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The room was dim. Most of the illumination came from the stars sparkling in through the panoramic, transparent aluminum window. Trallian's wife stood staring out at the far-off points of light. Tigranian knew she was trying to find Romulus in the blackness. He had done the same with Earth during his exile. The two daughters ran and grabbed the edges of their mother's robes when they saw the strangers walk into the room. Neither of them made a sound. In fact, everything was eerily quiet.

Laria noticed how she guarded the girls like a Sabre bear watching her cubs. The Bajoran's instincts told her that this woman could be very dangerous if provoked, especially since she kept one eye on a teral'n leaning against the far bulkhead.

Trallian was seated alone in the middle of the room. He stared off into a replicated glass of kali-fal.

"I knew you'd come," he said forcing a grin across haggard face. "Even though I may not agree with all your beliefs, you're a man of your word…just like Rellas." He turned to look at the Klingon jenSa'. "You both were really perfect for each other. I salute you.

Trallian raised his glass and took a sip of the blue liquor. Then, his face immediately contorted with disgust.

"This is really what Terrans think Romulan Ale tastes like? Anyone who thinks this forgery is passable is no Romulan at all!"

"There's a reason why smuggling it is the most common misdemeanor in the Federation," Tigranian said cautiously keeping his distance. "Personally, I never cared for the drink that much."

Trallian laughed as he put the glass on the coffee table.

"I don't remember you being this reticent the last time we met, Son of Tigranian. Is it possible that putting on a Klingon uniform has actually made you more timid?"

Tigranian growled with annoyance. It made Trallian chuckle again.

"You really are like Rellas," Trallian mused. "Any challenge to your honor and you feel the need to puff your chest out." He turned to Laria. "And you must be Lady Laria. We didn't have the pleasure of meeting before when the Pershing was in the Pomparath Nebula like Captain Geist and Lieutenant Stone here." He suddenly snapped his fingers. "My apologies, like 'Lieutenant Lexington' here. I tried explaining to her that she doesn't need the phaser, but I admire her sense of duty. She brings it back every time."

He then turned back to the Bajoran warrior and rose to his feet.

"You caused quite a stir in the Romulan upper class when you beheaded Lady Selonia. For that, I salute you as well. However, I won't do it with poorly replicated kali-fal. We'll just settle for a hand-shake." He said holding out his palm.

"Senator Trallian," Laria replied politely shaking back.

"As I must constantly explain," he said shrugging his shoulders, "I'm not a Senator anymore." Trallian gestured to his wife and daughters. "May I introduce my wife, Lady Samilla and our daughters, Sevon and Sepina."

Samilla managed a polite nod, but Sevon and Sepina continued to hide in their mother's skirts.

"You certainly seem to know quite a lot about about us, Lord Trallian," Laria said. "We wish we could say the same about you and your fine family. One month, you're sitting on the Continuing Committee in Ki-Baratan and the next you're here with us in the Federation."

"A Romulan survives on his ability to know as much information as possible," Trallian countered. "I failed in my duty. Luckily for us, Rellas and his followers did not."

"Trallian, what happened?" Tigranian finally asked outright.

"Isn't it obvious, General? Semachs found out I was passing information to the rebels and he sent his thugs to come kill us," Trallian replied. "Rellas' followers arrived at my villa in the nick of time. Then, they all sacrificed their lives to help us escape!"

He kicked the sofa out of frustration. His strength sent it skittering two meters across the carpet. Katie slowly reached for her phaser but a furtive hand from Annabeth stayed her. Tigranian shut his eyes tightly as Trallian collapsed back down into a chair and buried his head hands.

"Twice! Twice now my incompetence has taken lives! The disaster at Pomparath was bad enough, but now it has also cost the blood and freedom of my own villa's workers. They wanted nothing else but to live in peace. JUST TO LIVE!

Now, they either lay dead or in one of the Tal Shiar prisons being tortured and interrogated for information they don't know. I could live another two-hundred years and every single day I will think of nothing else…"

Tigranian opened his eyes.

"Was Rellas killed or captured?" the general asked.

"Neither," Trallian scoffed. "Once again, the Gralluscan's faith in your Kahless was rewarded. He and one of his other soldiers, an Orion woman he called Valaa, survived. They found us the shuttle we escaped in."

"Where is he? Do you know?" Tigranian said with hope.

"They're on their way to the Hobus system to finish what you both started."

"I've never heard of it," Tigranian said turning back to Annabeth and Laria. Both of them shrugged in ignorance as well.

"I'm not surprised," Trallian explained. "It's completely uninhabited."

"Then why go there?" Annabeth asked.

"What I'm about to tell you," Trallian said forcefully, "is OFF the record. No Starfleet or Klingon Imperial Intelligence involvement. Rellas' only chance to get out of there alive is if no one else gets involved. Do you understand?"

Annabeth and Tigranian both nodded.

"Semachs has transformed the Reman Imperial Auxiliary into his own private militia. They act on his personal authority alone. The praetor, the senate, and even the Continuing Committee have all lost all control of the Star Empire."

"Mein Gott…" Annabeth said. "If he threatens war with us again, they'll be no one to stop him."

"More than that, Captain. Something else is going on I don't think Semachs comprehends: something very dangerous," Trallian continued. "The Reman's leader, a general named Shinzon, is embezzling resources and currency from the Imperial Treasury in a level never seen before in Romulan history. Semachs doesn't care as long as his power is protected, but the Remans are up to something at Hobus. Rellas and Valaa went to investigate. Whatever it is, I want to be a long way from Romulus when his true intentions are revealed." He managed a chuckle. "Maybe this is all actually a blessing from the gods," he muttered.

Laria looked over to Samilla and the girls. Trallian's moods and dire predictions weren't doing much to calm their nerves. The Bajoran suddenly walked over and looked down to Sevon and Sepina. Both of them tightly gripped their mother's hands.

"They've never seen a person dressed in Klingon armor before," Samilla explained still skeptical of Laria's intentions.

"Hello, my name is Laria," she said softly. "I know what it's like to be afraid. I know what it's like to leave the only home you've ever known. When I was younger than you, I had to run away too. But, you're lucky. You're sisters, and you'll take care of each other. I promise things will be okay."

Sevon stared for a few moments at the house crest branded into Laria's arm. She studied the sharp lines of Laria's armor, and looked into the Bajoran's eyes as if she was searching for something familiar. Finally, she asked a question so quietly it was barely above a whisper:

"Are you still scared?"

"I was for a very long time," Laria replied. "But then I decided not to be afraid anymore."

"How did you do that?" Sevon said.

"I learned to use this." She pulled out her d'k tahg, clicked open the blades, and flipped it around so that the little Romulan could touch its handle.

Sevon slowly reached out and pressed her fingers against the krencha skin handle. Sepina, bolstered by her sister's confidence, reached out and touched the weapon as well.

"Is this Klingon too?" Sevon asked.

"It is," Laria said. "It's called a d'k tahg. This one is very special. My Klingon mother gave it to me on my wedding day."

"You have a Klingon mother?" Sepina asked surprised.

"I do," Laria grinned back. "And I have two Bajoran mothers," Laria laughed thinking back to her conversation with Kira Nerys on Deep Space Nine's promenade. She clicked her d'k tahg shut and returned it to the sheath.

"When I'm old enough," Sevon said finding the courage in her tiny body. "My mother is going to teach me how to use that," she said pointing to the far wall. "It's called a teral'n."

Laria quickly drew in a sharp breath as she remembered her battle with Selonia on Dacen Prime.

"That looks frightening," Laria said back to Sevon.

'It's not frightening to me," Sevon replied. "It's the weapon my mother used to fight the bad people. She made them go away."

Laria nodded.

"That's good. Practice hard with that teral'n. Then, one day, you'll be the ones making the bad people go away. Qapla'."

"What does that word mean?" Sepina asked. "I heard Rellas say it too."

"It means I think you're both very brave and I wish you the best, Lady Sevon and Lady Sepina."

"Qapla'," both girls said back to her in unison. Samilla looked at Laria with deep gratitude.

"Do you intend to stay in this country?" Tigranian asked the Trallians.

"Of course not," Samilla scoffed. "We would never be able to live in peace here."

"Can you imagine a family of former Romulan nobles trying to survive in the Federation?" Trallian added.

Tigranian looked over to his wife and remembered their conversation outside of Club Goruq. Then, he looked back to Trallian.

"Others can take titles like 'Senator' or 'Lord' or even 'Captain' from you," he explained, "but to have nobility is a choice that you make every day."

Trallian contemplated those words for a few moments. Then, he stood up, drew a PADD from his robes, and held it out towards Tigranian.

"Before we left Romulus, Rellas requested I give you this. I don't know what message it contains, but I do know it will probably be the last thing he ever asks of either of us."

The general solemnly accepted it with an understanding nod.

"We sail for Subik in one hour," Tigranian said. "Be prepared to beam aboard the nentay then."

"We'll be ready," Trallian replied.

The Tigranians turned and exited to the corridor. Annabeth and Katie were right behind.

"Starfleet Intelligence is gonna be pretty pissed that you took him before they arrived," Annabeth said. "What should I tell them?"

"Tell them that it's all Tigranian's fault," he responded. "That excuse seems to work pretty well of late."

Laria laughed. Annabeth and Katie rubbed their eyes.

"Besides," Tigranian continued, "right now he's just a man trying to take of his family. The Trallians need to be worrying about making a new life in the Klingon Empire, not about answering questions from random intelligence officers who want to exploit them."

"As a Starfleet Officer," Annabeth said, "I have to officially protest. However, as a wife and mother, I say 'right on.'"

"IT'S A GODDAMN MIRACLE!" a crewmember screamed from around a bend in the corridor.

"What's the news saying?" a maintenance tech shouted as a trio of enlisted personnel sprinted towards the station day room.

"I don't know. Bailey just told me that they just interrupted programming on all the SFN channels to talk about it."

The Tigranians, Annabeth, and Katie all exchanged nervous looks. Then, they followed the crewmen towards the nearest holoscreen. When they arrived, everyone on the asteroid from Commander Xorax down to the lowest enlisted E-1 crewmen was crammed into the day room with their eyes glued to the glowing screen. Some were even standing on the vomit-stained pool table trying to get a better view.

"We're obviously going to be following this incredible story for a while," a news anchor said back in the Federation News Service Studios on Earth. "If you are just joining us, this happened twenty minutes ago less than one light year from the Sol System:"

The screen cut to a shot of space. A blue and white distortion opened and transformed into the massive maw of a transwarp aperture. A spherical Borg scout ship emerged from the conduit with an armada of Federation starships already in wait. The fleet opened fire with every weapon at its disposal, but the enemy ship continued slowly moving forward, seemingly unaffected by the sea of phaser beams and photon torpedo blasts.

The entrance to the transwarp conduit suddenly collapsed. Then, a series of blasts rocked the sphere. It seemed to explode from the inside out. Then, out of the flaming debris, an Intrepid class Federation starship flew out at full impulse straight into the arms of the friendly task force.

"That's impossible…" Laria said as her mouth fell open aghast.

"That can't be them, can it?" Katie asked turning to Annabeth.

"I think it is!" Annabeth said as her face lit up with delight. "Welcome Home, Girl."

"Once again," the anchor said as the screen but back to a shot of her in the studio, "The starship Voyager, lost in the Delta Quadrant over seven years ago has suddenly returned to the Federation, possibly with the help of the Borg. Could this be a peace initiative on the part of the Collective? Did Voyager somehow hijack their transwarp network?

We're still waiting on an official statement from Starfleet Command. However, the Federation Space Rescue Service is asking all civilian vessels to stay clear of the fleet's flight path until any possibility of Borg technological contamination is ruled out. Stay with us during our continuing coverage of 'Homecoming 2378.'

In the meantime, we're just receiving word that Voyager has just passed the Luna marker under Starfleet escort and is approaching Earth orbit. We take you now to the live feed from our local Earth affiliate KFNB's news shuttles:"

Voyager, surrounded by twenty Federation starships, silently slipped passed the moon and prepared for Earth orbit. Two impulse tugs approached the bow and signaled the starship to follow them towards a quarantined slipway near Starbase One.

"I would not want to be around Belen Tarn tonight," Annabeth chuckled. "Every other starship in Sector 001 got to shoot at a Borg cube and then escort the 'lost little lamb' home on national holovision. Meanwhile, the Nevsky is stuck inside space dock with a busted warp core. Not exactly a proud moment for 'Might of the Motherland.'"

"He should blame his chief engineer," Katie said with a raised eyebrow. "Almost makes up for the fact they screwed us into staying on the Neutral Zone for an extra month."

Annabeth, Katie, Laria, and the others were all transfixed by the news coverage. They didn't notice Tigranian slowly slip back out into the corridor. He took a deep breath. Then, he unlocked Rellas' PADD. The Gralluscan's face appeared and began a pre-recorded message:

"Son of Tigranian, if you're seeing this, it means that Trallian has found you. It seems that the war we started together on Dacen Prime is coming to an end. I don't know if it changed anything. Romulus still stands and millions are still enslaved. However, I have to believe that what we did mattered. Even if only so our belief in freedom lives on, it must matter.

Most of my followers have travelled across the River of Blood. Shortly, I will join them. However, Son of Tigranian, the man that first brought the Light of Kahless into my life, I charge you with one final task, Klingon warrior to Klingon warrior:

Tell our story. Tell people how we lived. Tell them how we died. Tell them to remember us. Qapla', my brother, and farewell…"

The recording ended.

Tigranian saw the other files on the device: holophotos: hundreds and hundreds of holophotos. Each one showed the faces of the men and women who fought with Rellas. There were faces from the very beginning on Dacen all the way to just before the Battle of the Villa Tralliakii.

Tigranian put a hand over his face as he looked through the images and read each caption:

"Onorok Trains New Recruits"

"Valaa and Tarko Share Their Moonshine on Daxos IV."

"Seebo and Gras Clean Weapons on Viochin."

Finally, Tigranian reached the final file. It was a list of almost two thousand names: every single person that took up arms with Rellas was there. Tigranian managed to read the first few, but had to stop as raw emotions finally overtook him. The Imperial jenSa' of Cardassia snuck into a nearby broom closet and burst into tears. He knew exactly why Rellas had given him this. It was a Klingon proverb older than Kahless the Unforgettable himself:

"Suv'wI yIn pongchaj jatlhtaH."

"A warrior lives as long as their name is spoken."

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