Author's Note: The character of Roshanara Rahman was conceived in 2012 with one story ultimately in mind to tell. This is that story.
The events in this SIM occurred in 2361 and 2396, but were originally written on 26 Feburary 2019 (stardate 239602.19).
((Krios Prime, 2361))
It was just like any other day in the royal village of Kaitaama, the dawn sun beginning to rise across the landscape. Jatann was just a young boy and as with most of the children in the school, he wasn’t actually from Kaitaama itself. Jatann was an empathic metamorph.
An empathic metamorph is a creature capable of changing its persona and behavior to adapt to the external influence of others through its empathic powers, akin to how a chameleon and other creatures can camouflage their external appearance to their surroundings. Among sentient species, Kriosians were known to exhibit empathic metamorphs within the population, although this was not known widely outside of the Kriosian sphere of influence.
Kriosian empathic metamorphs could arise either through random mutation or genetic inheritance, and it was seen more common amongst males. Indeed, here at the school, there was only one female metamorph around Jatann's age. The other, already an adult, was slated to help heal the ancient rift between the Kriosians and their ancestral brethren the Valtese.
According to myth, it had been the love of one such metamorph that had driving the two brothers of Krios and Valt apart. Of course, the historical accuracy of the legend was somewhat questionable. Regardless, the royal staff took great pains to protect not just the female metamorph child but all the metamorphs at the school. They were all destined to eventually be partnered with high ranking members of Kriosian society. Supposedly, some of these marriages had already been set even before they were born. Most, however, wouldn’t be decided until the finiis'ral, the third and final stage of the metamorphs’ development when their abilities were strongest. Soon after, their metamorphic abilities would be lost once they imprinted on their partners, although their empathic abilities would remain.
Since ancient times when metamorphic abilities were discovered among the Kriosian population, delicate care was taken for their upbringing, beginning with the first two stages of their development. The el'anya occurred first during early childhood and preadolescence. During this time, children first displayed signs of empathic abilities. During adolescence, metamorphic abilities emerged in the second phase, the aneha'ral.
As soon as a child began to exhibit empathic abilities, the Sovereign Dynasty had decreed that they be taken from their parents to be raised in a royal village. This was a joyous occasion for the parents and family, who would be rewarded for their contribution to greater Kriosian society and given higher status in the caste system.
Jatann hadn’t been taken too long ago from his family, only a couple of years, and so he could still remember his parents. Despite the assurances from them in their final farewell, he still had found it difficult to make the adjustment to life here in Kaitaama, and there had been nights where he had to cry himself to sleep. Ironically, the newly gained empathic abilities of the other children didn’t come with corresponding sympathy, and instead, he’d been bullied by many of the other older boys.
Nadira changed all that. She changed everything. He didn’t know which village she’d come from, but even before she arrived, he knew something big was happening around the school. Everyone in the staff, from the teachers to the cooks, were buzzing with activity getting ready to accommodate a female metamorph-to-be. He was lucky to be close to her age. The other boys were barred from interacting with her, but rather than keep her alone for the rest of her training, the school allowed Jatann to take classes with her and spend time together. Over the next several months, they’d become friends—at least as much of friends as two young children could be. He’d started to forget what life was like before she’d arrived. He’d started to forget the family he used to know from beyond the walls of the village. He no longer cried himself to sleep.
It wasn’t a sudden scream that alerted Jatann to the fact that something was wrong or anything quite as dramatic. No, what he remembered first was the sudden panic he could sense from the adults. Just as they had been running around before she first arrived, this morning the headmaster of the school was angrily pacing through the halls, berating several of the staff members.
Jatann crept from his room and waited for the headmaster and the other adults to pass before he walked over and took a peak towards Nadira’s room. Besides the bed and a few books, everything else—her clothes, her shoes, all of it—was gone. It was as if she was never here, as if she were only a dream.
((Thirty-five years later))
As Jatann walked through the streets of this strange Earth city, he was amused by the thoughts he could pick up from those around him. If not for his spots and green eyes, he might have even been able to pass himself as a local.
After grabbing something quick to eat from a small cafe, he made his way to the address he’d been given. It was nestled in a part of the city that looked far older than the modern metropolis his shuttle had first landed into. Upon reaching the apartment building, he noticed a banner with a star hanging in one of the windows. Pressing the call button, a voice of an elderly man sounded from the speaker.
Man: Yes, what do you want?
Jatann: Excuse me, sir, but I’m wondering if you can help me find someone.
The man sounded tired on the other end.
Man: If you don’t have any official business here, I can’t help you.
Jatann: Oh, I assure you, sir, that this is very official business. I’m looking for a woman. I believe her parents live here. Is this the Rahman residence?
There was a long pause, and the Kriosian wondered if perhaps the man hadn’t heard him.
Jatann: Excuse me, sir, I said—
Man: Yes, I heard you. Who are you? What business do you have with my daughter?
At this, Jatann smiled. So evidently the Sovereign Guard’s sources had been accurate.
Jatann: Ah, it is Mister Issam Rahman I am speaking to then?
Issam Rahman: Professor.
Jatann: My apologies, professor. I mean no disrespect.
Issam Rahman: State your business or leave.
Jatann took a deep breath. He had been hoping to meet face to face. Communicating through the limited prism of this intercom was challenging to say the least.
Jatann: If I could just have a moment of your time, sir, I promise it will be worth-
Issam Rahman: You scoundrels are all the same! Who are you? FNS? Nyberrite?
Jatann: Um, no sir, I’m not from either of those organizations. I’m actually here on behalf of the Sovereign Guard of Krios Prime.
There was another long pause.
Jatann: Sir? Did you hear me, I’m from the-
The door to the apartment building suddenly opened, and Jatann was confronted by a furious woman who bore similar spots and a pair of green eyes to match his own.
Roshanara Rahman: Who the hell are you, and why are you harassing my father?
But Jatann didn’t have an answer for her right then. All he could mutter was a name as he looked back at the pair of green eyes he hadn’t seen in a long time.
Royal Staff of the Sovereign Guard
Captain Roshanara Rahman
CO, USS Veritas