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Jo Marshall

Lladre - An Ending, and a Beginning

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((Yzieme Beach, Trill))
 
::The light was fading from the sky about the same time as the sun began to set in the old man's eyes.
 
::The blond woman -- who had but this morning been Kudrem Kian -- sat cross-legged on the beach, nestled amongst the pale white sands. She was a stranger to many, barely a footnote on a ship that regarded crew as family. But even those few who knew her, would have been hard-pressed to recognise her. A fire blazed in her eyes, fierce and passionate, transforming her whole body. No more was she the shade stalking the corridors, seeking refuge in oblivion, terrified that everyone would realise that she was a failure. Now she was filled with passion and purpose, straight-backed and determined.
 
::Kudrem Kian was gone. Lladre had been reborn.
 
::Laid in front of her, head cradled in her lap, holding her hands as they lay upon his chest, was the man who had offered to help her only a few days earlier. He too was different. With the symbiont removed, his hold on life was fading fast. He was no longer Lladre; Perdut had been his name when he had been born, and that was what it would be when he died.
 
Perdut: You shouldn't have done this. You don't have the time.
 
::She looked down at him, a fond and gently amused smile on her lips.::
 
Lladre: You of all people know that I don't like to be told what to do.
 
::Oh, he did. And how he'd loved it; the rebellion, the freedom, the carefree way that Lladre had lived their lives. The symbiont had offered everything he'd ever wanted, and so much more besides. He was dying now, but it was as a man contented and at peace.::
 
Perdut: How's Kian?
 
Lladre: In stasis. That's more than it deserves. ::She snorted, and her lip curled in disgust.:: Weak-willed little creature. I would've recycled it with the rest of the garbage, except I think it'll be useful. 
 
::Lladre had nothing but contempt for Kudrem's former symbiont. It had been wasting the life of a talented host, letting her wallow in misery and mediocrity when it could have been guiding her to greatness. They had only been joined a few hours, but already the woman was happier than she ever had been with Kian.
 
::Perdut smiled in reply, weariness barely lifting the corners of his mouth. He had, after all, heard much worse from the symbiont. They had *done* much worse. And he regretted none of it. Laws and morals were nothing more than the excuses of the weak-willed and passionless.::
 
Perdut: That's good. You'll need the insurance. Stealing from Starfleet will cause you some trouble.
 
Lladre: For a little while, no doubt. ::She chuckled, smiling down at him again.:: But I have a plan for that. 
 
::He smiled, and it felt like an effort that would move mountains. That didn't escape Lladre's notice, and her expression turned mournful, her hands squeezing his tightly.::
 
Lladre: I'm going to miss you.
 
::It was Perdut's turn to chuckle, a quiet, rasping wheeze of a sound. His time was ending.::
 
Perdut: I'll always be with you. 
 
::He looked away from her, toward the stars glimmering in the sky, breathtaking in their beauty. He'd seen so many of them, experienced wonders that he couldn't even begin to describe. Lladre had taken him from his tiny, miserable life and given him a gift beyond measure. Every memory was a treasure, and he let them flood through his mind, filling his heart and soul with joy.::
 
Perdut: Thank you.
 
::He died with a smile on his lips, a solitary tear on his cheek. It was joined by more, falling from Lladre's eyes, as she leaned over to kiss his forehead. The decision to move on from Perdut had been one of the hardest she'd had to make, and his loss was keenly felt.::
 
Lladre: Thank *you*.
 
::She sat there for some time, the heat fleeing his body as the night cooled. Then, a quiet chime came from the device in her pocket, reminding her that time ever marched on. With a deep sigh, she untangled herself and stood, leaving him there in the sand, resting forever under the stars.::
 
--
Rear Admiral Quinn Reynolds
Commanding Officer
USS Gorkon
T238401QR0
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