<< If anyone has forgotten what's happened from last time, the first three are in the character story section of the Wiki. :) For a jist, we have visited Landon before, during and after his joining. Now we're beginning his journey to discover what really happened to his family.>>
=/\= Trill Djusih Landing Dock, SD SD 240605.01 =/\=
The three sat in a triangle in the back of a crowded transport. It's noisy atmosphere provided the perfect backdrop for Landon's concentration, and his mind had been reeling since he'd woken up almost two weeks ago. The new exposure to a variety of viewpoints was intoxicating and he couldn't seem to ignore the thoughts that pecked away inside his mind. There was something wrong with what happened to his family. It kept repeating over and over and over again, as if his subconscious mind knew something, but wasn't able to simply tell him.
Shuttle accident? His shuttles worked perfectly. They always had. No, this was something else. Someone had either neglected to tell him something or he was missing a big part of the puzzle.
Maybe he didn't know, and he was simply going insane as so many joined Trill had done in the past. He wasn't exactly the first choice for the Neyes joining, even though he was an acceptable candidate. After waking up for the first time in the hospital, he was told that Taylor was too far from any of the other choice hosts, and he was the only one near enough to the symbiont to safely transfer. It was a shame to accept such an honorable position, knowing that he wasn't really the first choice, but that didn't detract from his current situation. He was on a hunt for the facts. He had a feeling it would transform into a hunt for a murderer soon enough.
For the most part, the three had been sitting in a relative silence as they made their way across the vast launchpads that covered a great majority of the eastern coastline on this continent. Greg had been actively watching the massive starships and transports lifting off and touching down as their little shuttle whizzed past. He admired Greg for his unflinching support, but worried what would come of their friendship.
"Mr. Neyes. Since you won't answer any of my official questions regarding your health, I'd like to ask you about-", Counselor Odalla started.
"I'm fine," said Landon matter-of-fact, his eyes moved to meet hers, "and we're almost there." Every word effected their intended purpose of silencing her. Landon had his uses for officials and counselors, but answering their incessant inquiries and dodging their probing analysis was a path he needed to avoid right now. He didn't need the distraction, and she really didn't need to know all the things she was asking. It wasn't like anyone was going to read her report on him once she finished it, anyway. The Starfleet bureaucracy was obvious and penetrating. While he admired the human race's drive to be the go-to example to the rest of the galaxy, he didn't necessarily agree that their ideals were the best way to handle every situation. In this case, he needed the counselor to be his keycard, if she was willing. If she wasn't... he had other means of getting into places he shouldn't be going.
Odalla raised an eyebrow in annoyance, and returned to her PADD.
Greg pulled his eyes off the bay window glass and finally turned to face them. His face was it's usual "big-brother" kind of look, but he'd obviously missed a day or so of shaving, because both the counselor and Neyes had noticed some obvious stubble coming in around the man's jaw-line. "Donny, what are we going to do once we get your shuttle? You say you have some contacts in your old line of business, but how do we know you'll find what information you need? For all we know these people are dangerous."
"Why does everyone need to know what's going on all the time?" Landon asked, irritated.
Greg shot him a look, "Would you rather we leave?!"
"It's not that," Neyes' voice thrummed down from it's angry flare to a resolute and diplomatic tone, "but can't you trust I know what I'm doing? I'd have thought we'd have known each other long enough for you to do at least that."
"But you're not really Landon anymore, right?!" Greg's frustration began to show in pangs.
"Oh course I am! How dare you sta-"
"Gentlemen!" Odalla held out a hand on either side of her, quelling the heated exchange. It was embarrassing enough having to report that she was chasing a young and recently joined host around, but to be subjected to public transportation... really. "This isn't going to get us anything useful, and I suggest you both take a moment to reflect on why you're upset. I know I have been."
Neyes sighed, and looked back over his shoulder. She was right about one thing, they weren't going to get anywhere fighting with each other. In his retreat, Landon stole a look at Greg, who had turned away and continued looking out the window. It must have been hard, he thought to himself, for Greg to see his friend going through so much. In many respects Landon wasn't really the same man Greg had grown up with. In many ways they had less in common now than they ever did before.
Oh stop it, he'll get over it.
"All passengers departing at L'iaru Station, please disembark." The overhead PA announced.
The three gathered the small bags they'd brought with them and made their way off the transport. In their short flight, they'd covered about half the distance of the Trill homeworld. A little fleeting moment of nostalgia struck at Neyes as the wind on the platform whipped up at his clothes and hair. The feeling was something he'd come to remember fondly, and he smiled a little despite himself as they crossed the platform to the elevator that would take them down the structure to the small craft loading dock. He'd made the arrangements for his ship to be moved and prepped for launch while they were on the shuttle. He had told them the truth when he'd said he still had contacts in his old business.
It was the people he didn't know that were going to have to explain themselves to him.
"You're in for a treat, buddies." He grinned and made a sweeping gesture at the entrance of the lift. Inviting them in.
Both the Counselor and Greg looked at each other quizzically. Greg looked confused, "Buddies?"
"What?" Landon asked, also confused.
"What in good names is 'buddies'?" Odalla straightened, beginning to doubt the stability of her new patient. She regarded him with a analytical and judgmental eye, and made note that he may have started to invent his own language in order to deal with his conflicted feelings. She'd certainly seen it before.d
Neyes rolled his eyes. "Just get in."
Once they'd shuffled into the elevator, he spent the next few minutes describing his vessel to them in radiant detail. While he spoke, it seemed like his worries as well as his dark cloud were lifted for just a few short moments. The description of his vessel was one of fantastical amazement and jolly good old times. He recounted several stories about the ship, including a few about other ships and hosts that Greg had never heard before.
Once they stepped down onto the final platform, both Landon's travelling companions looked up in awe. Before them, directly across a huge floor space was a massive gateway door that led out into the atmosphere of the planet. Colossal support structured held the frame of the enormous hangar and ships flew overhead with plenty of room to spare. Landon moved with intense purpose as he bid them to follow his closely. Being here again was making his heart race and his ears pop. Part of him had thought that his ship would lie here in the bowels of this building for the remainder of his lifetime.
"Almost...", Landon felt like his heart would tear itself from his chest. "There!"
Once again at long last. His home away from home.
=/\= TBC =/\=
Ens Landon Neyes