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LtCmdr Rennyn - Who Would These Pizzas Bear


Brell
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((USS Darwin-A, Sickbay))
 
::Ren had no conscious awareness that he had been moved to the special quarantine aboard Darwin, but some part of him sensed he was caught in a transporter beam, and knew he was placed gently in a reclining position, separated from the shoulder of a captain he didn’t know yet. The puddle of drool he’d left had soaked through the captain’s uniform enough to still be present when they awoke later, but for now, Ren contented himself to curl up where he was left, and continue dreaming, breathing the clean, quarantined Darwin air.::
 
((Ren’s Dream))
 
::Arnom, that mysteriously unsymbiotic symbiont who served as the master of ceremonies to Ren’s afterlife, or dream, or whatever this happened to be, had already sent Ren through two dreams. In one, he saw what life might have been like if Navin was still alive. In another more nightmarish landscape, he saw what his fate could be if he chose to try again with Sovak.::
 
::Now, Ren was deposited into a third and final dream, wandering out of the bright white mist onto a familiar scene. He emerged from a turbolift onto a Starfleet bridge, not one he knew, not even a class of ship that was real, but the whole thing was so Starfleet. In his dream state, he knew he had been there before. This was his ship. This was his crew. This was the future.::
 
Tarch: Captain on the bridge!
 
::The crew rose and stood to face him, all smiles. Ren blushed.::
 
Rennyn: Who, me?
 
Ravenscroft: Welcome back, Captain Ren! We’ve been waiting for you.
 
::Ren paused in his celebration, and started to look more closely at the faces around him. Why was his ship crewed by dead people? Barbara Tarch stood proudly as his first officer, in her old maroon uniform with the white collar, her jacket buttoned uncomfortably high. Emerson Ravenscroft’s bright auburn hair and warm smile looked impossibly real, but he couldn’t be true. He was long gone now. And Mort Opfer was there. What was a deck chief doing on the bridge? Especially one who was dead?::
 
Rennyn: Am I dead?
 
Opfer: Not yet, guy. But don’t worry. You’re getting there.
 
::A warm shimmer of light captured Ren. This dream was taking a dark direction, but suddenly there was blue light, and Ren was taken from the place that was killing him, and deposited somewhere safe. In his dream state, it was a long, protracted process that he observed as an outsider.::
 
Ravenscroft: Where’d the captain go?
 
Rennyn: You guys, I’m right here.
 
Tarch: Fire all torpedoes! Opfer, scramble all the jets! Launch the megazords! Power up the noisy crickets! Dispatch the battlemech! Call in Mega Maid!
 
Rennyn: Yeah, but, you guys, I’m right h-- Oh!
 
::He was suddenly not right there. He was, instead, on a planet, alone in a barren, rocky landscape. Alone except for a Gorn who was bearing down on him in his clumsy but powerful way.::
 
Rennyn: What the--?
 
::Ren grappled with the Gorn. The Trill’s shirt was artfully ripped open for some reason, exposing one shoulder and part of his chest, heaving now with the effort of fighting off the powerful enemy. The struggle was tough, but Ren felt exhilarated. He knew more now about what it meant to be in command of a starship, and just how much it took, but when he was a kid, this right here was exactly what he thought it would be like!::
 
::Just when the powerful Gorn seemed to have the upper hand, something magical happened. Ren was aware of a purple cloud gathering above them. It swooped down and swarmed the Gorn’s face, confusing the lizard and causing him to release his death grip on Ren. The Gorn ran away.::
 
Rover: It is Rover!
 
::Ren looked up in delight at the sound of the squeaky, excitable little voice. His friend was back! Rover was his mischievous cloudy self again, and all was right in the universe!::
 
Rennyn: How is this possible?
 
Rover: Spotted One, you healed Rover with the power of your love!
 
Rennyn: That makes so much sense!
 
::With Rover finally at his side -- or, suspended somewhere over his shoulder -- again, Ren was finally at peace. He was living his best dream, and he could be exactly what he wanted to be. He could have it all! His shirt torn artfully open, and a proud look on his face, he struck a heroic pose with one leg up on an outcropping and his chest heaving broadly.::
 
::It wasn’t about being a captain. It was wasn’t about commanding his own ship. If Ren was second officer for the rest of his life, he would be happy, as long as he got to be the one thing he’d always dreamed of being, lying in a field in Arnmere gazing up at the stars. As long as he got to pull up from the drudgery Starfleet sometimes became, and be just the thing the wanted to be…::
 
Rennyn: Space hero!
 
::Rover was part of it, but this was the real dream Arnom was showing him. To prove it, the dream kept on giving.::
 
::A storm of troopers in white helmets thundered over the horizon, and only Ren could stop them.::
 
::He shot his laser effortlessly, and hit everything he meant to. All the return fire missed.::
 
Rennyn: Pew! Pew! Pew!
 
::To the victor went the spoils, and Ren happily accepted a large delivery of pizzas.::
 
Rover: Rover wishes Rover had a stomach!
 
::Someone was rubbing Ren’s shoulders, and another was feeding him slices with pepperoni and mushroom. It was the hunky Orion bartender from Outpost Unity, and some kind of sultry cat man. Ren found himself purring.::
 
Rennyn: Space babes! How YOU doin’?
 
::A plate appeared in the air before him, and the cat man took it down with one paw. Ren’s eyes went wide in excitement.::
 
Rennyn: NACHOS!
 
::Rover was playing electric guitar riffs and the Orion had duplicated himself to massage Ren’s feet. Everything was awesome! Ren leaned back across the cat man’s lap and sighed in deep contentment. His was a charmed life with barely a problem in it. Even the rocky landscape had been replaced with a luxury resort, with lush greenery, no tourists, and bottle service to the hot tub.::
 
::Then Ren’s head turned to the side, and his eyes opened slightly, and he almost choked on a pizza-nacho combo bite when he saw that cheap plastic gate again. It was just like the first one he’d stepped through, at Arnom’s insistence. He knew this meant his dreams were coming to an end. Just like the other dreams, he knew this life wasn’t quite right. But it sure did feel good while it lasted.::
 
::Ren had been obedient to Arnom throughout this ordeal, following through each gate no matter how difficult it was. This time, the feeling of a warm coat of fur against his cheek and the offer of a blue margarita with a lot of ridiculous umbrellas in it made Ren reconsider. He called out towards the gate.::
 
Rennyn: Five more minutes, Arnom! Half an hour, tops!
 
::Ren turned back to the scene at hand, and was pleased to find there was now three of the Orion. This dream was going well.::
 
Rennyn: Hey Rover. Why don’t you go see if there’s some other kids to play with?
 
::He hated to chase the little cloud away so soon, but there were six muscular green arms holding slices of pizza, and to be honest, it wouldn’t be fair in front of someone who didn’t have a stomach or taste buds.::
 
::The dream faded to PG. No one wanted to see Ren eat that much pizza.::
 
 
LtCmdr Ren Rennyn
First Officer
USS Blackwell, Andaris Task Force
A239102RR0
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