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Lt. Katsim Peri - "Letting Go, And Holding On"

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This is @Alora DeVeau's sim for Katsim Peri. I was new to the Thor and only served for one mission, so I enjoy reading how others who were on the ship longer are processing leaving the ship behind for the time being. I especially enjoyed this one.

((USS Thor - Katsim’s Quarters))


She was just a ship.  A machine.  A vessel constructed to be used for the advantage of those who guided her through the paths among the stars.  A slab of metal that had been melted and fashioned, hammered and cut with all the modern tools that Starfleet had to offer, sleek lines and powerful drives that propelled her forward and speeds thought impossible only a few hundred years prior.  And she had woven her way through the Galaxy, protecting the precious cargo within.  


And it was there that she became more than a machine.  Though she did not breathe, she uttered a constant, steady hum to lull that soothed her passengers.  Though she had no heart, her core beat with a firm, constant beat.  Though she had no bones, she creaked and groaned at times in protest.  In many ways, she was very much alive, a part of the crew, the life and breadth that brought them all together, the spindle that wove the thread of commonality into a strength of familiarity.    She had carried them, guarded them, and fought for them. 


And now?  Now those polished hulls and smooth arcs had been torn asunder.   The deep ebony of her form had been struck and the lights that glittered all about her, like strings of glistening jewels, had been dimmed.  The wings that had once borne them through the heavens had been clipped.  Now she was a shadow of her former glory, forced to endure the humiliation of the necessity of being dragged behind another of her kin.  


Her bowels were no less chaotic, the evidence of her torture manifest everywhere one looked.  Nothing was untouched, and the wounds of battle visible no matter where one looked.  Peri had requested that she be transported over, the need to see what remained far too great, mainly of her own belongings.  

There was not much, but what she did have was significant.  She materialized not in her room itself, but in the hallway just outside, debris scattered about, wires exposed, some frayed, and she could smell the last remnants of energy upon the air.  Remaining clear of the components showing she turned to the door.  It had been damaged, one panel somehow half crumpled, but the other seemed as if it had been spared anything at all save for a small mark in its finish.  Between the two, there was just enough space for her to insert herself and get stuck.  Echo, a constant companion, chirped encouragement, and Peri heaved and pushed.  Bracing her feet, she groaned with effort and a moment later, the panel groaned with her, then gave in and slid open.  


Inside was no better than out, the damage great in its extent.  The beds that had lined the walls, one to the right, the other to the left, were nothing more than twisted bits of metal, several of their beams snapped in two, and the jagged edges jutted upward in stark reminder of their brokenness.  For a moment, Peri merely stood there, barely past the threshold, surveying what had once been her quarters.  Carefully picking her way forward, she paused only a couple of feet inside, then bent down to pick up what had once been a frame, but now was merely a remnant shard.  Sighing softly, she tossed it aside, then continued forward, then suddenly stopped again and let out a soft cry.  


She could see her things, tossed about.  Fabric was torn asunder as the trunk in which they had resided had given way to the thrashing it had received.  The silk, both metres and threads, had been tossed and throttled, and remnants were scattered everywhere, their fraying ends speaking to their ruin.  Reaching down, she found a larger piece in particular from a half finished hanging that she had been making for the upcoming wedding between Elizabeth Snow and her intended, Lephi.  It was now ruined, and no amount of craftsmanship could mend it.  Shoulders slumped and her hand released what she had worked so hard on, and it fell limp back onto a small pile of debris.  


And then she saw it, a corner, the darkened edge peeking out from the contorted forms of metal and she pressed forward, pushing things aside, clamoring over others until he could reach the spot where it lay.  Pulling a large, bent beam from one of the beds, Peri moved it just enough to reveal what it attempted to hide.  Quickly, she tugged and pulled and finally wrestled the box from the confines of the wreckage, and immediately turned it over in her hands.  

Beaten.  Outside, it had taken just as much as everything else.  Scratches and dents marred the formally smooth, dark grey, and a slash on one great edge had been cut deeply.  Fingers fumbled with the latches, bent and bowed, yet somehow they had clung together.  A few moments later, she was able to pry it open, and upon seeing the contents, another cry was released - but that one was of relief, for there within, nestled in the protective cushioning lay the candelabra that had allowed her to count and focus her prayers.  Lifting it, she turned it over and over, studying every inch, then breathed a prayer of thanks.  It was a small thing, perhaps insignificant to many, and technically replaceable - but Peri had spoken a thousand prayers upon it, had uttered words of her faith, called out for aid in her doubts, and had breathed the depths of her sorrows with it as a guide and focus when communing with the prophets. Of all that she owned, it was her most precious possession.  


Despite the damage to the case, it was still the best way to protect the item, so Peri returned it to the nest, and closed it as best she could.  Rising, she took another look around her, at what was left of her room.  No, not her room.  She could no longer call it that.  That was gone, and she had been given a new one, one that remained intact and unbroken, devoid of the chaos and devastation that surrounded her.  She had what she came for, yet she couldn’t help but hesitate and linger, though after a few moments, the dragonet upon her shoulder chirped again, as if to remind her that this had to be left behind.  That they had to return.  Biting her lower lip, Peri still hesitated, and she gazed about her, as if trying to put everything back where it once was, where it had been before.  But it was impossible.  No imaginings could refashion all that had been wrecked, and nothing she could do could turn back time to set all as it was.  Finally, slender fingers lightly tapped her badge and the connection was made.  Her soft voice requested transport for a return.  And as she heard the hollow sound and the light filled her vision, she watched it all fade away into brilliant blue, everything overcome with that luminous hue, drowned into oblivion and replaced with the new, the hale, and whole.  Stepping down, she cast a small smile toward the transporter chief, but could not help but let her eyes shift to the transporter pad.  It stood there, waiting for those who would utilise it, others who had come to do the same as she had done, to go back, to seek, hopefully to find.  But what would they find? If they were fortunate, remnants of their belongings, something to hold onto, to return with.  But ultimately, they could not return to what once was.  All they could do was gather the remains of the shattered.  All they could do was move forward.  All they could do was let go.


Taking a deep breath, Peri clutched the rescued case to her chest and hurried away.  Yet, some things couldn’t be let go.  Some things could not be so easily forgotten.   Some things would remain a constant, and in that she had hope and faith, in that she had trust.  Making her way through the hall and to a lift, she gave a command, that for the deck where she was temporarily housed.  The computer complied, the hum began, though it was of a different pitch and temperament than what she had grown accustomed to.  It carried her off, then stepped and let her out at the desired level, and but a moment later, Peri was in her quarters.  Once inside, Echo launched from her shoulder and settled upon the back of the couch where took up a perch and placed the case upon the small table in front of it. 


Opening it, she examined once more the gentle curves of the candelabra, and gingerly fingered the column.  In all the change, in all the tumult, there was so much uncertainty, so much disorder, but there was one thing she knew, one thing that was constant.  Whatever happened, whatever was thrown into her path, Peri would always be able to look to the Prophets, for they would always care for her own.  They would always care for her.  And they would never let go. 

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