Nemesis Part One - The Hunting Darkness
"I am not happy about this, my Lord," Iruvande stated in as firm a manner as she allowed herself. "I should be at thy side, not galavanting around, running thy errands!"
Hiren smirked at his body guard over his cup of spiced tea. "It will take you no more than a few hours to go to my country estate and bring me the papers I need for my meeting with the Federation Ambassador this afternoon."
"My Lord, thee has many aides that could do this chore..."
"Chore?" Hiren snapped. "I am Praetor and you are my guard and my servant, are you not?"
"Ie, my Lord," she sighed, slumping into a chair beside him. "When is thy meeting?"
"Three hours after midday meal." Folding his hands on the breakfast table before him, Hiren smiled at her and looked her over. "I will be fine while you are gone, Iruvande. I have asked this of you many times before. I trust only you."
She looked him in the eyes, pale green to dark brown. "Not today. Ask one of thy many servants but not me. Please, my Lord, not today."
"Why ever not?" he laughed lightly.
"I feel something evil is coming, some great and terrible thing that is hunting thee."
There was a fear in her eyes that he had never seen there before. He had known the woman for his entire career but he'd never seen her look so rattled. "Old friend, I have faith in your guards. We will be fine." Leaning over, he patted her hand gently. "Do not worry, we will still be here when you return."
"I fear," she whispered as she stood and bowed low, "that you will not be."
Her deep green cloak pulled around her shoulders, Iruvande stepped out into the entrance hall to the Senate Building. As she swept through the milling crowds of tourists, clerks, politicians and bureaucrats, she passed a grey haired man who smiled fondly at her.
"Off to save the Empire again, hru'Airifvir?" the man chuckled.
It gave her pause and made her smile in the depths of her hood. "Come with me on an adventure, Senator tr'Hah'dee?"
"Na," he smiled broadly. "Too much like hard work for an old man."
In two steps she was in front of him, her hand on his chest. Only he could see the urgency in her eyes. "Edann, come with me. Please."
His frown was deep as he shook his head but lifted his hand to stroke her cheek. "Na, I cannot. The Senate is in session today, I must sit with my colleagues."
"They cannot shoot thee for one day off, can they?" she asked in desperation.
"Na," he said again, "but I would be irritated at myself. What has thee in a stir, Iruvande?"
She shook her head sadly. "It matters not. I will return as quickly as I can. Stay safe until then."
"I should be telling you that," he smiled, even as he felt a knot of worry curdle his stomach. "Be well, old friend." Watching her sweep away, he shrugged off the need to hug his arms around himself. "Silly old fools, the pair of us," he muttered as he climbed the steps to the Senate Room.
Note: Five minutes after Iruvande left the building, the Senate went into Session to hear a plea from Commander Suran about a peaceful coalition between the Romulan and Reman peoples. His plea was rejected. Within moments the whole Senate was assassinated and a pretender assumed the Praetorate. tr'Hah'dee died along with Hiren and the rest of the Senate. All, except for Senator Tal'aura.