Previous Next

Empress Xue'Daio Nox Tr'Verelan | "Tomorrow"

Posted on Tue Jan 26th, 2021 @ 8:32pm by Xue'Daio Nox Tr'Verelan

Mission: A Distant Thunder

Few things in life remained as timeless and true as the following statement; if one remained calm and quiet enough, you could hear the sea whispering her secrets. All it took was an astute understanding of every boom and sigh and a uniquely open mind.

It had been a staggeringly tame winter, quite different from the roaring, bitter savagery of the years previous… Two years had passed since an Empress and her people her goodbyes to an Emperor that never returned from his trip across a sea of a different sort; a shoreless sea of black velvet and stars, never ending, had swallowed him and vowed to keep him like a secret that never stood a chance of whisper no matter how often the Empress stood vigil, gazing at the heavens night after night in a fine mix of anger and wonder alike. Guilt had consumed her for a time, tarnishing the birth of her son, but a year later that guilt was barely existent. The only sigil that still remained painted across her silken, silvery skin was one that quite simply stated she would move on from the past… And one that promised she would never forget.


One she would need to resolve on her own in the days and months to come - on her own time.

The shrouded charcoal gray and lavender of dusk raced to embrace Xue's shining grace, curling around her alabaster frame with a confident hum. Her toes buried into the dark onyx sand as if to root herself to the shoreline in defiance of the incoming night and the relative chill it brought. The evening sea gales rose to prickle her cheeks and the fine bridge of her nose with their sharp contrast in temperature. Winter had been tame, yes, but it was undeniable that a storm was coming - she could feel its warning running along the circuitry of her nerves and bubbling in her veins. In response, her fingers curled into the fabric of her stole, tugging the warm security of it closer and tighter, allowing her to tuck the cold-pinked tip of her nose beneath it for reprieve.

“Your Grace,” Kiv’watt’s bold voice erupted from behind her, “I understand that you wish to be left alone, but…”

“There aren’t any monsters in the dark.” She quickly replied, her voice muffled by both the wind and her shawl. Looking at him was out of the question. The man was her head guard, and her father, but she was Empress and that was a fact that would need to remain emboldened as time continued to pass.

He sighed in response, “No, I don’t suppose there are, but tomorrow you return to Aleine at first light and the Senate will expect ans--”

“Answers to what I will choose to do moving forward, yes. I know they have no love for an empty throne.” Xue’s russet eyes closed as she spoke, “I named S’anra as my heir. That should be enough, and should I pass before she is of age, then you will guide her in her choices until she turns sixteen.”

“They doubt that she will be ready at sixteen, Majesty, she is half Rom--”

“You will not think or assume that she is inferior because of her Romulan bloodlines.” The white Queen snapped sharply, “If anything, the Rhiannsu aspects of her blood are an asset. Her father was a brilliant man, the Ascendancy was better for him and his mind.”

“They mature slower, Majesty. They don’t believe she will be ready because of that.”

“And they are wrong.” Xue hissed, ignoring her previous station and turned sharply to view the Makta with eyes filled with scorn and scrutiny, “Of all people, you should know better than to discount someone because of their differences. Psy’Daio tried to argue that I would be inferior and you took the brunt of that, do you not remember?” Her chin rose a measure in sheer defiance and demand that her father choke on his own sentiments, one way or another. Had he been anything other than her own flesh and blood - her own sire - she’d have simply left his broken body to bleed out into the sand and found another patch of beach to reflect upon.

In many ways, the Makta guard understood the position they had both been thrust into. His jaw flexed as he gazed upon his daughter - his Queen - as she began to glow and stood proud and resolute against the darkness of the night… And the Senate. “You are right,” he nodded in concession, “Your mother was convinced you were the end of our world. She was wrong just as the Senate is wrong about the Princess.” The child was barely nine years old and already the jackals argued over her future and seemed to continue to plot in the shadows. There were whispers of hopes the Empress would wed a noble of Stenellian blood and produce a pure heir that would usurp any chance the girl had of having her birthright honored - especially now that what they'd branded as the ‘cur’, the Empress’s son born of a tryst with a Starfleet officer, was being raised on a Federation station by his father. The decision hadn’t been theirs to make, but to hear it told by them it was a great victory on behalf of a senate that was still riddled with arrogance and ignorance.

Kiv Watt’s lip curled at the very thought.

“You know what you must do, Xue… It won’t be easy, but it will be for the best. For the future.”

A single pale hand rose to silence any opposition or further answer - a quiet demand that her order be followed and promise that anything less would be met in kind with consequences. “Go now. This conversation is over.” There would be no discussion of the actions to follow her return to Aleine, but both held a deeper understanding of duty and the displays of power that needed to be made in order to make it perfectly clear that the Ascendancy was ruled by a single Empress and not the Senate that had been designed to act as advisers. A senate that only existed because it had been Maec’s vision.

“There's one more thing, Majesty.” He defied her only because of the importance of the matter.

"And that is?"

"Commodore Ivanova has been lost to the fates. You will be expected to speak on that as well."

The young Empress stiffened at the news, but refused to entertain the uncertainty of such a loss. There had been too much loss and each one needed its own time and its own response. The morning would bring with it far more pain and grief than most could imagine - and now with Ivanova gone there would be fear and apprehension dictating their relations with the Federation. "That's a pity. She was good to us." Was all she would respond and the sentence would be punctuated with the motion of his second dismissal from her company.

With Kiv'Watt's hesitant departure, verbal silence once again claimed her by wrapping its arms in tight to usher her back to the conversation she held with the ocean.

It was late winter; the time of purple sunsets, snowy evenings, deep, sad hymns of the sea, and passionate wind-songs across the waves and through the dunes. Night’s dark veil shrouded the smoky rim where surf met sand, and the great open waters simply sighed in resignation, yawning in the tiring pursuit of that which they’d never attain.

Darkness, however, was never pure. It was always punctuated by beacons of twinkling light in one form or another. It was usually the way one’s hand would stroke and caress the curves and lines of their lover’s body, the way an artist’s brush would dance across canvas. That night was nearly an exception to that rule. While the stars had indeed been denied the chance to peer down at the weary world of Apsha - with great interest and envy - and the moon remained yet unseen, leaving the sky most daunting, snowflakes quaked in apprehension as they looked upon and fell towards the beach that night. They fluttered and spiraled in apprehensive descent towards the young Empress that lit the sands with her celestial silver light.

Still no answer came that allowed her to release the memory of Maec. If anything it galvanized the memories she retained. She could remember him plain as day, the inky darkness of his eyes as they traced the contours of her face and the way they glittered when he challenged her convictions with his own. She could remember the elegant fashion in which his lips curved into a rare, sly smile when they spoke and the gentle wonder of his hands as they touched her with a sort of reverence and admiration she didn’t think possible.

Thoughts of him, remembrance of their time together, clung to her in much the same fashion each snowflake clung to her hair and skin. They melted into her, slowly working to chill her and numb her to the pain of a future in which he didn’t exist.

The sigils may have been washed from her body, save two, but they remained burned and branded to her psyche. “I still tell myself that I should have felt when you died, but I didn’t.” Xue spoke to the dark waters. Every second she spent denying herself the warmth of her estate perched upon the bluffs was a second she spent flirting closer with death itself. The cold was hardly a friend to the Stenellis kind, it made them sluggish and usurped their life force entirely too easily - but she hadn't a care. It wasn’t often she spoke to him during these times spent trying to let him go in totality and things needed to be said, “It gives me hope that you’re still out there. Even if you’ve chosen to leave, to pursue your fortune on your own, it’s a kinder thought than you being dead.” Her breath left as frost and steam, curling up to meet the heavier flakes of wintertide, “Tomorrow… I’ll put away the black. Let them believe that I have moved on and left your memory as just that... A memory... A relic. You and I both know better.” She huffed, once more tucking her nearly numb nose beneath her stole, "There's no forgetting you. I hope you send us luck and fortune from wherever it is you've landed."

To Be Continued...

Xue'Daio Nox Tr'Verelan
Empress of the Stenellian Ascendancy
Queen Regnant of Apsha
Queen of Aliene


Previous Next