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Lt JG Sera - I & D

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((Circular enclosed courtyard with benches and a small water fountain at the center – Shi’Kahr District)) 


Sera had found herself wandering after the New Year’s party on the SS Belladonna had wound to a close.  She wasn’t quite certain how exactly she found this small courtyard in the Shi’Kahr district, which was quite a ways from her quarters.  However, the feeling of it reminded her of home, and she took a seat at one of the benches spaced equidistantly apart surrounding the bubbling fountain in a perfect circle.  She stared at nothing really, though her eyes were generally fixed on the flowing water.   


The chocolate had not been one of her more logical…or perhaps intelligent decisions, as the euphoric effects were wearing off and she was left with a sense of profound…emptiness.  Sherlock had spent half the party explaining Terran traditions regarding this particular celebration, and Sera soaked it in – finding some of the customs most interesting, if inexplicable.  However, part of learning was comparing past experiences or knowledge to find a meaningful way to categorize the new information, and pulling up knowledge of her life on Vulcan, in this current state…well it made her feel things. 


Isolation…loneliness…longing…grief.  They were old friends, in a way, following her since leaving home and entering a new life as an academy cadet…and they were still here.  Oh, she had become quite proficient at subsuming them, locking them away in a box that was conveniently shoved into a mental closet marked, “OFF LIMITS – DO NOT OPEN.”  Nonetheless, here they were, in the forefront of her mind, filling her soul with something that caused discomfort behind her breastbone, a dull pain that made each breath a miserable chore.   


A rustling of clothing jolted her from her musings, and Sera reached up and wiped at her face, unsure of why it was wet. 


Nalaat:  ::In a crisply accented Vulcan that spoke of growing up in Gol::  It is quite late to sit in such contemplation... 


Sera’s head whipped to the voice, and she caught herself with her hand on the bench seat as the motion held a little too much momentum.  She looked up to see an adult Vulcan male, with slight salting of his hair around his brow line, wearing robes of an indeterminate color…it was quite late, wasn’t it? 


Sera:  It…the courtyard is quite placid at this hour.   


Nalaat motioned with his hand, asking permission to sit, and Sera nodded once, giving assent, and he settled a respectful distance from her on the stone slab. 


Nalaat:  I have never seen you here before, miss… 


Sera:  ::sighing in a very un-Vulcan-like manner::  S’Ers-a 


Nalaat:  Ah…S’Ers-a. Your accent, it is quite unique.  I have never heard one like it. 


Sera looked down to her hands which were gripped tightly together in her lap.  Her anxiety speaking with one of her own was visible in the whitening of her knuckles, and she forced them to relax.   


Sera:  I was born in Jia'anKahr. 


She turned her gaze from her hands to the profile of the stranger sitting next to her and waited. 


Nalaat:  That is far south.  Very remote if I recall my geography correctly.   


Sera blew air out of her nose at his self-deprecating statement.  Of course, he would recall it correctly – every Vulcan had been taught about the Lyr’Taya region…and what peoples hailed from it. 


Sera:  A different world, one might say… ::wincing, knowing that the use of idioms would not serve her here:: 


The man tilted his head slightly, as if contemplating what she said.  Or perhaps he was thinking of a scathing remark to be delivered in a quintessential Vulcan manner that would cut her deeply, but only if she admitted she had such feelings, which tonight at least, she didn’t have the control to deny herself that. 


Sera:  For the sake of efficiency, I am m’Lyr’Zor. 


oO There.  That should end whatever this is… Oo 


The man turned to look at her fully and raised a brow.   


Nalaat:  Stating that your home is in Lyr’Taya all but guaranteed that.  ::regarding her in a manner that indicated that he too was thinking of how to be efficient::  Do you believe I am…scandalized, knowing this? 


Sera gaped at him, and as her face felt utterly bizarre, perhaps she actually was physically expressing her incredulity.   


Sera:  Every Vulcan I have ever told has never…not been.   


Nalaat nodded considering. 


Nalaat:  As you are here, on a Federation installation, in a simulated Vulcan portico, very far from Jia'anKahr, I will postulate you have not chosen a profession that feeds into the rumors and innuendos regarding your clan’s unsavory dealings.


Sera ducked her head in an attempt to hide the single laugh at his rather 'diplomatic' observation. 

Sera:  That is quite astute of you...? 

She studied him, waiting for the inevitable rebuffment that she had experienced outside of her clan's landholdings.


Nalaat:  Very well, S’Ers-a M’Lyr’Zor.  I am Nalaat M’Hgrtcha.  Are you new to the district? 


Sera breathed out slowly, regaining some semblance of control before answering him. 


Sera:  No.  My quarters are…some distance from here. 


Nalaat:  Starfleet then.  It is hard to determine such things when one is not wearing their uniform. 


She ducked her head in response to his humor.  He was not incorrect…it was hard to tell when one was wearing a netting dress that was decidedly un-Vulcan. 


Nalaat:  And your mate?  Is he here with you? 

Nalaat:  And your mate?  Is he here with you? 

Sera started at his question, her mind immediately going back to the memories of…him.  It was suddenly as if she were drowning all over again. The discomfort within her chest exploded into burning pressure, and she felt as if she couldn't get air into her lungs.  Her hands grasped the edge of the stone bench the edge of the rough stone bit into her palm, pulling her out of the panicked state she had started to fall into.  


Nalaat saw the change come over her and realized he had made a grievous error.  This young woman appeared to be undone, her shoulders and arms trembling as her breath echoed in a harsh whisper.  His initial response was to turn away, to allow her a moment to regain her composure in an obvious lapse of emotional control…but…from what she had just shared with him, he considered doing so would show an unforgiveable indifference to her suffering.     


Reaching out he placed his hands atop her trembling one and sent calmness through the link that opened between them.  He was most careful to not take anything from her, and this was an easy thing given the years of training he had in the mind arts as a Priest of Amonak.  He remained by her side, stoically composed as he waited patiently for the woman to regain herself. 


She felt the calmness being projected to her and she focused desperately on that, forcing her breaths to slow and the frantic thrumming of her heart to ease.  She dropped her head and shut her eyes, ashamed of her actions before a stranger, and a Vulcan no less.   


Nalaat:  There is no shame, S’Ers-a-kam. <<Kam denotes affection/caring>> My question was obviously indelicate.  I ask your forgiveness. 


Sera sat, unmoving for a moment, but she was not ignoring Nalaat…she was simply trying to find the courage to face him.   


Sera:  There is nothing to forgive, Nalaat.  It is I who am… ::mouth moving but no further words coming out:: 


Nalaat:  I grieve with thee. 


Sera body shuddered, as if shaking off a deep chill, and her composure had finally returned to its proper place.  She delicately pulled her hand out from under his, and as soon as the movement was perceived Nalaat courteously withdrew.   


Sera:  There is nothing to grieve.  It was kal-if-fee. 


Nalaat reared back slightly, her statement so unexpected that he was unable to contain his surprise behind his neutral façade.   


oO So young! Oo 


Nalaat:  ::switching to formal Vulcan:: Was the one thy were bonded to at Koon-ut-la such an ill-fitting mate for thee?   


Sera’s expression shifted to that of incredulity, but she did not turn to look at this stranger.  It was a very personal question, and she should find this entire exchange unacceptable…but she had never told anyone…and no one had ever asked…and now here she sat on a stone bench, next to…::studying the sigils on his robes::…a Priest of Amonak? 


Sera:  ::hesitant::  My clan…adheres to older ways.  I informed of my family’s choice with only a short time to prepare. 


Nalaat could only shake his head in disbelief.  His estimation of Sera increased greatly. 


Nalaat:  And you managed to procure a champion for thee in such short time? 


Sera exhaled through her nose at his statement.  A champion…if only. 


Sera:  I was my own champion.  I fought for my life and bought my freedom by his death.  It was a pyrrhic victory.   


Nalaat:  ::raising a brow::  In what way?  Thy call it a pyrrhic victory – costly, yes, but did thee believe the loss incurred was not worth any gain? 


Sera finally risked looking at him and raised a brow weakly in question.   


Sera:  ::softly::  I could not…go through with it, so he had to die?…and for what…to find myself here, having made irrational choices, intoxicated to the point of inability to control my emotions…telling a stranger my deepest shame…::shoulders slumping:: …T'nash-veh kashek nam-tor sa'awek - tra' nam-tor rim ik thresh ish-veh. 


Nalaat studied her defeated form – seeing her lapse in control as a physical symptom of psychological pain.  Isolation was detrimental environment for a Vulcan.  To be physically alone was one thing – but to be telepathically alone?  Vulcans required bonds to maintain stability.  Bonds with family, bonds with associates – or friends, bonds with mates…It was never spoken about because it simply…was.  They were touch telepaths, yes…but close contact with other Vulcans formed subtle links – that were often strengthened through melds that occurred – when the situation appropriate.   


If she was here, unbonded – with no meaningful connections with anyone else…why, it was amazing she had maintained stability as long as she had. 


Nalaat:  ::in a fatherly tone:: when have you last shared thoughts, S’Ers’a-kam? 


Sera: ::defensive::  I…melded with a half-human/half-orion woman the other day.   


What was this becoming…a confessional?  Sera finally braved looking at his face, and his concern was expressed all over it.  He was a Priest of Amonak after all…he was trained to listen and offer guidance.  Normal Vulcans did this…they confided…gave trust…asked for and received assistance.  It was an alien concept.  Her family was calculating…cold.  It was an unheard-of thing to confess such as she was to another.  However, she was drunk and just couldn’t stop herself.   


Nalaat:  For the purpose of closeness…of connection? 


Sera:  ::gesturing with her head in a negative motion::  No.  It was to educate, exchange information.   


Nalaat:  And that inability to meld in a proper manner…? 


Sera::  It…pained me. 


Nalaat tilted his head to the side in compassion.   


Nalaat:  S’Ers-a m’Lyr’Zor Tan-tor nash-veh nahp.  <<give me your thoughts.>>  ::raising his hand up and out to half the distance between them.   


Sera’s eyes widened and she sat up straight and then leaned her head back slightly to give him correct access to the side of her face.   


His warm fingertips touched her face, expertly sliding precisely over the cranial nerve pathways.  Sera shivered all over uncontrollably once, and then became perfectly still.  


Nalaat:  T’nash-veh kashek tor ish-veh kashek…T'nash-veh nahp tor nahp <<My mind to your mind…my thoughts to your thoughts>>  


She was always filled with astonishment to feel the breath of another’s lungs, to see herself through another’s eye, to sense that there was no beginning or no end…Sera reached back out to him, allowing him the same transcendent gift that full meld bestowed. 


Nalaat: …Etwel nahp nam-tor veh  <<Our thoughts are one.>> 


Yes.  This was what was missing in the meld with Shevon.  Beatific.   


<<Small Time-skip>> 


Two shadowed figures remained silent and still on the stone bench for a long time.  The simulated darkness began to wane, and a subtle red began to build in the ‘dark sky’ of the dome as the day cycle was initiating.  


Nalatt removed his hand from her face and opened his eyes.  


Sera, meanwhile, considered never opening her eyes as that would mean she would not have to look at the face of the one who now knew her better than anyone else she had ever known.  She had never given into cowardice, and she was not about to now, so Sera opened her eyes.   


Nalaat:  Was that acceptable, S’Ers-a-kam? 


Sera:  ::Softly::  Yes. 


There was more to be said, but Sera was not ready yet.  It felt as if a festering wound had been lanced open, and now the infection would have to drain out before it could be cleansed and sown shut.   


Nalaat nodded with a sage expression on his face.  


Nalaat:  You may return any evening you are not on duty.  I will be here.  We may continue, if so desired. 


Sera looked about the flamelit courtyard and realized she was in a portico to the grand entrance of a temple.  He was a priest of the temple…ah.  


Sera stood gracefully and looked down to the Priest of Amonak.  She tilted her head to the side in a gesture of acknowledgement of what told her.  Sera, however, did not agree to his offer.  She didn’t want to promise anything – they were prisons.   


Nalaat saw her ‘answer’ and nodded once, standing as well.  She would return when she was ready to. 


Nalaat:  ::raising his hand in the ta’al::  Peace and long life, S’Ers-a m’Lyr’Zor. 


Sera:  ::reciprocating in kind for the first time since leaving Vulcan to join the academy::  Live long and prosper, Nalaat M’Hgrtcha…and…I thank thee. 


Nalaat:  Unnecessary.  I come to serve. 



[End Scene]



Lieutenant JG Sera 

Engineering Officer 

SB 118 Ops 


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