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Trill Journey

Posted on 13 Apr 2017 @ 6:42pm by Lieutenant Commander Temerant Bast & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij

Mission: Shore Leave

He'd been living through hell for the past few months. He knew that. Ever since that fateful day on Deep Space Eleven, when Commodore Terlexa had taken a seat in front of him and offered him a transfer to the Black Hawk as Chief of Operations - and poisoned him to allow the Selamat to control his mind. He'd eventually been freed from that brainwash, and found solace in the arms of the wrong person, and ended up back in the same place - at the mercy of the Selamat.

Now it was all over. He'd broken free, and reasserted control over his own life, and his own mind. But it had come at a price. Somewhere along the way, he'd lost count of how many crewmembers they'd lost. First the outbreak of New Risan plague, then the fight against the Consortium and the Valdore, their journey to the alternate reality, and finally the battle for Deep Space Eleven - and the loss of the Black Hawk. Everything had taken its toll.

He needed to refocus, clear his head. The entire crew of the Black Hawk had been granted shore leave, anywhere they wished - in the Alpha, Beta or Gamma Quadrants, now that the wormhole was accessible again.

He had booked passage on a civilian transport from Deep Space Nine to Trill. It was almost a three-day journey, since the transport was fairly slow by Starfleet standards, but he needed it to heal.

The accommodations on the transport were rather spartan - in his quarters he had a bunk, a small desk, and lavatory. Communal sonic showers were down the corridor, and a mess hall was accessible two decks above his quarters.

Two hours out from Deep Space Nine, he put down the data padd he was reading - some rather dull and uninteresting historical novel from Cardassia, which he found extremely repetitive, but that was a common feature of Cardassian litterature. He had changed out of his uniform and opted for a plain Trill tunic and slacks. His stomach was beginning to growl, reminding him that it had been several hours since he'd eaten anything.

He entered the mess hall and got in line, ordering a syto bean salad from the replicator, with a lida juice. The mess hall was sparsely crowded at this time of day, and plenty of tables were available. He set his tray down near the viewports, and looked at his salad. It was rather plain-looking. He knew he could make a better one himself, but his sister, who was a top chef back on Trill, would undoubtedly be able to revisit the entire concept and do a version that would blow his mind. He was very much looking forward to it. But for now, what he'd gotten out of the replicator would have to suffice.

- - - - - -

Jayla was far from all right. In fact, she was worse today than she had been three days ago. She had heard from a friend a few days after their arrival on New Bajor and had learned that Silak had been accepting any transfer that got him closer to the Gamma quadrant. He had, in fact, just taken a transfer to the Black Hawk.

This of course, made her feel guilty. She had completely given up on their relationship, even to the point of seeing other men. He had not.

Would she have accepted him if he'd turned up on the Black Hawk and rang her door chime? She honestly had no idea. She'd like to think so, but she couldn't say for sure. He had tried to get to her and because of this, he was dead.

How was she not supposed to feel at fault for that?

With a sigh, she headed out of the tiny room that was hers for the duration of the trip to Trill. She had not eaten yet today and knew she needed to even though she was not hungry. She headed to the mess hall. She couldn't think of anything she actually wanted to eat, so she just ordered a sandwich and turned towards the room to find a place to sit. She scanned the room and noticed a familiar face near one of the windows. With a small, sad smile, she headed over.

"Mind if I join you?" she asked as she stood next to the table.

Temerant looked up, surprised to see the Doctor standing there. He hadn't known of her plans to head to Trill.

"Please," he said, waving at the empty seat across from him.

He put down his fork next to his half-eaten salad. It was tasty enough, but he didn't have much appetite.

He looked at Kij's drawn features. "You look... pretty much as bad as I feel," he said, with a sad smile.

"I feel pretty awful," she replied, sitting across from him and staring at her sandwich. "It feels like the last two weeks has really been two years. I feel really disconnected from everything and everyone. I just hope this leave will give me time to figure it all out." She picked up her sandwich and took a bite; it tasted like cardboard. "Want to talk about it?" she offered after swallowing the bite. Perhaps talking about someone else's problems would help her make sense of her own.

Temerant chuckled. "It seems like all I've done over the past few days is talk about it with Counselor Stuart," he said. "'How do I feel about having to go up against the Selamat again? How do I feel about killing one of them? How do I feel about this? How do I feel about that?' I've had enough of talking about my feelings."

"I haven't spoken to the counselor," Jayla replied, poking at the sandwich. "Except once. I'll probably go to the symbiosis commission. I'm not sure Stuart knows what to do about memory transplanting. I mean, she's good, it's just... it's a Trill problem. And a rare one at that."

"I know," he replied. "I remember they told us about it when I was an Initiate. It can be very stressful when it happens, but it's not a dangerous condition."

"That's what I gathered from Gavara's memories," agreed Jayla. "I never went through initiate training, so you can imagine how confusing it must have been. I don't know. Maybe Saraja mentioned it, but I was in such a funk for the longest time that I probably wasn't listening."

Temerant nodded. "Well, the Symbiosis Commission is the best place to go under the circumstances," he agreed.

"Yeah," agreed Jayla. There was a slight lull until she realized exactly what was off. "Did Camila come with you?" she asked, glancing around as if expecting to see the Security Chief wandering towards them.

Temerant's face closed suddenly at that question. "No," he said simply, and tersely.

Started at the reaction, Jayla blinked in confusion, then the look on his face clued her in that something had happened and it was clear that they were no longer together- or at least incredibly angry with one another. She nodded slowly, but opted to drop that line as it seemed to make him uncomfortable. "Are you staying with family on Trill?" she asked instead, vowing to never bring it up again.

"I don't know yet," he said. "This is something of a surprise visit, my family doesn't know I'm coming." He hadn't called ahead and told anyone of his visit, so as not to worry them. If for some reason he couldn't stay at his parents' house, he'd simply book a room somewhere. But he was looking forward to a brief rest on his homeworld, and revisiting some of his favorite places.

"I sent my parents a letter," she replied. "I'm a wreck and I'm bound to burst into tears as soon as I see them. I didn't want them to worry that something's happened to Jessa. She had to stay on New Bajor for a few days," she explained.

Temerant started at the mention of Jayla's sister. With everything that had happened, he'd completely forgotten about her. Then again, recent events hadn't really allowed him to get to know her at all.

"Is she all right?" he asked.

"She's fine," answered Jayla. "She promised to look after her students until they were reunited with their parents. Well, one little boy's father was found among the dead and he has no living relatives. So, she's making good on her promise by applying to adopt him. But, she can't remove him from New Bajor until she's approved to be his legal guardian, so she's staying behind. You know, to avoid being arrested."

"Good plan," he said. "Not getting arrested is always a good plan. Does she want to bring him back to Trill once the paperwork is done?"

"That's the plan," she replied, finally abandoning the half-eaten sandwich. "She misses her kids. The ones she teaches back on Trill," she explained. "She calls them her kids."

Temerant smiled at that. It was a sad smile, one that didn't touch his eyes. "If only more teachers developed that kind of attachment to their students," he surmised. "Any idea where you'll go after your leave?"

Jayla shook her head. "Haven't heard anything," she replied. "I'm hoping for something closer to home. It would be nice to be able to hop home on leave for a couple weeks."

Temerant nodded. "I was thinking about that myself. Maybe take a leave of absence for a while, and clear my head."

"That might not be a bad idea," she replied. "Although, they DID give us a couple months. I may get bored as it is."

The mess hall doors opened at the same time as the ventilation system kicked in. A sudden draft came over Bast, sending a cold shiver down his spine. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a shadow moving in the room. His stress level went up to eleven. Temerant wanted to turn around and grab a knife, certain that there would be a Selamat standing behind him. But Bast's calming presence tried to comfort him, and tell him that it was only his imagination playing tricks on him. Beads of perspiration appeared on his forehead, and his pupils were dilated under the stress.

"Two months," he repeated, his mouth suddenly parched and dry. "I guess I'll need them."

Jayla reached across the table and laid a hand on his arm. She had gone on alert in response to his reaction and calmed sooner than he had. "I think we're all seeing shadows," she said. Her own personal shadows came in the form of fatally wounded Vulcans and ensigns she didn't have enough time to save.

"Yeah," he said tensely. He shifted the contents of his tray, and grabbed it solidly with both hands. "I think... I'll go and get some rest," he said.

Jayla glanced down at her own sandwich and picked it up. "I'm going to force this down and then do the same," she resolved. After all, it was the only thing she'd eaten today. "Take care of yourself," she added.

"You too," he said before taking off. He placed his half-eaten tray in the food dispenser, and returned to his cabin, making sure the door was locked behind him.

 

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