474: Revelations: Part One

by LT SG Rada Dengar
Immediately after The Chair, before the events of The First Thread


“Shh,” said Wren as she stroked Rada’s hair. He was still pulling himself away into the corner like a frightened animal and it was clear he didn’t want her touching him. He kept trying to swipe her away but his coordination was failing and his hand just pathetically jerked in front of his face “They’ll wear off soon.”

This room was now becoming visible. Everything seemed to be moving slowly in here. Even Rada’s own movements seemed distorted. As his rapidly twitching hand passed his face it looked like whichever direction it tried, it was fighting against a strong wind and barely winning. It felt like that too.

This room was familiar; he’d never been here before but he’d heard stories of it many years ago. It was the one place he’d ever heard Wren mention that he could tell had shaken her. This had been her father’s office. She’d started off telling Rada stories of all of the rebellious things she’d done in her life as a way to motivate him to step out of line a bit more often, and they had begun to joke that she would be compelled to do anything she was told not to do.

After the expected flirtatious suggestions from Rada, where he told her various things she would not be allowed to do to him, she had given him a playful slap and continued to list times in her life when she had broken the rules set out for her. They were laughing and joking around and she mentioned how her father had once forbade her from entering this office and how she had been compelled to do so. The laughing quickly stopped as her real memories of this place returned and her story descended into a description of what she’d seen here that night. Watching her eyes had told Rada that she was reliving it.

The walls were solidly built out of what looked to be the Betazoid equivalent of Red Gum. The floor was thickly carpeted in the way which rendered footsteps silenced and yet was laced with some variety of steeled mesh which left it as hard as concrete, and just as cold. It appeared to have been built with windows, which had been removed and replaced with shelving for various statuettes representative of history’s greatest interplanetary empires. The ceilings stretched as high as the house itself even though they were on the ground floor of a two-story house. The centre of the room was completely void of furniture or decoration to allow it to be quickly traversed.

There was one door on the far side of the room; its bulky design and manual operation clashed considerably with the rest of this furniture. Each of the remaining three walls were lined with three identical computer/communication consoles which, while they may have been getting on a few years now, were state of the art back when Wren had last been here. Even if one of them were to malfunction there were always two to give the correct answer.

It had been preserved exactly like it was that day except for the chair, which was a new addition. It spoke a lot about the man who’d chosen this as his sanctuary, that night it had spoken a little too much. She’d guessed her name as his password and accessed a business log. She spent years hating herself for that, for so long in her ignorance they’d been something close to happy but after she knew her conscience got in the way. You didn’t need to be a Betazoid to sense that she was still uncomfortable here but you did need to know her well to recognise just how much she was shaking.

“W…w…why?” Rada stammered out. His mind was still clearing and none would have blamed him for speaking through his thoughts rather that struggling with words, but he was definitely not prepared for that now.

Wren held back for a second, as she knew Rada needed to be calm now, but she saw so much fear and confusion in his eyes and even a hint of betrayal.

“I had to come back. Tam’s father was trying to get to him and I needed him to be safe.”

Rada was still shaking but he was quickly regaining composure and even accepting Wren’s gentle touch “Wh….wh…where…?”

“We’re at my family…”

Rada cut her off. “NO! T…Tam, where…” he managed to force out.

She began to hold Rada’s hand, which she stroked with her thumb. “It’s okay, he’s safe”

She could see that calmed Rada as he almost smiled.

“We have to get out of here,” She added. “Can you walk?”

Rada nodded and tried to force himself onto his feet; he slipped a couple of times but finally managed with the help of the wall to approximate standing. Before he could fall again Wren slipped in under his arm to support him. Her brother was beginning to twitch but she was too busy to notice as they headed towards the old door.

They limped through the halls of this run down old place, which had been retrofitted with all the latest equipment, but where the older things had been completely forgotten. It was a shame as it had clearly once been very well looked after.

They must have passed half a dozen different comm units; it would seem that these people never liked to be far from a phone.

There pace was quickening as the effects were wearing off. Rada was even regaining his capacity for complex speech.

“Your brother. He’s in charge?” he said. It was laboured but it was clearer.

As Wren guided Rada towards her son she tried to explain what had happened when she could barely comprehend it herself.

“You know the saying be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?” Rada nodded that he did, although he never did understand Terran sayings. “Well it turns out that after I left, my father did just what I always wanted him to. He attempted to shut down the business.”

“Your brother didn’t like that?” asked Rada as they rounded a corner and he began to stand of his own power. His mouth was dry and it was making words difficult, but he was getting better. He kept his arm around Wren although it was not so much for his own support now.

“He started saying that my father was weak and took over the business himself. With none of his old friends and all of his old enemies my father was forced to flee.”

Rada could see that this had been recent news to Wren; it still troubled her. “You didn’t know?”

Wren smiled a sad smile and admitted, “I set myself up to be hidden from one of the most powerful men on Betazed. A refugee seeking a second chance had no hope of making contact.”

Rada just let the silence hang in the air, as this really wasn’t the time for this conversation. They rounded a final corner and the door swished open to reveal their child. He had grown since Rada had last seen him. He also didn’t have a phaser to his head the last time.


LT. SG Rada Dengar
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Alchemy NX 53099