Monday, November 29, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.29 | Personal Log | Lhaetan tr'Valkar

The universe often felt like such a very funny place.

 

Just weeks ago Lhaetan tr'Valkar had considered his life forfeit, soon to be given over to Romulan or Federation authorities. His blood, he would have sworn, would have been spilt to save the honor of his father and eldest brother.

 

O, how truly mind warping the galaxy could be.

 

[An hour earlier…]

 

"Vang'radam? No son of mine could ever betray the Empire," Deletham tr'Valkar, hru'hfirh of the Valkar estate and senator for the Mhiessan region, declared proudly from his office on the homeworld. "News of the events at I'Rak have spread quickly, faelirh, and tr'Sahen's treachery laid bare. Besides, the Tal'Diann are far more thorough in their recruitment."

 

For several moments all the young Rihannsu could accomplish was to stare at the Federation computer monitor, gaping at his father. Finally he stuttered, "B-but what of the Gai'Shian soldiers I put down? Surely they were just following orders."

 

"Be still, my son," the much older Romulan replied as he held up a hand to quiet Lhaetan. "An investigation has been launched into the events surrounding the destruction of the Endless Sky, as well as the kidnapping of t'Rehu's offspring. But, the initial declaration is that the actions you took to ensure your own survival, and those taken to save the children, were nothing but honorable, faelirh. All is well."

 

No, Lhaetan thought to himself. All is not well. Whether it had been necessary or not, the faces of those men caught in the midst of their final moments would rest in his mind until the end of his days. Or  perhaps, he considered, father is only speaking of his own safety.

 

His son being found innocent of treason against the Praetor would have been the end of his career, unless Lhaetan had willingly given his own life to ensure their honor. The his eldest brother and family heir, Galan tr'Valkar, would have been stripped his command. It was a crude custom, one that reeked of Klingon barbarianism, but it had kept the Empire in order for generations.

 

Resisting the urge to look around his spare, Starfleet surroundings, the young officer asked, "Then what is to become of me?"

 

Immediately Lhaetan noticed uneasiness cross his father's face as his elder took a moment to formulate an answer. Finally the old man, well into his second century of life, sighed, "Just stay where you are for the time being. When the time comes the Tal'Diann will contact you with your next set of orders."

 

"As you wish, father," Lhaetan replied as he bowed his head in respect.

 

---

 

So it seemed he would have some time to spend on board the Starfleet vessel Charon, though he was not quite sure if its commanding officer would ever let him out of his confinement. Though reasonably comfortable, a cell was a cell no matter what it was being called. There was no telling what he could learn from the officers walking the corridors just beyond his door, the stories they could tell.

 

Not to mention he may also be able to pick up more of Earth's classic literature. As often as Lhaetan had read through the Homerian epics, there was bound to be many other stories out there he would thoroughly enjoy…

 

[To be continued...]
 

erie'Arrain Lhaetan tr'Valkar

Tal'Diann Legate

[USS Charon] SD241011.29 || Joint Log "The Bright and the Dark" Part XI || 1st Lt Brent Warren, LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax

=/\=  Sas-a-Shar (The Forge), T'Karath Sanctuary =/\=

9th Day in the month of T'lakht, YS 9022

 

"Ah him," Brent said with a slight frown creasing his features. Itsak, or however you pronounced that name. He let out a sigh, rubbing where she had scratched him there. Apparently itching was a result of being scratched by a Vulcan in a dream. Who knew. He looked down at Sakarra, feeling concern for her and how she was handling all of this... He hoped that she would be able to make her way out of it. He wanted to help as much as he could, but... A great feeling of inadequacy overwhelmed him whenever she discussed such things. "What was it about him that made you cry out like that and scratch me," he asked quietly. "I showed you, and told you how he met his end...  Is it because you still believe that you should hurt him more for what he has done?"

 

"No, my love. No."

Ah, how did you explain what even she herself could barely name?

And then she almost laughed again when a wave of tenderness welled up from deep inside, engulfed her, drove the shadows away like darkness flees before Nevasa's light. Here he was, having trekked after his love through the Forge itself, barely escaped the deadly Sandfire only to end up stuck in an underground chamber with a Vulcan and a Sehlat, and as if that were not enough, had been assaulted for his troubles. And still there was nothing but concern for her, a deeply rooted desire to see her well, to hold her safe, and nothing else mattered in the determined, impossible male's mind.

Inadequate indeed.

 

Long-lived as they are, many Vulcans spend their lifetimes without ever experiencing one of those rare, fleeting moments of utter clarity, when pieces seem to fall into place without apparent reason, and for a heartbeat that is eternity, you understand.

 

"No, my love." Soft, tender, melodious, her voice floated through the still, dusty air and the unsettled Sehlat stopped his plaintive rumbling to twitch his ears.

"I wanted to, that is true. And I would have. You saved me from having to live with that burden. But no. It's what he … forced me to see about myself that hurts, and that made me afraid. And it may hurt for a while longer, I do not know."

Neither guileless nor innocent her beloved still had that streak of raw nobility, simple, straight and true that made her heart ache when she saw her face reflected in his deep ocean blue gaze. Her face … and so much more. All that he felt for her, a well of wordless emotion, all that she was to him. If the other one had forced her to face the dark mirror, Brent lovingly showed her the bright.

Inadequate. Sand and Seas, how he ever could think such a thing was beyond her.

 

"But it is nothing I can't bear. As long as you are here, I can bear it." Giving his chest an eloquent look Sakarra quirked a brow, and then sniffed the air which thankfully now smelled more of water than of blood. "And knowing you, you will promptly deny that my … behavior may be troublesome. Say, is it me or does that water smell of lithium?" 

 

He listened to what she had said. He was about to say something in response when she interrupted him and told him that she could bear it as long as he was here. That made him smile. Brent wasn't sure just exactly what he had done, but whatever it was, he was sure that he should try to do it again sometime soon. Once she mentioned the lithium in the air he looked at her inquisitively for a moment before he chuckled.

"Why yes my dear, and if you give me a few more moments I will tell you how many of its electrons are in the excited state," he replied gently patting her back. What he really wanted to do was give her rear end a little smack for that question. Does it taste like Lithium. What the hell does Lithium taste like? "I can taste something metallic in the air, and there is definitely moisture in the air, at least a noticeable difference to the desert above. What does it mean if it is indeed Lithium?"

 

"It means," Sakarra's stern gaze was unfortunately ruined by the fact that her Companion could well sense the chuckle bubbling inside her, though anyone else would have been hard pressed to detect even a hint of it "that we are likely sitting on top of an active lava flow right now. Which would also explain the rather pitiful state of the furniture in here, the warmth, and the cracks in solid rock walls. Some time in between this sanctuary being abandoned and now, there must have been a substantial earthquake."

Frying pan and fire. That was the phrase. Though she could not sense any imminent danger, no pressure alarmingly exceeding that which was to be expected this deep underground. Still, her curiosity was sparked and unfortunately her sudden alertness also meant her body now found it prudent to remind her of another important matter. Food.

To put it mildly, she was starving.

And as curious about what had happened to the old well as a little feline who has just glimpsed its first ball of wool.

Thirsty, too.

And with a suddenness that made her heart skip several beats - very, very aware of how close she was cradled in her beloved's arms.

One at a time.

"Brent? Would you consider it inappropriate if I asked you to kiss me now?"

Vulcans have their priorities.

 

"Oh good. I haven't had to run for my life in several hours," Brent said very unamused at the idea of being on top of a lava flow. Hopefully it was the kind that was slow moving so he could do it easily.  Whatever that mineral that made lava as thick. Yeah he hoped there was a lot of that. He was just about to speak up again to tell Sakarra his thoughts about lava and how much he disliked it, when she asked him to kiss her. He slowly began to play back through what she had just been thinking and he smiled. "I think that can be arranged yes."

 

"Oh, good." Was about all Sakarra managed before there was no speaking for a long, wonderful while.


With his arms around her Brent kissed the woman he loved with all of the pent up love and passion he had felt for her in the past week. It was quite possibly the best kiss he had ever had. So soothing, relaxing. It was like a reminder that everything he had gone through, everything he had done... It was alright, things had turned out ok in the end. He held his love in the embrace for sometime, refusing to let go or to stop feeling this bit of passion. Ah but then he heard the faint sound of a rumble, and it was not from the cave itself. Nor was it from that massive tiger like thing she hauled around with her. Brent was not that hungry yet... And so that left only one other person. He broke the kiss with a chuckle, before one of his hands withdrew the two rations from inside his cloth jacket. "Well, I'm guessing that means its dinner time hmm?" he said with a wink at Sakarra. "Half and half my love?  Ration yours how you see fit hm? I'll have half of mine now and half of it later," he said offering one to her and keeping the other for himself.

 

It was a kiss to drown in. A kiss … no, not to die for. To live for, so you could have it again, and again, untold times, for all tomorrows. And Sakarra would have been quite content to bask in this unabashed outpour of love for all eternity, too.

As it happened, being alive and remembering it at last had … side effects.

Some of these days she would have to address her biofeedback control. Right now however, she was about as ashamed of appearing mortal and fallible by actually letting someone hear her stomach growl as a Sehlat was ashamed of knocking over a tree. It happened. And her beloved after all was far from being 'someone'.

 

Catching her breath and resisting the urge to purr and curl up in Brent's lap before making him continue what he started, Sakarra graciously accepted the offered food – or cardboard, as it were – and gave her beloved one of the rare, bright smiles reserved for him alone. Of course he was acting logically under the circumstances, but it only made the gesture more … touching. To her at least, and well he knew what sharing food like this meant to one of her kind.

Cheese and … what?

Tearing open the package, the Vulcan gave the yellowish substance a puzzled look but her nose did not alert her to anything harmful or indigestible. Merely an interesting culinary experience.

"Brent? What is …" she glanced at the silvery foil again and still the Federation standard letters were not quite making sense "What is a Mac?"

 

 

=/\= To be continued … =/\=

 

Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax

Executive Officer

 

Brevet 1st Lieutenant Brent Warren
Marine Commander

 

USS Charon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 26, 2010

[USS Charon] SD 241011.26 Joint Off Duty Log LtCol Miller & SCPO Miller

=/\= Transport Runabout near Vulcan =/\=

A pair of eyes peered into space out of the bottom of a runabout window. "Moooom, are we there yet?"

"Not yet, dearheart," came the practised reply, from a tall well statured woman sitting nearby. The woman had a babe in arms, all wrapped up in a blanket and slumbering peacefuly. Next to her, another child - older than the one so obsessed with the planet they were approaching. On her other side, her husband. She looked over to the window, but spoke to her partner. "Should be pulling into dock soon I guess... got the PADD with our assignments?"

Jake waved the PADD at his wife nodding.  "Got both of them right here.  Marine Commander and Master at Arms," he replied before he took a look outside of the shuttle's windows.  "Damn.  That's our new home?" he asked pointing out the window at it.  "I think I've seen better looking garbage sows," he said with a frown.  "Just remember kids.  Mommy chose our new home for us ok?" he winked at Akume before he motioned at the baby in her arms.  "Want me to hold Kyra for you for a little bit?"

"Please, and don't let your Dad tell you different - we both decided." She passed over the sleeping infant with a practised ease. "She - the ship - has been through a lot. Most ships in the fleet have." She stretched her arms, the servos in her prosthetic groaning at having been in one position for so long. She frowned. "I really ought to get this thing replaced. I've had it nearly as long as we've been together."

"Getting combat prostetics won't be easy if you still want to go down that route sweetie," he said taking the little one into his arms, making sure to keep her still as she was still asleep.  "Getting a normal prostetic would probably be easy...  And of course so would probably having them grow you a new arm and attach it," he said stopping there before she turned to glare at him about the subject.

Shooting him a sidelong roll of the eyes, Akume smiled wryly. "Won't be easy my foot. I'm as near as dammit a full bird Colonel now, if rumours are to be believed... if not, then meh. I'll sort something out. Just a pity the guy who made this one for me up and disappeared like he did." She flexed her wrist, and balled her fingers up a few times to work out the kinks. "'sides, it's never done me wrong so far." She stood and stepped over to the window, resting her hand on the shoulder of her son. "Come on now Will, get your lil' butt over to your seat. We're almost there."

"It's crushed my hand three times over," Jake replied unamused at the limb in question.  Granted all three of those times were when she was in labor with their children.  The first time was an accident.  The second and third time Jake had the sneaking suspicion that it was less than an accident.  "Cmon Will.  We can run around in the arboretum once we get settled into our temporary quarters," he said and secured himself and little Kyra in his arms.

Will sat down, albeit with a great show of displeasure. "Hrmph."

Akume chuckled to herself, and reached up into the luggage stow to grab her small bag, unclicking it and grabbing a game PADD from inside which she proceeded to hand to Will. "There. Don't say we never give you anything... I know you've had your eye on this in every shop we've been to."

The child's eyes lit up and he nearly snatched it from his Mom's grasp. "Wooooow thanks Mom!"

"It's not just from me," she replied before sitting down again, and leaning in a little closer to Jake. "I wonder if the Charon knows what it's in for with our lil' clan?"

"Probably not.  We could inform the counselor that they could run a little study on the affects of a diverse population when two little tornado's decend upon them.  That should be fun wouldn't it?" he smirked.  He leaned over putting his arm around her shoulder before looking around at his family.  "They're good kids.  They just take after their mother too much on some things.  Although I wonder how William will be once he hits his teenage years..."

"Hopefully not too much like his father. Remember all the hassle before Skye was born?"

"Ohh and that's just the stuff you know about my dear.  I didn't start there.  That was rather what broke the camel's back and made me realize that it was time to stop," he said with a smirk.  "We'll have to teach him the lesson of having both lovers take their shots.  Like when he's thirteen or something."

"Thirteen?!" She sat up and play smacked him on the chest, being careful to avoid Kyra. "Lil' man ain't gettting out of my sight til he's at least sixteen. At least then he should have SOME sense, if he knows what's good for him." She eyed Will, but he was far too engrossed in his new game to even hear the conversation taking place right next to him.  The announcement over the speaker in the runabout told them they were coming in for final approach.

"It's not like he'll do anything in your sight my dear, and if you tell him no...  Guess what he'll do?" Jake replied, taking the hit as he bounced Kyra a little bit as she was trying to wake up.  "I didn't start when I was thirteen either.  But you can bet that's what consumed most of my thoughts when I was thirteen." he said with a smirk.  He looked up at the intercom and made sure that everything was secure before they docked.

"When did they say they were bringing out that mind control device?" Akume chuckled, taking Kyra back off Jake so he could check properly. "I just hope they've got quarters big enough for all of us. Gods know the kids alone take up enough room."

"No kidding.  I asked for large crew quarters and put down your rank in big bold letters.  Hopefully someone will take note of that and give us the space that we need.  Giving the baby her own room would be a nice change of pace.  Maybe she'd sleep more at night instead of during the day," he said leaning over to poke Kyra in the tummy lightly.

"Gods, that'd be nice." She put a finger to Kyra's lips, who proceeeded to suckle on it with a fair amount of force. "Figured as much. This one needs feedin'. I'll have to slip off once we dock."

Jake nodded and shifted about in his seat as the runabout docked.  He helped Skye and William up onto their feet.  He placed their small bags onto their back before he and Akume took the lions share of their things.  He moved with their horde out past the docking port of the space station and made a line for the security officer handing incomming traffic.  He chewed the fat with the man for half a moment or two before finally getting the location of their temporary quarters.

Jake thanked the man before moving back towards his family.  "Looks like we have some nice quarters at least while we're here," he said ruffling William's hair, who seemed to not care a lick since he was engrossed in his video game.  "Lets get there and we can get her fed then while I get these two to help me unpack."

Akume nodded. "Alright." She turned to her two eldest. "You heard your Dad, let's go!" She paced down the corridor towards their temporary home.

___________________________________________________
Senior Chief Petty Officer Jake Miller
Master-At-Arms
USS-Charon

&

Lieutenant Colonel Akume Miller
(Soon to be) Marine Commander
USS-Charon

&

Skye, William, and Kyra Miller
Hellion's on two legs
USS-Charon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.24 || Joint Log "The Bright and the Dark" Part X || 1st Lt Brent Warren, LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax

=/\=  Sas-a-Shar (The Forge), T'Karath Sanctuary =/\=

8th Day in the month of T'lakht, YS 9022

 

"Yes. Fantastic. Instead of having all of your internal organs failing you within a week you'll have one or two left to help you limp along for another week," he replied dryly. He stopped there though, assuming that he would soon be given a Look if he argued the point any more. She was right about his belt though, she could use it and have minimal effect on her. "Do you really want to come with me," he asked her. He had to admit that he didn't like the idea of being away from her for what would probably be a month long visit back home. The more he thought about it, the more he began to like the idea. The damnable part was he was certain that she could tell.

 

Tell Sakarra could indeed and though she should have taken his slow warming to the idea as a simple reaction to her logically pointing out the facts, she knew her beloved somewhat better than that by now. While capable of astounding leaps of reason and logic, in this case he was following … C'thia. The simplest of truths, that while he was worried about her he would not stop her from giving him what they both needed. Time to relearn each other, to heal, instead of another separation that at this point would likely be painful. Time … in the delight of home for him and the excitement of a whole new world to discover for her. His world.

But she also knew better than to push the issue or even raise a knowing eyebrow at him.

"Yes." She said simply, signaling her willingness to concede on another issue by letting her head rest against his shoulder and gazing up at his beloved features through half closed eyes "I do."

And with that Sakarra demonstrated what Vulcans thought of planets that would cause organ failure in just about any species save those who can by virtue of thought alone make a heart stop beating, a muscle contract to push an annoyingly fractured rib back into place or wake and sleep at a moment's notice. By doing the latter. The rib she had already taken care of and the other thing was bound to startle him a bit.

 

Brent sighed watching as Sakarra closed her eyes. She was asleep already wasn't she. He shook his head slightly before he leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Alright my beloved. You will come with me and we will introduce you to my parents and my family. I will tell them just how much I love you and if they push the issue I will tell them that when the time is right I will very well propose to you," he said ever so softly. "And it will be the truth. Only this time the truth will be spiced with a bit of annoyance that it will cause my father. Which is good for him every once in a while." His peace said to Sakarra, he leaned back against the rocks and closed his eyes on his own, drifting off to sleep.

 

 

Vulcans don't dream. Why would they. All those uncontrolled sorting mechanisms, all this wildly erratic firing of neurons to assign a pattern to randomness, to file and store and betimes erase or bury so deeply the subconscious becomes an even more mad jumble of half-remembered visions and inexplicable urges … it is not only illogical but a serious pain where one does not want it.

Why would they. Meditation, conscious sorting and filing, looking over important things and storing the currently less urgent things for later review … it is reasonable. More organized. And frees the time when one sleeps for an even more reasonable purpose. Resting.

 

Sometimes, Vulcans do dream. And it's rarely a good sign.

At best, they are dealing with an overwhelming experience and simply are overcome by fatigue before fully absorbing it all. Rarely, very rarely, an adult in full possession of her wits will allow for such a thing to happen, and the results are generally tumultuous. Fun, on occasion, too. Though they'll admit it the day Nevasa rises in the West.  

At worst, they are dealing with one of the rare instances where even meditation and focus can't fully resolve the issues of a mind too highly strung, a brain stimulated beyond recommended safety limits. As with all types of trauma, the experience is generally … not relished.

 

...

 

Trapped. Trapped in darkness. Warmth, pain. No, not pain so much as … languor. Sweet, sweet languor, sweet as the poison of a K'karee's bite, seeping into her very blood. Darkness. Heat. Enticing, marvelous heat. Heat that made her want to stretch like a lazy feline on a sun-baked rock, taste of copper in her mouth. In the air. Everywhere. Like. Want. More.

Dark. Always. Marvelous, majestic, all enfolding darkness. Haze of emerald, flashing. Gone.

A beaten, battered body, stirring. Heartbeat like thunder. Kill. Slowly. Enjoy. Want.

Pain. Sweet, suffusing every limb. So sensual, so alluring, calling, calling … like the scent on the air, whispering. Caressing. Want. Need.

 

 

The choked scream echoed in the empty, silent room when Sakarra's eyes flew open and it took her a full second to realize it was her voice that had made this frightful sound. Like a Le-Matya's call to its mate, fierce and laced with longing. Offering its latest kill, fresh blood, to lure the desired one.

Her nails were digging into … into … ah, no, no.

She tried to scramble backwards, but the arms around her would not yield even after she had let go in shock and horror, staring at the small red stains on the fabric where she had hurt him. Him. Brent. No, no, this was wrong, wrong …

This time her cry was that of the desperate, trapped animal.

 

Brent woke up at the combination of pain and the scream echoing across the small room. He looked around into the darkness, trying to find out what was going on before he felt Sakarra trying to move out of his lap and his arms. He held her tightly against him, ensuring that she could not escape.  "Hey hey. It's ok. It's ok sweetheart. Everything will be alright ok?" he said softly. He looked down as his chest for a moment, finally seeing what the pain was from. "What's wrong sweetheart," he asked quietly. He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek, looking into her eyes.

 

Her lips moved but no sound would emerge. It was not alright, it was everything but alright, it …

Dream.

It had been …

Deep, deep, ocean blue eyes rested on her, and the sudden flash of violet she had seen was no more than the holographic map and its warm, garnet light still shining dimly, softly, casting a reflection on her beloved's concerned gaze.

She stopped struggling and forced herself to breathe.

T'Karath. The storm. Racing towards the sanctuary, down the old, dusty tunnels. Here.

A nose nuzzled into her hair and Warya's concerned rumble was the last piece of the puzzle clicking into place.

Home. She was home.

 

The dark veil lifted and Sakarra was had put not to shudder. And then looked at the tiny red stains, already drying on the sturdy, pale fabric, before returning her deep black gaze to Brent's face. "A dream, my love." Ever so slowly she relaxed in the firm, yet so tender embrace and even managed to lift a hand and stop the Sehlat from nudging her until both she and Brent would topple over.

"Forgive me. I did not mean to … to injure you."

 

"I didn't know you dreamed," he said softly, brushing some of the hair out of her shoulder, smiling as he looked down into her dark eyes.  He leaned against her, bringing her back close against him as he looked down at the red stains in his chest, brushing against them absently as if to indicate that it was no trouble. "I'll be fine. At least you didn't decide to carve out a portion of my bad shoulder.  That would have really hurt," he said with a smile as he let out a sigh.  "What was your dream about my dear?  It must have been something if it was enough to get you to dig your nails into me."

 

"I don't. Not … not usually."

Far above, the storm was howling. It would be long hours yet before its fury would peak and then inevitably subside. She could sense it with the same clarity as one smells a sharp scent on the air or hears distant thunder over the mountains, ancient instinct for once providing more helpful details than the best chain of logic and probability. If there was a certain irony to that, it was not lost on the young Vulcan.

 

As soothing as Brent's touch was, her overstrung senses translated it into a low current of tension that made her shift restlessly, and the lingering scent of copper and iron did not do much in the way of calming her. Soon enough she would truly revert to what people even today betimes liked to call her kind, though in hushed tones, vague condescension giving way to awe and a touch of pity. And a bit of fear, mingled always with the inexplicable attraction, too easily mistaken for genuine desire, though they'd admit to that as much as to any of the former.

Wild ones. Barbarians.

None had dared call her foremother any of that in over a century, though it was there, in silent glances,  in the way people acted – cautious, never failing to give proper courtesy and reverence to the dignified, stoic Matriarch while at the same time treading as lightly as if in the vicinity of a deceptively silent volcano. Would that Sakarra could bear it with T'Leia's unfaltering grace and laconic humor.

 

Scents, sounds, every soft shadow, even her beloved's slow, steady heartbeat – so acute, so close. She understood at long last the terran metaphor of things getting 'under one's skin'. It felt like it. All of it.

"It …" she hesitated, studying her Companion's calm, smiling features. She knew better now than to take it for him being unaware. It was never as simple as that, not with Brent. Though she certainly had tried her best to convince herself of it.

"Him. It was about him."

Choking even on those words, Sakarra clenched her teeth and forced a deep breath into her lungs. This was ridiculous. She could deal with this. She could …

Drain the poison. That was it, wasn't it? The longer she clung to keeping it in, locking it away, the deeper it would sink into her very bones until it consumed her from within.

Observe it. Accept it. Only then can you move beyond it.

T'was a pity she was stuck at the first stage and quite unwilling to move on to the second.

 

 

=/\= To be continued … =/\=

 

Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax

Executive Officer

 

Brevet 1st Lieutenant Brent Warren
Marine Commander

 

USS Charon

 

[USS Charon] SD241011.23 || Duty Log || "The Hole Perspective" - Lt. Leon Athalla, Pilot

“The ‘Hole’ Perspective”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

“Look my logical friend, for the tenth time you can’t do that”, enginering officer, Keith Valsner passionately exclaimed to the leader of a Vulcan repair team.  A few feet away stood pilot Leon Athalla who was watching the spectacle while gently blowing on a hot cup of black coffee.

 

“Your logic escapes me Mr. Valsner.  The Charon’s original design specifications clearly indicate that cross beam 2147-alpha is non-load bearing and will support the added weight while other repairs are made.  Your resistance to our repair efforts is causing significant delays.”

 

“Technically you are correct Mr. S’Vhala.  The original specifications for this class have been modified twice and in two years of service aboard the Charon I can tell you that Starfleet engineers made a number of omissions, mistakes, and flat out errors in specific areas.  The hangar bay is a prime example of a last minute addition that was not properly integrated into the structural designs.  As an exploration or science ship, we weren’t even supposed to have a full hangar, just a modest landing pad for a shuttle or two.  Someone decided to bolt on an entire hangar deck, cut out some research labs and crew quarters and ram it in.  So long as you don’t tinker with the design it is acceptable.”

 

The commander ran a quick hand through his hair.  “They did a poor job documenting this area.  With all the damage and that gaping hole over there we have some serious structural issues to address.  Removing that beam could cause more of the deck to collapse.  We need to carefully remove the debris, inspect the damage, and proceed with a repair plan methodically.  I do not wish to see the deck flatten into a pancake.”

 

“A pancake sir?  I am unfamiliar with that engineering term.  Would you elaborate?”

 

Valsner rubbed his face which was several shades of darker red than it was a few minutes ago.

 

Nearby, Lt. Athalla sipped his coffee with an amused look as the engineer and Vulcan repair team argued over technical matters that were far above his pay grade.  It was quite interesting to watch the crew interacting with a full Vulcan compliment of officers, crewmen, and repair technicians.  The dynamic was nothing new aboard a starship, but such large numbers and the stress of certain jobs made specific interactions quite…interesting.

 

Hundreds of individuals were hard at work cleaning up the utter catastrophe that was the Charon’s main hangar bay.  At its center lay a massive dark hole surrounded by pieces of sharp, protruding metal fragments.  Adding to its imposing presence were dozens of smaller structural beams that protruded from the opening like a booby trapped pit filled with deadly, razor edged spikes.  Surrounding the devastation was a ring of molten steel and metal since cooled, but frozen in time.  Some areas of the deck looked like metallic ponds where the ripples never moved.  Piles of debris littered the entire deck.  Ash, soot, and burned insulation clung to every surface and everyone working in the area.  Wrecked fighters lie like the dead after a battle.  Some were simply shredded almost beyond recognition while others had been scattered to the corners of the giant room by the intensity of the explosions that had rocked the deck and reverberated throughout the ship.

 

Still, despite the carnage progress was being made.  Crews were stacking wreckage and beaming it away.  HAZMAT teams were scrubbing down areas contaminated by fuel and other such byproducts.  Vulcan workers scrambled around everywhere like spiders and ants cleaning, inspecting, replacing, indentifying, cataloging, and doing a dozen other activities Athalla couldn’t begin to count.  All in all it was quite the repair operation to witness.

 

“I tell you getting them to see reason sometimes is harder than reversing the spin of a planet”, a flustered Commander Valsner muttered stepping up next to Athalla and grabbing a cup of coffee from the nearby refreshments table.  Taking a sip he continued.  “Designing a hangar with flaws is not logical they said.  How could this have occured they asked.  How should I know?  I didn’t build it.  I just get to fix it when things go to hell and back around here.  I swear if I find the sunnuva bitch who did this I’m gonna shove a spanner so far up their ass they’ll beg me to push them into one of the warp plasma streams to end their suffering!”

 

Athalla spewed a sip of coffee outwards into a fine spray before him upon hearing the engineer’s colorful comments.  His coffee incident was followed by a bout of several coughs before he regained his composure.

 

“Are you ok there lieutenant”, Valsner asked.

 

“Coffee went down the wrong way”, Athalla hoarsely replied.

 

“Take it easy there partner.  Plenty of coffee to go around.”  Valsner dropped his cup into the trash.  “Well I best get back out there before someone else decides to open the hangar door and suck us into space because it’s the logical thing to do.  Catch you later lieutenant.”

 

Athalla waved as the engineer rushed back off after several vulcans operating a neaby lifter with a pile of heavy debris.

 

Something told Athalla he might have out stayed his welcome in the hangar for the time being.  Short of hell freezing over he had no intentions of letting anyone know who it was that had managed to blow such a large hole in the center of the deck.  He would have to keep that secret to himself quite possibly forever to avoid being strung up by a posse of incensed engineers in search of poetic justice.  Engineers with technology as their allies could be very, very dangerous opponents.  No amount of tactical explanation as to stopping, hindering, and/or harming the enemy would matter to a group of exhausted, over worked engineers on repair duties.

 

Athalla quietly headed for the exit.  He still needed to submit a debriefing report on recent events, but he was a little hesitant now to describe everything in perfect detail.  Memory could be a sometimes subjective and cloudy thing…could it not?  Taking a nervous swallow of coffee the pilot set off to ‘revise’ his draft report to ‘clarify’ recent events, actions, and those involved.

 

== End ==

 

Lt. Leon Athalla

Pilot, USS Charon

 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.23 || Joint Log "The Bright and the Dark" Part IX || 1st Lt Brent Warren, LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax

=/\=  Sas-a-Shar (The Forge), T'Karath Sanctuary =/\=

8th Day in the month of T'lakht, YS 9022

 

Brent saw her pointing at his water and nodded. "Well I suppose we should be plenty fine for water for several days and food for two days," he said letting out a sigh. "I should have brought more though. My father would be very disappointed that I only brought two days supply when going into such a hellhole," he said with a grunt. Oh right, father and mother. "I was able to contact my parents while I was out and you decided to go on a little road trip here," he said in a half amused smirk.  "I think after five years and the last Dominion War, they aren't going to take no for an answer anymore.  I'm probably going to have to leave you in a few weeks to make a trip back home," he said.

Ah the water. He withdrew the little drinking hose and offered it to Sakarra... Only to withdraw it at the last second when she leaned for it. He had that incorrigible smirk on his face again as the process repeated itself yet again. He was going to do it a third time when instead of leaning for it Sakarra opened her mouth... And by the look and feel of things it was to state his name in a firm tone that voiced her disapproval. When she tried to sound out his first name, he put the water tube into her mouth, letting her have her drink. "You were going to say something my dear?"

 

She had been about to say quite a few things, with 'Impossible male' being among the first. As it was, the water took priority and soothed the hiccups as expected, leaving Sakarra to once more mull over her beloved's unpredictable nature. Steadfast and headstrong to match a Vulcan, he also had this … this … she could not put a name to it. What did you call a willingness to brave a deadly desert, a landscape you despised with ardent fervor nonetheless, for the simple reason that you believed the one you loved my need you? The cheerful grace with which he assumed this to be perfectly normal behavior? And then his playful antics after outracing a storm that could have killed him in an instant, as if being stuck in an old abandoned sanctuary was just one of those things that happened and there really was no reason to make undue fuss when there were other matters to be seen to – like getting a Sehlat unstuck and teasing a hiccupping Vulcan.

Wordless emotion welled up, threatening to make her heart burst by sheer force and she let go of the small drinking hose to lean her cheek against Brent's chest, not daring to chuckle and wanting to, wanting … ah, truly, those volatile surges apparently had no inclination to subside any time soon.

 

"I was. However, I think it is quite unnecessary for me to voice what you have already deduced, yes?"

Right.

Fireplace. Wood. Not that Brent would actually need the warmth, and even Sakarra would have been quite comfortable if not for her injuries … why was it not colder down here? It should have been. How very strange.

Then her mind finally kicked back into gear and she blinked. Leave?

"Your parents? Of course. You should …" as unappealing as the thought was to spend time apart - now of all times - Sakarra could not argue against this. She did not know if humans took Clan obligations as seriously as Vulcans but it hardly mattered. His mother might not be a Matriarch but considering she not only ruled an actual farm but a host of children, she could fairly be considered one in her own right. One did not debate such a lady's wishes within her own House.

"You should go then, of course. Though I wonder if it would be acceptable for me to accompany you?"

 

She really should get up and see about that fire. See about exploring their surroundings for any possible dangers or perhaps useful things. Find out whether the water she sensed so close she could almost taste it was also the source of the strange warmth and if so, whether they had … what was the saying? Hopped out of the frying pan to land on the stove?

But she was warm and content in Brent's embrace, and though she would rather go back outside to be hit with a blue-hot charge of Sandfire than admit it … she was weary. Tired. Hurting. Ready to curl up right here and now and doze off, perhaps find her first truly restful sleep in what seemed a lifetime. She was ready, now. Ready to heal.

All it had taken was a few more near catastrophes. The usual.

 

"Mmhmm. Quite right my dear," he said softly, chuckling there as he placed his arms carefully around Sakarra, pulling her to his chest as he let out a sigh. Well at least they could properly rest here. Hopefully she would relax and rest. He had an inkling that Sakarra would insist on doing anything other than that just yet. "You want to come with me? Are you sure? It's winter back home now. As in real winter, snow and freezing temperatures," he said trying to persuade her otherwise from coming with him. "The Planetside Safety Agency would have a field day. Especially after they hear that you were just injured. Vulcan or no the gravity there is dangerous, even for you," he said giving her a look of trepidation. "I know you hate it when I coddle you and try to look out for you but I'm serious, it's no joke."

He sighed before he leaned back against the nearby wall. He could sense that she was weary and he squeezed his arms around her again. "I don't think my parents would mind meeting you. My mother would warm up to you almost immediately...  My dad might be another matter but he's always cranky about something or another," he said softly, soothingly. Almost as if he was trying to recite a soft poem or lullaby.

 

Sensing that his little friend was on the verge of actually giving in and staying put for once – something that raised the nice alien biped from 'strong and funny person who could be counted upon for a bit of behind-the-ears-scratching' to 'Not ever to be underestimated strong and funny person with a pleasant scent' in Warya's mind – the Sehlat gave a happy purr that sounded rather like a minor rockslide echoing in the warmly lit chamber and curled up next to them to offer his luxuriant fur as a comfortable, huge pillow to rest against. Of course he shattered another funny wooden thing in the process no matter how gently he had tried to nudge it out of the way but for once no one gave him a Look for it and Warya was well content. Life, the Sehlat pondered, was funny sometimes, but always a nice thing to have. Giving a colossal yawn, he set his head down on two massive paws and snickered in his low, rumbling way when Sakarra's scent changed to … mellow.

 

"Field day?" it was difficult to bite back the yawn tugging at her in response to Warya's, not to mention her entire body wanted to respond with utter relaxation to Brent's deep, soothing voice. Of course that was likely his intention, impossible male that he was, but he had seen her give in to weakness before and never though less of her for it. Quite … the contrary in fact.

"Though I will have you know that not only does my family maintain a house on Terra where snow would seem to be a normal occurrence for at least a third of the year, but I spent a spring on Andoria without suffering any ill effects." Aside from walking around like a ball of wool for most of the time, bundled in layer after layer of clothing. Until Sirta had managed to stop laughing and introduced her little Vulcan friend to Efrosian cashmere. After that, she had not only been able to appreciate the inherent beauty of snow, but actually come to … well, like it. In a way.

 

"And I must point out that if there were humans capable of surviving the planet's gravity, even prosper and colonize it, a Vulcan should be fully able to adapt as well." Not that she planned on suffering without need. A small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth she exhaled and let the relaxation wash over her, nestling against Brent's tall frame as one hand slid downward to playfully tug at his belt "Of course I agree that there are better ways to address the issue. Though I am rather offended you would believe I do not approach it with the proper … humorless attitude."  

 

 

=/\= To be continued … =/\=

 

Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax

Executive Officer

 

Brevet 1st Lieutenant Brent Warren
Marine Commander

 

USS Charon

 

Monday, November 22, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.22 || Personal Log || "Echoes" - Amb. Ian Lamont

== Mountaintop Observation Point – Vulcan Surface==

 

A warm, dry wind carrying with it the faint smells of soil gently caressed the skin of Ambassador Ian Lamont as he stood on a Vulcan summit overlooking a vast, empty valley filled with red and orange hues.  The bright Vulcan sun slowly sank over the endless horizon and as night fell shadows slowly emerged into existence to play and dance in the absence of the light.

 

Time passed.  The warm, gentle breeze turned cool as the light faded and still the ambassador remained in the quiet solace of the Vulcan outdoors content to do nothing more than watch as the light faded.

 

A dark bird, high above, drifted by on invisible currents catching the ambassador’s eye until it too faded from view and vanished over a rusty red cliff far in the distance.  A last he stirred flexing the sore muscles and his arm which rested in a sling.  Their recent mission had left him cold and emotionally drained.  He thirsted not for rest, but for something else.  He had been unable to shake the images of the Romulan officer who had nearly ended his life.  He would be lying if he admitted he was unafraid of dying during those tense moments, but that was not what was burned into his memories.  The cold, unreasonable eyes of a killer staring back at him – such was an image he could not forget.  As an ambassador, a man of peace, he believed reason, logic, and the rule of law could be used to resolve all disputes.  Guile was required at times as well as a certain shrewdness however he regarded violence with disdain.  And yet those cold, murderous eyes staring back at him, staring directly into his soul would not leave him.  Such a man could never be reasoned with.  Diplomacy was useless faced with such an individual.

 

He refused to believe such individuals existed who lived simply to kill and who took pleasure in doing so.  Perhaps it was na├»ve, but until recently he had never been face to face with someone so consumed by unadulterated hatred.  Darker than the deepest obsidian, the Romulan commander’s soul swam in blackness at Lamont’s defiance over the ship’s communication systems urging the crew to revolt.

 

Somehow he had survived.  Survived and gone on to play a role in rescuing Vulcan from another consumed with passions of his own.  Countless Romulans had paid the ultimate price as a result of the passions of a select few.  Too many Starfleet personnel had sacrificed themselves as well to stop their twisted desires.

 

Perhaps the Vulcan race had been wise in eliminating emotions.    They appeared to be the core catalyst of recent events.  Ego, hatred, pride – when unbalanced such forces and furies were more destructive than supernovas.  And yet fate had smiled upon the Vulcans.  Perhaps it had smiled upon the Charon, its crew, and perhaps even himself.  They had by some miracle survived.

 

Yet it was ironic than the technology captured and utilized by the Romulans to attack Vulcan by surprise was developed by their own hands.  The seeds of their destruction had been grown by a small group of Vulcan scientists who had foolishly scattered them to the winds.  He could see no logic in their actions but he was no scientist had could not speak to their motivations.  He was just a simple diplomat who was no longer the man he was two years ago.

 

The Charon had changed him.  Had he not been uprooted from his former life and position he would still be that man who had sought nothing else but influence and power and all in the name of restoring his family honor.  Honor.  He had forgotten what it was.  It had taken two years, a stern captain, and a few failures for him to remember what it was he had been fighting for.

 

Two years.  He took a deep breath and released it.  What a fool he had been and how distant that person now seemed.  He couldn’t go back to that life and vowed never to return to such a conceited path.  He had no idea what the future held, but one thing was certain.  The Charon was his home and the crew his family.  For the man two years ago who had done everything in his power to stay off the Charon now he could not be pulled away.

 

“Nevasa’s light often attracts many visitors”, a voice said at this side.

 

Lamont jumped having been oblivious to the arrival of another person.  He turned to see an old, elder Vulcan gazing out over the horizon at the setting sun and its slowly vanishing rays of warm hues.

 

“It is quite breathtaking”, Lamont replied.

 

“Indeed.  Nevasa’s light has inspired countless individuals and has illuminated many truths.  The katra seeks it out drawn to its warmth and splendor.  And yet, those who gaze for too long at its light can become blinded by it unable to see anything else.  Even when bathed in the most brilliant light one can lose their way as if engulfed in a sea of impenetrable darkness.”

 

Lamont slowly turned to face the old man.  He went to speak, but was quickly interrupted.

 

“Forgive an old Vulcan, human.  My mind and my logic are not what they once were.  I could not help but hear your voice and was drawn to a kindred spirit searching for answers to eternal and profound questions.  I could not help but hear you speaking.”

 

“I..I haven’t said anything”, Lamont replied.  “I’ve been alone for…”

 

“You did not call?  I see.  You possess the gift but do not understand it.  Then you have come to the proper place.  You must seek out those who can guide and instruct you.  That which burns within has led you here, has led you home.”

 

“Forgive me sir.  I’m not sure I understand…”

 

“I can hear your call.  It is like that of a child crying out for attention.  Your blood is bound to this place and flows with the gifts of the Vulcan people.  Weak as it is you possess it nonetheless.  To ignore it would be illogical.  You must embrace that which you do not understand.  You must seek the knowledge your blood calls out for.

 

Lamont gazed at the sun as the last of its brilliant fingers slipped beyond the horizon.  Perhaps the old man was right.  Something within him had awoken after being in close proximity to Cmdr. Sakarra while in the brig for an extended period some months ago.  He had not been able to fully ignore or control the tiny flame within since that moment.  He turned to apologize to the Vulcan extremely embarrassed his thoughts had been leaking again while he contemplated his deepest, most intimate thoughts. 

 

The Vulcan was nowhere to be found.  Lamont spun on his heels on the rocky overlook realizing his was alone, completely alone.  Only the sound of a stiffening, cool breeze could be heard as he scanned his surroundings for the old man. 

 

He swallowed. 

 

Had he imagined the entire thing?

 

 

Leaning against the railing Lamont closed his eyes.  Perhaps the Vulcan was right.  Somewhere deep within him was an enigma he had no answers for.  It had been awakened and had slowly gathered strength over time demanding him to acknowledge its existence and teasing him with abilities both surreal and tantalizing.  He had indeed done his best to suppress such feelings, but here in this place they seemed to be growing in strength.  He was unable to ignore the feeling.  Perhaps it had unconsciously compelled him to beam down to the Vulcan surface.  He still was not exactly sure why he was here or what had driven him to this spot, or this place.

 

He needed advice.  He needed council.  Yet the only one he trusted for such things was unavailable contending with mental and physical issues of her own.  He could not impose himself upon her, not this time.  Somehow he had to find these answers on his own.

 

He rubbed his head.  What would the ship’s counselor say to such introspection?  Was he going mad?

 

He tapped his chest.  “Lamont to Charon, one to beam…”, he stopped short.

 

“Repeat Ambassador?”

 

“Nevermind.  I think I will remain on the surface for a time.  Sorry to have bothered you chief.”

 

“No problem sir.  Call anytime.  Enjoy yourself.  Charon out.”

 

Lamont closed the channel and set off down the dusty path.  He thought he recalled a village or town a mile or so away.  Perhaps he could find a place to stay for the night and time to further reflect upon a great many questions, emotions, and events.”

 

[ To Be Continued… ]

 

_____________________________

Ambassador Ian Lamont

Diplomatic Advisor, USS Charon