Loved this little insight into one of the Symbiote's former lives from our newly-joined Trill officer.
((Lilla Kiax, Mount Voslaarum, Ayai'leh-hirh Range))
Up with the Lark, her eyes barely open. She strolled through the dark, the lamp as her guide. The wind brought a chill as she buttoned the fleece up to her neck. She paused, and enjoyed the dawn’s misty light. The temperature would warm throughout the day, but out here in the Ayai'leh-hirh Range, the night had a chill that could rival most arctic circles. Inside her pocket lay a small PADD, which she reached for with practiced ease. A few button taps later, and she spoke up.
Lilla: Lilla Kiax, expedition log. Stardate 230006.25. Today marks the start of the hardest part of the climb… Weather looks favourable, but we won't be going anywhere until this mist lifts…
The rising sun peaked out from one of the neighbouring mountains, blinding her momentarily.
Lilla: The sunrises here are always spectacular. It’s a shame Ojass isn’t here to witness them. Illo would probably end up writing a suite of Bell music to describe it. Aadin would probably be unmoved. ::She laughed quietly to herself.:: He always was a bit of an odd boy…
Her recording was interrupted by the sound of someone shuffling around in the tent behind her. A few moments later, a rather bedraggled looking blonde Denobulan poked her head out from the entrance.
Indaura: Do you always have to talk so loud? It’s the middle of the night.
Lilla: I know. Look at how bright the moon is though! ::She stated, sarcastically, pointing at the sun.:: It’s almost like it’s morning!
Indaura looked unimpressed and crawled back into the tent, grumbling away to herself. Lilla turned back to her log and continued recording as she prepped the equipment for today’s leg of the climb, while detailing the progress they had made yesterday. Eventually, a good half hour later, Indaura re-emerged and the pair ate some breakfast before breaking down their camp and loading it into the packs for transport.
The pair had climbed all morning, for a good six hours before stopping for a breather while waiting out the afternoon heat. The going was monotonous, with both of them effectively scaling the same section of rock three times before proceeding. Once up, to clamp a new SLCD into a crack, attach to it, then back down to detach and remove the last, then back up to place the next. Eventually they had reached an outcrop where they could set up their portable shade sail, and the pair stopped for a bite to eat. Lilla grabbed a canteen of water and the Trangia from her pack, before sitting down next to Indaura.
Lilla: Here. Drink up. We’ve still got a ways to go before we get to the campsite for tonight.
Indaura took the canteen and gleefully sucked down the water as Lilla sifted through the remaining ration packs.
Indaura: What’s on the menu today?
Lilla: Steak with sautéed potatoes in a peppercorn sauce, or pan fried haddock with string beans and a bechamel sauce.
Indaura: Do we have anything not from Earth? ::She grumbled.::
Lilla scanned the remaining packets in her pack, only to find that Earth was the only planet left in their supply.
Lilla: Sadly not. Earth’s finest cuisine is all we have left.
Reluctantly, they picked their meals and ate them, though they weren’t particularly enjoyable. The pair sat and looked out over the range, admiring the beauty that lay before them. Indaura took to taking some holoimages, while Lilla continued reading the book that she had taken with her.
Before long, it had begun to cool down slightly, and they had resumed on their way two hours before the sun was due to start setting behind the neighbouring peaks. It wasn’t long before they had made considerable headway, and Lilla was half way between her existing cam and the place she wanted to lock her next. The rockface had become slightly slick, what with the drop in temperature, but it wasn’t enough to deter her enthusiasm. Indaura had been ahead this time, leading the way for Lilla to follow. She had made it to the campsite plateau first, and was lying on her chest with her head sticking over the edge.
Indaura: Lilla! Get up here, you slacker! Some of us want to get some sleep before the morning!
Lilla: ::Surveying the rock face:: Just a minute, Indaura. We have some structural concerns…
The extreme changes in temperature, evening dew freezing in the night and then melting during the day, had lead to some rather unstable sections of the rock face. Lilla carefully locked in her next cam and attached to it, before dropping back down to remove the last.
Indaura: Would you just get up here?!
Lilla tested the rope by tugging on it a little, making sure she was confident that the crack she had pried the cam into was tight enough. Satisfied, she unlatched the lower one and clipped it back onto her harness, before ascending again. The top was almost in sight, and she was excited to get some shuteye before their final day tomorrow. In her excitement, she had neglected to check the area ahead of her thoroughly enough, and though Indaura had passed over it minutes before, that was enough to spell disaster.
The small crack she placed her hand in to pull herself higher suddenly crumbled and gave way, causing Lilla to lose cohesion with the wall, and fall suddenly, passing the lower cam to which she was still attached. Fortunately, the SLCD arrested her momentum, and she came to a sudden halt. In that same moment, the forces exerted on the cam were enough to cause it to snap, resuming Lilla’s fall to her death, the last thing she saw before everything went black was a last glimpse of Indaura’s despairing face.
((Esa and Maddi’s Quarters, Deck 3, USS Atlantis))
((Day Five of Shore Leave, Early Morning))
The audible memory of the sickening crunching and snapping of bones rang in Esa’s ears as she woke with a blood chilling scream and sat bolt upright, drenched in sweat. Reliving your own death really was the stuff of nightmares.
Lieutenant Esa Kiax
USS Atlantis – NCC 74682
Community History Team Member