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[Round 18] Captain Sidney Riley and LtCmdr. Darius Clack - A Fork in t


Alleran Tan
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(( Sidney Riley's quarters, USS Independence-A ))

Tan: Mind if I borrow your facilities? I haven't exactly made it to Captain yet...

Riley: Yeah...sure.

:: He grinned cheekily. ::

Tan: A'right.

::Sidney sighed as Tan left the room. She buried her head in the pillows. The shadowy form moved from the door toward the bed where Sidney was situated. His face slowly became illuminated as he took a seat in a nearby chair.::

Clack: Apparently rank does have its privileges. ::he announced in a low disturbing voice:: Have you taught him to beg yet? ::looking down at Tan's personal belongings.::

::Sidney knew the voice instantly. Her eyes went wide and her heart caught in her throat. It wasn't what it looked like! She took a deep breath and tears once again began to form in her eyes. She kept her gaze on Clack, she had nothing to hide. She'd done nothing wrong. She wasn't going to act like a child caught in the act of something she didn't do.::

::The Terran/Deltan found herself wanting to explain, explain that Alleran Tan had refused to leave. Explain that he'd slept on the floor because she wouldn't eat. Her mind was going a thousand places at once, she couldn't think...Darius Clack was her best friend, what was he going to think of her?::

Riley: I don't know what you're talking about, ::The tears ran freely down her cheeks.:: You shouldn't assume things you know nothing about. This isn't what it looks like. ::She felt her stomach clench.:: Why did you enter without announcing yourself?

Clack: I rang the alarm several times but no one answered. ::break:: I thought... maybe I should just come in.

::Sidney sat back against the pillows, she kept her gaze on the Klingon man. There was something ominous about his presence, the way he carried himself. Clack exuded a sense of strength and confidence which made her feel like she was no more than two feet tall. If she wasn't "crippled" as Alleran had put it, she would have been standing tall against the barrage of emotion in the room. She would have met him head on in a collision of wills, she would have told him where he could go and just what he could do when he got there. She would have defended her honor. But, that was Captain Sidney Riley...and what lie in the bed in the room at this moment, was not the same person she'd been only four days before.::

::At this moment, she found herself worried about what Darius thought of her. She wasn't the kind of person who...who was like her sister. Darius Clack meant the world to Sidney Riley and knowing he thought she was...knowing that he...::

Riley: You have to believe me, I'm not like that. You of all people should know things aren't always what they seem.

::Clack lowered his head as if considering her comments deeply. All the time, his eyes flashed from yellow to red as he stared directly at Sidney.::

Clack: I was thinking earlier, ::rising to his feet:: I am glad that the Independence is old and big. A home cannot be made habitable in a day, and after all, how days go to make up a lifetime. The walls of my home are broken and the shadows are many. The wind breathes cold through its broken and decayed encirclement.

::He reached down and lit a cigar shielding the flame with his left hand. As he did, the light from the flame cast disturbing shadows across his face as if another one lay hidden just underneath the surface. One that was too disturbing to consider.::

Clack: So I ask you why am I here?

::Sidney watched as the smoke from Clack's cigar rose into the air. It danced with a life of its own around the outline of his face. Blinking, she thought about his question. Her first thought was if he was there, he was obviously there to see her. But then why would he have asked her such a question? She felt herself bristle slightly under the man's gaze.::

Riley: I don't know Darius, why are you here?

Clack: ::smiling:: Answer a question with a question..

::She tried to sit up and failed miserably. She collapsed against the pillows again, a deep frown crossing her face, suddenly she felt very tired.::

Riley: I can't think right now...what are you talking about?

Clack: I could hear you from deep within the lower levels of engineering. ::break:: The blood nearly froze in my veins for the words that I heard. I don't believe you are really all that well.

Riley: I can't! ::Her voice was raising.:: I can't! Don't you know? It's over Darius. Over! Zhou told me I'd never walk again! ::She looked at the Klingon her green eyes flashing. She was breathing heavily and quickly.::

Clack: Over? What do you mean over? ::looking confused::

Riley: You have no idea what I've been through!

::The light from the room seemed to dim briefly around his body for a few seconds.::

Clack: What you have been through?

::He rose to feet and stood directly over her.::

Clack: What you have been through? ::he repeated:: Are we to feel sorry about the poor circumstances that we now find ourselves?

::The Terran/Deltan frowned.::

Riley: I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am...::Pause.::...facing facts.

Clack: I image that no one could have possessed a happier childhood than yourself. Come now, ::his voice dropped an octave:: didn't you have to fight for your position here? Or did it come natural to you?

::The Terran/Deltan took in a sharp breath, her eyes flashed.::

Riley: Happier childhood? ::She glared at the man.:: You shouldn't talk about things you know nothing about! ::She felt the anger beginning to grow in the pit of her stomach. Shannon had essentially told her the same thing. How dare he assume things about her! She lost everything in her childhood, including her father and her sister. Everything had been taken from her.:: I've fought for everything I have ever had...I have always taken what I wanted. ::She gripped the sides of the bed. Happier childhood...:: oO Yeah that's why I ran away twice...Oo

Clack: Are you going to lie there like a coward or are you going to meet your challenge head on.

Riley: I am not a coward! ::She felt herself trembling as she tried to slow the tears running down her cheeks. His comment cut straight to her heart.:: This is different...

Clack: Perhaps I should finish the job for you.

::With one hand, Darius raised Sidney up from her lying position. He held her suspended against the wall high off the floor.::

::The motion was so swift she found herself looking down at Darius Clack from where he held her against the wall before she knew what happened. Bright green eyes met his directly. Her eyes held no fear, there was a hint of anger and something else, something that was always hidden just beneath the surface when she looked at the Klingon man. Taking a deep breath, she glared at him.::

Clack: What will the others say such as Admiral Mar? ::break:: Captain Sidney Riley was found after coming in second place against the only adversary that she couldn't find the courage to meet head on?

Riley: You put me down Darius Clack! ::She cleared her throat as the tears stopped falling from her eyes. Her gaze was intense.:: And Mar is not an Admiral....

::The comment seemed to confuse Darius. He absorbed it like a boxer would a right hook.::

Clack: I can smell the fear in you. Your eyes and your words conflict.

Riley: I am not afraid! How dare you insult my honor!

Clack: Honor? What is honor? ::break:: Honor without action is meaningless.

::She tried to wiggle out of Darius' grip, but he was much stronger physically than she was. After a moment, she let her body go limp.::

Riley: I've never settled for second place! Not by choice! ::Her eyes went wide and she paused, her voice was angry and passionate.:: You *$&%^*#&^$#, you put me down Commander!

Clack: You always have a choice.

Riley: Who are you to dictate to me?! If you wanted to finish the job you would have done so already! You don't play games. Darius Clack, am I to believe you have changed?

::She looked down into Darius' eyes.::

Clack: Changed? Changed from what?

Riley: And just who are you to question my personal life? Haven't you ever looked into the vast expanse of nothingness and wanted someone, something to share it with? ::She looked towards the far wall with her eyes.:: Perhaps... ::She paused and then looked directly at him, her expression one of seriousness.:: I am living a lie.

Clack: When you look into the vast expanse of nothingness, don't you realize that it stares back at you? ::break:: You can't see the forest for the trees.

::Slowly a small knowing smile crossed her face.::

Riley: There is only one I've ever stood in second place for. ::Pause.:: At least I'll be in good company living that lie.

Clack: Lies are like a vortex of perpetual wishes bundled up awaiting to destroy everything around itif you allow it.

Riley: Now, you put me down Darius Clack, that's not a request!

Clack: As you wish.

::Darius gently lowered Sidney down into her previous position.::

Clack: It seems that you search too hard for things.

::She blinked as he set her down and looked up at him with a somewhat confused expression.::

Riley: What do you mean?

Clack: You search too hard to satisfy your personal intimacy. ::he turned to leave:: You can try too hard, you know.

Riley: I do try ::Her green eyes sparkled as she looked at him but held a melancholy sense of apprehension.:: but still there are some lines which are difficult to cross.

Clack: Remember when the Reapers invaded the Tiger?

::Sidney paused for a moment. That seemed like so long ago...so many things had happened since then.::

Riley: Yes.

Clack: I don't know what happened to that Captain Sidney Riley, I hope she returns to us one day.

::Slowly he turned around to face her. Gently, he leaned down and kissed Sidney.::

::A sense of almost surprise and confusion came over her all at once. Darius had never kissed her like that before. She closed her eyes. She felt like she could melt, like she was floating all at the same time. When she opened her eyes, they were full of fire and sparkled in the darkness with a sense of life.::

Clack: Everything is up to you now. ::break:: You are an intelligent woman. You will make the right decision.

::A bright genuine smile crossed her face, the fire still glowing in her eyes as she looked into the depths of his eyes.::

Riley: You will know my decision Darius.

Clack: Good bye Captain.

::He turned and proceeded out the door, his form briefly melding with the shadows that hung in the dark corners of the poorly lit room. Shadows that hung like cobwebs filled with bad memories that one might collect in a lifetime.::

-----

LtCmdr. Darius Clack

Chief Engineer

USS Independence-A

and

Captain Sidney Riley

Commanding Officer

USS Independence-A

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