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[Round 6] Unraveling of a Career


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((Shuttle Bay))

::Kassa stowed her gear, and took her seat in the shuttle, sitting quietly while Commander Barnes and the rest of the crew prepared to leave for Bajor. With the transfer off the ship pending, she was doing a lot of soul searching, and that required bringing memories of things passed to the forefront of her mind.::


((Home on Trill))

Kassa: ::smiles at her older brother:: When we grow up, we could join Starfleet together.

Cullen: You can, but I'm not. I'm going to stay on Trill and let my Symbiont help me get rich.

Kassa: Is riches all you think about?

Cullen: No, I think about how I will take care of my Symbiont. You can't do that an be in Starfleet too.

Kassa: ::frowns:: Can too.

Cullen: Can not!

Kassa: ::socking him in the eye:: CAN TOO!

Culling: ::whining:: I'm telling Mother on you.

Kassa: Crybaby!

End of memory...

Kassa: :: laughing to herself:: oO Cullen was such a wimp. Oo

Another Memory...

((Turbolift Outside Engineering - U.S.S. Triumphant))

Voice: We need a doctor, fast.

Voice: =/\= Ensign Quay is in the Turbolift Outside Engineering. We think her Symbiont may of been injured. Please hurry.=/\=

::Sniper looked down at Kassa's cold body, he knelt down beside her.::

Voice: Sniper stay with her until help arrives. Talk to her try and keep Kassa from going too deeply into a coma.

::The blackness was cold and harsh, and even though Kassa fought the urge to give in to it, she seemed to be drifting further into its bottomless chasm.::

::Somewhere in the darkness she could hear murmurings. Someone seemed to be calling to her, summoning her back to the light, but still she floated aimlessly. . . helplessly. . . hopelessly into the shadows of despair.::

::Suddenly, she felt the tenderness of someone stroking her hair. Comforted by the strength of knowing she was not alone, she struggled to stave the prison that confined her. A man’s voice, somehow familiar, beckoned her more urgently. She wanted to cry out to him, but her lips remained muted. Every muscle in her body seemed powerless to move and disjointed from her existence. Hopelessness consumed her, plunging her deeper into the desolation of the abyss.::

Kassa: oO Is this death? Is this how it feels to die? ... The loneliness is unbearable. I don't want to die . . . not now. . . I have only begun to live. Oo

::She struggled for sanity, not allowing herself the luxury of giving up.::

::The arms enfolded her, lifting her, giving her a glimmer of hope. She clung to the promise of tomorrow that carried her. She battled the frailness that surrounded her with the strength from the arms that held her so tightly.::

Kassa: ::pleading silently in the near suspension of life.:: oO Don’t let me go. Please don’t let me die. Hold me. I’m ... afraid. Oo

::Wrapped in the warmth of the arms, her body shuttered and quaked from the penetrating coldness, that threatened the meager reserves that sustained her. The heart that had always beat so vigorously with her zest for life, was now sluggish, and incapable of producing the energy she needed to fight. Her brain, on the verge of shutting down, told her to give up the useless fight, that death was inevitable, but the arms holding her sent a different signal, and one she could not, and would not, deny as long as her courage continued.::

::Through the slits of her eyes Kassa saw Nurse Ar'i standing next to her, then the darkness of the abyss returned. She fought to stop the swirls of her descent, but she circled out of control somersaulting into the depths.::

::Her inner voice cried, ... “Help me!”. . . but the words boomeranged, slicing into her, seemingly unheard and unheeded. She was alone, meandering in desolation - lost in the seclusion of uncertainty. To fight it any longer was futile . . . the darkness became comforting. She surrendered to the inevitable.::

::A lightening bolt cut its way through her chest, and a fragile moment of hope returned, then subsided, leaving her more dispirited than before, feeling herself cease as she gave into the powers of despair. . .but in the midst of the bleakness, a hook pierced her heart, lifting her ever so slightly . . . “Let me go, I can fight no longer.” The ascension elapsed, and she dangled just above oblivion.::

::Not drifting up, nor down, nor feeling pain nor pleasure, Kassa somehow knew her life was dependant on someone else. In an attempt to reach out, she extended an arm into darkness, and her fingers gently came to rest on someone’s hand. Instantly, the hand jerked away, and she could hear a panicked shouting in the distance. She strained to hear, but the only word she could decipher was “Airy.” She tried to make sense of it, but when she could not, she suspected it was the cruelty of the dark world around her. . . Yet. . . she had felt a hand.::

::As suddenly as the hand had jerked away, her body wrench in spasmodic contortions. She tried to gain control, but she was powerless against the pulsating pain. She felt the wetness of her own perspiration dripping onto her lips from her forehead. The salty taste burnt as a raging fire onto her palate, choking each breath she sucked into her lungs. Her only consolation was the awareness that someone was trying to help her stopped the fevered movements.::

::Amid the turmoil of erratic twisting, the hellish darkness threatened to take Kassa into the far recesses of its deepest and most remote location, losing her in a winding Maze of Forever. She was too weak to gain mental or physical control, and longed for the end to come swiftly.::

::From the darkness came a cold and distant voice. . ."I have the situation in hand". . . and she perceived the words as a promise to halt her misery with death. She paused, awaiting oblivion.::

Voice: Hi Kassa.

Kassa: Sniper, is that you?

Voice: Yes, Kassa. Take my hand.

::Kassa's hand lifted, and she could feel the warmth of Sniper's touch and she felt safe again..::

Kassa: ::smiles:: Sniper, please don't leave me.

Voice: Marry me, Kassa.

End of memory...

::Tears dripped from Kassa's eyes, falling to her cheeks. Although she had loved Sniper, fate had made it impossible to stay married to him. And her in ability to deal with his loss had started the the unraveling of her career.::

Boles-Barnes: Kassa, are you all right?

Kassa: ::looking up at Ashley, forcing a smile:: Yes, I was just daydreaming. Where is Commander Barnes?

Boles-Barnes: He's at the helm.

::Getting up, Kassa made her way up front to tell the Commander that she was transferring off the Challenger. ::


Lt. Jg. Kassa Quay
Assistant Chief Tactical Officer
USS Challenger
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