"Unexpected Twist"

Author: Commander Kira Markos
Date: April 3, 2384
Location: Valaria

Kira was just about to retire from the evening's festivities when he was pulled aside by Minister Elsie and King Purol into one of the many antechambers in the royal palace on Valaria. Kira, along with Nige and Dinara, was currently assigned the mission of completing a First Contact/Initiation meeting with the Valarian Government. So far, the mission was far from boring.

Once the doors to the chamber were quietly shut, King Purol was the first to speak. "If you don't mind my asking, Commander, I'm wondering where the energy shield came from that blocked the assassin's blast earlier today, and where that ball of energy came from that disrupted the assailant's 'costume.'"

"The King specifically wants to know if the technology that created the shield and energy disruption would be among the things shared by the Federation once we are aligned in treaty." Spoke Elsie immediately after the King had finished his sentence.

Kira took a moment to ponder his thoughts before answering the question brought before him. He knew that the subject was bound to come up sooner or later after the initial shock of the assassination had dissipated. "Actually, neither the energy field nor the disruption were created by technological means. I created them."

Elsie and the King looked at Kira with an expression of confusion, which prompted Kira to elaborate.

"I am unique among my species in that I have the ability to generate and control multiple forms of energy." Said Kira while holding up his hand with an out-stretched palm. He began to form another ball of energy that swirled with multiple colors. "No technology is used to create this effect, my own physiology allows this process to occur."

With her eyes locked on the ball of energy floating above Kira's outstretched hand, Elsie formed another question, "So, when the assassin tried to fire his phaser, your first instinct was to protect the King by creating an energy barrier around him."

"That is correct, Minister. When Commander Tyran noticed what the assassin was trying to accomplish, he gave me a quick order to protect the King. Most of the crew of the Ronin is aware of my abilities, however very few of them are aware of what I can do. Fortunately, Tyran is one of the few. I proceeded to create a shield of energy around both the King and Lt. Tyran, and that was how the blasts from the phasers were thwarted."

"What an amazing ability you possess, Commander." Said King Purol.

"What you saw today was merely the tip of a proverbial iceberg, Sire. I have found other ways to use this ability to my advantage, however, much of this information is deemed highly classified by my superiors."

"Do not worry, Commander, we will not speak of this to others outside our confidence," replied the King, "but I do have a request for you to consider."

Elsie was the next person to speak in response to the King's line of questioning. "King Purol, and all of Valaria, is very grateful for your actions today. Without your intervention the proceedings would have been mired by a horrible tragedy. The King wishes to reward you by offering you the position of his protector."

Kira was taken aback by the offer; his research on Valarian customs and proceedings revealed to him how much this gesture meant by means of trust and friendship. He paused for a moment to choose his words carefully, then said, "Thank you, Sire, for your generous offer. Even after my brief exposure to your customs I realize how great a gesture of honor and trust this offer represents. However, I must ask for permission to refuse. I am still bound by an oath that I have taken to Starfleet and the Federation to serve and protect the worlds and civilizations contained within their space. In fact, my recent assignment to the USS Ronin was a special request of my Commanding Officers to return to active duty. Until I am released from that oath, I must decline your offer."

Kira hoped that this simple speech would provide a diplomatic 'way out' of this request. Fortunately, he was able to recall how important oaths were held in the Valarian culture. On Valaria, if a man or woman pledged an oath to another, that oath would be considered unbreakable until the person was released from the oath.

"I respect your answer, Commander. As you know, our laws do not allow us to interfere in the oaths of others. However, I would still offer the position to you once you have been released from your current assignment." Replied the King after he heard Kira's response.

"Thank you, Sire. I will consider the option once my commission is completed." Said Kira as he internally let loose his concerns of offending the Monarch. "If you will excuse me, I must retire until morning."

"Of course, Commander." Replied the King. "Elsie will show you to your room."

With his last phrase completed, King Purol motioned for Elsie to open the doors that led back to the festivities they had left moments before. Elsie then took Kira's arm and led him through the small party in the main hall to one of the halls that led to the guest chambers in the palace. After a short walk, they arrived at the room that was assigned to Kira for the duration of the proceedings.

"Thank you Minister, for escorting me to my quarters." Said Kira as he opened the doorway that Elsie had pointed out as his.

"It was my pleasure, Commander. If you need anything, feel free to make your requests known to the palace keepers. They can be reached by a communications device located on the wall by the bed."

"Once again, thank you; however I think that I will be fast asleep before I can fathom any further need. I look forward to tomorrow's meetings, Minister."

"As do I, Commander. Pleasant dreams." Said Elsie in a quiet voice as she left Kira alone in the hallway and made her way back to the main hall.

Kira took a short moment to watch her figure disappear in the shadows of the palace, then turned his attention to the room he was assigned.

The room was extravagant. Plush red and purple fabrics adorned the furniture, and the bed was large enough to hold at least three or four people comfortably. Kira slowly undressed, and changed into some sleeping garments that had been provided for him on the rather large bed. He removed his communicator badge and set it on a nearby nightstand, then turned down the lights to a more tolerable level. Kira didn't even remember the sensation of his head touching his pillow. He fell into a deep, pleasant sleep.

When he awoke in the middle of the night, he noticed something was wrong regarding his surroundings. Although he was still groggy with sleep, he knew that something wasn't right. *Where am I? This doesn't look like any part of the palace that I've seen. Wait,. Dinara,. Nige?.* Kira knew something was wrong when he noticed Dinara and Nige in what looked like separate prison cells to his left and right. In front of him was a chilling sight that caught his attention, and caused the adrenaline in his system to flow.

"I see that you are awake, Commander." Replied Kira's captor.

It was the face of another Romulan spy that greeted Kira. *Evans was right, there were more Romulans on Valaria.* "Awake, but surprised." Said Kira in a wary voice. "Why do you have me and my officers locked in these cells?"

"Apparently, my counterpart was not successful in eliminating the Valarian Monarch. So, I am completing this mission without him."

"How surprising that the Romulan Empire would only send two of their agents to complete such a large task." Said Kira in a calm voice. He was hoping that the Romulan would validate his claim in some way, thereby letting Kira know how many agents were assigned to this particular "mission."

The Spy looked over at Kira with a large smile and said, in a proud tone, "Unlike your precious Starfleet, only two agents were necessary to complete this particular mission. It is so like Starfleet to send an entire ship, full of officers to a system to deal with something so trivial."

*Yes. looks like he's the only spy left.* "Then why kidnap me and my crewmembers, if your mission is so simple." Said Kira as he tried to disguise his true feelings in hopes of gaining more information from the Romulan.

"You and your crew will be used as scapegoats for the death of the Valarian King. It is then that we shall come to Valaria's aid, and destroy them."

"Large words, for one who is about to be caught." Said Nige as he opened his eyes in the cell near Kira.

"Yes, quite right, Nige. large words indeed." with that last remark Kira blasted through the force shield that was holding him and proceeded to walk toward his captor with a slow, steady gait. "You obviously don't know what you are dealing with, Sir."

The Romulan interloper looked at Kira with an expression of horror, as he grasped his disruptor and fired a shot in Kira's direction. The blast merely dissipated around Kira's newly formed shield as he continued to walk toward the Romulan with his practiced, slow gait.

"What?!? How?!?" screamed the Romulan as he tried to run away from Kira only to realize that the small room where the four were located did not provide an avenue of escape.

"The games are over, Sir, and you have lost." With that last word, Kira concentrated on the task at hand. He decided that fear would be most effective in dealing with this interloper. Fixing his gaze on the Romulans eyes, he allowed his eyes to be illuminated with a glaringly bright, white light.

The Romulan was transfixed by the view, paralyzed with fear. "What are you?." he croaked out with a broken voice.

"None of your concern." replied Kira as he further concentrated on the Romulan and caused a strong, multi colored energy shield to form around his quarry. Once the shield was formed, he simply said, "I wouldn't try to escape, Sir, the shield surrounding you can be collapsed to a fraction of its current size at any moment."

Turning his attention to Nige and the now awake Dinara, he turned his head to see how they were doing.

"Kira," said Nige as he threw up his arm to cover his eyes, "Would you mind turning off your eyes, they're blinding me."

"Whoops, sorry!" with that the energy winked out of his eyes and they returned to their normal hue. "I just thought that a little fear was necessary; what did you think of my performance?"

"Oh very nice, you had me worried." Said Dinara with a slight smirk. "Now get over here and let us out."

"Oh all right," said Kira as he raised his arm to touch the force field. The moment his hand came in contact with the field, it dissipated. "Here you go."

"Any idea where we are, Kira?" asked Nige as the field surrounding his cell disappeared.

"Oh, I bet that our new friend can tell us that." Said Kira as he looked over at the terrified Romulan spy. "Won't he?." said Kira as he allowed another twinkle of energy to show through his eyes.

Moments later the three officers were back aboard the Ronin, and were being debriefed by Captain Evans. With the Romulan threat contained for the moment, the proceedings with the Valarians could continue without further interruption. Kira, Nige and Dinara were beamed back down to the Valarian surface into their quarters where they tried to get what little sleep they could before the light of day would wake them up.

*The King is going to enjoy this little story.* thought Kira as he lay his head back down on the pillows on his bed. This time he made sure that no one would be able to transport either himself or any of his entourage by forming a shield around each of their quarters. It would hold for at least a couple of hours, and would provide some sense of safety. Shortly thereafter, Kira was once again fast asleep.