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Lt Sinda Essen - Fighting Fire with Fire

Oliver Weston

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(( Holana Orphanage, Musilla Province, Bajor ))
:: Holana orphanage was on fire. It filled Essen’s senses - the acrid smell of smoke, the sound of the crackling flames, the intense oppressive heat pressing down on her.
Ess shook her head in confusion. What was she doing back on Bajor? This wasn’t right, the orphanage had never caught fire when she’d lived there. ::
CINDER: So this is where you‘ve been lurking? Pretty dull place, really, I’m glad I could make it more interesting. No need to thank me.
:: A blazing figure strode out of the grove of Jumja trees. As she did so the trees burst into flames, adding a spiced perfume to the hot smoke around them. Essen squinted - although the shifting flames made it hard to make out any features there was still something about the other woman’s build, the way she walked. ::
SINDA: You’re me?
CINDER: Sort of. ::shrugging:: I’m parts of you. Or parts of you have shaped me anyway. It’s complicated.
SINDA: I remember you now. You’re the entity from the ion storm aren’t you? You used my body, used it to burn the station. ::she gestured to the landscape around her:: This place isn’t real, so why bring me here?
CINDER: You’re mistaken. This is the memory you’ve been hiding in since I arrived. I didn’t bring you here, you brought me.
SINDA: Did I? How? :: Essen narrowed her eyes:: I thought you were the one in control.
SINDA: They’re beating you, aren’t they? When the rock one was smashing you to pieces I remember, I was conscious for a moment. ::she rubbed her sore ribs absently at the memory:: It’s happening to you now isn’t it?
:: The fiery woman seemed shift uncomfortably for a moment. ::
CINDER: I may have underestimated my brothers. But that doesn’t mean…
SINDA: You’re losing.
:: Cinder laughed, her hair raising to form a red halo around her head. ::
CINDER: I do not lose! Cinder never…
:: Essen cut her off. ::
SINDA: Really? If you’re not losing, why are you hiding out in my memories? And how come you’re not burning me to ashes, that’s your normal threat isn’t it? Face it, Cinder, Rock-boy and Ice-man battered the crap out of you.
:: They faced each other warily. ::
SINDA: I can sense your memories now, Cinder. You got too arrogant. You never plan ahead, you only live for the moment. Typical of a fire, all about power, all about what you can get right now.
CINDER: Is that so?
SINDA: Like now. Overconfident, and that’s why I’m going to defeat you.
CINDER: You can’t beat me, you idiot, I am you! All your anger and rage, all those thoughts and emotions you hide away from everyone else! That’s why I chose you, your fire gives me power. It would give you power, too, if you let it.
SINDA: No. ::shaking her head:: You’re lying.
CINDER: I was shaped by you, I just gave you the spark you needed to start the inferno burning. Go on, admit it, there’s part of you that likes the power, isn’t there?
:: Essen bunched her fist and lashed out, sending Cinder sprawling into the dust. ::
SINDA: Huh, that did feel kind of good. I guess you weren’t lying after all.
:: The fire woman looked up from where she lay, her form flickering and changing as if seen through a heat wave. She suddenly looked a lot less like Sinda Essen now. ::
SINDA: The balance of power has changed, Cinder.
:: Ess grabbed the creature and hauled it upright. The flames wreathed Essen’s arm but only tingled rather than burnt. She clenched her fist and punched Cinder again and again, forcing her to stagger back towards the Jumja trees. ::
SINDA: You should run, Cinder, find somewhere else to hide. This place isn’t safe for you. I can feel your weakness. And you know what? I think I’ll take my body back now.
:: Ess span and planted a firm kick in Cinder’s chest sending her fiery form flying into the middle of the grove where she merged with the flames. Ess thought she caught a faint cry of frustration before the fires went out completely. In the blink of an eye the orphanage stopped burning and the smoke dispersed. Ess sighed deeply and closed her eyes. ::
SINDA: It’s over…
:: Behind her, unseen, a single orange ember twinkled amongst the shadows of the burnt trees. ::
(( SB118 - Docking Bay ))
:: With the immense roar of a forest fire a burst of yellow and orange flames streaked through the air directly towards the amulet leaving one last moment of chaos in its wake.
Essen opened her eyes slowly. The pain in her sides and limbs was incredible, more than one broken bone most likely, but at least she was breathing. Glancing down, she clenched her singed right fist, feeling the familiar dull ache of the old injury.
She was back. ::
Lieutenant Sinda Essen
Fleet Operations
Starbase 118 Ops
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