SIM:Nadira, Chapter 2
Author's Note: The version below is slightly edited to remove redundancies that were originally included from the prologue to refresh the memory of readers--as well as enlighten new readers who had joined Veritas since the prologue was posted over a year earlier in Feburary 2019.
The events in this SIM occurred in 2397. The SIM was originally posted on 31 March 2020 (stardate 239703.31).
((Guest Suite, Kaitaama Palace, Krios Prime))
While not as lavish as a Ferengi casino ship, Molly Ashaba’s ship provided safe passage for Roshanara and her companions to their final destination: the home world of her species, Krios Prime.
Roshanara’s feelings about the planet were complex. On one hand, she’d never been there--unless there was truth to Jatann’s story that she’d been born there and not on Moselina IV as she’d always been told and what her birth certificate said. She knew as much about Krios Prime as any Federation citizen could. Founded according to myth after a schism between two brothers over an empathic metamorph, Krios Prime in more modern history had been subjugated by the Klingon Empire before waging a resistance campaign and eventually winning their liberation after settling their blood feud with the Valtese.
Even three decades removed from Klingon imperialism, there were still signs of the world’s former masters across its landscape. The great spires of Klingon colonial architecture rose up into the sky, dwarfing the native structures. The Kaitaama Palace was one of the rare magnificent buildings that predated Klingon rule, built in the 22nd century and named for the woman who held the title of First Monarch of the Sovereign Dynasty during that time.
The Sovereign Dynasty came to an end when the Klingons arrived two hundred years later. The class structure on Krios was useful for the Klingons in their rule of the planet and so the separation between nobility and commoners were kept, but after the planet regained its independence, a pseudo-democratic government among the nobility and privileged was established.
While there was no longer a First Monarch with absolute power, remnants of the Kriosian monarchy remained in Kriosian society, chief among them the royal court and Sovereign Guard. While the royal court no longer managed the day-to-day affairs of the planet, they were still tasked with the responsibility they’d performed for centuries long before Kriosians had achieved spaceflight: the development and care of empathic metamorphs.
The care and upbringing of metamorphs required utmost attention because of the limited number of years before they would imprint on their final partners. Like all marriages on Krios, the pairing of metamorphs to their partners was arranged. Kriosians who were identified as metamorphs early in their childhood were taken from their parents by the age of four and placed in a royal village where they were prepared by their tutors and servants. While a metamorph’s biological abilities would allow him or her to change behavior and personality to match a partner’s desires, the metamorph still needed to be educated to serve as a capable companion.
Roshanara didn’t learn about Kriosian empathic metamorphs until she was a teenager. She was only eleven years old when in 2368, Kamala, a female Kriosian empathic metamorph, was presented as a gift to the Valtese chancellor during negotiations to end the centuries-long Valtese-Kriosian war. Much of what the Federation knew about empathic metamorphs came only from Kamala’s single voyage aboard a Starfleet vessel taking her to the negotiations.
Word quickly spread though, especially once Krios liberated itself from the Klingons, and by the time Roshanara was sixteen, the mention of Kriosian in conversation would bring up the association with empathic metamorphs. A human couple adopted and raised Roshanara on Earth. Until then, she’d mainly been mistaken for a Trill by curious onlookers.
In 2390, however, she learned that she was actually an empathic metamorph herself. She had undertaken a surgery earlier that year while under Dr. Nic del Vedova’s care to attempt to "correct" her empathic abilities before she truly understood what was happening, but a copy of Aron Kells, who had been fused with memories from an alternate future, revealed that the operation which had used nanites hoping to strengthen her "weakened" neurons had in fact only augmented her neuroplasticity. Unlike other empathic metamorphs, Roshanara would never complete the finiis'ral, the final stage of a metamorph’s development where they ultimately imprint on a final partner. In at least one alternate future, her deteriorating condition ultimately led to her being unable to continue serving in Starfleet and living with the rest of society.
Fortunately, her partner Tristam Core worked with her in the subsequent years to help her develop her control of her empathic and thus metamorphic abilities. It was only fitting that all three men--Captain Kells, Del, and Tristam--were here with her now as she confronted a part of her heritage that she’d otherwise been happy to ignore.
Rahman: You’d think if this were so important, they’d have given us a bit more of a welcome…
Core: What were you expecting? A red carpet parade?
Roshanara had her arms crossed as she looked out the window towards the gardens in front of the palace. Besides the person that had shown them to their rooms, they’d receive no further contact from Jatann, the Sovereign Guard, or the royal court. Del and Captain Kells had gone to settle into their own suite, and so Roshanara stood, waiting in her room with Tristam.
Rahman: I guess I don’t know what I was expecting.
She turned around, a weak smile now showing.
Rahman: ::sighs:: I’m just really glad you’re here with me. Del and Captain Kells, too, of course, but you most of all.
The Rodulan’s eyebrows fell into a deep frown, matched with a soft smile.
Core: I wouldn’t miss it.
The moment lingered until they heard the door chime, drawing their attention. Roshanara took in a deep breath.
Rahman: All right, here we go…
She walked over to stand next to Tristam, grabbing his hand as the doors parted and a pair of Kriosian royal staff walked into the room.
Lt. Commander Tristam Core
Captain Roshanara Rahman