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Jalana Rajel - The day her world ended


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Constitution, Captain's Quarters

There were not as many times as Jalana wanted that she could spend time with Siance. Through circumstances, some coincidental, some planned by the young woman, she had found her way to the Constitution in search of her father, just to find out that her father was dead and the symbiont who had been in him was now on the Commanding Officer of the ship. It was complicated, but it was now part of their lives. Both Jalana and Siance were aware that they walked a fine line, after all connections with their past life were not exactly within the rules of the Trill Comission.

But the work at Starfleet at times made it necessary to bend these rules. Jalana wasn't telling and they made sure to not just 'pick up where things had been left off', which was easy because the former host had never known about the child. Siance though wanted to know about her father and through these stories they had formed a friendship. Every now and then Jalana and Siance met, had dinner or just sat around exchanging stories.

Siance cuddled up on the couch, her feet pulled up as she watched the woman before her. She looked young, wasn't shabby or anything, on the contrary. She was beautiful, her smile was contageous, she was kind and her crew loved her. But yet, she was alone. The younger Trill leaned forward, her chin on her knees. "How comes you never married?" She had heard of relationships in the past but never so much a mention of that.

"I did." Jalana smiled and Siance rolled her eyes. "Not former hosts, you."

The heavy exhale filling the air, immediately weight down on Siance, wondering if she asked the wrong thing. "I almost did." broke the silence and the young woman curiously leaned forward. "What... happened?" Jalana picked up the glass in front of her and leaned back in the seat, pulling her legs under her body. "Do you want to hear the nice version or the truth?"

There was another moment of silence in which Siance was considering if she was ready to hear the truth. Because that question would not have been asked if the answer wasn't difficult. But then she nodded, there was no doubt. "The Truth." Siance was a counselor. Not Jalana's but she would not shy away from difficult answers.

Jalana nodded slightly and rolled the glass in her hands. "I should have known." A weak smile played on her lips before she leaned her head back, looking to the ceiling. "His name was Viktor. It was eight years ago..."

(( Flashback ))

The Apollo was destroyed, Borg had surprised them during their mission, overwhelmed them and it was a miracle the ship was the only loss. Their transition ship, the Aegis had served them well and now it had been time to move to their new ship on the Apollo-A. Jalana stood in her quarters. Not just her quarters, hers and Viktor's and looked around a smile on her lips. She had started to decorate while he was off doing whatever he was doing. They had arranged to meet here after transition because he had things to do. And she trusted him. They were engaged and what kind of future marriage would it be without that?

That arrangement had been made a week ago. And she was still waiting, doing her work as Chief Medical officer, exploring and stocking her new sick bay, working on getting her team ready for the virgin mission of the new sovereign ship. These were exciting times but when she was here in the quarters she had nothing to keep her busy, occupied and distracted. What took him so long?

With a sigh she kicked off her shoes and dropped on the couch, turning slightly to look out of the window, seeing metal bars that held the ship in position and behind it Station 1. Maybe she should get over there and try to keep her mind off things. But instead she wanted to stay here, wait, wishing that the doors opened any moment and he would stand there with his cocky smile and tell her that he just had a few too much to drink with his buddies and got carried away. Or anything that would make sense really. What was going on?

The sound of the door bell tore her away from that sight and she jumped up, calling out "Come in!" but when the doors opened the familiar sight of her best friend and First Officer came into view. Her heart dropped and her shoulders slumped. "Oh you."

"Not really the greeting I was expecting" Sundassa uttered as she entered, but it was expected, after all she knew the situation.

Jalana sighed and turned away again looking out of the window "Sorry. I thought it's Viktor." She didn't see that guilty look in Sun's eyes. "If you want a drink feel free to get some." It didn't take more than that, a moment later Sun was behind her, handing her a class and Jalana took it without protest, taking a sip, without her eyes moving to her friend. She felt bad, guilty for being disappointed that it was her and not him and couldn't look at her. Her free hand began to fiddle with the hem of her sleeve. "How are you enjoying shore leave?"

"We had a nice time." We meaning her and Jaxx, they had started dating not too long ago. Jalana nodded a hint of a smile on her face as she looked over her shoulder. "I'm glad. You work a lot, time together is important."

Sun's bright hair moved, a nod, which Jalana only saw from the corner of her eye as her gaze wandered to the window again. The silence hung in the air and Jalana didn't have to be an empath to have the feeling that this wasn't a social visit. Something was wrong, Sun was too serious, too quiet. But so was she. One did not have to always talk when spending time with friends, right? She could be wrong.

"Jalana." The tone in her voice. No she was not wrong. "Can you put your glass down for a moment?" Jalana did not follow the request. Sun seemed to realize and took a deep breath. "Something happened that you need to know." The Trill merely nodded. She was listening. The Antosian sat on the armrest of the couch as she continued to speak. "Before we went to the Aegis, something happened on Earth. Faelrun Lanius III and his associated were murdered, their mill destroyed and the doctor that was in charge of Mary Anne McCollough Lanius was attacked."

The moment she heard the name Lanius Jalana stopped any movement. For a brief moment even her breathing stopped. Viktor's father. She remembered visiting the family and a fight she had observed between Vik and his father, the way his mother had been apathic in the hospital barely recognizing him. He had blamed his father for that, for putting her there, getting rid of her. The fight had not ended well but when they left everyone had been alive. "We'll have to tell Viktor when he comes. He'll want to know."

The silence did not last long. "There is only one suspect and he was tracked down based on evidence found. It took me a while to get any information which is why it took so long to come to you." Sun's words made no sense, Jalana's heart breaking for the loss of her fiance's father. "Why me?"

"Jalana... The suspect." She paused and took a deep breath but Jalana immediately spoke up. "No." trying to stop her when she tone gave her a suspicion. Sun gave her a moment before continuing. "Viktor was that suspect and has been arrested on Starbase 1 when he was on the way here. Shelter saw the arrest. Jaxx tried to find out more to figure out what happened but... Jal. Viktor was cut loose from Starfleet."

Silence. Nothing but silence was in the air now, swallowing the words to give them an immediate stop. Jalana didn't breathe, like a first that wrapped around her heart and begun to squeeze. Nothing in her mind until just one sentence formed, flowing in a whisper over her lips. "That is impossible." Memories of the visit, the shouting, the screaming the threats made by both man flashed through her mind like a thunderstorm ready to swallow her hole. With each moment she remembered a voice whispered into her mind. .oO Yes, he could have done that. He hated his father. He said he is dead to him. Oo. The voice echoed, repeated whispered the same thing over and over. She didn't know for how long she stood there, just staring out of the window without seeing anything she just stood there, not able to believe, not able to grasp.

"Jalana. Are you alright?" What a stupid question to ask someone who had just heard that the man they trusted with their life, and wanted to marry, had ... "I am fine." She whispered.

"You don't seem alright, are you sure you are alright?"

It wasn't the question, or that she had asked before. Not that alone. But the whole situation. The fear for life when meeting the borg, the worry about Viktor, the stress of her department running smoothly and these news crashed down on her like an avalanche, crushing her small frame completely under it. She wanted to fight, not suffocate, but the weight made her body heavy as stone. Her lungs suddenly struggled to breath and she gasped for air like a drowning woman on the ocean. She wanted to paddle, to swim... and at the same time the heat seared inside her body. Without control, without thought she pulled her arm back and smashed the glass that was still in her hand against the window where the vessel shattered "I SAID I'M FINE!"

That one scream took all strength out of her and her legs collapsed, with that the whole body following and she found herself on the floor. In silence at first but then her whole body screamed at her in pain and she let it out, whailing. The immense pain of loss tearing through the Trill, threatening to rip her apart. "NO! NO! NO!" She screamed, so heart breakingly deep from the depth of her shoul, her whails reminiscent of so many funerals she had visited before, as the world swallowed her down, losing all sense of time and herself, only the texture of her fabric drilling into her knees, leaving marks that would leave long before she would be able to breathe freely again...

(( End Flashback ))

"After that, I only remember what Sun told me. She had called her brother Shelter and Nyals our Counselor for backup. I was calmed down with a hypospray and slept for days. Only a few days later I got the news that he was found guilty on all accounts and would spend the rest of his life in a penal colony."

Siance stared at Jalana in disbelief. Not in her wildest dreams she could have imagined something like this would happen especially not to Jalana. She didn't know what to say. Maybe she shouldn't have asked.

Jalana pulled her legs closer, her fingers rubbing over her knees. "Sometimes I can still feel the imprint on my knees, the texture of the shirt I wore. I'll never forget the way it felt in my hand that day. I still can't wear it without thinking of the pain."

There had been someone after him. Which also had not worked out. And maybe, who knew. Maybe the memory of that pain was what had held her back. Would it ever leave?



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