Popular Post Kali Nicholotti Posted December 31, 2021 Popular Post Share Posted December 31, 2021 (( USS ARROW, ENSIGN JACIN’S PRIVATE QUARTERS)) Ayemet opened the door to her quarters, pausing for a moment in the doorway. The bed was still pristine, as if it had never been touched, the small cabinet next to still had the holo picture frame, its’ carousel of 3d photos still revolving in the pre-rendered sequence. The computer panel and replicator ports both hummed gently, their lights illuminated as if the ship had never been precariously close to destruction. To the side was the small bathroom, a sink and sonic shower in it , but now with Ayemet’s toiletries now lying on the floor, the only immediately visible sign of any disturbance. Ayemet sighed and entered. Walking slowly over to the window she lent against the bulkhead and stared out across the never ending landscape of the blackness of space that was punctuated by stars.. Ayemet glance down at the planet dominating her view. The strange new world that had seemingly plucked them out of the sky and wrenched them downwards towards its’ surface. The planet where so many had come close to death, Lieutenant Waters, Commander Rodan, and Ar’Gorvalei, and those that had died; Amanda Crossley. Ayemet glanced down at her right hand, rubbing it as if that mere physical action would somehow eliminate the memory of looking into her eyes, and feeling her slip away, the strange vision she had had as she tried to bring comfort to her friend, and then the horror at seeing the planet’s resurrection of her body into a strange new lifeform Even though she had found peace in knowing that this showed how life stretched beyond what many considered the end, something that was a tenet of her Bajoran faith, it was still an experience that had shaken her. Still an experience that haunted her, particularly after her telepathic contact with the Crossley Entity. She could feel it tugging at her, calling to her, haunting her. She remembered the Amanda Entity healing the ship. How Lieutenant Waters had been correct in her assumption that the crown device could be retrofitted to enable the entity to communicate. How strange it had been to hear it speak, not in her mind like the empathic conversation she had had with it, but with a strange, gurgling hybrid tone. A strange amalgamation of vegetation and mammal. Or maybe that had been in her imagination, projection of what she expected to hear mixed in somehow with her empathic ability. Or maybe she was too exhausted, and this was simply her memory playing tricks with her. Ayemet had been both fascinated and disturbed as the creature agreed without hesitation to help, knowing instinctively that this was not where the crew of the Arrow belonged, just as it also knew that this was precisely where it did. The process of repairing the Arrow’s systems had been more like watching a strange ethereal performance. The Amanda Entity connecting with the ship physically, the energy flowing from it, and in to the ship’s systems, the lights slowly kicking in, subroutines restarting, The LCARS system rebooting, and eventually the all too familiar hum, barely audible, indicating that ‘life’ had returned to the ship. Ayemet could have sworn that the Entity had smiled, as much as its’ strange, fungal face allowed it to, and had caught its’ glance as it looked around d at the crew before it. A shuttle had been arranged to return it to the planet’s surface, and Ayemet had volunteered , no requested , to accompany it to its’ home. They had shared a brief moment. A sharing of thoughts and feelings. She felt that recognisable sting in her eyes, as they touched, one word echoing in her head. “Time”. And then watched out of the shuttle’s window as it rose up into the sky further and further away from the creature and the planet that teamed with life. She felt loss. She felt guilt, but as he knew that whatever had led to that point, that the Midnight Planet was where the Crossley Entity now belonged. Thew crew had been exemplary. Maria, Rodan, Chloe, Ar’Gorvalei had all faced danger and possible death in their own ways, and had all risen to the occasion showing just why they belonged on the Arrow. They hadn’t lost who they were. In fact quite the contrary it was who they were that enabled them to survive and to save others. The same was a truth for those whom hadn’t been in contact with Ayemet during her time on the planet. This crew worked together in perfect harmony, much like the planet they were on. How weird life was. If nothing else it was full of these strange small coincidences or perhaps they were lessons. She moved away from the window and slowly kneeled down on the floor, pulling a small wooden box out from underneath the bed. She ran a hand over the simple wooden carved top that showed a representation of the Celestial temple etched into the surface, She smiled at the feeling of the craving beneath her fingers, a sweet memory of the day Nisha had presented it to her proudly, Even though her friend had what some might call a more pragmatic view of the Prophets , she never showed anything but respect for Ayemet’s beliefs, and the day she had gifted this box to her friend proudly handing it her, Ayemet had never felt more surprised or grateful. She tenderly opened the lid, the brass hinges shining in the light from the stars. She unfolded the rich Burgundy cloth that covered the contents and reached in pulling out an ornate duranja, considerably smaller than most others she had come across in her life but nonetheless unmistakably Bajoran. Taking out the cloth and spending it across the floor in front of the window she carefully placed the duranja, absentmindedly running a hand across it, as if to welcome an old friend that she hadn’t seen for sometime. She then took the cloth out and placed in on the floor. In the space beneath where the prayer lamp had been lay a few minor accoutrements that Ayemet removed and placed on the cloth completing a small Bajoran shrine. She paused wondering whether she was worthy of offering a prayer for those that had died, for Amanda, o0 Not yet. This doesn’t feel right. Am I doing this for me, or for her? 0o Ayemet stood up and walked over to the bathroom, throwing the rags that used to be a proud Starfleet science officer’s uniform onto the floor. She stepped into the shower and the automatic settings kicked in. The sonic pulses hit her aching body, washing away the dirt and grime. She stood in it for what seemed like forever, her eyes closed in relief rather than joy, letting the shower do its’ work, scrubbing away the more persistent areas of the remnants of the midnight planet. Normally she would have exited the shower feeling refreshed and clean but this time was different. The tension in her body still sat uncomfortably on her bones, a reminder that she had not yet fully come to terms with what had happened on her first official mission. She sorted through her clothes and chose a simple maroon top over a pair of dark leggings, a knitted tunic partially covering the top. Sitting down at the duranja, she took a deep breath, and tried once more to compose herself. Lighting the flame at the centre of the duranja she spoke a traditional prayer for the dead, asking the Prophets to walk with Amanda on her journey, just as she had done for Nisha. The silence on her quarters was broken only by her voice softly repeating the prayer over and over. . The only light that of the stars, and the mellow glow from the flame at the centre of the duranja. It was the last thing she could do for Crossley, and whilst her death was no more tragic that the many before it, and the many that would come after it, it was personal. It was visceral, and every time Ayemet closed her eyes she could see it. She could feel it. It too called to her, weaving its’ way into her subconscious. The blood, the vision, the vacant look from her eyes that desperately searched for meaning, for clarity. The last moments. The resurrection into a new lifeform. Even though Ayemet had come to understand the entity after telepathic contact with it, and found some comfort in the realisation that this life being born from death, she still felt a deep brooding anger inside of her. The counsellor in her would say that this was repressed guilt, and as she moved to the window, staring out into the infinity of space, she knew that to be true. The Bajorans had achieved space flight hundreds of years previously, the El-Aurians even before that. The history of her ancestors was one of exploration, so why did Ayemet feel like she didn’t belong? The sensible thing to do would be to search out the Arrow’s Caitiaan/Deltan Counselor Lieutenant Commander R'Ariel , but if she was going to leave and return to Bajor why bother? Ayemet’s right hand slapped the bulkhead hard in frustration. She looked down at it, almost hypnotised by the fact she was able to feel something other than shame or guilt. She did it again, this time harder, wincing at the throbbing dull ache it now bore. Even in her turmoil she knew that how she was feeling was not healthy. She needed to speak to Commander Rodan or Captain Shayne about leaving, but this was not the time. The ship was out of danger, but everyone was still dealing with the physical and psychological; fallout from their time on the planet. She would wait. She would give it time. Was that what the Entity meant? Something at the back of her mind told her no. It was something else. Something that could heal her if only she would allow it to. She was tired. She needed a drink. She opened her bedside cabinet and took out a bottle of springwine and uncorking it with her teeth took a long slug . Lying down on her quarters floor she stared up at the ceiling and breathed out heavily… Time. .. TBC TAG /Anyone. Ensign Jacin Ayemet Science Officer USS Arrow A239810JA2 7 Quote Link to comment
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