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Ensign Katsim Peri - "Remembering A Friend"


Alieth

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There are times when reality and fiction intermingle a little bit and our characters allow us to articulate and cope with things we otherwise wouldn't be able to. Today I saw a little piece of @Alora DeVeau's soul here and, as I expected, it is deliciously beautiful, like her prose, despite the sorrowfulness that permeates these words.

 

Here for you my friend :)

 

 

((USS Thor - Alieth’s and Peri’s Quarters))

 

Everything was fine.

 

The computer sounded the alarm and again and again until the dark eyes of the one occupant finally opened and Peri pushed herself up to rub at her eyes.  A moment later, her soft command hushed the continual noise and silence descended.  With the absence of her roommate, there was no one to worry about waking, but Peri made little sound as she shifted from under the covers and swung her feet over the side of her bed.  Only the soft hush of fabric, the gentle hum of the sonic shower, the tinkling flow of the water as she brushed her teeth followed her as she moved about her quarters and proceeded to prepare for the day.  

 

Making her way back to her bed, Peri dropped to her knees and began to pull out something stored beneath.  Another chirp from the computer made her stop and she straightened as she turned her gaze to check the time.  Then she did a double take.  It was almost time for her shift to start!  How had she lost track of time?  Had it slipped so quickly by that she’d simply mistaken the amount she had for opportunity?  Whatever the reason, it did not matter, for she could not spare a moment to do what she most wanted lest she be derelict in her duty.  

 

Jumping to her feet, Peri almost rammed into her doors she was so quick to rush from her quarters and run down the hall.  With the lift doors firmly shut, she had no choice but to stop and wait, her teeth worrying her lip, hands playing at one another, until they finally parted and she darted inside.  When she arrived on the proper deck, Peri made a beeline for her lab where she found others already at work.  Cheeks aflame, she quickly made her way to the console.  No one remarked about her tardiness.  No one hardly looked at her to admonish her.  Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she set about looking through the latest data that had been gathered by the sensors.  It was all right.  Everything was fine.  

 

Looking to the console, she switched to a different pane.  There, in between the lines of information, marked by an alternating array of curves and straight lines, Peri caught her reflection.  Black hair had been pulled back into a standard bun, one of her usual ways of wearing it while working.  In her haste, a few strands had wriggled free and played over her cheeks, but she ignored them.  Her face was muted and blurred by the screen, her visage more like a shadow than a reflection.  

 

Glancing down, she input another series of parameters.  When she lifted her gaze, another reflective figure stood to the side just behind her.  The red curly hair was kept at bay with a hairband, the sweet heart-shaped face displayed with a smile.  In the dusk of the monitor, the eyes were shadows, the warmth of their hazel left only to the imagination.  With a gasp, Peri whirled around, only to find herself alone.   It had been a shadow, a bare whisper of a memory come to the mind’s eye upon that day of all days, when the eyes yearned to see and the heart ached to remember.   

 

Taking a deep breath, Peri turned and peered at the screen, but all that was left was her own face marred by the contents that poured over it.  Only her thoughts, only her imagination, projecting something that wasn’t there.  That presence that she missed so dearly, that face that had greeted her with a smile almost every day since their first meeting, it was just a memory, a wish that would never be granted.  But it was okay.  It would be okay. 

 

The chirp of the computer seemed so cheerful in comparison to the thoughts that pervaded the young scientist’s attention.  Attempts were made to focus, and eventually waves of reflection and contemplation were swept into a corner, not to be disposed of, but simply placed upon a shelf for further introspection, but later, when the demands of her duty could be set aside, properly attended to and well done. 

 

She kept them at bay, those unwanted recollections that seemed so intent to haunt her.  They thrust out into the forefront at her meal time, for her mind had been left to wander, no longer distracted by the intrinsic luminosity of stars or extragalactic distance of galaxies beyond their own.  Peri’s own turmoil reared its head, unwilling to be silenced in the stillness of her brief respite, and it’s unpleasant attendance spurred her to rush through an otherwise pleasant fare, left half eaten in the wake of the unrest the objectionable visitor had stirred.  Her own internal galaxy had been invaded, a recurring reminder printed upon every data stamped with the date, every mention made of time.  Time had come to a stop for some, but for others, it continued, and those left behind could only reflect upon the ravages of the past. 

 

And yet, as much as time could plunder, it could also heal.  The sting was still present, perhaps more so on that particular day, but the retrospection was, perhaps, a little easier than before, not quite so overwhelming, not so consuming.  To be sure it remained, ever present, little things bringing to mind, more obvious than on other days, but the deep breaths cooled the flames of unrest and sorrow. They still existed, still habited the heart, but the power they held over it had lessened.  The ability to move through the veil they threw over the might thinned, and life could seem almost normal. 

 

Normality continued through the rest of the afternoon.  Her attention thus occupied by the calculations of the mass of stars, the distance and chemical makeup of nebulous matter, the gravitational force of a nearby black hole, all these tasks took up room, leaving little chance for those memories to distract from the course of her obligations.  Time continued as it always did, passing by until she was left with a reminder and her shift had come to an end.  Usually, Peri would linger, too intrigued by the prospects and information that the Thor’s powerful sensors collected and displayed, but she had a task to perform.  One she would have completed had she not lost track earlier that morning.  She would not allow herself to renege in the ritual, and so allowing herself only a few moments extra to make up for what she’d lost in the morning, Peri excused herself and returned to her room. 

 

Upon arrival, her roommate had still not returned, a fortuitous opportunity that would allow her time, time alone to focus upon what she had to do.  What she wished to do.  Returning to the small space beneath her bed, she tugged from it a box a couple of feet wide, and of a similar length, it’s depth about half that.  From within, she pulled out a small candelabra with five positions, each allowing a single candle - those residing inside the container as well - but only one was chosen.  The holder was arched, the middle setting the highest, and it was upon this one that particular candle was placed.  Breathing in, then out several times, Peri clasped the lighter and brought a spark to life, then used it to light the wick. The fire took to its new residence quite gleefully, dancing despite the lack of a breeze.  A candle lit, a flame dancing in place of the one that had been snuffed out, the warmth of its glow filled the dimness of her room, cutting through the shadows and adding a cheerful disposition.  With a small smile, Peri bowed her head, her words moving, her voice soft as she uttered familiar words.  

 

Katsim: Raka-ja ut shala morala... ema bo roo kana... uranak... ralanon Ayna... propeh va nara ehsuk shala-kan vunek…

 

She had spoken those words upon the death of her closest friend, and then again a year later.  Now, two years had past, yet she expressed them once more, though time had put more distance between the past and present.  Though the pain had dulled, or perhaps she had become better at wearing it, she had promised she would say them, again and again, every year, on that very day.  A reminder of what had happened.  A reminder of what she had.  A reminder of what she’d lost.  

 

Settled upon her knees, Peri stared into that flickering light, so gleeful on its perch.  Alive, much like the soul that was lit for had been.  Since their meeting, Ayna had taken it upon herself to be a shelter for her, a child of two worlds, trapped between them, uncertain of where she should place her feet.  For Ayna, it hadn’t mattered, and her place had been at her side, friends, close as sisters.  With Ayna, things had gotten better.  She had made them better.  And now?  

 

And now she was gone.  Two years gone.  Another shaky breath followed and her eyes shut, cutting out the light that tried so desperately to shine in that darkness.  In her mind's eye, she could see it, see the flame in its gentle brilliance, a reflection of the brilliance of the life Ayna had led and so willingly shared with her friend.  Yet, in the hollows of that distance, in the darkness that followed, her presence was still there, a part of the universe, dancing with the Prophets among the stars.  Peri could almost hear her laughter, her gleeful countenance forming in the foremost parts of her thoughts.  And though the ache painfully clenched about her heart, and tears trickled down her cheeks, she knew it would be all right.  Everything was fine.  Everything would be fine.  Because Ayna had always known it would be.  So she had believed.  So Peri believed.  

 

It would be fine.

 

She would be fine.

 

 

~~*~~

 

In memory of Kirsti Andrea Anderson, June 02, 1964-March 3, 2019

-- 
Ensign Katsim
Science Officer
USS Thor
M239008AD0


 

 

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