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alliepan

Captain Blueheart - My Immortal Beloved

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((Starfleet Morgue, DS26))

::The hall was appropriately dim. It reeked of bleach and death. A single metal table stood in the center of the hall, illuminated within a cone of white light, surrounded by an audience of cabinets brimming with the dead. A white sheet covered the body. It took forever for him to take three steps towards it.::

The gods know how much he wanted to go back in time, if not to restore the past, to see Raj just one last time. And tell him that not even Time can tear them apart. But all that planning and talking and reuniting was proving to be quite the task for him. Every time he tried to concentrate, to focus on what they were saying, his head would start throbbing and the tics would begin emerging. Following a conversation to its end was now a herculean task. Never mind multiple conversations. At the same time.

Exhausted from trying to keep up with everyone’s thoughts, he had sought the solace of the dark and dreary ship’s morgue. There were no annoying, painful conversations in here. Only the lulling hum of the warp coils reverberated through the bulkheads. A hum that had been the soundtrack for 186 years of his life. He limped towards the cold stone slab on which the body of LtCmdr Raj Blueheart lay. He shivered a little from the cold. His boots created echoes throughout the room.

::He was amazingly calm as he drew back the white sheet. Once pale skin now tinged green, stared back at him. How many times had he attempted and failed to count the freckles on that face. The fiery red hair was now dark, wet and oily with disinfectant. The eyelids were stitched close. How dearly he missed those infinite emerald orbs! What he would do to lose himself in them again. The palest of lips were sewn together, the sutures making little X’s across the mouth forever sealed shut. What secrets hid within?::

Lieutenant Commander Raj Blueheart’s corpse lay on a cold metal slab in the infirmary’s morgue.

The doctor had led him into the morgue and hesitated just a moment before drawing the sheet covering the lifeless body. As the doctor stepped back, Emerson’s face was still a blank slate, a mask. Only after a full minute did he take a step forward and lean over the slab to peer into dead, opalescent eyes, wide open from rigor mortis. Drawing the sheet further down, he saw a large gaping hole where once the biggest heart in the entire universe had been. He stared into the black abysmal hole, perhaps to look back in time, perhaps to look for remnants of a lingering soul. He moved towards the head, staring once again into those lifeless eyes.

::Withdrawing a small, folded piece of paper from the breast pocket of his uniform jacket, he stared at it for several seconds, rubbing his thumb across the surface in circles, before gingerly inserting it into a pocket on Emerson’s uniform. Just over his still heart. Resting his palm there, he looked adoringly at the lifeless man, peering into eyes permanently shut. A soft breath of air escaped his lips. It might as well be his soul departing. He leaned in and kissed the cold, bloodless lips, the catgut X’s [...]ing his own.::

He bent over. His torn lips met those of the dead. Kissing them softly, he only tasted death and formaldehyde.

::Raj knelt beside the table and took Emerson’s cold and rigid right hand into both of his. Squeezing it gently, he silently invoked Athena’s blessing for a soul’s safe passage to the stars and beyond. He closed his eyes not to focus his thoughts and prayers, but because he was ashamed that he never really believed in gods and demons and the life eternal. Death is finite. Death is final. Death is the end.::

Like he cat, he sprung onto the chest-high slab, staring into opaque corneas, slowly reclining beside the frozen body. He ignored the biting cold gnawing into his flesh as he turned towards the body and draped his arm across it, nuzzling his head into the crook of its neck. The late First Officer’s skin was a powdery film of ice crystals, turning to waxy sludge as he ran his hand across the ripped-open chest to cradle the head. He hugged the corpse, the merciless cold boring its way into his own core and his blood began to flow languidly.

For the first time in his life, Emerson wished he could cry. He wished he could know what it feels like to have a river of tears wet his cheeks. But shredded tear ducts and multiple repeat brain surgeries denied him this modest request. Rocking gently as if to soothe a colicky infant, he but whispered into dead ears.

::A lonely tear emerged from hiding to roll down his face. It would prove to be the last tear Raj Blueheart would ever shed.::

TBC

================================

Captain Raj Blueheart

Commanding Officer

USS Atlantis

NCC-74682

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