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Waltas: When the Demons Come

Irina Pavlova

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((Parker Residence, Embassy))

::Tyr continued his conversation with the only person he knew older than him-the enigmatic Irina Pavlova. He still wasn't sure if he wanted to put the woman through a wall or give her a pat on the back due to her experiences. He'd poured himself a double-shot of Jagermeister, his favorite, and sat staring into the dark brown depths that threatened to swallow him whole.::

PAVLOVA::Looking at her daughter, who was reading a book to Bolt:: I don't remember very much. Her first smile, her first word. I can almost remember the color of her hair, but when I concentrate on it, it just fades to the gray that I see. It was a peculiarly dark shade of gold, the same as my own hair in fact, but its all lost across the ages.

WALTAS::Nodding in sympathy:: I didn't get to witness any of my children growing up. I didn't know about Daisha at all until she appeared on the bridge of the Discovery at 8 years old. Tye and Sanuye..well, you know what happened there. I've focused on making new memories with them. ::He threw back the shot, letting it drain down his throat and burn:: although there haven't been many to speak of with the boys.

PAVLOVA: Yes, there are new memories. On the day before her fourth birthday she surprised me by announcing that she knew how to read. I didn't believe her, so I handed her my copy of Anna Karenina and while she couldn't understand it, she most definitely could read it.

WALTAS: The boys seemed to age mentally as well as physically, so they just needed formal education. The scientists still can't explain it..not that I've let any get close. I don't think Daisha will either.

PAVLOVA: Did you make peace with your sons?

::He found he'd poured himself another drink, and downed it like the first. He wasn't sure if the bitter taste had been there all along, or had been caused by the conversation.::

WALTAS::Sitting the glass down:: It never affected Tye. Trouble rolls off of him like water off a duck's back. He loves unconditionally, wrecklessly...::Smiling ruefully:: Like his father at his age. Sanuye.. ::He paused, smile faded, letting the sentence trail off::

PAVLOVA: Children are all that matter for people like us. Too many grains of sand in the hourglass, too many faces when our eyes close. I can still see them all, the faces of those who died on my very long watch, and the faces of those I've had to kill. Tell me, Tyr Waltas, do your demons visit you at night?

::The question was a chilling one. He could remember them all if he tried. All of his foes he'd struck down. All of the battles he'd been involved in as a Starfleet Captain and before that as a Security and Tactical officer. He remembered every face on every crew he'd served on, from his first days aboard the USS Constitution to those last, sad days aboard the Discovery-C. From Xan Hebron to Raj Blueheart, he remembered them all. And he recalled those who had fought him. Friend had become foe. Enemies of enemies, serial killers, power-mad dictators, even Starfleet Admirals. He remembered them all, and wished he didn't.::

WALTAS::His vision locked on the window overlooking the Embassy, his face a mask:: My demons don't wait until nighttime to visit me, Irina.

PAVLOVA: Surely you've lost people dear to you to the sands of time?

WALTAS::Still staring off in the distance, an image of dark-red hair and green eyes filled his mind, and he quickly dismissed it:: Too many.

PAVLOVA: Next Tuesday it will be exactly 150 years since Dimitri died. He was the boy next door when I grew up in Sochi. I was older by a year, and he could never keep up. Running, jumping, pretty much any sport, he always was so clumsy, but he never gave up and always came in just behind me, like a shadow.

::He realized that, for perhaps the first time, Pavlova was opening up to him instead of holding him at arms' length. True, she had suffered and lived several lifetimes-something only a few could understand and sympathize with.::

WALTAS: What happened to him?

PAVLOVA: Dimitri followed me into the Earth Defense Marines, but he didn't make the cut for sniper school. We were always just friends, but on the night I left we became something more. I didn't even know I was pregnant with Katya until over a month into Columbia's mission and by then we were too far out for Dimitri to join us or for me to go back. He proposed to me over subspace, but when I finally returned to earth he'd been dead 99 years, at the ripe old age of 95. He died alone, never married, never met his only child.

WALTAS::Quietly, absorbing the story, he responded sincerely:: I'm sorry.

PAVLOVA: Haven't you ever wanted to go back? To do it again, have a second chance?

WALTAS::Sighing:: I'd be lying if I said no, but I've found if you spend too much time looking over your shoulder, ::his gaze drifted to Hella:: you end up missing the special things that are coming to you. I've made enough mistakes to count for four lifetimes, but I am who I am because I did what I did. I've learned to live with that.

PAVLOVA: I've thought about it every day this past year.

::He paused, considering what her words meant, and the undercurrent of determination he sensed in them. There was more to what she was saying than what had been said, but what, he didn't know.::

WALTAS: You can't live in the past, Irina. It will consume you. You've been granted a second chance. Use it.

PAVLOVA: That little boy is Irina's first friend. All I want is for her to have the tools she needs when I'm gone. Tell me Tyr Waltas, are my secrets safe? Are we allies or enemies? Am I safe here? I need to know, for her sake.

WALTAS::Turning to regard her:: I'll give you the same answer I gave on Discovery all those months ago, Irina. You are safe here, and under my protection. These are good people of good character and they consider their crewmates family, just as we did on Discovery. And more than that, we are Marines. We are closer than family. You should remember that from your training. ::Pausing:: As for allies, again, I'll tell you the same thing-we are allies until you do something that makes us otherwise. I respect your past and the life you've lived. All I ask is that you do the same.

::He was going to say more, but Captain Turner walked in with a Marine at her side. Tyr gasped, realizing who he was-and the fact that he was supposed to be..well..DEAD. Angrily, he slapped his comm badge.::

WALTAS: Computer, bio file on Major Heath West to my PADD.

::The computer relayed the information, and he frowned at the results. Whether this was a trick or the man had indeed returned to play on Toni's sympathies was irrelevant-the Captain could possibly be in danger. Considering the Ba'ku still had his blade on his back, so was Major West. Stepping through the crowd as they sat down for a meal, Tyr made a beeline for the pair.::

WALTAS::Flatly:: Captain. May I have a word with you?

TURNER/WEST: response

WALTAS::Ignoring West and the introduction:: Captain?

TURNER/WEST: response

WALTAS::Turning on West, his voice rising slightly:: You'll explain yourself now, Major.

TURNER/WEST: response

OOC: Toni's dead husband returning should set off alarm bells for anyone in Security so I figure I'd have Tyr overreact. :)

Colonel Tyr Waltas
Marine CO
Duronis II Embassy / USS Thunder

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