Alora DeVeau Posted March 13 Share Posted March 13 The first thee installments of this personal storyline. I'm curious to see what comes next! ((Shi’Kahr District - Outer courtyard of the Temple of Amonak)) Sera was…exhausted. Every single attempt to engage in meditation since the mission had ended about a week ago had failed, and so she could not attain enough measure of equilibrium to find sleep. Her head pounded, and she felt listless and strangely empty. She had not felt right since the mind meld. A dusty grey-faced phantom was now haunting the corners of her mind. With her eyes open, she would ‘catch’ his visage from the corner of her eye, however it was an apparition that would vanish if she focused her gaze. And if she closed them? It was intrusive. Instead of dissipating, as she expected it to, these peripheral ‘hallucinations’ were growing more insistent. It was impacting her productivity and efficiency, and now was the fourth, no wait, fifth night she had laid on her back staring up at the ceiling bulkheads into the early hours of the morning considering what to do. Sera reached the large well-oiled gates of the small temple in the ShiKahr district without conscious consideration of how she got there. She walked past the gates and entered the meticulously maintained inner courtyard that had been laid out with a precision to induce calm and allow for quiet contemplation. It was surrounded by a covered portico, its impeccably smoothed stone columns set out an equal distance from one another—framing the zen-like courtyard—and on the far side of the space was another large doorway flanked by massive doors which were opened which no doubt was the entrance to the temple proper. Taking a seat, Sera waited for Nalaat M’Hrgt’cha, the priest she had become acquainted with. After only a moment, a shadow came into view and started to grow along the smooth stone flooring to the side of her. Someone had entered the courtyard behind her, and Sera…knew it was not Nalaat. She slowly pivoted on the bench to look behind her. It was her phantom. She shoved herself to her feet and took measured steps backwards, which he countered almost instantaneously. She kept retreating until she hit a large column supporting the portico surrounding the temple, her breath leaving in a huff. He was upon her within that breath, pinning her to the column by positioning himself so closely to her that if she moved, she would have touched him. Vulcan kryptonite touch was. His hands pressed against the stone column, framing her head and he studied her with a slight tilt of his head. He slowly leaned, so close their cheeks almost touched as he spoke into her ear. Giellun: ::whispering:: It’s…you. I have been…looking… Lifting one hand off the column, Giellun reached out and lightly cupped her chin, running his thumb over the cupid’s bow of her lips. Sera thought to jerk her chin away, but the physical contact brought the connection they had shared after the destruction of the Romulan Embassy flaring back to life and Sera gasped at the intensity of it. She felt whole again in that moment; her world had righted. Oh…Oh no. Giellun pulled his hand away from her face as if he had been burned. Had he felt something too? She watched his expression darken and his free hand lashed out, gripping her by her throat and instead of fighting back, she stilled. The feeling of rightness returned…but also confusion…and…anger? Giellun: What. Have. You. Done. He pushed with his thumb, using the pressure point in her neck to tilt her head away from his, exposing he long line of her neck. Sera: Please… Was she pleading with him to stop? To continue? She did not know but she felt…strange. Giellun leaned in and inhaled up her neck and felt the female shiver. By the Elements, what was going on?! He wanted to kill her. She had done something to him…put something in his head! Ever since he saw her as he was dying, and he drank—how he still thirsted for more! She had never been far from him. A constant shadow in his mind, slowly driving him mad. He had finally managed to slip out of the Federation sick bay because he had to find her, and she was here. She was here! She. Was. Here. Giellun: ::in a strained tone repeating his inquiry:: What have you done to me? He idly ran the pad of his thumb up and down the groove in her neck which housed the vital vessels to her brain. It was a movement that Sera found most…distracting. It took her milliseconds longer than usual to process an adequate response. Sera: ::fumbling:: I…I saved you. Giellun’s thumb suddenly pressed into the groove, his nail placing a biting sting on her neck and Sera made an instinctive sound—much to her befuddlement—a trilling exhale that reminded her of a ley’matya vocalization. Nalaat: I most sternly request this interaction to cease immediately. Giellun spun his attention to the interloper, just barely keeping himself from baring his teeth in aggression. It was a well-timed interruption, however, and Giellun took stock of the position he was in with this strange woman, and pushed away from the column, releasing her throat and forcing his hands back to his sides. As soon as he let go of her, the imbalance of the meld made itself known again, and inwardly she cringed. She had just wanted to help…leave it to her to screw up yet another thing that was considered quintessentially Vulcan. Sera: ::words tumbling out of her:: I beg thy forgiveness Nalaat, I came here to seek audience with you, I require— Nalaat: ::ignoring her apology and attempt at explanation:: Please enter the temple…your associate as well. After speaking the summons, Nalaat turned and walked across the courtyard and through the opened temple doorway. Giellun: ::watching the Vulcan male walk through the doorway:: We do not have to…we…we could go elsewhere? He didn’t know why he said that, really. He wanted nothing more than to understand just what was going on here.. Sera: ::resigned:: We must. I came to this place to seek assistance with what has…occurred between us. I had only meant to stabilize you…but something…something went wrong. Giellun: ::harshly replying showing his ties to the Element of Fire:: Something went wrong? You think?! Ignoring his retort, Sera stepped through the doorway and halted her momentum as her eyes adjusted to the dimness within. The priest stepped out of the shadows in front of them and gestured with a tilt of his head for them to follow. Nalaat: Follow me. Sera obeyed and walked further into the gloom of the temple, and Sera crinkled her nose slightly at the heady scent of incense that permeated the space. She idly wondered how Nalaat functioned in such a dimly lit place as the only light sources were groupings of candles and large coal pots which gave off a rich amber glow. Giellun followed but was a step behind the Vulcan female. He wasn’t even sure why he was doing this— Nalaat: Both of you kneel. Sera complied immediately, but she…felt the male’s hesitancy. She looked up to him and he frowned at her but seeing no other option followed suit and kneeled next to her. Sera looked up to Nalaat, and the priest tilted his head in silent question. Nodding once in assent, Sera explained what she had done to him…this man…her phantom… Sera: My apologies; I do not know your name to address you appropriately. Giellun: ::retorting:: I do not see how important that is right now. It certainly didn’t stop you from invading my mind! ::his hands closed into tight fists as he resisted the urge to reach out and shake her…to bring her close—argh!:: Nalaat watched the small exchange with interest, considering how best to…mitigate the damage done here. The male was angry, yes, and rightfully so…and yet Nalaat also saw the Romulan reach out his hand to touch S’Ers-a only to pull it back and push his palm flat on the top of his thigh. Fascinating. Nalaat: I request your thoughts, Osu. <<sir>> Giellun: ::aghast:: What, so you can do something worse?! Nalaat: This female’s motivation was noble in purpose; however, her technique was obviously…subpar. I need to assess the…damage caused. I would like to help you both if I can. Giellun wanted to rant against this, but knew he had no other choice. Something was very off inside of him…had been since the bombing. If this priest could help? He would allow it. Nalaat observed the small nod of assent and stepped forward and reached out to the pathways on his face and quickly forged a link to adequately assess the situation. It was a difficult thing to put into words what he saw inside Giellun’s mind. There were healing wounds everywhere. This was a man who should not be in the world of the living and yet…he was. Because of S’Ers-a. The threads ran through him in a jumble and back to her, a Gordian knot – a problem insoluble in its own terms…but there was something else…Beyond the graft work was a spark, a small flame just beginning to grow. What a most unfortunate coincidence. Nalaat saw such an attachment as a curse in his mind. To DESIRE. Such vulnerability! Illogical. What Sera had performed was a desperate plan initiated in extremis, but she had neither the training nor control to perform such meld with success. A foolish act, perhaps, but quite selfless. Nalaat’s hand dropped from his face, and he stood between them. Nalaat: ::not unkindly:: I cannot undo this. It would mean your death, Osu. Sera looked up to Nalaat and her shoulders slunk. She looked away from the priest and her phantom so they wouldn’t see that she could not hide the stricken expression on her face. Nalaat: ::continuing:: Yet neither of you can remain in this state. Nalaat looked past the two to the shadows, silently contemplating what could be done, what should be done. He looked back down to the two kneeling before him and nodded once having come to a decision. Nalaat: Very well. There is no other logical option. This…connection must be stabilized. ::reaching out to both of their faces:: Giellun jolted backwards, falling off his knees and onto the backs of his hands and his rear. Giellun: Wait! What are you doing? Nalaat: ::looking at him with an expression he would give a small child:: What must be done. To your knees, Osu. Giellun frowned at the priest, knowing he was being petulant – but to take orders from a Vulcan! Gritting his teeth—and against his better judgement—he complied. Nalaat stepped forward in between the two and his hands reached out to the appropriate neural nodes on both of their faces. Nalaat: ::In high Vulcan:: Ra du nam-tor pa' tor veshtaya sarlah ne' s' wuh wak t' wuh palikaya, rik' rubah. Nash tor wuh Vuhlkansu khaf-spol. Nash tor wuh Vuhlkansu katra. Nash nam-tor etwel yut. Kah-if-farr… Giellun groaned in exhaustion as he fell sideways off his knees, barely getting his palms out to halt his fall in time before faceplanting onto the stone floor. He sucked in breaths but felt as if he had run for hours. Recovering, Giellun looked across from him, instinctually looking for…her. She had her back to him, looking to the priest. Sera: Why…why this? Nalaat: It was the only way to stabilize what you had done S’Ers-a-kam. What you are experiencing should level out. With separation and simple meditative mind techniques you will barely notice it after a time. You will both be able to go your separate ways without…untenable difficulties. Giellun did not know what the man was saying, but it sounded…ominous. Sera repositioned herself so that she was facing the Romulan. His confusion and…disquiet bled easily through the link they shared. It pained her to feel his distress. Giellun stood and looked down to her, extending his hand in offer to help her up. He watched her study his offered hand, but she made no move, so he began to withdraw with a small frown…and then his hand was no longer empty as her hand found his and he smiled softly at her acceptance. ((Time skip)) Giellun: I must insist on accompanying you to your quarters. Sera: Perhaps it would be more…prudent for you to return to sickbay? ::observing the medical scrubs he was wearing:: Giellun: ::looking insulted:: I most certainly will not. I have been laying around there for days, and as no one has come to drag me back yet, logically they cannot be too concerned about my well-being. ::he raised his brow in a mocking sort of manner, which completely went over Sera’s head:: Sera: but...Why? Giellun stopped in his tracks, forcing Sera to do the same. Giellun: You are seriously asking this? Why? ::sarcastic:: Because I want answers, my lady. Answers that you would not give in the presence of the priest. Sera inwardly sighed and walked the few steps back to him. She ignored the urge to step closer, to reach out and touch him although not giving in felt like a pyrrhic victory. Sera: Very well. I will answer that which I can. Giellun nodded, satisfied for the moment, as they walked across the district in companionable silence. His eyes were wary. It was a dangerous world they found themselves in, both lulled into complacency regarding the overall safety within their lives. Now, who knows what would be? Could this tale be pulled back from the brink, or was it but the first moves in a long and bloody future? Sera noticed his increased surveillance as they walked, and she could not fault his caution…but it brought forth questions in her mind. Who was he? Beyond names…what did he do…was…was he a good person? ::sardonically:: It would serve her right if she had managed to save the worst Romulan in the history of Romulans, wouldn’t it? Giellun: ::studying her:: You are…amused? Sera’s eyes met his in surprise. Sera: ::deflecting:: Does that surprise you? Giellun: I am honest when I say the last few hours with you have disabused many a preconceived notion I may have had about Vulcans, my lady. Nonetheless, you have not answered my question. This time she did sigh. Sera: Yes and no. My mistake gave a second chance of sorts…but what…what if… Giellun: You are worried I might not be of a sort that deserves such a chance. Sera’s brows rose slightly at his comment. He was very intuitive…or was it something else? Sera: Do you wish to stop and discuss this further here? Now? ::Motioning to walkway which had numerous security forces trolling about purposefully:: Giellun: ::smirking:: …I will be patient, for now. But once we get to your quarters…::stepping closer and leaning in so his soft whisper would be only heard by her:: Perhaps we shall find ourselves otherwise occupied…::looking into her eye with a subtle rise of his brow as if adding an unspoken question mark to his statement:: He chuckled at her reaction, finding it…satisfying to see her cheeks flush green at his teasing. For being Vulcan – she was easy to provoke. He liked it. Sera: Do not make me regret my invitation… ::her voice trailed off as she had no name to call him by:: Giellun: ::Filling the silence with an answer to her unspoken inquiry:: Giellun i’Ki Baratan tr’Pardek. Sera gaped at him. She might not be Rihannsu, but Vulcans also considered names to be important…and at times, quite private. However, he had just given her all of them… Sera: tr’Pardek…? She had heard that clan name before… Giellun: It is a large clan, my lady, but yes, a powerful one…::his smile faded and he looked away:: It was anyway… Sera: Tushah nash-veh k'odu. <<I grieve with thee>> Giellun: ::suddenly defensive, almost vehement:: Do you though? I mean can you even? Sera blinked at his angry countenance, unsure of what misstep she had made. Sera: Yes. Giellun: Yes, what? Sera: You asked me if I grieved – I will assume you meant on your account. The answer is yes. Then you asked if I was capable of grief. That answer is also, yes. I am capable of feeling a great many things, tr’Pardek. Her calm reply shamed him, and the scathing retort died on his lips. She said nothing more, and neither did he till they reached the doorway to her apartment. She entered her code and the door opened. Sera gestured with one hand that he may enter, and Giellun nodded at her gesture and stepped in. TBC ***************** Lieutenant JG Sera Engineering Officer SB 118 Ops J239812S14 3 Quote Link to comment
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