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Posted on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 @ 2:18pm by Commander Jacob Kane & Lieutenant Savin

Mission: In the Family
Location: Queen's private chambers
Timeline: After A Royal Engagement

Queen Sarissa waited in her vast chambers, attendants fussing over her change of dress, removing various sections of garment and replacing them with others. She was part-way through a transition to afternoon-wear when the attendant arrived to inform her that the one she had summoned had arrived. Dismissing the barely-finished entourage around her, she motioned for her guest to be let in.

The one from earlier was permitted entry. The one that had addressed her directly. She was curious; in this Federation organisation, men and women were supposedly equal in stature and respect. His outburst was an example of that. Her curiosity was piqued.

"Come. Enter." She motioned to a nearby cushioned lounge seat.

Savin gave a polite bow as he was admitted, though he made sure to keep his eyes on the woman's face. He sat as directed and waiting patiently for her to continue.

"You spoke earlier without being addressed," she explained, approaching him steadily. "If you were one of my subjects I could have had you punished. The law would have required public flogging. Yet as you are a guest here, I thought best to educate you more directly." She paused, examining him intently. "What is your name?"

Paling ever so slightly at the mention of flogging - if he had caught that correctly, he forced himself to relax. "My name is Savin, your highness. I am the chief Counselor aboard the USS Athena. It is my duty to see after the mental welfare of the crew." He studied her, noticing that she had changed dress and with her hair down she was even more beautiful. "I will answer any questions you have my lady however if I may make a single request?"

He seemed to pause as if to gather courage to speak. "Please face my way when you speak. I am deaf and am reliant on seeing you speak without assistance from a telepath or aide."

Sarissa's expression grew curious for a few moments. A deaf male counsellor, as part of a diplomatic party. Most unusual. "Very well." she nodded. "So tell me, Savin. What do you do to see after the mental welfare of your crew? What is it you provide?"

"Moral support, someone to talk to and if necessary, exercises and in some cases medication." He paused a moment. "Mostly I am someone patients talk to, and I ask questions where necessary."

"Sounds frightfully boring," Sarissa sighed, moving back towards her full-length mirror and inspecting herself momentarily. She turned back to him. "To simply sit and listen to others all day must be terribly dull. Do you not desire more for yourself than this?"

"I am content with the ability to help others in their time of need. When necessary, my best friend assists me except on this mission as we wanted to keep the number of men down. Even though he has no interest in women, at all." Savin smiled ever so slightly. "I have always wanted to help others, I have never let my handicap stand in my way."

A smirk crossed her face. "At least you are willing to acknowledge your handicap. It is a pity too many others do not agree. Understanding one's place and accepting it in spite of what nature has determined is a commendable attitude." She clasped her hands together. "I wish I knew more men that thought as you do."

"My desire is that I have no preferential treatment because of my handicap," Savin explained patiently, "when I do not need to, I do not mention it because it will cause people to treat me differently. But I do not hide it, it made me who I am." He gave her a minute nod. "I suspect being queen must be both very stressful and extremely boring as well?"

The Queen pursed her lips momentarily when he mentioned preferential treatment. Inwardly she knew that he could not understand the subtext of that statement. A curious creature indeed. "It can be quite so." She alighted on the seat next to him. "And, at times, lonely. My own 'handicap'," she noted with a wry smile.

"You do not have a mate, or friends?" Here he raised both eyebrows at her in evident surprise. "No-one close to you, that you trust, or share special moments with?" He couldn't imagine not having Jerant nearly all his life, the man was almost a brother to him.

"Once, perhaps," she smiled sadly. "My brother. We were close, once upon a time. Now...not quite so much." She fidgeted, quite uncharacteristically, then realised what she was doing and returned to a slightly more regal posture. "A Queen must be above such things. I have a duty to my people to uphold the laws and traditions our world has relied upon for generations."

"Surely you have ways to relax or entertain yourself?" He didn't miss the sadness even if he couldn't hear it. "What happened, that you and your sibling are no longer close? Surely, what you do in your private time, is of no one's affair but your own?"

"It is no one's affair but my own." Sarissa rose, her previously soft expression hardening. "I see what you are doing, Counsellor Savin. You are using your masculine wiles to make me more pliable. That would be a grave mistake." She considered floating the flogging idea again, but that would be inappropriate in the circumstances. "My family is not for discussion."

"This is what I do your highness, I hope people talk to me to ease their sufferings, and their minds. Most counselors, actually, are female...." He paused, sensing a shift in her mood. "I do not know what you mean with masculine wiles, and I do not wish to make you more pliable, what would that gain me? I do wish to get to know you better, however."

"Counsellor Savin, take care that you speak to her Royal Highness, Queen of Paratus," she said sternly. "You men are all the same - you want equality, you want to be heard." Her tone was bitter now. "Want, want, want. This is all I hear. You claim to listen..." She let out a frustrated sigh. "Enough. It was a mistake to allow your presence. You will leave now."

Savin stood his ground however, sensing the bitterness. "Your highness, as I have said it is my duty to listen, as I am a counselor but it is also my duty to offer help if needed or wanted. I sense bitterness from you and I wish to understand this and help you move past it. I want nothing in return, my offer is free for all who need it. I have this... feeling... That you would want better relations with your sibling, but that tradition is holding you back."

"Tradition has never held people of Paratus back. Not in five centuries. And it will not be broken this day either." Sarissa practically snapped, her previous calm broken. "Guards!" she barked. A moment later, the door opened with two of her armed attendants standing ready. "This man is to be returned to his people." She paused momentarily. "If he speaks out of turn again, he is to be sent for punishment. Is that understood?"

"Then why are you so bitter?" Savin pressed, unaware of the approaching guards behind him.

Sarissa moved forward briskly as her guards took hold of Savin by both arms. "I shall assume your deafness means you did not understand me before. A pity all your talk of overcoming handicaps does not stretch to the worst handicap of all: your masculinity." She spat on the ground at his feet. "Take him from my sight."

Savin felt strong hands take hold of his arms with bruising strength. Still he refused to give up, even as they started to pull him away. "I believe there is more to it," he insisted, "and not just you being lonely or missing your brother's company."

Sarissa ignored him, motioning for her guards dismissively. She turned on her heel and walked to the large open windows, keeping her back to him as her loyal aides hauled Savin away from her.

Saying nothing further, Savin allowed himself to be pulled away.

Lieutenant Savin
Chief Counselor
USS Athena

Queen Sarrissa
Paratan Queen
(PNPC Kane)


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