Subik IV: Klingon Empire
Every single colonist stood silently on the grassy slope of the hillside overlooking the village. Three thousand men, women, and children of all species, races, and creeds: freed slaves and refugees from the four corners of the Romulan Empire, all took a moment to stand as one. This dedication ceremony was not just for those who had died. It was also for those who lived.
At the crowd's front, Lady Lucretia and Crestia stood alongside Trallian, Samilla, and their daughters. Tigranian and Laria were on the opposite side of the governor with Tulan and Grisgok. Tigranian wore his grey general's stole over his formal armor. Laria held Tigranian's hand, while resting the other on her pregnant belly. She was still getting used to her maternity armor.
Lady Lucretia stepped forward and turned to address her people.
"There are those in the government across the galaxy who believe this colony is at best a political stunt or at worse, a joke. They think that we are the inferior, the broken, the discarded, and the lost," she said making eye contact with the sea of faces staring back into hers. "They think we will fail. They think we will eventually scatter back across the galaxy to become other people's problems. They think we are incapable of becoming more than what THEY think we are. They…are…WRONG."
Lucretia threw back her shoulders. The mid-day sun glinted off her chain mail baldric and black kamakha.
"I spent most of my life as a slave: a mere scullery maid covered in dirt, grease, and my own tears. That is all my master expected of me. That is all they expected from my children," she said looking over to Crestia who was dressed in finery similar to her own. Her daughter smiled as she choked back tears. "But today, I am the governor of a new world. My daughter is an honor student at one of finest universities in the galaxy while also serving as my viceroy." She looked to the crowd with a challenging stare.
"What will YOU become? Will you strive to be more than your humble origins? I tell you now, YOU MUST. We will always remember where we came from, but we will never apologize for it. We will never be ashamed of it, and we will never use it as an excuse to be anything less than great. We were slaves once. We bowed and we scraped by, and sometimes, we even wished for death. I say no more."
She looked over to Tulan and Grisgok.
"Now, we are warriors…"
Then she looked to the Trallians.
"We are farmers…"
Next she turned to Crestia.
"We are scholars…"
Then she looked to the rest of the audience.
"We are craftsman, merchants, artisans, fathers, and mothers. We are free men and women. WE ARE GLORIOUS! We will transform this wild planet into our home with our free hands and our free hearts."
Then, she looked over her shoulder at the stone eyes of the new statue staring down at her.
"We owe that to him. We owe that to each and every one of those names."
There was only silence as she looked over to Tulan. The young man stepped forward to the base of the monument, threw back his head, and sent a Klingon death howl into the clear blue sky. Three thousand voices instantly joined him. Their primal roar echoed for miles in every direction and up to the heavens. Every warrior who had died to free these people, every fallen family member, every lost friend had someone to warn the ancient heroes of Sto'Vo'Kor that a new generation was arriving to live eternally at their side. Then, the cool breeze finally extinguished the echo rolling across the valley as all fell silent again. Lucretia and Tulan stepped back into the crowd.
Tigranian stepped forward carrying a polished wooden box. He stepped in front of the memorial that he helped make a reality with his own hands and his own heart. Rellas was carved three meters tall in polished white marble. A pair of shattered manacles hung from the his wrists. The Gralluscan's face retained its confident, caring expression as it now eternally watched over the village below. Behind the statue were six panels of black granite. The panels were carved with each name on the list that Rellas sent with Trallian. Tigranian had personally ensured that each and every one was carved in perfect pIqaD. A bronze plaque in the center read:
NO CHAINS COULD HOLD THEM
NO FEAR COULD CONQUER THEM
Tigranian knelt before Rellas and made the sign of the tIq ghob. Several meters behind, Crestia looked on. Suddenly, the Elohsian felt a small touch brush against her leg. She looked down to see little Sevon and Sepina staring up at her. Crestia looked at their pointed ears and Romulan features for a moment. The girl's faces brought back memories of her horrific childhood. But then she put aside her fear and hatred. They were just children searching for a new home. Crestia smiled, reached down, and took the girls' hands in hers.
"I did what you asked, Brother,"Tigranian spoke still kneeling at the base of the statue. "I told your story. They did listen. Chancellor Martok and the High Council heard you. The Emperor and his priests heard you. Now, every Child of Kahless will hear you for all time…."
Tigranian opened the wooden box and placed it at Rellas' feet. Inside was a medallion: a black marble ball supported by a chain of golden blades.
"I will see you again one day at the Gates of Sto'Vo'Kor. Until then, stand in honored glory at the side of the Unforgettable…Saint Rellas, Son of the Western Stars, Martyr and Intercessor for the Oppressed, Breaker of Chains, Dahar Master of the Klingon Empire.