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Nijil tr'Korjata

The Devil Is in Our Stars

The Devil Is in Our Stars


The voyage to the nebula would take a good part of two days, even at high warp. The Nei'rrh was built for fast travel, but only in rather short durations. Just try to do that in a Federation runabout. Then again, just watch the man-hours of maintenance of the two and you understand sacrifices are always made. The three were in the final stretch of the trip. Engines performed without issue, as did the modified cloak. Good thing as one did not want to abort a mission even before it really begun.


Hours passed and everyone needed to be relaxed for the job ahead. They all read, showered or took shifts on the bridge. Impromptu lessons on Rihan shuttle operations were done every few hours. Lieutenant Tarisa took refuge near the hum of the engines. Nijil did not know if her species purred like other felines, but he could see the attraction.


Lawliet, being long lived, had plenty to chat about regarding galactic politics and the like. Engineer or not, Nijil had differing opinions on past decisions and future directions. The both agreed however that the likely outcomes would be a mix of the two. No one faction in the alpha and beta quadrants would get exactly what they want. Eventually the crew settled off on their own as they got closer to their destination. Especially the Rihan.


Annisha, his adopted daughter, insisted her father take up playing a musical instrument. She found a shop on the commerce level that had all manners of wind, strummed, and keyboard note makers. She laughed at an Earth instrument called the 'ukulele' and picked two up, one for her and a larger one for her rather. They had be etched with caricatures of each of them, his with pointy-ears and ouchy marks on his face. Her's had an angry girl paired with a targ and a boomerang.


He made a genuine effort to play and even try to incorporate the instrument into his English to RIhan song translations. The ukulele did not really fit into his culture's instruments of choice, and it occupied a unique place in Earth's lineup as well. The high-pitch plucks seemed ill-fitted to drones about slicing the throat of one's enemies by any means necessary. Not all songs in the Rihan catalog were about deviousness of course. It contained some of the most emotional and longing romantic passages of any of the alliance music. Hearts were precious elements of the universe and all that.


Nijil, after seeing the massive number of songs to translate, began to search randomly among the choices. He landed in the early 21st Earth century, a group called The Jayhawks. A group named after a bird, seemed apt. He had the computer display the chords along with the song, and the rough translation, to be tuned later. The computer picked The Devil Is in Her Eyes. He started to play before he really got into the lyrics, so he could get the song's feeling down. It was not too trying to play, but the headline words caused him to think of his little devil Annisha.


Jylliene too if he thought of it, but as he reached chorus the words "the devil is in her eyes" really stuck out. He made it to the first chorus no issue, but at the second he struggled to not think of his little girl. Nijil knew she was not a demonic entity the word alluded to, but her curiosity wrapped up in mischievousness pierced through the words. As the chord progression became easier the merely sung the words as written centuries ago.


There she was again, her eyes right in front of him just as the day she plucked out a Klingon knife from his back with no regard for how it might hurt or help him. As the months passed the same eyes greeted him when he got off his shift or when they all went to Blubby's on the commerce level. Those same damned eyes looking right at him with the same affection as the first day they met.


It reminded him of when he met Jylliene in the mess of the Aegean. What a chance meeting when he thought of it. Had he just thrown that chance away on this mission fraught with unknown danger? He stopped playing as all of the pent up emotion of leaving those he loved behind broke free. Tears dropped upon the ukulele frets and clung to the strings. He placed the instrument on the table. He wiped the tears away with his sleeve. He walked up to a port window to watch the starlight passing at warp.


Now, at mission inception, was not the time to get all emotional. It was after all likely whatever happened to the Byron could happen to Aegis. Countless others he cared for or had never met counting on their discovery of the ship's fate. The galaxy would always be a dangerous place and the Aegis sector was no exception. It was duty after all to protect it, no matter the cost.


If the crew of the Nei'rrh did meet their fate in the nebula Annisha would be provided for by Jylliene or if not her his parents. She'd have a good life on that planet, though leaving her friend Alexis may not work out.




Yes, he thought, time to press on, anticipate for the expected and adapt for the unexpected. Jylliene would do and expect no less of him. If Nijil failed to return the preparations he made would ensure both their safety and his daughter would grow into the frightful woman she's destined to become. Frightful in her intelligence and curiosity as it dwarfs his own. The universe should be wary of Annisha t'Korjata.

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