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Lieutenant (JG) Hawkeye - Two Days Later

Quinn Reynolds

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((Mercury: Holodeck Three))

::The room was constructed of wood logs, each stacked uncut, with just the top end with branches removed. The moss was still on the tree, faintly breathing in the dark and breathing out a soft glow, filling the room with a shifting blue light. In the center was a small fire, casting red shades against the blue. Charles was wearing a robe, long and deep green. He had dyed it himself, dipping it in a paste that came from plants that had come from the replicators. It had streaked as it dried, dirt stains and grease that had spilled onto it when the last ceremony had been so strangely interrupted. It was heavy, and he rested on his cane as he walked. He carried a small bag in the other hand, made of the same cloth, though undyed.::

::Mag walked beside him. Her robes were just as long and a lighter shade of green. It trailed behind her on the ground as she walked; she held his hand in one of hers, looking up at him.::

::It wasn't personal this time. But it was bigger, much bigger; bigger in ways that took it beyond their ability to process, to understand.::

::They were not alone, this time. The holodeck had a few people sitting, kneeling, reclining on the floor already, wearing replicated robes. Sitting up against one of the walls was the chief tactician, a small cat sitting in his lap, being idly petted by his hands. Crewman 'Sparky' was picking at bits from the floor, his tail twitching occasionally. Others he knew; others he did not know, not well.::

::He took a loaf of bread from the bag, pulled a piece from it, and handed it to Sparky, gesturing for him to do the same. The bread was slowly passed around, and he released Mag's hand and took his own seat.::

::Mag looked at him, fear crossing her ears for just a moment. He nodded back to her, and she cleared her throat. She paused a long time after each sentence, speaking slowly as the room filled quietly with the sweet scent of the small fire::

MAG: We gather today to mourn the rosh of Eighty-Three Leonis II. We mourn the destruction brought by the volcano. We mourn those we were unable to save, the lands covered in fire and ash.

MAG: We mourn with those we could save, for the world that they have lost, for the friends left behind. We join them in crying for justice against the people who have wronged them: through experimentation on them and through igniting the volcano. Our tears flow with theirs. What happened was not right, and we will carry the wound from it on our hearts as a scar. It will not be forgiven. It will not be forgotten. It will be forever on our hearts, and we shall not walk this road again. They are rosh, like us; we are rosh, like them.

::She came back then, sitting by Charles. A moment of silence passed before she whispered quietly::

MAG: How was that?

HAWKEYE: Well stated, Mag.

::Her ear tilted forward just a touch with a silent smile, and she settled down, taking a bite of her bread.::

::In the center of the room, above the fire, before them all, hung a holographic image of the ash-ridden world of 83 Leonis II.::



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