"Sir, incoming Flash transmission from DeepSpace 9, it's for you, priority one." Ziva announced.
"Let's have it." Deetex replied, as he tapped a few buttons on his command panel.
A few lines of text started scrolling on his display, followed by his family's coat of arms.
He kept his demeanor as he read the announcement, barely letting his upturn of emotion show... barely.
"Sir?" Shea asked, looking concerned.
Deetex looked up, a faint glimmer of distress showing in his eyes.
"Bad news?" Xam asked, turning from his helm's console.
Deetex did not reply, instead got up and headed towards his office, quietly.
"What was that about?" Qu asked, confused.
Nobody replied, they knew Deetex well enough not to guess what had him rattled, but it must've been something dramatic.
Orus got up from her station.
"Where are you going?" Shea asked, as Orus made her way to Deetex' office.
"I will talk to him."
"I wouldn't do that if I were you" Xam added, just as Orus stepped through the doorway.
"Too late." Qu followed up.
"Takes a Romulan to know a Romulan, huh?" Ship teased.
"Lieutenant Xam, I need not remind you Captain Seraph is only one third Romulan?" Sikkuth intertwined.
"No... no you don't."
"Coffee, double black, hot." Deetex ordered from the replicator.
A steaming metal mug materialized, the pungent aroma filling his nostrils, as he took a generous gulp.
"What's wrong?" Orus asked.
"I prefer not to talk about it."
"A comment not nessesarely indicitive of your refusal." she retorted.
Deetex tossed her a glare, and took another swig.
"You will not play that Vulcan routine on me, not now."
"Then tell me what has upset you in this manner and I will have no reason to."
He sighed, and gently put his mug down.
"Do you know what this is?" he asked, as he pointed to something hanging on his wall.
A large metal framwork encasing the head of what appeared to be some kind of horned animal, the brass texture of the head accented with Reds and Golds along the rim.
"I believe it is your family's crest."
Deetex signed, as he sat down in his chair and slumped.
Now his sorrow was plain as day.
"The message contained an obituary, a will, and a deed of ownership and inheritence, as of yesterday morning, I am the solitary heir to my family's fief on Bajor."
"Your... aunt was the last surviving member of your family, was she not?"
"Yes, my father's side of the family was all wiped out in a Borg attack, that's the risk attached to running a convoy of freighters through space I suppose.
As for my mother's side, all surviving members are... were human, their lifespans simply did not match the other half, my aunt was the last survivor."
He picked up a PADD and started scrolling through the text.
"According to the obituary, she died in her sleep, natural causes appearently, at least she felt nothing of it."
"Then it is your human side that has you so upset?"
"That, and the fact I am now, appearently, royalty, the fief spans several hundret acres and has a fairly profitable trade in forresting and vinyards."
Orus cocked her head sideways, honestly surprised.
"How is this upsetting?"
"It is upsetting because I am not made out for that kind of work, I am not some pompous burocrat ready and willing to sit behind a desk, or on a throne for that matter... I am a soldier, a warrior, my place is in the field of battle, not a field of farm lands!"
"Then what of your sister?"
"Calisto is even less suitable for such a burden, she would not last a day in court."
"Then the way I see it, you being the lesser of two evils, it is your duty to continue the family tradition to the best of your capabilities... are you willing to shirk in your duties to better your personal comfort?"
Orus knew this was a dangerous game they started, but she held her posture, defiantly stating what she knew would strike Deetex deep in his morals.
He glared at her, running the numbers in his head, determining how to respond.
At the last moment he sighed, and turned the PADD off.
"Mr Sikkuth would be appouled by such a twist of logic... Very well played Orus."
She bowed slightly, grinning.
"So what title shall we affix to you?"
Deetex headed back to the bridge, stopping halfway past the doorway.
"While on this ship, you shall continue to address me as Sir, however if nessesary, you may call me... Baron."