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Malcolm & S'Acul: Ringing In The New Year


Alexander Matthews
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((OOC: A little music to set the scene -

))

((This sim takes place two nights prior to the campfire scene))

((Hidden clearing overlooking Camp Avandar))

::There were only two places on this world that S’Acul could find refuge. The first was his shack. The second was this clearing that he had found one night while exploring the jungle.::

::True, he wasn’t supposed to be out at night, away from the camp, without someone with him - but he was beginning to find that the rules they had established in their short time here were easily bendable when they needed to be.::

::There was only one person he had shared this secret with so far - and she was one of the few people he knew he could trust implicitly. Doc Malcolm had become a close friend and confidante in the few weeks they had been on this planet, and S’Acul had found it very easy to relax around her. It was in a much different way than with anyone else - he felt like he could relax his mind and his instincts with her nearby.::

::And so it was that the two Starfleet officers sat quietly together on the crest of the hill, their eyes on the small figures in the camp below them. This spot was... perfect. It gave them full view of the entire camp, of the remains of the Avandar, and plenty of sky at the same time. The stars were not familiar to them, but they were still a welcome sight.::

::They had both been sitting in silence for some time, the Caitian absently rubbing his paw against one upturned knee, his tail curled behind him, his eye gazing upward at the darkness above - only a few stars were showing themselves so far tonight.::

S’Acul: You holdin’ up okay, Doc?

::Jen stared down at the campfire in the middle of their camp - several people had gathered around it, but it was difficult to tell who they were at that distance. Most had stopped wearing their colored tunics in the hot weather, which made distinguishing the faraway figures even harder::

Malcolm: Yeah. ::she scratched the back of her neck where some nighttime bug had indulged itself:: As long as I keep busy.

S’Acul: ::shrugging:: We don’t have to talk about it - not unlessss you want to. I know itssss been hard on you. Jusssst know you can talk to me if you want.

Malcolm: Eh. Talking doesn’t change a thing. ::She looked over at him and scrutinized the injured side of his face:: You’re scaring is not as bad as I thought it would be. ::she nudged his leg with the side of her thumb:: I did a pretty good job. How are you adjusting?

S’Acul: ::smirking:: I may not be a counsssselor, but I know when someone is deflecting the issssue.

::The Caitian sighed and tilted his head forward, his eye falling to watch the flicker of the campfire far below.::

S’Acul: I’ve been better, to be ssssure... but I’m holding up okay. For now, at least. ::smiling and shifting his eye to look at her:: And yeah, you did do a pretty good job. I’ve been debating - sssshould I use an eye patch, or just go with the scarred look?

Malcolm: Personally, I think an eye patch would just be hot and sweaty. And you’d have to worry about keeping it fairly clean.

S’Acul: ::chuckling and nodding, his eye shifted back to the people down below:: Valid points, Doc. I jusssst thought people might appreciate the pirate look. I ‘sssspossse I’m already ssscary enough without that. ::flashing a toothy grin::

Malcolm: You? Our resident kitty cat scary? ::She ran her fingers through the fur on the top of his hand, fluffing it a bit:: Nah.

S’Acul: ::smiling slightly:: Okay, sssso I’m a big teddy bear. Ssstill, not everyone likes me. Umas, for example.

::The Caitian sighed and let his upper half fall backward to lay against the curve of the hill, looking up at the sky again, his field of vision partially obscured by leaves and fronds. His eye rolled slowly from one side to the other, silently counting the stars in his head.::

S’Acul: Not that I really blame him. Or anyone else, for that matter.

::.She thought about Umas. She shared something with the man - the loss of a daughter - so she could sympathize with his frustrations. She thought back to the night of the crash, when Umas had waited alongside her in the triage tent in the moments they’d been unaware of the fate of those inside the daycare. She shook her shoulders and pushed the thought from her mind and was finally able to catch what S’Acul had actually said.::

Malcolm: What are you talking about?

::With a sigh, the former helm officer let his eye slowly slide shut and stretched his arms out above his body before letting them fall against the hill, his body making a sort of X as his legs spread out as well.::

S’Acul: Umas... blamessss me. For the death of his wife and daughter. I think a lot of people do, for those that died.

::Jen drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them::

Malcolm: I don’t think that’s true.

::He chuckled slightly, though there was no humor to the tone. A light wind picked up and blew a few loose leaves down over his chest. His eye opened slowly and he tilted his head forward slightly, gazing at the biggest one.::

S’Acul: You don’t know, Jen. You don’t ssssee the way ssssome of the others look at me now... I can sssee the hate in their eyes. They might not sssay it, might not even admit it... but I can sssee it in some of them. Umas the most.

::She rested her head on her knees. Maybe he was right. People tended to look to lay the blame somewhere, it was human nature. She picked a silver leaf off of his chest and twisted it in her fingers::

Malcolm: As long as you aren’t blaming yourself.

::He was silent for a few long moments after her comment. Twisting his elbow, he lay one paw beneath his head to keep it propped up, the other moving to pick up another of the leaves from his chest. He held it over his face, studying the complexity of the veins, for a moment feeling impressed by Mother Nature’s handiwork. Laying the leaf down over his eye, he just stared at it, trying to understand its being. His paw came to rest back on his chest.::

S’Acul: I think about that a lot. Ssssome days I do... sssome days I don’t. I usually know, deep in my heart, that I did everything I could. It could have been worse. We could have all died, instead of the few that did. ::sighing:: Sssomehow, I muddle through.

::She raised her head and lifted her hand into the air, releasing the leaf into the nighttime breeze. She watched it flutter away, landing not far from them on a tuft of brown grass::

::As the wind picked up to flutter the leaf the doctor had released, it also sent the leaf sitting atop the Caitian’s face flying - and for whatever reason, it went flying higher and higher, soaring out of the clearing and fluttering toward the campsite. Likely it would fall somewhere near the camp fire - no one would know where it had come from.::

::As his green eye was revealed, he spotted the moon peeking out from behind some clouds. A smile tugged at the corner of his lips, and he sat up slowly, tapping her arm and pointing to it.::

S’Acul: Look, there - you can finally see the moon tonight. I think... itssss a new moon, or at least this planet’s equivalent, I think. ::scritching beneath his chin:: I’ve been trying to keep track of the moon cycle, see if I can figure out how long the days are here.

::Jen looked up at it, surprised at how much it resembled the Earth’s moon. The color was a little wrong though. It wasn’t the bright white moon she remembered watching from her porch in Iowa, it had a purplish tint to it, which was quite lovely::

Malcolm: And what did you come up with?

S’Acul: ::sidling a little closer, so he can point to the curve along his arm:: You sssee the way it sort of resembles a ssssmile there? It seemsss to take about thirteen hoursss for it to show more of the moon. I was able to convert one of the remaining PADDs into a sssort of time piece, to try to keep track of our ssstandard hours. Judging by that, and how the moon moves East -

::He swept his arm across their field of view, pointing across her body.::

S’Acul: I think I’ve calculated that their dayss are not disssimilar from Earth’s. Roughly twenty five hours, give or take a few hours. ::frowning:: Honestly, though, I’m just guessing. I did figure out, though... we misssssed New Years. For good reason, of course. ::smiling weakly:: Missssed my birthday, too, but consssidering what’s happened that isn’t ssssurprising, either.

Malcolm: Oh! ::It came out as kind of a pout as she punched the side of his leg:: Happy birthday. When was it?

S’Acul: ::laughing, he rubbed the spot she punched and grinned:: Ouch! What about that whole “do no harm” thing? ::still laughing softly:: It was four days after the crash. New Years was two weeks ago.

::His laughter faltered into a sort-of smile, and he sighed softly. Turning his head, he looked up at the moon again, tilting to lean his head to lean against her shoulder.::

S’Acul: 26.

::She shook her head::

Malcolm: Old man.

::She craned her neck and shot him a smile::

S’Acul: ::grinning slightly, shooting a look up to her:: Break out the walker, Doc. I might need it ssssoon. ::pausing:: You think we’ll ever make it out of here?

::She looked down at the top of his head and stopped herself from answering with the way she felt, which boiled down to not really caring if they did::

Malcolm: Anything is possible.

::The Caitian frowned slightly, though he kept it hidden from view. After a moment he lifted his head from her shoulder and rolled onto his side, laying his good ear against her knee, his gaze falling once again on the people below.::

S’Acul: I don’t know either. But... for what itssss worth... Happy New Year, Jen.

::She laid her hand on his head::

Malcolm: Happy New Year, S’Acul.

Fin.

Lt. Jen Malcolm

CMO

USS Avandar

And

Ensign S’Acul Aveunalliv

HCO

USS Avandar

Edited by FltAdml. Wolf
Adding Round 2 prefix.
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