Sunday, November 21, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.21 || Joint Log "The Bright and the Dark" Part VIII || 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



"We are headed …" Sakarra barely could keep up with the Marine's incredible speed, oftentime barely able to point out a direction in time before they would inevitably end up in a cul-de-sac "to wherever even the most violent burst of Sandfire will not reach, beloved. However, I think you may slow down now."

Shuffling and a rather annoyed huff behind them told her Warya was doing his best to keep up in the increasingly narrow tunnels, but thus far he managed to navigate his bulk forward without getting stuck. Far above and behind, the howling and shrieking was getting louder as the fury of the storm descended upon the old ruins, but the telltale scent of electricity in the air became faint enough for the Vulcan to breathe just a small sigh of relief. Not 'out of the woods' so to speak, but no longer in immediate lethal danger.


Pitch black. Utter, all encompassing darkness. Like their feline ancestors, Vulcans need barely any source of light to make out shapes, navigate terrain that for other species would appear as these tunnels did to her now. But they needed at least a tiny glow first. There was none, here.

Not that this was more than a minor inconvenience. Every other sense raced to compensate and in her mind the path before them was as clear as if she could see. Hollow echoes, hinting at rooms or large caverns. A near oppressive scent of stone, old, very old, and no living creature had left a trace for … a long time. And with every step, the sense of water became stronger.


"Yes, I will be. How could I not, having two such protective and attentive travel companions with me?" Her wink was invisible in the dark, but it hardly mattered. He would know it, feel it, in her voice.  

"Wait. Turn … turn right. Here. There is … it smells like … wood."

Amazing, that such a precious resource should have been left behind when the sanctuary was abandoned. Then again, they were likely deeper in the tunnels than anyone had been since that time.


He sighed, finally slowing down as he stared straight ahead into the darkness. His ears were beginning to pick up the faintest of hints of water somewhere. Water, in this hellhole? He had a hard time believing it. Either way he stretched his legs a little bit as he slowly walked about turning to the right and into the room when told to, as he too smelled the wood. "Wood. This is the safe place in this ancient building whatever it was," Brent asked as he looked about as if he could see something. It reminded him of some of the caves in the land that his friends place had. Well not quite this dark, he could at least see then. "How long will that storm last up top?"


"Likely, yes." His assessment was logical, judging by the room's size and general layout. Large enough to hold roughly a dozen people, with evidence of furniture where 'blind spots' threw back sound different from the walls. Arched doorways leading out into … two other rooms, and then others behind that … arrayed around a central fireplace. Practical. Simplistic, even elegant. The water was very close now. And it was much more than she had initially guessed.

Logically a place like this would have had its own well, and while it had been abandoned centuries ago it had not been on account of the well running dry as was usually the case. But this … this was more than an ancient pool preserved under rock and sand since the time Vulcan's majestic forests had nearly reached the borders of the Forge. This was ….

Reigning in her curiosity and urge to explore, Sakarra forced her mind to focus on slightly more practical matters for the moment. As random chance would have it, they had shelter, water, and a fireplace. Even wood. Dumb luck did not begin to describe this. Now they only had to get the Sehlat un-stuck and they could outlast the storm surrounded by luxury.


"It was a sanctuary, once." She squirmed slightly in Brent's arms, indicating he could set her down now and at the same time rather relishing the fact she was cradled so comfortably against his chest "A religious retreat, but in its history it has served as trading post, inn, stronghold and a dozen other things. If some historians are correct, its original purpose was to make war on my ancestors who dwelled in the Forge. A beachhead, as you would say."

"Wrowl. Rrrrr."

"Yes, Warya. I know. It would help if you would stop pushing forward. You will only … ah. Too late." The futile scrambling of massive paws on the stone floor was indication enough that the Sehlat was once more utterly stuck and would require either another firm shove or pull. Or both.


 "Quite the history to it then," Brent replied as he frowned into the darkness.  He let Sakarra down onto her feet gently before he turned around and looked about.  He really had no idea where that overgrown fleabag was at but after a moment he finally realized that he did have a light source, and it would even work here.  He pulled the map out of his pocket and activated it, sending the light cascading across the small room, forcing him to close his eyes for a few moments.  "Gah!" he said squeezing his eyes shut for a little bit before he began to open them, slowly at first then letting get used to the light as he looked around.  Beaten and broken furniture here and there.  He sighed looking about until Brent finally did see the large animal wedged into the small crevasse that they had just walked though.

Brent walked over, pulling on the beasts by its haunches, making sure not to pull too hard and slowly increasing the strength and pressure.  Finally the animal gave way, bits of fur flying about as Brent fell, landing on his ass just as the mass of animal came and nearly bowled him over.  "Ooof!" he said frowning slightly, and even more so as the animal began to lick him in thanks.  "Alright alright.  Yes yes your welcome. Sakarra!  Can you get this thing off me so I don't have to lift him and startle him?"


"Warya. Pheshku'u. Hla, va'yh." If anything, Sakarra had been blinded by the sudden light worse than her beloved but at least it was soothing, deep garnet and ruby hues bathing the ancient room in warmth while a map of the Forge floated in mid-air. She would have to compliment T'Meni, the mechanism had withstood the interference quite well though one might assume they were at least partially shielded from it here … oh, dear. It was a sight that would prompt even the most stoic of Kolinahru to at least raise a brow. The Sehlat, all innocence, shuffled backwards and still radiated cheerful affection while Brent … oh, … looked like a tall Marine after a friendly collision with a very furry animal who had expressed thanks … enthusiastically. Oh …


It bubbled up from deep inside, unstoppable as the clear, life-giving water breaking through the rocks to sparkle in the sunlight. And she did not even try to stop it. After all they had been through, after all the hurt, all the darkness, it was like a homecoming, like the sweet rain over Llangon, like Nevasa's light rolling over the hills.

Standing in the middle of an ancient, dusty storm shelter of an abandoned sanctuary in Vulcan's Forge, Sakarra laughed until crystal tears rolled over her cheeks. Laughed until her ribs ached, until she had to gasp for air. Delighted to hear his favorite biped cub make such happy sounds, the Sehlat performed a leap of joy, bumping into an ancient table which promptly collapsed on the floor. If she laughed any harder, she might actually die of it. Now there was irony for you.

Even when she had to drop to her knees, hugging her rib that had cracked for the seventh time now and a fierce hiccup was threatening to take away the last bit of air, she couldn't stop. And quite frankly, did not want to.


As the large fleabag leapt up into the air Brent rolled out from underneath it falling away as he grunted slightly, moving over on all fours with the light still on. He came down next to Sakarra as she fell to her knees smiling as he so rarely got to hear her laugh. He slipped his arms around her and brought her close to him and lean against him. He let out a sigh, smirking at her as he let the laughter run its course. "Well that wasn't quite what I had in mind my beloved but it did get your overgrown cat to let go of me," he said before he leaned in to press a kiss to her cheek.

"You never answered my question of how long these storms normally last. I have two starfleet rations with us. And while normally I would use them to torture Romulans for information... If that's all we will have for several days we should probably ration them I imagine hmm?" he said before he reached into his pocket and withdrew the two offending pieces of cardboard flavored food.


Ah, and people wondered why Vulcans so seldom laughed. Though it hadn't hurt quite this badly ever before. Leaning against Brent, feeling his steady, slow heartbeat and even breaths, the little Vulcan finally got herself under some measure of control, though the hiccups were a bit … persistent.

"They" … "oh, my. They can last between a few" … "few hours to several days. Judging from …" more than a bit persistent… "from the scent and speed alone, this one might" … "might spend itself within two days. Or less. Brent…?" Lifting her face, Sakarra tried her very best to not burst into laughter again. Not an easy feat, considering she was nestled in her beloved's arms, hiccupping and looking rather disheveled while a grinning Sehlat hovered behind Brent and seemed to ponder another little happy dance.

She pointed at the water he was carrying and made a small, almost helpless gesture. Not that she would truly, desperately need it for another day or so. But right now it might help alleviate those cursed … oh, dear.



=/\= To be continued … =/\=


Lt Cmdr Sakarra Tyrax

Executive Officer


Brevet 1st Lieutenant Brent Warren
Marine Commander


USS Charon