,'" Semachs soliloquized with a series of grandiose hand gestures. "Through the inexhaustible efforts of our officials, we routed the traitor and crushed his rebellion. However, if we say he's still alive, we can say he's still a threat.

If we don't clamp down on dissident protests, Trallian could place his minions back in the government. If we reduce surveillance, Trallian could restart the insurrection. If we allow Federation treaty monitors into our country, Trallian could use them to pass information to our enemies! Trallian…Trallian…Trallian…"

Semachs walked over and held up the second glass towards Shinzon.

"The possibilities are endless. You just gave me the exact thing I needed to seize a firm grip on power for the next century. You have my gratitude, Shinzon, and I don't give that easily."

Semachs looked him straight in the eye. The general knew he had no choice but to accept the proconsul's gesture. Shinzon took the glass and stared down at the blue spirit.

"I suppose we will be hearing the name 'Praetor Semachs' very shortly?" Shinzon snickered.

"Of course not!" Semachs sneered. "The praetor is always the first to be blamed when something goes wrong. However, the proconsul: the hard-working executive behind the man in charge, is always looked on with favor. I just need a person stupid and narcissistic enough to both want the job and do what's he's told…"

"You know, Trallian could actually be dead," Shinzon mused. "I would hate for that little fact to ruin your new scapegoat's usefulness…"

"Alive, dead," Semachs shrugged, "Maybe he'll appear in the Federation or the Klingon Empire. Maybe he'll rent a two-bedroom flat on Fereginar. Maybe his scorched bones are moldering in the ground beneath his obliterated estate. It doesn't really matter. I don't need Trallian in the room for him to cooperate with this." The Reman general laughed and held up his glass with perfect false enthusiasm.

"To the Senate and the People of Romulus, Proconsul," Shinzon toasted.

"Long may they reign," Semachs replied triumphantly before they both drank.

You must login (register) to review.