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JP: Alieth, daughter of Saros & Sern of Vulcan - A Little Fall of Rain

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OOC: Beautiful.  And heartbreaking.

((Vulcan Forge, Xial, Vulcan))

The wind was blowing in the desert, still cool in the early morning. It brought the fragrance of morning dew, of desert succulents and fresh spring.

High above, a bright silver kestrel hailed the rising sun and, far, far away, among the hills, another bird answered its call.

Alieth sat on the rock and for a few minutes just admired the bird's evolutions in the air, as the desert sands swirled at her feet. Finally, she sighed and placed the ark she had been cradling in her arms on her left.

Her fingers moved over the surface to the appropriate spots and, to her mind's eye and only to her, a figure became visible on the other side of the rock.

Alieth: It has been a long time, my friend.

Sern perched himself on the rock, crossing one leg over the other and lacing his fingers over the top knee.

Sern: Has it? I seem to recall speaking with you just the other day…

The features around Alieth's eyes relaxed slightly before she spoke again.

Alieth:  That was weeks ago, my dear friend.

Sern: Then it has been a long time, indeed. Is this-?

She gave a little nod.

Alieth: Where we used to meet, when you were obsessed with hover car racing.

She stretched out an arm towards a watercourse a little further down, half hidden from view by a dense mass of thorny, shrubby vegetation.

Alieth: You used to hide your vehicle there, so the matriarch would not send it to the junkyard. I still hide mine there.

The ghost of an all-too-human smirk brightened his eyes.

Sern: Ah. An apt choice.

Alieth: Indeed. I have fond memories of this place.

Slowly, he scanned the horizon, eyes eventually settling on a cluster of rocks off in the distance.

Sern: And some not so fond...

She let out a small sigh.

Alieth: Effectively that happened here as well…

There was no need to point out "that" event. It was in his mind as well as hers. Like so many others. Like so many memories. Thereafter, a comfortable silence settled between the Vulcans, each lost in their own recollections- some clearer than others. Either seconds or hours passed before Alieth spoke:

Alieth: Are you sure you want to do this?

Sern: If my choice is between this and ::he opened his hand in the direction of the device, in a manner not unlike a certain human:: that - I would say the choice is obvious.

A genuine smile danced in her dark

Alieth: I have no objection, everything Geoffrey John gets his hands on ends up looking like a mayhem ball affixed with way too much duct tape.

Two beings of any other species would likely have laughed. It would not be a laugh of mirth, but one of two old friends diffusing the growing tension of anticipated conversation. A conversation both parties were perfectly content to leave unspoken, until they were forced to form the words by both time and circumstance...


In the end, it was he who spoke, his countenance more sober than it had been so far, if that was even possible.


Sern: It is time. You have brought me further than I could have hoped. But it is time.


She looked at him and, for a brief second, bit the inside of her lip. She had to have one last try.


Alieth: I just want to persuade you to remain here. We still have so much to experience, so much to learn, so much to live... perhaps we could...


Sern shook his head.


Sern: No - not 'we'... you.


For a moment, he wasn't entirely sure he would win the staring contest.


Alieth: :with a sight: You are right, of course…


Silence settled between them once more, thickening as the minutes passed, and only the wind filled it faintly, along with the cries of the birds of the sands. At last, Alieth turned to his friend's shade, took a deep breath and spoke again. Softly, barely over the whisper of the wind.


Alieth:  I loved you, you know... In some way I still do.


No amount of emotional discipline could hide the look of surprise that shifted across his features. A greenish flush crept into his cheeks.


Sern: I - uh…. I - I loved you, too.


She nodded silently, opened her mouth to say a word but ultimately chose not to. At another time, in another life, perhaps the blush would have crept up her cheeks too, but not then.


Sern: Yeh- ::he cleared his throat, trying to force the flush away:: uh, yes, well…


Alieth: I know. ::Sigh:: Perfect timing.


She looked down at the crystal encapsulated in a mechanical device that was humming on the rock beside her. She ran her fingers over it. Not a word, he would know what was in her mind.


Alieth: And speaking of time, the moment has come


Sern: Now or never.


She nodded faintly and took the device in her hands. Sern crossed over to a scrubby-looking bush and tried to grasp a branch. His hand passed right through it. He moved back to where Alieth stood, the ark device cradled in her hands.


Sern: Could you-?


Alieth: I have already did so.


In her hands, the device had ceased its humming. The crystal still twinkled dimly, the energy that animated it slowly fading, with an increasingly slow pulse.


There was another bit of a pause before the fade started. Much like the image of the Veritas, the edges went first, limbs and core gradually shifting away to reveal the unbroken landscape behind him.


Shifting into nothingness.


Once the will of her friend, of the person who had most marked her early and many of her later years, had been fulfilled, Alieth remained there for a long time.


Until the sun rose at its zenith and the shadowless noon of the desert forced her to seek shelter.


When she did so, there was red dust staining the hem of her robe and wetness in her eyes.


But there was also peace in her spirit, a peace she had not felt for a long time.


Goodbye, my dear friend, and farewell…





Alieth daughter of Saros


USS Thor NCC-82607


Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director




Sern of Vulcan




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