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Found 31 results

  1. Meal and Memories with Jylliene and Nijl Taking a break for lunch, the Korjatas settled down at the table at Madame Chang's. Jylliene looked over the menu, then at Nijil. “What are you hungry for?” Nijil looked up at her. "This is a place from Earth, correct? Asian? I am relatively unfamiliar with these dishes." He looked up and down the menu. "There are many soups. One with an egg dropped." “There are. I think I’m going to try the fish bowl, though.” she replied. The weary engineer laughed. "I am trying to wean myself off of fish and other things of the sea. I've had enough of that for a while." A crisis of choice lay before him, but he just needed to pick something. "I know, this miso soup, those tiny dumplings, and green tea." He quickly closed up the menu and slapped it on the table. "Your turn." “I’ll have the whitefish bowl,” she said, stacking her menu on Nijil’s. As the server took the menus away, Jylliene looked back to her companion. “How are you feeling?” Nijil grinned. "Where to start...uhm. Time is twisted." He gestured with his hands as if stretching dough between them. "I've been through so much in such a short about of time. Well, I mean you were pregnant, so I'm not saying I am sucking all the weirdness from the room." The tea arrived and he took it greedily. "This better have caffeine" “It has some, but not that much,” she replied. “It’s still strange to me to hear the length of time you experienced over just a few days passing here. I keep reminding myself that it will take you time to adjust.” "The doctor had some ideas, kept on asking me about what I did, about you, Annisha. She made sure to keep my mind on it and not go native. It took weeks just to get used to her body. I am surprised you did not take jabs at me being...she. It's a shame they are not around now, and that's a bit of a mystery." The rest of the food arrived. Nijil nodded. "Speaking of mysteries." He gestured to the outside of the station. Jylliene looked at him, wide-eyed. “Space will always hold mysteries. Perhaps focus on where your Yith friends might have been before their disappearance. Maybe you’ll find some trace. A temporal signature or something,” she said, quickly pointing their discussion back to their very recent topic so as not to hint at anything going on that was mentioned in the conference, but giving him a very pointed look. Nijil nearly giggled with a hiss. "Yess yess. It's like the Tal Shiar is all around us." He held up his hands, palms out. "I know. Bah, why say anything. There is a human expression...ignorance is bliss," he said nodding. "I could use a dose of that about now. Oh, though I am not going to bother the captain with my latest finding, I know who perpetrated the broadcast across the station, or enabled it." “You do?” she said, perking up. This was a welcome distraction - neither Yith nor the secretive revelations. Nijil's grin was extremely wide. If he had been human it would have hurt. "Me. I should have seen the signatures in the broadcast, but I enabled them in the future to bypass our communication security settings and send it all over." He finally got to the soup. "Mmm, this is very good." “The Yith were the ones in the broadcast??” she asked incredulously. "How I did not create a paradox with the timing I don't know. It makes sense though." “Who’s to say you didn’t create a paradox, and we just haven’t seen it revealed fully yet?” she replied with a shrug. "I figure our bonding was a paradox in itself," he quipped with a smirk. "Maybe it started then. If anything it gives me a new purpose to search the broadcast. Something to pass the time when I don't have a good piece of fiction." He glanced down at her food and asked, "How is your food?" “Oh, very good,” Jylliene answered. “You had me a bit distracted from my meal there for a bit.” She refocused on her lunch. "Oh, I could distract you for months. Do you want my thought on fashion or clubbing? I think that's what she called it." He speared a dumpling, twirling it around, then staring at it. "I know too much about dresses now." “Sure,” she said, gesturing to Nijil. “Fashion, go ahead.” "Well, since they, the Yith, are pretty tall, so most dresses are long and if you are on the short side they try to make you look taller. I think I was average, at least from what Muuhi told me. Now that I think of it their fashion was much like here. I liked the outfits that were loose-fitting, easier to move around in, and not fall over. Color coordination is very important, almost to an extreme. Greens, oranges...lots of warm colors. Tops that, err, accentuated certain attributes." He stopped to take a bite. "At the very least outfit shopping should hold my interest." She nodded. “And this clubbing you mentioned?” she asked, continuing her food, happy to keep Nijil talking, as he seemed both upbeat and, thankfully, turned fully away from any more dangerous topics. "Dancing. Drinking. They are heavy into a kind of fast electronic style of music. Probably related to reflexes and how they see. Think tall skinny cats. Motion is very noticeable...throw in some flashing lights and it does things to you. There were these two males that made pas-" Nijil stopped suddenly mid-word, feeling his PADD vibrate in his pocket. "Already?" “End of lunch?” Jylliene asked, as she checked the time. “That is what it looks like.” She took the last few bites of her meal. “You’ll need to tell me about the club at dinner.”
  2. Homecoming Jylliene and Nijil Time is a capricious thread weaving events, emotions, and memories together into our lives. Without it, life is non-existent, a needed dimension among many. Most lifeforms are born, live for a time, then perish all within a single life. You are, well...you for it all. No second life. Not so for Nijil Korjata. Through no fault of his own, his life switched with another over forty times. Each of those transformations left him with a murky, but vivid dream each time he woke from his journey. All except the last time. It was not enough to keep him sedated to suppress the truth from him. Technology broke down, leaving him stranded in space and time. The repairs were beyond the scope of the other person pulling the strings from so far away. Eventually, it was technology restoring his mind to his body, but not without a cost. While only days past on Aegis as many departments tackled the problem nearly seventeen months passed with the Yith. To survive Nijil needed to assume another life, or more pointedly, align his mind with his new body. The walk to the door to his home on Aegis went silently as every step from sickbay had to be measured. His companion on the other side, Muuhi, told him as much, but he knew from his arrival months ago walking as someone else was a learned skill. Nijil stopped short of colliding with the door before placing his hand on the threshold. He pressed his finger on the panel to release the lock. The door slid open with the familiar hiss, but its absence from his experience over the months startled him. He took a deep breath and let out a sigh as he entered his abode for the first time in so long. "It feels larger, are au sure these are the same quarters?" Nijil queried while he stood in the center of the main room. Moments later he realized they could not have moved everything in the span of a few days and place it back like it was before. "Wait, it's just me." Before him was the couch. He spent many a night relaxing upon it and it was the one object he missed while away. As be sat he thought it funny he moved from one comfort of a biobed to another of this couch. "Jylliene." Nijil spoke, neither a question nor a statement. “Nijil. Good to have you back home,” she responded with a smile. The Rihan let out a long sigh. "I have so much to tell you." He looked up at her with a look of a puppy having done something bad. "So much as happened." She gestured toward the couch. “Then we’d best start catching up.” Nijil nodded, then dropped to the couch. It felt very familiar, the cushions feeling worn just like he remembered. He glided his fingers against the stitching, letting the sensation jog his memory of the mundane. Moments of silence passed, then Nijil laughed softly. "Almost seventeen months and only days here. She warned me of a miscalculation. The time differential was over fourteen hundred years and the Federation did not have a temporal discriminator sensitive enough to get the number just right. Muuhi and I eventually figured out what happened to the generator, but it was taking us a very long time to repair it." He stopped. "Do we have any serline water?" “If that’s one of their drinks, it’s possible Prani programmed it into our replicator,” Jyl replied, and inquired at the machine, which chirped and produced a glass of … some kind of water, anyhow. She took it to Nijil. He took it with a bit of gusto and drank half of it right away. His eyes closed in response to the bubbles in the drink and the sweet tingle at the end warmed his smile. "I drank this every day after she introduced it to me, after a particularly long repair analysis session." “What was it like there?” she asked, sitting beside him. Nijil stared at the table where he rested his glass. "It is a remote lab a couple of light-years from the Yith homeworld. It was a bit cold and dark. Just like my dreams, though they really were memories. They like the color red, the remote lab painted in it from floor to ceiling. The work there was potentially dangerous, so they were the only two there. Most of all though, it was quiet." He smiled warmly. "It was creepy, at first, but I had a good friend during my stay. So, how was Prani?" “She was fine - apologetic, pleasant. She seemed to enjoy having a daughter around. But of course, she was only here for a few days. Annisha played music for her. Their music.” Jylliene wasn’t sure what else to say. She shrugged and added, “She seemed nice.” Something finally registered with her, and she asked, “Those dreams of yours, where you felt like you were seeing through someone else’s eyes - those were all times she switched with you?” "Yes, they tried their best to adjust to my schedule and they were spot on most of the time. Muuhi kept me relaxed on the bed before the generator's capacitor powered up to full. Kept me company for long hours talking about themselves. I guess they did not want to alter my life much while they were hunting for information about their people. That did not work out." “No, no it didn’t.” Nijil reached out and held her hand. "Don't get me wrong. I could not have been better treated, even if it was with her friend nearly all of the time. I think I went through all the stages of grief in a matter of a few months. Not a day went by I did not think of you and Annisha, but...the days did get easier." He teared up a bit. "There were many nights I thought I should just let everything go. Aegis, Annisha, and my e'lev. I am sorry." “You were trying to get by - you had to consider the chance that you wouldn’t make it back.” She smiled and squeezed his hand. "Yes, I even investigated acquiring a cryogenic pod, stealing a ship, then racing here to await and awakening. How does one do that over the centuries? Besides, I'd be in Prani's body. A tall, lean cat-like woman living in this room with such short ceilings?" “Well, we could move quarters. I’m glad the switch worked instead, though.” She grinned at him. "Yes, but I could leap into the air. Even I was agile, once I learned to not fall over. The Yith walk on their toes with very powerful legs." His eyes widened as he remembered something. "Wait...let me get a PADD." Nijil leap from the couch to grab a device off the table. He then sat back down, nearly bouncing his mate off the cushions. "Watch this," he said, starting to sketch out something on the larger PADD screen. After a minute of silence and a lot of strokes, he presented his work. A rather detailed cross-hatch of herself, white lines on a black background, appeared on the PADD. "What do you think?" “That’s incredible, Nijil,” she replied, examining the likeness. “You learned this while you were there, too?” "No, not at all, but I think I know what happened. Given the ability to switch minds I bet she could implant a memory or two." He smiled. "She wanted to give me something for my birthday, even though it would not happen for generations." He then chuckled. "I think this is the best way for me to remember my experiences." He paused, saving the image on the PADD. "So, no jokes about me being a woman? Can't wait to get a ribbing from my staff." “Not right now. Rather glad just to know you’re back.” She leaned against him and sighed contentedly.
  3. Green Log of Jylliene and Nijil The long game of Galactic Risk ended days ago in a stalemate. The Nei'rrh warped along at a leisurely pace through the heart of the Federation. Their flight plan was well known and oddly, Starfleet wanted them to be cloaked the entire time. The only reason to do so was to put listening posts through tests. Now the test for them was at an end. "Jy," Nijil called out from the pilot's chair. She had went to nap a while back, the sound of the shuttle interior rather soothing once one gets relaxed. "We have arrived." He waited. "Jy?" He activated a soft chime. Jylliene stretched as she woke, hearing the sound. “Hm? Wh- oh, we’re here?” Rising, she made her way toward the front of the shuttle. He continued to shout. "Yes, I just dropped us to impulse." Resting her hand on the top of his chair, she looked out at the view as they approached the planet Orellius “I’ve needed this. We both have.” He nodded. "Shall I arm disruptors and torpedoes? That sounds more familiar." He smiled as he continued to tap controls to place them in orbit. "Pretty sure Starfleet would be here shortly. Care to take us down?" “You go ahead,” she replied as she took a seat at the console next to him. The weapons console had gone thankfully unused during this trip. It was, as Nijil had indicated, a change of pace for them. A peaceful vacation would be welcome indeed. "Alright, taking us down to our cabin." He pitched the nose down and the planet filled the entire forward view. "Shields to full, brace for atmospheric entry." Nijil patted her arm with his free hand. "Best to secure ourselves, even though the skies are clear where we are going." The blast shield covered the view ahead of them as the craft descended towards Orellius. He continued talking. "I supposed we could have beamed down, but I never like the idea of having the ship just hang up there while we are down there." He laughed. "I mean we can't land the Aegean, but anything that land should land." The interior of the Nei'rrh rumbled as it careened into intense heat of reentry. Nijil turned to Jylliene. "So are you ready to be without replicators?" “I believe so. It will be worth it.” The blast shield retracted, revealing the lush green of the planet. Although Orellius no longer kept itself isolated, the communities there preferred to stay more or less as they had been. Their cabin would be remote enough from the inhabitants that neither would be disturbed by the other. “We will have room to land nearby, right?” "Ie, oddly a platform is there for ships like this to land. I suspect we are not the first ones to seek this isolated getaway. That said, this may be a tight fit." A forest took up the entire view out of the forward view. Somewhere in the middle was their destination. "Ah see it, just over those tall trees dead ahead." "Au see that?" She asked. "Very well. Take us in SubCommander." "Aye Lieutenant Commander." Both of them smiled as they descended to their honeymoon destination.
  4. The Nijil (Log of Shadow and Nijil) "We could have easily conquered your people if not for the Praxis incident," the burly Klingon hologram boasted to his corporeal Rihan programmer. "Oh really, that was how many years ago? The fact you did not see us galavanting across the quadrants does not mean we were weak. I also doubt the Federation would have let that occur, you know how they were then, and now." "Ha!" The Klingon exclaimed. "Romulans never fight with honor and that would have been their undoing." Nijl sighed. "Honor does not win battle, cunning tactics sprinkled with a touch of treachery would win the day. We are not dealing with pistols at twenty paces." "What is that?" "Something from ancient Earth history, a duel where you stand back to back, walk twenty paces forward, then turn and shoot." "Hmm, backs to each other? Sounds like a Rihan would go five paces then turn." "You may be right," Nijil said with a terse smile. "Now to matters at hand. Will you help teach this entity about the Klingon people?" "You have my word, but," he raised his finger, "only if the others do not badmouth other worlds. The teachings, even from the Rihans, must be true and honorable." "Agreed, lying would get us nowhere. Besides, I can have a fact-checking routine added to avoid that." "Whoa, wait a minute, a good story is nothing with a touch of embellishment." "Grr, fine," Nijil nodded to the Klingon hologram. "Computer, save then end program." The computer chirped then shut down the program, the Klingon flickering into nothingness. The lights of his quarters came up. The sudden brightness gave him a headache, or was it from the conversation. He walked over to the replicator on the far wall then ordered a water. He turned to see something not normally in his room. "Technology," Nijil muttered under his breath. "Computer, turn OFF the hologram system in this room." "The hologram system in this room is currently not running," quipped the computer. "What?" Nijil stood his ground as he squinted at the figure clearly in the room with him. He backed up a bit as he realized who this could be. "You look better than last we spoke." “This one learn. This one Seeker. Must learn,” replied the figure, flatly, as it stared in the direction of the inactive hologram. “The Nijil speaks to nothing. Why?” "Speaking to nothing?" The engineer thought for a moment. "Oh, you mean the hologram, that Klingon? It is really just an advanced manifestation of the artificial intelligence programs built into our computer systems to simulate familiar species. An interactive interface really. Used for all kinds of entertainment, information, and training. If that makes any sense to you. Could you not see him?" “The Klingon non biological. Deck 7 Klingon biological. Why speak non-biological when can biological?” "The non-biological one can be told, commanded to do particular tasks, plus he does not tire or question my orders, well, this one does, but I programmed that in too. I guess this one may not have a bias if I program carefully enough." The entity stared intensely, as though the image would return, then turned to Nijil. “Waste energy. This play?” "Waste energy? We have a lot here, but this was developed for you to answer questions about us you may have in a timeframe the computer can handle, but we may not." Nijil thought for a moment. "You mean play as can the program continue or you mean play as in have fun?" “Fun. Waste energy.” "Well, there are a fair amount of programs for fun, but I think most species, at least of higher intelligences, need activities they enjoy rather than duties they have to perform. I often just recreate far away places that I can't visit or that...don't exist any longer." Nijil frowned a bit at the notion of his visits to Old ch'Rihan, specifically his childhood farm. The form took on an expression of curiosity, then the face mirrored Nijil’s frown. “Sad. The Nijil place ceased to exist?” "ch'Rihan was wiped of life on its surface by what we call a gamma ray burst, a highly energetic burst of devastating gamma radiation normally from distant supernova explosion. This particular event propagated through upper subspace levels to reach our homeworld at faster than light speeds." He paused. "I was not on the homeworld at this time. Some escaped, many did not." “The gamma energy powerful. Many biologicals cease to exist?” "Yes, in the billions, but do you mean in general? I would guess nearly all biologicals cease to exist." It regarded Nijil for some time, then a ghastly groan echoed through the room. “The Nijil sad. This one sad. The gamma energy destroy much. The Nijil not cease to exist good. This one protect the Nijil. The Nijil not cease to exist.” "What? I don't think you can protect me from everything, namely myself. If you can stop a gamma ray burst on myself then you posses a truly unknown protection. More importantly, why me? Was it that touch the other day? It was an accident." “Accident.” It seemed to ponder that a while. “Accident. Not on purpose. Unintended.” "That's right." “This one much energy. Biologicals weak. This one learn. Now not so much energy. Less energy? Lower energy? Biological level energy this one now. This one form easier also.” "Listen, you can't go...tasering people around me that may or not hurt me. No matter how careful or intelligent you are I don't believe you are all knowing and immune to the heisenberg uncertainty principle." He shook his head. "Again, why me? I'm one biological among trillions or more in this galaxy alone." Another sigh, softer than the last, came from the form. “This one injure the Nijil. Sad. Must protect.” "Must protect? Oh." Nijil wondered if his new friend could sense the inflection of concern in his verbal response, or worse, in his electromagnetic signature. It faded where it stood. “Must. Protect. The Nijil.”
  5. [Joint log, Jylliene and Nijil, shortly after the events of the sim of 1/22/16] Jylliene sat at the captain’s chair, sorting through her thoughts, recording them in a personal log for the later report that she was sure she’d be making to Captain Ramson, at the very least. Though the tree people and cores had been friendly on the planet, they had entrapped Ramson in order to communicate with her. As they found her back where she had originally been held, Jylliene inferred that the droid core was already impersonating Ramson when “she” had helped them out of the chamber and accompanied them out and to the Aegean. Captain Ramson was not a hostile person, in her experience, and Jylliene could only assume that the Tree people would have, had they asked, been told what kind of aid the Federation could lend. Either they didn’t ask, she presumed, or they didn’t like what they heard. Their actions seemed to be of a desperate people trying to fight back against the attackers, but in doing so, they had kidnapped/held Ramson, impersonated the officer and attempted to persuade Aegean to attack - no, not persuade, but coming from the apparent captain, order. Hm. Well, no, not quite that. The core had not ordered an attack as Ramson, but had said it was their - no, your only chance. You could set back their war effort, it had said, and that it would lead if they would follow. It did stop short of actually just ordering Aegean to attack, though such a suggestion carried a different weight coming from the impersonated captain versus, say, an impersonated Ops officer. The droid cores had infiltrated Aegis previously. And they stole the cloaking technology, decloaking Aegean in a very vulnerable position. At least they did try to shield Aegean from the blasts from the attackers while the captain was recovered, but… well, at least they did do that. Jylliene regretted not having caught on a bit faster, as well as not having tried to ask the core for some explanation before it fled. Now, with the additional security of the task force escorting, they were heading back toward Aegis and leaving the newly found race to their fate. Not knowing what led to this fight, she just could not have imagined jumping in the middle. They may have sent cores elsewhere, and had been seen as aggressors, triggering such a retaliation. Surely the past events of the miners vs. the Horta were a reminder that there were at least two sides to each story. Taken out of context, their actions could indeed have been grounds for an attack, and yet, she was still seeing them as the victims of the attack they had just witnessed. Who were these other beings? And when back on Aegis, would they someday find themselves regretting not having gone along with the core, who would have known more about the others’ strategies and weaknesses, and seizing the opportunity they had? Jylliene hit the com. “Bridge to engineering. Status of the cloak, Subcommander?” A hint of frustration slipped out in Korjata's response. "It will be a few more minutes. Beaming out something is easier than placing it exactly where you found it. The device shut down as it was beamed over there, which is good since as active it could overreact. Clearly they knew a little bit about how the technology operates." A crash was heard in the background. He spoke to someone away from him. "Hey, <muffled> to watch that. Sever that connection and this repair is ten hours." His voice was louder. "Sorry about that...engineers," he huffed. "You should have the cloak at 90% function in 15 minutes." She smiled slightly. Engineers like you, e’lev, she thought. “Intact and reliable is more important than fast in this case. We’re under escort; there’s no rush. Thank you, Nijil. Bridge out.” Moments later, just enough time for Jylliene to sit down, a message came to her on the Captain's station. Nijil: The cloak technology was copied and likely reverse-engineered. Let's hope these droid cores are on our side, or not captured themselves. Please note this in your talks with Captain Ramson once she returns. Jylliene: Already planned to. So far, they seem to be non-hostile, but it will be noted. Should make for an interesting talk, Jylliene thought, and wondered what she would learn from Ramson about her experience.
  6. (Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene - takes place sometime overnight between 2388.029 and 2388.030) Space is many things... Vast. Dangerous. Silent. Contained within a single galaxy among one hundred billion galaxies, within a single asteroid field among countless others, and spinning within the confines of one of thousands of space stations located in said asteroid field lay a lifeform unable to rest. While the remainder of the universe continued in a state of constant motion, this particular ceiling appeared to be frozen in time. He sensed motion however. Not in the visible movement of his environment, but in the incessant hum throughout the station. Most people couldn't hear it if they tried, but an engineer could. Especially Nijil. Even simply shutting his eyes did not hold back his restlessness. Tossing and turning stopped over an hour ago. "Jylliene?" he asked softly. Stirring in the bed beside him. “Hm?” came the reply. "Are you awa-," he stopped himself, realizing she'd not said that if she was indeed asleep. "I can't sleep." “Something bothering you?” she asked, stretching slightly, then rolling over to look at him. "No. I mean not really," he let his answer drift off, then abruptly restarted. "It's just work, or the amount of work. It's not really harder, just more work. More people? Station is the same size, problems are the same generally. Well, maybe it's not work." He swallowed. "You can tell me honestly, am I a good father?" Jylliene peered at him, then rubbed his shoulder. “Yes. Annisha is a challenge, but you love her, and she loves you.” "I hope so." He frowned, albeit out of her view. "I'm not her real father as you know and he is still al-." He stopped himself in case Annisha had bugged the room. “Doesn’t matter, e’lev. I mean - I know it matters to you, but you are still her father. Elements know it’s a bigger job than keeping this station running, but you aren’t in it alone.” The Trill reached out and squeezed his hand. For a moment he poured all his stress into her warm touch. He let out a nearly inaudible moan, the timing of "not alone" and her contact just right, "Thank you. I never really thought I'd be a parent just a few years ago and then take in a child not of my own blood. I was not prepared." “With your own, you’d at least have a few months’ warning,” she mused in agreement. With a slight smile, she added, “She only made me love you more.” Nijil squeezed her hand this time. "For some days I was worried things were moving too fast, that you think I would bond to you immediately and leave for the remains of the Romulan empire. I was in knots." “No, I’ve seen your orders. You’re stuck here,” she replied with a grin and a wink. “No, I didn’t get that sense from you at all.” "Really? I sure felt it. And I'm feeling the same all over again when she had this relapse. I could feel how vulnerable she was. I could taste the fear." “It may not be the last time she’ll do that. But we’re both here for her. And I’m here for you now - and will be.” Nijil grasped Jylliene's hand and brought it up to his lips, pressing a kiss onto the back of her hand. He then began to move her hand back to her side as he felt a wave of contentment flow over him, but not before falling fast asleep.
  7. Look Who's Coming to Dinner (1 of 2) She’d seen strange messages on her PADD, but never one like this. “See you later tonight. I'll cook something up for all of us. xo” Taking into account the sender, SubCommander Korjata, and the “xo” at the end - which definitely did not refer to the executive officer - Kirel raised her eyes to regard the SubCommander’s fiance, SrLt Kital, for a long moment, then shifted her focus back to the message. Could it be that the engineer used the captain’s first name, and that Kirel and Kital were close enough together that he hit the wrong key in sending? However, the phrase “all of us” changed the meaning altogether. “I look forward to it,” Kirel replied and turned back to her work… until the message repeated itself, and a response came from SrLtn Kital, “Will be nice.” Kital’s expression had changed. A press on her PADD revealed that tr’Korjata had mistakenly chosen default group messaging. She smiled. After some time, she read, “May have invited the Captain to dinner…” “I look forward to it. Make sure you have enough for us all.” “I miss you. It has been too long.” “And I, you. See you this evening.” Nijil chopped. Nijil sliced. Nijil diced. Nijil minced. Nijil was tired. He'd not gotten to the cooking yet, but the guests had to be here for that. Three junior engineers were nice enough to bring up a large fusion-powered cooking stove that now sat in Nijil's living room next to an elongated dining table that would accommodate his guests. He hoped Annisha appreciated his cooking effort compared to her Klingon friend. No targ served here. "Daddy," she pulled at his shirt and looked up to him with her big eyes. "Why is this big thing in here?" "Oh I wanted to cook something nice for Jylliene and you. Nothing replicated. When's the last time you had an unreplicated meal?" Annisha perked up. "Oh last week at the Klingon place. He made sure my food did not move." Her father groaned at the thought of live food. "Oh, did I tell you about my new friend?" "Yes, a thousand times. Something new about her?" "Only that I invited her over." He stopped his chopping. "I mean if you can invite the Captain why not Alexis? She won't eat much." "Probably not, but let me add more." He grabbed more of each vegetable and renewed his work. She hugged his waist tightly. "Thanks, you'll really like her." The door chime sounded. "I'll get it!" Her hair bounced as she hopped to the door and pressed the entry key. "Daddy, she's here!" "Just a moment." He put down his knife and straightened up his shirt. A quick check of his hair and he walked over, prepared to see the smiling face of Jylliene, or, if a bad day, a worn out version. "My e'lev, it-" Nijil froze. "Captain, you are early, I-I thought you were someone else." The captain gave a gracious, though playful smile. “I can always come back later.” "No no, you are welcome anytime Captain. Let me, er, get you something to drink." Next time he spoke to Annisha he would go over the times when names are needed. "Replicated or something from our stock?" Now stock in a Starfleet station is limited to a small refrigeration unit, but this was from the off-world family vineyard. Doubt Chirakis has this spirit in her locked cabinet. “Some of your stock, thank you. Your father’s vineyard and its products are legendary,” she responded, admiring the decor. Her eyes fell on the youngest Korjata. “Annisha.” she said cordially. "Captain." She gave her a look. "Have you ever thought about trying a dark green rather than black? My parents wore black all of the time, but that's the Tal Shiar way." The little girl looked her squarely in the eye. "You have the Tal Shiar look, except for the ears." “I have the Tal Shiar look for good reason, young one. The black serves the same purpose as it does for the Tal Shiar. I’m sure you can figure out the rest.” "In the shaaadows..." She raised her hands and waved them about. “Indeed,” Kirel replied, leaning forward mysteriously. “In the shadows.” Back in her quarters, Alexis was curious to see what would be served at this dinner. Donning one of the new dresses Dacia bought her earlier, she quickly sent a message to Dacia asking permission, and got a quick response back saying she could. Her quarters were close by so it did not take long to arrive. She pressed the chime button and waited. "Daddy, she's here!" Annisha shouted. "Finally," Nijil said, once again putting down his knife. The Captain seemed to enjoy the Korjata wine, or the view out the long window. He wiped his hands, walked to the door, opened it, and spoke. "Long day at work swee-" "I'm not your sweetie. I'm Alexis. Is the lady of the house here?" "Well, Jylliene is not here yet...," he said and paused. "But you mean Annisha." Annisha jumped from behind her father. "Boo!" “Hey Annisha. Long time, no see.” Alexis replied sarcastically. "Wait, did I just try to scare a mind reader?" Annisha looked dejected, thinking Alexis knew she was there the entire time. "It has been long time," she continued in clear earshot of her father, who believed she had never left her room after the broadcast. Alexis giggled. “I didn’t read your mind, but I can detect your presence nearby. You’ll have to try harder than that,” she replied smiling, sauntering over to Annisha. “So, what’s for dinner?” she asked. "He's fixing noodles, vegetables and protein on this large stove thing. Said he had to modify the fire suppression so it would not kill the flame.” “Hmm sounds delish,” replied Alexis tentatively as she peaked into the living area. “So, who else is coming? Ooh, and is that the Captain there? Your father must be making something fancy.” She latched onto Annisha’s waist. "I dunno what he's making. It a big stove is all I know. He said his mother made him cook. She was often on the other side of their farm." Annisha placed her hand over Alexis' clutching hand. "He, let's go see my room. I don't think you've been there. Come on.." Alexis needed no coaxing and the bedroom door slammed behind them. "Whew, thought Annisha was going to hang around me while cooking. Bless her friend." Nijil continued to cut up fungus. "Captain, you are being quiet. I am not keeping you from something am I?" “Not at all, SubCommander. I’m observing your process while enjoying your father’s excellent vintage. It’s too smooth to interrupt with words.” She held her glass up, admiring its contents. "Well the plant does not exist anymore, so it's some of the last batch from the homeworld," he said with disappointment. "He is trying again at his new place though, but it will be a bit before it's ready. He chopped and she observed in silence until he once again broke it. "About the misdirected message. I'm glad you are a good sport about it." “Misdirected? Interesting.” She let it hang, as a smirk broke her otherwise stoic expression while she placed her lips to the glass and raised a brow. Nijil diced the last of the vegetables and wondered where Jylliene was; her shift had been over for some minutes. Lots of ships in orbit he thought. "Unless you think the evening could go somewhere. I'm sure Jylliene won't mind, if she ever gets here. Now where..." The door chimed. Nijil sighed in relief, put down his utensils, approached the door, and opened the comm. "I'm not kissing whomever is at my door. I've been burned twice." "Well then you are going to have a very lonely evening sleeping on the floor." It was Jylliene, but Nijil could not tell if she was serious. Opening the door, he went in for a peck on the cheek, but her hand blocked his attempt. "Nah ah, it's my turn to burn." Jylliene walked in and stopped as she saw the captain. "Captain, good to see you. I presume Nijil is trying to court another?" She gave the woman a grin, barely able to hold back a chuckle. Nijil's face turned green with embarrassment. Kirel turned to face him. “You’ve already consulted Captain d’Ka? Has he accepted the agreement?” "D'Ka? Agreement? I have not spoken to him." Nijil had never even met him. “I thought it was customary to consult with the bond-mate before proposing to his significant other. Am I mistaken?” The captain’s expression turned serious, the wine glass cradled in one hand. Clearly nervous and off-guard, Nijil stammered, his hand shaking. "I-I did not consult with anyone. I did not know he was your significant other; my apologies to both of you. I should contact him now to see if this meal is okay." “Unfortunately, the USS Missouri is not in system. However, the meeting can be arranged at his earliest convenience. You should know that he does not respond well to surprises, nor is he prone to sharing.” Kirel exchanged a playful glance with Jylliene. "Okay, okay. Either I will be roughed up by this d'Ka or I'm being played. In any event I am ready to start the grill." He looked around. "Where are the girls?" Giggling came from Annisha's room. At his comm, they jumped and skipped into the room and to their seats. "Jylliene, I'll begin to cook while you get ready." He heard her affirmative from the other room then turned to the Captain. "This protein will taste like chicken, so how do you like yours cooked?" “However you prefer,” she replied graciously. “I am not particular. And,” she spoke in quiet confidence, “do not worry about Captain d’Ka. He is a peaceful man.”
  8. Little Hazel Eyes - Amanda and Nijil The shipyard wasn’t made to live in, but it was much better than living on several ships and it was comfortable enough. Because it was of Romulan construction, the amenities were sparse, but everyone seemed to be making do. Amanda had taken a few things that were dear to her, like her tea and tea set, two comfortable chairs, and some of the decorative trappings from her informal office on Aegis. The rest she put in storage. In her off-hours the counselor wandered the hallways to get some exercise and to interact informally with the crew. Every household move is traumatic, but it seemed that for the most part the excitement of having a new station - or a fairly new station - overshadowed any regret at having to leave. It was during a morning constitutional that Amanda spotted Nijil coming in the opposite direction and greeted him with a cheery, “Nijil! How are you?” “Oh,” he began, startled. “Jolan tru Doctor. I’m...elements, what am I doing? Oh, making sure this section is secure for the number of people who will occupy it. I’m just happy to get back to work.” He grimaced as he closed the file displayed on his padd. “And it’s good to see you back to work. How are Jylliene and Annisha?” His eyes dilated a bit at their mention. “They are fine. Jylliene is busy as ever and Annisha is packing her things with care. She has more things than both of us.” A smile formed on his weary face. “She’s taking this move better than any of us.” “To me, it’s exciting,” said Amanda. “When we return we’ll have a new, sturdy, and safer place to live, and knowing Captain Chirakis and Mr. Roberts, it will be first rate.” “Chirakis. Right.” Hearing the name shook his confidence. “Engineering will have much to do regardless of the condition.” Something moved behind Dr. Davis. He peered around the corner and spotted Annisha. “Go,” he mouthed, waving her off. Amanda turned to look, then turned back, puzzled. “Nijil,” she said hesitantly, “I need a good cup of tea, and I certainly would enjoy your company. Won’t you join me?” “Sure, I could use a break. I think she’s gone now. My daughter has been following me around all day. I had to shoo her off.” Nijil looked around, unsure where they were having this tea. His daughter popped her tiny head from behind a crate. He held up a finger. “Annisha! Go to your quarters.” “Annisha,” Amanda turned to the empty corridor, “your father needs a break. I’m sure you don’t mind, do you?” She turned back to Nijil. “See, she’s on her way. She knows when we need our space.” Taking Nijil’s arm, the counselor led him to the lift and on to her meager quarters-cum-office. “You think I would know where I am going,” he shrugged. Fifteen minutes later they had settled into Amanda’s cozy area, tea tray on a small table and fresh warm scones next to freshly poured tea. Handing a cup to Nijil, she took hers and snuggled into the cushions, took a sip and began the conversation. “Nijil, why do you think Annisha follows you around everywhere?” “I think she’s worried about me after I scared her to death,” he answered, taking a drink of the hot tea. The pastry looked good, so he bit into it as well. “I told her of my dreams, how she played a part. She was tickled.” Nijil paused, then started again. “That was days ago. Now she just follows me around while I work. Not saying a word.” Amanda continued to sip while Nijil talked. When his pause reached a comfortable level she said, “The attack on the station was traumatic for everyone, Nijil. Because of your injury it was especially traumatic for you, your family, and your friends. Children and adults react to trauma differently. Annisha almost lost her father; she’s bound to be protective.” Amanda paused to regard Nijil in a pleasant, casual manner, but her tone was suggestive. “Adults, on the other hand, may pretend that the event was not as traumatic as they previously thought. Others will form a mental block and not remember it at all. And some… will dismiss it, tell themselves that they can take care of it alone, and try to carry on business as usual.” She moved forward to pour more tea. “Which category do you believe you are in, Nijil?” “Well, I have been through scraps like this before. I once fell down a hill and had my hand nearly crippled. A few more from my youth. I don’t see how this was any different. Like before, if I just get back to work I should pull through.” Nijil had to stop to catch his breath, and to bite more of the scone. “Nijil,” Amanda slowly set her cup on the table, “there was no one in the corridor when you spoke to Annisha.” He gave her a puzzled look. “You are mistaken. I clearly saw her around the corner, like many of the corners she peers around. I shooed her off before you caught sight of her.” “Oh, I have no doubt you saw her, but I assure you she was not there. She is in Emberly Rassiton’s art class, where I left her.” “Wait, let me call her and prove to you.” Nijil tapped his badge. “Nijil to Annisha, this is your father.” “Daddy are you okay? If not I can’t leave yet 'cause my fingers have paint on them.” “I’m fine Annisha. Weren’t you just watching me? I shooed you off not half an hour ago.” “Daddy, you are funny. I’ve been here all day.” “I’m working. Are you sure?” Nijil felt a sinking a feeling in his stomach. “Yes daddy. Can I go back to painting?” “Sure, I will see you at dinner.” The channel closed. He turned his attention to the doctor. “I owe you an apology. I saw her, but not her.” “Nijil, the mind is a powerful thing,” began Amanda. “You saw her because your mind told you she was there, and you may see her again until your mind learns to deal with the trauma you have been through.” Over the course of the next hour Amanda explained Situational Post Traumatic Stress, why it happens, what it triggers in the brain, how the brain uses the trigger to protect the body, and how those affected can learn to cope. "It's normal,” said Amanda. “It's your brain trying to make sense of things it does not understand and it is your brain's way of protecting you so it doesn't happen again." “Doctor,” Nijil said with care. “I can’t work if I’m hallucinating. There’s no telling what I may see next. How do I rid myself of this?” “It’s not a matter of ridding, Nijil, it’s a matter of coping. But we will have to speak to SubCommander Jorahl and get his approval before you go back to work. If we have regular sessions you can learn to cope. However,” she paused in a cautionary tone, “there is one condition for my services.” “Yes?” “If you agree to not call me Doctor, I promise I won’t call you SubCommander.” “Agreed Doc.. Davis, Amanda, Amanda Davis?” “Amanda will do,” she laughed. “Now off with you until tomorrow - or until you need me in an emergency. And take some scones to Jylliene and Annisha. They love them.”
  9. If Pillows Could Talk (You’d Never Get to Sleep) - (Jylliene/Nijil) [sD 2387.191] Jylliene cradled a cup of tea and gazed out the window of her quarters. Out there, somewhere, was Annisha. And out there, somewhere, she had to hope, she had to believe, was someone working on a way to find her and, if she were indeed in danger, to bring her back safely. She had told Nijil as much, and would continue to do so. But without knowing what exactly was being done, she was unsure that she could say anything that would give him any real assurance. She hoped her trust and her feelings were not misplaced on the matter. If she didn’t really believe it, she’d be just as eager as Nijil to do...something. Anything. Not that there was much they could do. The woman turned her attention from the window to Nijil, who seemed to be napping peacefully for now. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she gazed down at him in thought. He had called her mother. He had called her mother to arrange this visit he hoped to surprise her with. She reached out and stroked the side of his face softly. If Annisha were indeed in danger - and the ship were not merely disabled - and she were returned to the station, what then? Well, there was no question that Nijil would likely jump to offer to take her in. Would they let him? He might be the only one Annisha would trust after this, but Jylliene was unsure if they’d allow a single officer to adopt. They could try to adopt her together, but as an uncommitted pair, that was less likely than Nijil on his own - and rightly so. Besides, what kind of family would they make? She nearly chuckled, but then glanced down at Nijil again. A happy one, she increasingly began to think. Placing the empty cup on the table, she lay back down beside him. Her eyelids drooped, and she drifted back into sleep. “Nijil!” shouted a voice off in the distance. The world started devoid of sights, smells, and touch. With no warning, he found himself in a darkened room, perhaps an alley. A mist hung over the ground extending over his head. The distant lights above glowed an eerie green. It was hot and humid. “I’m coming Annisha! Stay where you are!” Nijil shouted as he ran. The voice seemed just ahead. After fifty meters of running no girl appeared. He stopped and twisted around to see if he missed something. Frantic he called, “Annisha!” A beat in time passed. Her voice wailed, “Nijil!” The sound came from another direction some fifty meters or so away. Nijil ran even faster this time. “Annisha stay there!” The mist made breathing more of a challenge. The faster he ran the more it taxed his lungs. Running further this time only claimed the same result. His body spun around. His eyes darted all around. Annisha was not there. Nijil cried out again, but a voice interrupted. “Nijil, help me!” He asked again. “Where are you? I can’t find you!” “I’m right here,” a little voice said right behind him. He spun around, looking down. “I’m right here, or at least I was Nijil. I asked if I could live with you on the station, but you said you were too busy.” Annisha dematerialized into the fog. “Now I’m gone,” she exclaimed from an unknown distance. “I’ll come find you!” Nijil shouted. “No you will not Centurion tr’Korjata,” said the distinctive voice of Chirakis at the back of his neck. If distance mattered here, he would have jumped out of his skin. He turned to face her, but something seemed wrong with her face. Her pronounced nose ridge and evil glare caught the engineer off guard. He screamed. “Ahhhhh!” he exclaimed, finding himself in a bed with someone holding him. “Nijil?” Jylliene asked. “Are you okay?” “Wha, where am I. Oh, elements...” Nijil soon realized he had been dreaming - or more like having a nightmare. “Bad dream?” “Annisha, I could not find her. It was dimly lit. I told her I would find her, but then our Captain said I would not.” He covered both eyes with his hands. “Sometimes naps are refreshing, sometimes...less so,” Jylliene remarked. “Anything I can do to help you relax...?” she said, quirking an eyebrow at him. Nijil agreed, “Yeah.” Then he realized what she meant. “Ohh yes,” with a sly grin.
  10. A Fine Mess VI: Back from the Rock (Joint log of Jylliene and Nijil) Back again. The Aegean’s mess hall was a welcome sight for Nijil, even with the crowded tables. One thing the Federation and Romulan alliance on this vessel forgot: a properly sized mess hall. Even so it did not matter. The engineer/pilot/doctor of a Rihan simply stared into his cup of warm liquid. He asked at the counter what everyone else got that day and ordered the same. Klingon coffee. Sure, the Romulans had a version of this, even his parents grew it on their massive farm, but this brew must have been laden with bloodwine. He drank. Jylliene pulled up a chair next to Nijil and rubbed his shoulder. “I’m afraid to ask what we’re drinking,” she said, as she gazed in her own cup. Nijil smiled at her touch. “Klingon coffee and my elements it is very strong. I can appreciate why many Federation personnel drink it. Thanks for joining me on short notice. Many debriefings.” She nodded back to him. “Glad to be here with you,” she replied with a gentle smile. He reached out and held her hand as it rested on the table, did not make eye contact and spoke. “It’s too bad they don’t have any kind of method to emotionally debrief. I would not have made a good security officer. I’ve never seen so much death so close.” He drank more and winched a little. Jylliene embraced his shoulders. “I hope we can all find what peace we need when we return to Aegis.” Nijil choked as he thought of something. He squeezed her hand harder. “I hope so. This Mist station can’t be the entirety of the rebel population.” “No, I’m sure it isn’t. But I hope we can at least enjoy a reprieve before we need to deal with any more. Perhaps it will be for others to handle,” she sighed, not quite believing herself that there wouldn’t be further for their own crew to deal with. “Would you like something to eat? I never know when the next debriefing will occur.” He release her hand to tap on his PADD to look for food. He hoped a full stomach would ease his current state. Jylliene nodded. “That would be appreciated.” “I think I have chosen,” he handed the PADD to her. “I don’t know what ‘Shepherd's Pie’ is, but it sounds like something my mother would fix.” He paused a bit to think. “Favorite foods from your childhood?” She pondered that. “I don’t recall anything specific - no, wait. There was a poultry dish that we always had if we had a bad day. I remember we had it fairly often when my mother was trying for tenure for the first time,” she chuckled. Her expression turning serious, she added, “They also had it the night I left for the Academy.” “A bird? The Romulan people hold all birds in high regard and would never consume them. Had I known you participated in this type of animals for food ritual...” Nijil looked shocked. She shrugged. “Many cultures have their own specific lines they draw around what plants and animals are considered in such a way. Some would even say that though a particular animal or plant is considered too sacred for normal consumption, certain rituals would include...” she peered at him quizzically, then rolled her eyes. “You’re trying to be funny,” she chuckled. “And you are not making it easy for me. We ate birds all of the time. It’s the hunting birds we hold dear. I can’t imagine the nei’rrh bird was a species highly regarded until they got their own shuttle.” He looked at her. “So, do they have that dish?” “I think this one is similar,” she said, pointing to a listed casserole. He peered at the PADD, nodding. “You should get that, though I’m not sure this is a particularly special time special occasion foods” He gestured with both hands at the mass of people in the mess hall. “Having you here is special enough. Let me know when you are ready.” “I am - did you want me to get the food so that you can keep our seats secure?” she asked. “Yes, I will stab anyone who attempts to sit in your place.” Jylliene grinned and went to get their food. While she did so, Nijil thought back to the station, partly because of their promise to each other, but also of one item left behind: Annisha. The mission timing could not have been worse. The girl would be gone long before getting back. Her new home is far and no immediate method of contact. Perhaps she composed a letter or funny picture for him. He could see Jylliene returning with their food. Placing the food on the table, Jylliene retook her seat. “Dig in,” she said, indicating the meal before them. “Looks good for replication.” He started into his meal of meat, a starch and a vegetable. He smiled and hoped her meal was fine. He considered her for a moment and stared at her Trill spots. She peered up at him quizzically as she ate. “Something wrong?” “No, not at all...” His mind raced a bit after being caught looking. “Kids?” He coughed. She blinked at him. “Here, now? I would prefer some privacy if we’re going to work on that,” she replied with a grin. “What? No, no. I mean, well. Interest in kids?” Why did he speak? He took more of his meal into his mouth to prevent further outbursts. Did they speak of their respective siblings? He could not remember. “Eventually. And you?” she asked, wondering where his line of thinking had suddenly appeared from, but willing to follow along. “Yes. It’s been on my mind a lot.” His eyes went wide. “With my family mostly gone and watching Annisha. But she’s gone I suppose.” Another bite. He could scare her away with these questions. Jylliene nodded. “She very likely is,” she answered, and quickly took a bite of her own food to try to stifle the sorrow she felt over not seeing the girl off. Or indeed, over not seeing the girl remain with a family on Aegis. Quite a conversation stopper Nijil. He continued to finish his meal. “Well, that is great to hear. I mean not that we are bonded or anything...yet or if, you know. One does not want to be on opposite pages on the issue of children.” He threw a mental punch at himself where on the one hand he wanted kids, but said no to Annisha asking him to adopt her. Smiling affectionately at Nijil, Jylliene just chortled inwardly. She leaned toward him and whispered in his ear...
  11. [sD 2387.180 - joint log, Jylliene and Nijil, a few hours after the events of Turning Rihannsu, Part II] Nijil felt right at home on the Nei’rrh. Given enough time, however, even a home can feel like a prison. The shuttle was dark even at its brightest illumination. His quarters on the Aegean, although small, were a nice change. To his delight, Jylliene had absorbed the language and controls quite well. Reading a manual on how to fly a Romulan shuttle was no substitute for actual flight time, however. Other than the shuttle’s simulator sessions, she would need to rely on her Starfleet training. Nijil needed to not get distracted by his own memories. Eating in the shuttle triggered a strong memory of his mother’s disapproval of his entry into the Galae. Jylliene’s comfort came at the right time. If not for the mission he’d have stayed with her until the next day. Without more preparation this day is all they’d ever get. “This section of the Nei’rrh is the key to this mission and our biggest problem.” Nijil remarked, pointing to the nose of the shuttle on his PADD display. Jylliene watched intently as they sat on the small couch. “So what specifically is the issue with it?” “The radiation it may give off after using it to punch a hole in the shielding of the M-2,” he said with worry. “I just don’t know what we are dealing with here.” She pondered that. “Did science have any ideas what might come of it? Or did you have any ideas about shielding the Nei’rrh or its occupants?” Nijil smiled. “Well, they frankly don’t have as much experience as I with this shuttle. The singularity can be tricky for starters.” He flicked to another image. “My idea is to install a lead-based alloy barrier then seal it with yet another lead substrate of polymer foam.” The engineer seemed proud of his idea. “I believe if I need to run the navigational deflector intensity up to, say, 130% this should block about 95%.” The image zoomed and panned. “Will you be able to compensate for that addition?” “Well, during the firing of this beam sensors will be compromised. Electromagnetic bands surely, and a bit lesser on the subspace bands. The good news is once we light it up we can crank the active scanning systems.” He turned to smile at her. “I have drawn up some sensor profiles, but I need your knowledge to check my figures.” “I’d check your figures anytime,” Jylliene replied with a wink. “Show me the profiles,” she continued, looking over at the PADD. Nijil opened up the files, a simple view that one could dig down further for the gritty details. He got up from the table to get something for them to drink. Truthfully he turned a shade of green. “Coffee or tea?” He asked. “For this? Coffee, I believe,” she replied, as she started to review his work. Nijil got two coffees, as strong as the computer could replicate. He brought the serving tray with two cups, sugar and cream over to their table. The aroma filled the air around the table as if they jumped into a bin of roasted coffee. He inhaled deeply. “Oh...whew. That’s very aromatic,” he said as he sat the plate down. “It is,” she agreed, and took one of the cups, adding some cream, and sipped as she continued. “It all looks reasonably within specs, though I know as much about the Nei’rrh as anyone else but you - that is, next to nothing.” He nodded. “I wanted to show you more, but this mission came up, plus I don’t know how much you cared for these kinds of things. She’s a good little ship, better shape if I do say so then when I first met her. Didn’t even have a name. So, if the numbers are alright choosing the place to strike will be...interesting.” He sipped. “I’d say at their weak spot, but I guess we don’t know where that is yet,” she sighed, taking another sip of her coffee. “Too bad it is not your weak spot,” he quipped. “Corny Engineers?” “Are you making light of my ears? Our kids would have them, I, er mean if we...” He brought the cup to his mouth and drank to stop himself from talking. His eyes focused back to the PADD. Jylliene grinned at him. “So...back to the mission. Was there any information in any of the scans that gave any hint of a good approach to that rock?” “We know they have fine-tuned any cloaked surface features. Probably the first thing the Romulans in the past made sure to hide. My guess would be one, perhaps two small craft sized openings. Those would be the cloak or hologrammed features. I can only guess at how many weapon points are hidden. If the Aegean and Narada hit the rock just right a place for us to hit will become evident.” “We’ll have to hope so. If not, I suppose it’s just pick a place and cross our fingers.” “I want to impress on you something,” he said intently, grabbing both of her hands in his. “Once we light up the beam we will become a giant target in the asteroid field. They will have countermeasures and will react pretty quickly. Not that I doubt your abilities, but if anything is wrong alert me immediately. My people can be very vicious.” He let her go and gave a stare of concern. “I expect no less of anyone defending their base,” she calmly replied. “Shall we run through some flight simulations, perhaps?” He gave her a look. “You wish to go back to the shuttle? I thought it was getting depressing in there.” “Well, a change of scenery was definitely nice. I think we both needed a break. But if I’m going to be flying that thing during this mission, I want us both to feel as confident as we can about my doing so.” The woman paused briefly, then continued, “So I suppose that means going back to the shuttle, yes.” “Only if you desire.” “It’s not a matter of desire, it’s a matter of being prepared. Just like spending every moment I had reviewing the layout of Aegis as we were inbound to retake the station. This is what I think I need to do.” “Well, then. How would you like to travel?” She peered at Nijil quizzically. “...I’m sorry?” “Allow me.” Nijil tapped his comm badge. “Nei’rrh, moraere.” Before she translated his command in her head they both disappeared in a swirling green transporter beam. Then instantly, for them, they reappeared at the shuttle’s transporter pad. “Needed to test it anyhow.” Jylliene grinned, and sat down at the helm. With a deep breath, she ran her hands down the controls and said, “Let’s get started, then.” ----------- “That was very good for your first simulation run. At least they never found out who crashed into one of their asteroids.” A few hours of simulations tired both of them. Nijil teased her all the way back to his quarters. “Come on, I’m only joking.” Jylliene rolled her eyes. “You’re fortunate I’m your guest, or I’d throw you onto the floor and out of the bed for the night,” she grumbled. “At least by the end things were a fair bit smoother.” He bellowed out a laugh. “Throw me on the floor? I must be tired as well.” “You think they don’t teach us hand-to-hand in the academy, e’lev?” she replied with a smirk. “Oh I bet they do,” he said, grinning ear to pointy ear. “As you can imagine, we have several classes in daggers. They aren’t just for ceremony.” Grumbling, Jylliene entered the quarters and prepared for sleep. Nijil let her get ready first. “I’ll be a minute, are you alright?” “Mhm,” she murmured in response, as she collapsed onto the bed. Exhausted too, Nijil slipped in as best he could without waking her. Minutes later he was fast asleep. ---------- Jylliene sat bolt upright. That was..what, the third dream ending with them crashing spectacularly into the asteroid? She sighed and glanced over at the sleeping figure next to her. Kissing him lightly on the cheek, she got up and threw her uniform back on. After quietly requesting coffee from the replicator, she tapped her comm badge. “Nei’rrh, moraere.” With a shimmer, she appeared on the shuttle, and sat down at the controls to begin another simulation.
  12. [Joint log, Jylliene and Nijil - after sim of SD 2387.180] Jylliene sat at the controls of the Nei’rrh. She ran through the commands again, reading the controls aloud to Nijil, with their translations. Glancing over at him, she waited for confirmation or correction. “You are correct,” Nijil said with a slight grin. If this had been anyone else the gesture would be a bit out of place. She exhaled. “That’s a relief. Now what, rekkhai?” “So the controls are readable. How are your response times? What if I do this?” The engineer completely changed the control locations. He waited for her reaction. She took a deep breath and ran through them again. “Though perhaps, if I could make a suggestion," she added, when she was finished, "call out the commands and I’ll indicate the control? I’ll need to be able to react immediately.” He considered her request for a moment. “I can simply use Federation standard. No need to complicate things further. Getting the controls is important though - unless your interest spans beyond this mission.” Jylliene pondered that. “Let me make sure I have it down from Standard - but I’d like to practice Rihan as well,” she responded, with a glance at him. Nijil put the console into simulator mode. “Daom Itheil idh!” he exclaimed with some measure of urgency. Her hand flew to the control, activating left thrusters on full. “Ie!” She grinned. “Hann’yyo. Onre?” Nodding, he continued, “Hnahn aeh’lla!” Jylliene activated the cloak. They kept at this for some time. What she hesitated on, Nijil repeated later, and she improved. The only one she missed entirely, they repeated several times immediately, and then later. “Siu?” she eventually asked. He pulled up his PADD and answered, “A few minutes past 13:00 ship time; does not feel like it, though.” She nodded. “How long do you want to continue?” “I’m even tired of Rihan,” Nijil said while laughing. “I didn’t know that was possible,” Jylliene replied with a grin. “We have been at this for...what, four hours or so now? I *am* getting hungry.” The teacher agreed. “How about something from the shuttle replicator? Strange as it sounds this...thing reminds me of home. Can’t imagine it does for you.” He looked out the cockpit window to a gray wall at the other end of the cargo bay. The gray and green seemed to clash somehow. The longer Nijil remained in Federation facilities, the more distant Romulus became. “That sounds good. I should try to get comfortable here on the Nei’rrh.” “Good,” Nijil replied, relieved. “Let’s go to the table in the back. A little more suitable.” Jylliene nodded and followed Nijil. “Will you have to be transformed into a Rihan for this mission, or did they decide?” His curiosity was genuine. “Not that I’ve been told. I’m on loan for operating the shuttle, not so that you have yet another non-Rihan “Rihannsu” to worry about on the station.” “Is there an option to buy? You could be my slave.” He joked, only partially teasing; another part dipped in reality. She glanced at him and rolled her eyes. “You wish. What’s on the menu here?” He tapped on the console of the replicator, honestly uncertain of what the vessel offered in the way of food. “A wide selection of dinners, soups and drinks. No Romulan Ale, sadly.” “Probably good that it doesn’t,” she interjected. “I’ll take whatever you have, unless you’re getting soup. I’m a bit hungrier than that.” So was Nijil, and for other things. He perused the menu items for something she’d like as well. If they did indeed take what they had farther, he’d want her to experience what he remembered. Not the current Romulus, now a giant wasteland. The air in the shuttle felt chilled. Of course, he recalled. Earlier he had to take the life support system offline in order to implement the changes. “I think I have something you should like. Are you cold by chance?” “It’s a bit cool in here, yes." One plate of hot food materialized in the replicator. Nijil grabbed the edges carefully and placed it on the table. Then he got his own plate and sat it down. Instead of sitting, he went out of view for a moment. He came back with a blanket of some unknown material and placed it around Jylliene. “There you go, now let me get some tea.” Back to the replicator he went to order his favorite hot tea. Jylliene started to eat. The food was indeed good, and the blanket, nice; she hadn’t really noticed how cool it was in the shuttle while they were training. Now, however, she did. The tea was excellent. She did feel comfortable in here with him, though now more than any other time on the Aegean or on Aegis, she felt like she was in his realm. Nijil dug into his food as well. Some of the tastes he remembered, some not. Even with the hot tea goosebumps could be seen on his arms. Only one blanket was in that compartment - something he’d have to change later. For a moment, he merely stared at his plate as a memory crossed his mind. Nijil suddenly recited, “Don’t you go off to the Galae, Nijil, like your brother. You should stay here and help us on this farm. Business is looking up. You’d do well here. Your brother is chasing a dream and he does not need to bring you along. Now eat your greens, we’ll be getting up early tomorrow.” Jylliene looked at Nijil. “E’lev? Are you okay?” “She didn’t want me to join. Afraid I’d die out here, away from the comforts of home and Romulus.” His eyes started to water. “My brother had already gotten his commission.” She stood up, moved her plate and tea over to sit next to him, and spread out the blanket to wrap over them both. Putting her arm around him, she kissed his forehead. He took the blanket and leaned on her shoulder. “I guess this time she was wrong, even if her heart was in the right place. I really hated her for saying that, but I’d give anything to see them now. I don’t even know if I’m an uncle.” He let out a long sigh. “You are all I have and maybe that little girl back at the station. My apologies.” “No, no you don’t - no apologies for this. I’m here for you.” Nijl, in this for him fragile state, only nodded. “I believe you have the language part down. Do you have a background in linguistics?” He wiped something from his eye. “My mother studied linguistics. I learned a little of several languages. Mostly long dead ones, but root languages of others. It’s not that I knew any Romulan before coming to Aegis - but I’ve learned how to learn languages, if that makes sense? If you learn enough, you’re likely to find one that you already know that has a similar structure that you can plug the new one into." She considered this for a moment and the added, "Don't be too impressed, though. Matching commands to controls is just a matter of vocabulary. Save the compliments for when I'm able to carry on a conversation." “Sort of like understanding foreign ship systems,” he quipped while tilting his head back and forth. “I think I understand.” He then asked, his head still resting on her shoulder, “What element are you?” “Hm? What do you mean?” she replied, stroking the side of his face. “Rihans believe each of us are forged from one of four elements: Air, Ground, Fire, and Water - Jaeih, Avilh, Okhala, and Ihhuein.” He drew each elemental symbol in her hand as he spoke. “I think you can guess my parents.” “Ground - Avilh?” “Yeah. Brother was air. Sister, fire. And I... I was water.” She drew the symbol for water with her fingertip against his chest, over his heart. “I think I can understand that. What would you think I am?” “I don’t believe Fire. At least I don’t think so,” he said, grinning. “You don’t share many traits with my parents, so Ground is not likely. That leaves only Water or Air. I’d hope for a Water, but would gladly take an Air.” He looked up at her and laughed. “I guess it’s all a bit silly once you think of it.” Jylliene chuckled. “Maybe, though recognition of one’s temperament is hardly useless." She pondered that. “I fled everything that was settled and expected of me, and yet, I’m happy here in the security of the rules and directives of Starfleet and the captain - I don’t know that an Air could say that, do you think?” She pondered. “Probably Water - but I suppose perhaps we’ll find out more when we get back to Aegis..?” she added, with a grin. Nijil looked into her eyes and smiled.
  13. [The evening/night after the (so far, what seems to be) temporary return of the Nei’rrh – SD 2387.179. Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene] Jylliene walked down the corridor toward Nijil’s quarters. She was pleased that she’d be able to see him again. Well, and not pleased, at the same time. She thought that the next time she’d see him, the mission would be complete - at least, the part that involved the most direct, immediate danger to them separately - and that she’d be able to relax. Instead, the risk is still before them. They’ll need to grapple with their decision again. They’ll need to say goodbye again. She entered the code and walked through the door. Nijil was lying down, with something over his eyes and ears. Running simulations? Reviewing feeds from the Nei’rrh? Jylliene pondered. She considered interrupting, and walked over to him, slowly, quietly, considering her possible tactics. Nijil remained motionless with his hands across his stomach. He also changed into something far more casual than his uniform. His chest moved up and down, slowly, so he was alive at least. The room seemed less lit than normal, but the engineer always kept things overly dark, only using spot lighting when needed. Jylliene crept up beside him, knelt down beside him, and softly kissed his cheek. A smile emerged over his face, then a laugh. Soon he was back to his dream state. Whatever covered his eyes and ears kept his attention. “A challenge..?” the woman intoned softly. “I think I’m up for that.” She grinned slowly. She eyed the man’s sides and then tickled him. It occurred to her that she actually had no idea if he WAS ticklish, though. Nijil of course heard none of this. The light touch of her lips on his cheek piqued his senses, but the bombardment of pink noise and light kept his body very relaxed. The adrenaline of flying would have kept him up all hours. Months had passed since he last flew. This was his first real mission with a vessel more than a light shuttle. The strange headphone/eyewear combination appeared to be working. He took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. Seeing that he was apparently fairly deeply into the relaxed state he seemed to be in, Jylliene stopped - and instead, she stretched out beside him on the bed, and snuggled against him. Whether he’d respond or not didn’t matter - she suddenly felt greatly comforted simply being with him. The machine started to wind down its magic and bring the young engineer out of his deep relaxation. The lights kept blinking, so nothing looked different from the outside. The pink noise drew down in volume. His vision through the glasses returned to black. In moments Nijil rejoined the universe in a silent dark void. Something seemed different this time. A warmth at one side. He started to move his hand from his colder side toward the warmth. His other arm seemed pinned down, but all at once and in one quick motion he brought his hand together and attempted to retaliate with a tickle of his own. Jylliene squirmed and laughed. “You’re awake?” “I am now. This thing knew someone was around and roused me, albeit slowly.” He returned the kiss and flopped back down on his side of the one-person bed. “Sorry we did not blow the M-2, but it is good to be back.” ‘Even if just for a while,” she replied. “But ie. It’s very nice to have you back at least for tonight, e’lev. “So, how was the Aegean? Not waiting for an explosion of the Nei’rrh on the side of a rock I hope.” “Na. We were simply continuing to gather information from the feeds from the Narada and the probe. I think you gave the SubCommander an idea when you broke our link to get our attention, but I don’t know that it will work out.” Nijil looked surprised. “Oh, I gave him an idea? That’s a first. My other plan was to tap the Aegean, but I did not want hull repair duty after I got back.” “That’s assuming you’d survive to take that duty on,” Jylliene replied, and winced. “I think what you did was the better idea.” “I’ll have to thank myself,” he turned and smiled. “You seem a little tired,” he said raising a brow. “Turn around and face away from me, please.” Jylliene turned over. “Just what do you have in mind?” “Nothing sultry (?) or anything.” He began applying pressure to points on her back. One thing he did not know was if Trills were arranged the same as Romulans, but it would not hurt to try. Both on their sides also not the best position for this, but both were tired as well. “I’m tempted to say that’s a pity, but this is very nice,” she said, exhaling into a relaxed sigh. “Let me know if any of this hurts too much. Some of it will,” he smiled unseen. “Would have been nice to have you onboard, but probably not a good idea. I don’t mean you are not qualified. You had no ears.” He indicated her lack of ears by drawing two fingers along her ear and extending the touch to where the Romulan point would be. The Trill chuckled. “I think we’re all better off leaving that to those who come by them naturally, and have the accent and mastery of the language to match - instead of trying to make me into a Romulan.” “Pity,” Nijil replied in the same tone she said from before. “This is hard, the waiting, isn’t it?” Jylliene sighed, and replied softly. “It is. I was hoping the next time I’d see you would be on our way back to Aegis, and we’d be looking at only a day or two before...being home. But regardless of any of that, I’m very glad to have you here.” Nijil stopped the pressing into her back and gave her a caress. “I have an idea, but I’m not very good at it. Get up.” He released her and started to get up on his side of the narrow bed. Jylliene stood up, wondering what he had in mind, watching him. He moved into the center of the room and urged her to do the same. “Computer, music, um... human music, ah, something to dance to.” The computer chirped and began a song. Some lively music started. “We’re no strangers to love, You know the rules and so do I...” Nijil spoke quickly, “Next!” Another beat. “Young man, there’s no need to feel down...” Jylliene, this time. “Next.” Nijil shrugged. Humans had more eclectic music than he thought. Another song started. “You can’t see it, it’s electric! You gotta feel it, It’s electric...” “Um, computer, next.” A rather different sound this time. “It’s astounding...Time is fleeting...Madness takes its toll...” “Next, please, computer. Something softer, perhaps?” Jylliene ventured. The computer let out an extra chirp and a new beep as if tired of looking. A big band sound started. “Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me...” As the music started Nijil held out both hands. “I’ve only watched this a couple of times.” Jylliene took his hands. “That’s more than I probably have. Do lead on.” He placed one hand on her waist and held her hand with the other. As the unknown song played he tried his best to formulate a slight sense of rhythm or at the very least keep her close. The whole time he kept his eyes on her. Elements he must look a bit foolish. He had no idea what his legs were doing. This is not exactly the kind of song he wanted, but perhaps the next one. The music went on, “If I could fly like birds on high...” She felt a bit awkward, but focused instead on feeling his presence. As in the arboretum, Jylliene tried simply to remember this, to have this memory to keep. It was a good song, whatever the title, but another slow song started. Nijil would later learn it was La Vie En Rose, which did not seem to be in Federation standard. Even still, the universal translator seemed to have trouble with this one. He looked directly into Jylliene’s eyes and made a slight nod. He pulled her close and rested his head beside hers. He laid both hands on her waist and hoped she put her hands in the proper spot. He closed his eyes and started what he hoped was a slow dance. Jylliene had no idea where one’s hands WERE supposed to go, but they seemed to work around his waist. The song was pretty. There was something soothing about the language. Before the song ended he whispered something in the old tongue she’d not understand. His little friend back on the station, if she was still there, would. Maybe Jylliene would later understand it, but he meant every word. After the song finished he had the computer cease playing. He tilted his head toward the bed. “Another big day tomorrow. Let’s get to bed.” She wanted to ask him what he had whispered, but instead just kept them in her mind. Nodding, Jylliene changed and prepared for bed, climbing into what had become her side, and sat up to wait for Nijil, lying down when he was ready. He wasted no time crawling into bed and holding her once more. As they lay in silence he could hear her breathing and heartbeat. “Khnai'ru rhissiuy,” he said to her softly. “Au are more than I deserve.” As he inhaled he held her even closer. “E’lev,” she whispered back to him. “I hope I can live up to that.” Jylliene felt his hold on her loosen as his breathing slowed into peaceful sleep. She closed her eyes. They would have to say goodbye again, yes. But this was worth it. He was worth it.
  14. (Joint log – well, short log. Branch? Joint branch? Loggette? Twig? Joint Twig? – Jylliene and Nijil) [sD 2387.178, immediately following Nobody’s Fool] Jylliene woke with a start and sat bolt upright. She looked around for a moment, disoriented, then noticed Nijil blinking sleepily up at her. “What do you think of Dr. Davis?” she asked. Nijil stared at her in puzzled bewilderment. “Forget I said anything. Night, e’lev,” Jylliene responded to his questioning look. She lay back down, and fell asleep. Still confused, Nijil quipped, “What did she tell you, e’lev? Jylliene?” The only answer was the sound of peaceful breathing.
  15. [Joint log, Nijil and Jylliene] SD 2387.178, evening. At the table, Jylliene sat eating dinner. Nijil should be back anytime; she heard that he was inbound from the trial run of the shuttle. She had a plate ready for him as well. She had dressed up a bit, and was glad she had thought to take one of her dresses. If this was to be the last night before he took the shuttle out for the mission, then, she wanted this night to be at least a bit special. Usually, Nijil would insist on checking out the shuttle after a run, but not this time. The mission called for this level of attention, but something, or someone else did too. Leaving the shuttle checks to others he rushed back to his quarters. A ship this size meant getting there in only a few moments. After only those moments he stood at his door, nearly walked right in, but thought otherwise. The chime rang. Jylliene looked up, and replied, “Enter.” “Are you decent?” Nijil asked with a grin, happy to be back. He looked for her. Laughing quietly, she replied. “As tempting as it would have been, I think it would have been disastrous for our agreement not to be. Dinner,” she said, gesturing to the table. Flight weary, the engineer gleamed. “Is that the ship special I see?” He walked over to the empty seat and sat. “I ran back as fast as I could.” “Of course,” she said, grinning. “Oh, it looks delicious. I’ve only had one ‘nutrition’ bar all day.” He looked up, matching her grin. “I’m still wired from my flight. On edge on the bridge today?” “Oddly calm. I think everyone coming to terms with things...plans and such. Somber.” Picking up his knife and fork, he replied, “No anticipation of an explosion as I drive the shuttle into the side of an asteroid? Not even close today. Felt great being out there.” Jylliene could definitely see the glow to him. “Flying seems to agree with you. I’ve not seen you this happy in a while.” “You,” pointing a fork at her, “Don’t know half of it and don’t get me started on the thrill of low altitude atmospheric flight. Clears the mind. I’ll have to take you out sometime. Unless you are afraid of heights plus speed,” he remarked with a slight evil smirk. She chuckled. “I’d love to go on out sometime.” “You’d love it.” Nijil drank a good helping from his glass. “Mmmm, this is good, what is it?” “A tea infused with a light mead. Had to bring it in from Aegis. One of the barkeeps acquired it for me.” Jylliene grinned. “It IS good,” she added, and ate a bit more of her meal. “This makes the special a bit more, special. Though I’m surprised this is not synthohol, given the mission.” He too ate. “It’s a very light wine. Low content. Far less than the ale, especially once you mix it with tea as well.” She continued eating. “Do you think you’re prepared for tomorrow, then?” “I think me and the ship are ready to go. I mean look at me.” Nijil beamed even more. “What could be better. Fit for a dangerous mission with a shuttle I’m quite familiar with, my e’lev here in front of me and another waiting for me back on the station. “...I..I’m sorry, I must have misheard. Say that last part again..?” Jylliene looked confused. “My e’lev here...?” He took another bite. “No, the part about back on the station. Unless I utterly misheard you.” Jylliene was peering at him quizzically. “Oh, you mean another waiting for me? Well, I hope she’s waiting for me. We hit it off so well I just...you know perhaps she’s bonded, but it sure didn’t seem so.” He grinned and took another drink. “Is this..the norm for Rihannsu relationships?” Jylliene’s stomach was clenching into a knot. “Well, it’s not mainstream, but far from abnormal.” Nijil finished his bite. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” “..desperate?” She poured more of the drink, and gulped half the cup down. “The Breen dealt us a severe blow. Families gone. Lineages broken. Family is very important to us. In truth this is a main tenant of our culture. This disaster has set our people back for generations. I can’t imagine having my family line snuffed out before its time.” Jylliene finished the other half. “So..I am a ‘desperate measure,’ who is intended to be one of several?” She set the cup down on the table rather firmly. And loudly. “More like highly desired. You know I love you as much as anyone. That will never change. I hope the good Doctor feels the same about me.” “Just a question - wait, Doctor? Doctor Davis, you mean?” Jylliene’s mind reeled. “I fell for or over her in the Arboretum a while back. Whatever they taught her at the Federation medical school worked wonders for me.” He took another drink. “She could get me to talk about anything. Spoke of my family at great length. She was quite the interrogator, by any standard.” “Arboretum seeems to be a good place for you,” Jylliene replied, wincing as she thought of what she had previously imagined had been a special location for the two of them, now apparently just another good place to take his women. “Jussst one question,” she added, downing half of the fresh glass of the infusion she had just poured for herself. “Yes my dear?” “If this whole thing is so deshperate, why the agreement about returning to Aegis? I’d think you’d not want to rishk your lineage dying out on the mission,” she paused, then added, her stomach adding a new knot to its collection, “...or did you alrrrready begin working on that with others...?” “Oh no, nothing like that yet. Our time should be special. Just as my time with her would be. And if I can get over my fear of telepaths, well, who knows. Yes, I should have thought about this before heading out on this mission, but an agreement is an agreement. However, if we agree to ignore our arrangement.” Nijil’s wandering eyes matched his sly smile. “As it is, I have the perfect sholution for you, then,” Jylliene replied cheerily. Pausing, she she stood up, grabbed a padd, and made a few quick entries. “Read thish...thish...is where my quarters were. I’ve got the code here. Let’sh see if the little yogaurt enthushiasts would be happy to shtart your little collection off.” Flinging him the padd, she grabbed the back of his tunic, yanked him out of his chair, and, calling for the door to open, threw him through it. “Off on your misssshion, flyboy! Good luck!” she called out as the door closed. “Out with the basht..bas..guy,” she added in a mutter as she walked back to the table, grabbed the bottle of mead, and took a swig. “Let’sh see...three for three with the men,” she grumbled to nobody. She collapsed across the bed, then added, “Maaaaybe whatshername is shingle. I’ll hafta assshker...” as her eyes closed in sleep.
  16. (or, Not The Log You’re Looking For) [Joint log, Jylliene and Nijil] Jylliene returned from her shift to the quarters she was sharing. She was looking forward to getting to know her roommates a bit; it almost felt like the Academy again. Both were junior grade Lieutenants, just as she was. The Elasian, Miraen, was in science, and the Human, Leanne, was in engineering. They had taken their meal back to their quarters, and enjoyed talking about their roles on the station. Leanne was typically gamma shift, and Miraen, beta - so although they likely would have crossed paths numerous times, their shifts meant that they hadn’t worked together before. Jylliene, of course, had seen their names on manifests, but that was the extent of it. Miraen and Leanne did know each other, though. A little too well for Jylliene’s comfort, as it turned out, as she awoke that night and became aware that the two were *not* sleeping. ---------------------- In the corridor, her bag over her shoulder and her pillow and blanket under her other arm, Jylliene juggled a padd and looked up the quarters assignment for Nijil. Yes, it did look like he had a room to himself. Privileges of rank, she thought, as she walked to the correct deck, and down the hall to his door. She rang the chime and looked down. Trill equines again. Oh well. Right now, she just wanted sleep. The sound of someone singing stopped at the sound of the chimes. Nijil had not expected anyone at his quarters this hour. Must be some engineer trying to adjust the engines in ways they didn’t understand. Too embarrassed to call over the comm system no doubt. “I told you once before not to touch the eng... oh, um...Jylliene?” His mood wind-down mood came to a halt. The family dagger lay blade down in his right hand. “Is something wrong? I thought you were asleep.” “I am apparently rooming with limber liplocked lovers. Also, I need to take up yoga. I’ve never been anywhere near as flexible as they are. But not right this moment. Sleep. Can I use a corner of your quarters, please? Or if not, do you have any of that ale with you, so I can go back, drink myself to sleep and ignore them?” “Elements, get in here.” He moved her in quickly and poked his head outside, and looked both ways. “You will not use a corner of my quarters to sleep nor will you drink any of my ale. Do you think I could sneak any of that onboard under Jorahl’s nose?” Nijil made his way to the bathroom sat down the dagger then got something out of the sink. The sound of ice in water. He held up a fresh bottle. “This is not as good as the one I gave you earlier. And about where you will sleep...” he stopped talking, he could see she meant to get more words out. She was about to protest, but stopped. “Go on. But if you mean to give me your bed and take the floor yourself, you’ll find yourself in an argument. These are your quarters, and a patch of floor in here is more than generous enough for me.” Nijil growled and smiled at the same time. “Very well, e’lev, perhaps I’ll have a sip of this and not share.” He went to grab one, or perhaps two small glasses. “Let’s not be hasty, then. Go ahead, say your piece, whatever it is,” she replied with a half-grin. “I would not dare turn you away. I’d give you the bed and you know that.” He looked at her directly. She’d already taken his mind off of Annisha’s unexpected outburst. He held both glasses in one hand and poured some ale in the other. He offered a glass to her. Jylliene accepted the glass and took a small sip. “Nijil, you have to fly a massive so-called-shuttle that barely fits through the cargo bay doors. I have no idea how you managed to get that behemoth IN, but I know you’ll also need to be rested and alert to get it back OUT without wrecking it and the Aegean. And the floor isn’t going to do that. I have ops. I man ops at Aegis every day. I need sleep too, yes, but believe me, I’ll be able to do that fine in here on the floor versus back in my room listening to those two,” she sighed, “and wanting you while they’re...” she waved her free hand, and took another sip - this one a bit larger - looking away from him. “Why...what were they doing? Wait, I don’t want to know.” Or do I? he thought. The bed had been calling his name and he sat at the corner. His hair lost its straightness and his mind too. Another sip. “I told you. Lovers. And not much trying to hide it, though I suppose they didn’t expect me to wake up while they were so occupied.” “Or while someone was in the middle of his favorite music.” His smiled extended. Jylliene gave him a very confused look, then looked at her glass, then back at him. “...wait, what?” Nijil shook his head. “I was singing. I know, when was the last time you had the notion of a Rihan singing?” “Depends, are we talking about battle songs, or some kind of romantic ballad? The first, I could easily see. The second, admittedly, not as easily. But even Klingons have their opera.” “It’s a song about betrayal from a long-time love. I don’t know if it’s translatable, yet. Not the best song to take one’s mind off of a little crying girl.” “Annisha.” She winced. “Poor thing.” “Yes. There’s a good chance I’ll not see her before she’s gone off to A’tari IV.” Nijil closed his eyes a moment. “I hope we make it back in time to see her. She said there’s still a fair bit of red tape tying things up, and that it was likely to take some time before she’d actually leave. We had a nice conversation last night. Which reminds me, you might want to change your security code. She was jumping on the bed chanting it.” “She’s very observant and has great recall.” Jylliene nodded. “That’s quite clear.” Nijil’s attention drifted to his talk with Annisha before leaving. She didn’t understand what was happening. No indication of a second thought about being adopted, but she’d expected her hero to see her off to her new home. He fell into a brief silence. A glance back at Jylliene’s dark green eyes pulled him back to now. “Elements, I must be tired. Earlier did you say ‘wanting me?’” She took a larger drink of the ale. “I think I recall saying that, yes,” Jylliene replied, quietly. She had wanted to tell him before they left Aegis, but couldn’t make the words come out. This time, she couldn’t stop them. “H'tah-fvienn...” Not so much a command, more of a request. Jylliene put her glass down and took the few steps forward toward him, her eyes lowered, then finally looked up. Nijil in turn stood up and approached. He pulled her close and held her tightly. No words. In time he broke the silence. “I think we both know what the other wants, but this is neither the time nor the place.” He led her to the bed. “No one sleeps on the floor. We both use the bed the way it’s intended, for restful sleep. It’s been a rough time for both of us.” Now they were at the blanket’s edge. After nodding, Jylliene replied, “Just one question. If - When we get back to Aegis...what then?” Nijil bent over and softly whispered...
  17. (Joint log, Jylliene and Annisha [Nijil] - SD 2387.174, night) Stepping out of the shower, Jylliene wrapped a towel around herself. It felt strange to be getting ready for bed after already having slept much of the day away - that ale had quite a kick - but she did want to try to keep to her normal sleep schedule. She walked to her wardrobe and looked through her pajamas. Reaching for a cozy pair, she stopped, her eyes falling on a recent purchase, and instead selected her new red silk nightgown and matching robe. She had purchased it with other things in mind, admittedly - but she wasn’t going to pass it up for a restful night. A little luxury before the mission. She stretched out on the couch, a fresh cup of tea - ginger and jasmine - cradled in her hands. “Computer - music, Jylliene ambient three.” The sounds of Trill flute and Vulcan harp blended in a light, soothing harmony that Jylliene found utterly relaxing. Up and down the corridors, crew members were abuzz with activity, packing and making ready to move to the Aegean or the Narada as per the crew assignments SubCommander Jorahl had given her the previous day to send out. Indeed, Jylliene was already packed as well, her bag in the corner, near the door. She was unwinding now - grabbing a night of tranquility before who knows what, assuming she was indeed still to be on the Aegean. She hadn’t heard otherwise yet. The door chime rang. Nijil? Or someone with a change in her assignment? “Come in.” A little Rihan girl stood at the doorway. Brown eyes framed by straight black hair looked up at the Trill. “Hello? Is this Nijil’s quarters?” Jylliene smiled warmly at her. “No, he’s down the corridor. Would you like me to take you to his door?” “I tried others doors and he wasn’t there either, guess he’s a busy man,” Annisha continued. Without a prompt she walked in, found the closest chair, and plopped herself down on it. “I’m Annisha.” “I’m Jylliene. Let me find out where he is for you, sweetheart.” She tapped the panel on the table. +Nijil+ “Jylliene to Nijil. Annisha is looking for you.” The female voice of the computer answered, “Sub-Centurion tr’Korjata is not onboard the station.” Jylliene pondered this. “Odd, it should have gone to his personal communicator if he wasn’t on board.” She looked over at Annisha. “Is there anything I can do for you?” “Where did he go Jyllie?” “I’m not quite sure - I imagine he may be working on one of the docked ships. That might put him out of range of the communicator.” Perhaps he’s moving that shuttle, she thought to herself - she imagined that if it were cloaked, they might get that response. “He told me he fixes things, but you do not. What do you do?” She flexed her legs in the chair she sat in. Her eyes looked all around. “I’m one of the operations officers. I monitor incoming and outgoing ships, communications, who is working where, and so on.” She paused. “Would you like something to eat or drink?” “Oh, do you have anything sweet, but not that tea?” Annisha looked excited at the prospect of not having dried leaves shoved in a cup. “Of course. Hmmm...” Jylliene scanned through a suggestions list on the display of the replicator. “Hot chocolate?” She glanced at Annisha. “Have you had that before?” She turned her nose slightly. “Tea is hot too. Sounds bitter.” “Hm. Ice cream soda?” “Ice dream soda! I’ve heard of that. No...what is it?” Jylliene pulled up the description. “Let’s see...ice cream, mixed with seltzer water, with any desired flavors - strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla are the most traditional - topped with whipped cream.” Annisha got out of her chair now. “That one. Ie, ie.” The translator had trouble with her last excited phrases. Jylliene grinned. “Which flavor?” “Choocoolatte.” “Chocolate it is.” The woman gave the commands to the replicator, which produced the drink. Jylliene took it over to Annisha and handed it to her. “Enjoy,” she said, smiling. Not knowing exactly what to expect from this drink, she took a big suck through the straw. Her face turned a different shade. “It hurts...ewww. It’s tasty though.” She kept on with the drink. “Did you hear? Someone’s taking me in! They said it could take a while. Something about tape.” “Nijil mentioned it, yes. He said you were very excited,” Jylliene replied with a smile. She felt a pang of sadness, though - somewhere in the back of her mind, she had briefly pictured the girl as being adopted by Nijil - and perhaps being hers as well one day. “I’m very glad to hear it.” “The dad seemed very quiet, stood back talking to other grownups. My mom talked all about the Tari planet. The farms, trees and open air. Lots of kids.” She studied her drink with genuine curiosity. The sound of slurping could be heard from the bottom of the glass. Jylliene nodded. “I looked up the planet on my console. It sounds like a wonderful place. I’m sure it will be nice to be able to play outside and to have a home again.” She remembered the evening in the arboretum. It WAS nice to be around trees and flowers. You could almost forget you were on a station. She liked the station, but there was something calming about natural surroundings. Annisha’s eyes widened as she remembered something. “Can you give this to Nijl? I stole back the knife from the medical place so he’d have something to remember me by.” She presented the knife once embedded in Nijil’s back. It had a makeshift bow on it. Jylliene stifled a laugh. “I’m sure he’ll be very happy you thought of him.” She accepted the knife and laid it on her table. “I’ll give it to him as soon as I see him. He still has the picture you drew for him hanging up in his quarters.” She grinned at the girl - and wondered how she managed swiping it. She’d tell Dabi just to see his reaction, if she weren’t afraid of getting Annisha in trouble with him. She smiled a big smile and let out a burp. “What? Ow. That hurt.” She put the empty glass on the table then bolted for the bed. “Wheee!” she cried and plopped on the blanket. Jylliene laughed. “Is there anyone who will be looking for you tonight? Will you be expected back anywhere? I should tell them where you are so that they don’t worry.” “They don’t know I’m gone. Two pillows and a ball are sleeping in my bed,” she replied, jumping up and down. The woman was actually beginning to get a little worried about whomever was directly overseeing the children. “You are certainly a very resourceful young lady,” she said, watching the girl. “Adults keep on telling me I’m too much a smarty. I like to watch people. I watched Nijil open a door once. One seven three three two. One seven three three two.” Jumping and jumping she went. Higher and higher, until she landed on her back on the safety of the bed. “You’d be a perfect engineer - or perhaps security officer - with those observational skills of yours.” Smiling, she replied, “I’d like to be a thought-stealer, like that one lady.” Jylliene thought about that. A thought-stealer? “The one with the little device on the side of her head? Or was it one of the people in medical?” “I never got her name. She doesn’t speak with her mouth. It’s weird.” Jylliene nodded. “Commander Ramson. I’ve had the privilege of serving under her on a ship a couple of times.” The girl appeared a bit shocked. “She knew I thought she was weird.” The Trill grinned. “Well, I don’t think that’d necessarily be an unusual thought for someone to have, if they haven’t met a Minaran before. I’m sure she wasn’t offended. She’s always been very nice when I’ve spoken with her.” “I,” she yawned. “Sure she did.” Annisha remained sprawled across the bed. “Do you need me to get you back so that the pillows and ball aren’t found in the morning?” Jylliene asked. “I don’t want to get you in trouble with security.” “What pillows? Oh, the me pillows. That’d be nice. Oh.” Annisha nearly hurt herself yawning once more. Her eyelids were harder for her to keep open. Her movements slowed to nil. “Nijil said...” Looking at the sleeping girl, the woman added in a whisper, “Or you can stay here, and I’ll take you back in the morning. Your choice - which I think you’ve already made.” She stood up, and pulled a blanket over Annisha, then sat back down at her console and sent a quick message to security. “If those in charge of the orphans realize they’re missing one - Annisha showed up here and is asleep in my quarters. I will see her safely back in the morning. -Lieutenant Jylliene Kital” Jylliene got another cup of tea and reclined on her couch. There was something that felt decidedly right about the girl being there. She hoped that her adoptive family felt similarly.
  18. [sD 2387.173] The warmth of the night air reminded Nijil of nights on Romulus. The lights were carefully controlled to be just this time somewhere on Trill’s temperate regions. The computer had all of the answers, since other than the planet name, he knew little of Trill. Any city names she threw out held no meaning. He did not mind. Now, had she been Andorian, none of this would have worked. The thought of those temperatures reminded him of the Breen. The engineer minutes before had drug a large case of items with him for this occasion. “The transporter,” he thought to himself. Lugging around that large case must have made him the laugh of the evening. Anyhow, the largest item in the case was a very nice blanket. Supposedly it was woven by a Bajoran Vedik some years ago, but the Ferengi who sold it guaranteed its origin. Soft at least, he lied on it for a few minutes and nearly drifted off to sleep. Lucky for him some mental process jerked him back. “She’ll be here soon,” he said aloud to an empty room. He settled minutes ago at a clearing close to the large willow tree. With the blanket laid flat he started to unload the rest of the case. The items had scattered along the inside due to his bumping as he carried. Nothing appeared broken. One by one he laid the contents along the outer edge of the blanket. He got a fire going. Well, not a real one. The gardener would have never let him in again if a flammable heater burned down the entire garden. The heater took no time to warm. He continued preparing for her arrival. At the entrance to the arboretum the gardener quietly told passersby the place would be closed for the evening. No woman matching the Romulan’s description had yet passed by. “Maintenance tonight, the Arboretum is closed. Come again tomorrow,” he said. Over and over, at least half a dozen times. In a break he looked both ways down the long hall stretching from the entrance. He shook his head. Perhaps that young man’s friend would not show. Still, a deal’s a deal, and the garden would be getting a new Romulan section. He waited for others to ask if it was closed. Jylliene hurried down the corridor and slowed as she neared the entrance to the Arboretum. It didn’t look open - she saw someone at the entrance turning away a couple of other visitors. She nearly turned back herself, until the gardener caught sight of her and waved her over. “Miss, come here a moment, let me get a look at you,” said the old man. She approached the gardener. “I was supposed to meet someone here - is the Arboretum closed?” “Why yes it is, young lady. What brings you here?” he asked her. “A friend - a Romulan engineer here - asked me to meet him here at 2000.” She frowned. He smiled. “I don’t know of any engineer, but you are welcome to take a look around inside. Go on in.” The old gardener turned and logged into the panel. The large doors hissed open. Jylliene smiled and nodded to the man. “Thank you,” she said, then walked inside. Starting down the main pathway, she looked around, wondering where Nijil might be - or if he were inside at all. In the background, she heard the doors close. After glancing back for a moment, she continued on her way. “Nijil? Are you in here?” Looking around, she happened to catch a glimpse of a star on the horizon of the dome. Jylliene gazed upward, immediately recognizing constellations from home. A smile spread over her face. Engineers, she thought. When they get it right, they get it *right*. “Nijil?” Nijil had been in his own thoughts; it took a moment to realize someone was calling out. “Jolan tru?” Not the best choice. He should have paid attention to more of the Trill language. He stood up and waited for another response. Hearing his greeting, she turned along a side path and hurried toward his voice. “Jolan tru - where are you, e’lev?” She turned a corner and saw the willow tree ahead, a familiar figure beside it. Jylliene grinned at Nijil as she approached. “I’m glad you made it. Things were busy all of the sudden in the Control Tower today. Welcome.” “That they were. And thank you,” she replied, looking around again. “It’s perfect. What do you have planned?” she continued, smiling. “A few things here and there for one stressed out operations officer aboard the busiest station in the sector. Come sit, I think the fondue is warmed up enough.” Nijil sat in front of the warm pot of chocolate. One of the midway restaurants got this for him, not that Ferengi. Beside the pot was an assortment of fruits. All colors and even more varieties. He speared one he thought was made of straw. Turned out just to be the name. “Here,” handing over a speared fruit. Nijil speared one of his own. Jylliene accepted, dipped the red fruit into the chocolate and tried it. “Wonderful,” she said, licking the chocolate from her lips. “Oh, you have to try that one,” she added, as she speared a bright yellow star-shaped slice. “One of the ones I recall having during my time at the Academy,” Jylliene explained as she dipped the fruit, then ate it. “And just as good as I remember. Better, perhaps.” “To be honest I don’t know what any of these are,” he said spearing the star-shaped fruit. One dip and a bite. “Oh,” his face twisted at the flavors. “Romulan food is decidedly less tart. This is...mmm very good. Mmm.” He looked her over, wondering if she translated the note fully. “You look very nice,” he complimented, his grin widening. Blushing, she replied, “Thank you. Hann’yyo, ie? You’re a very welcome sight. Not likely to be many more moments like this before we move to the Aegean.” “No, I think not,” he said undeterred. “Seems we’ll be on the same ship. Unless the Captain wants me to wait in the shuttle the duration of the trip.” He grabbed a long blue fruit and peeled its sides. “Denobulan banana, so they say.” He handed a section to her. “Very sweet. Oh - I almost forgot, the tea.” Nijil turned to the other heat source where the teapot sat. He poured some into each cup. Jylliene tried the banana section. Very sweet, indeed. But very good. She gazed at him as he poured the tea, trying to lock away each motion, recall every moment. She wanted them both back safely from the upcoming mission, but if that wasn’t to be, she was determined to try to recall every moment of a night he went to so much trouble to make for her. She took a sip of her tea and tried to remember. What was that phrase...? Arhem rruieh...something. Come on, Jylliene, one more word, what was it... “Hope you like the tea. It’s something new.” Nijil took more than a sip in of the tea. It made him a little light-headed. He told himself to take smaller drinks. “How is your wrist? I was concerned, but did not want to bother you.” She snapped out of her reverie. “Oh, it’s improving well. Barely a concern working at a console. I wouldn’t want to be trying to do anything too intricate, but I’m no surgeon,” Jylliene replied with a grin. Hwaveyiir? No, that’s not it... He looked down into his cup. “Actually I tried to see you the other night. It was too early in the morning, and I hope I did not wake you.” Another piece of chocolate-dipped fruit reached his mouth. This one popped in his mouth, the seeds bursting with flavor. The tastes should have been vetted, perhaps. “I’m sorry I missed you. You didn’t wake me. Obviously,” she replied with a grin. --- Their picnic complete, Jylliene helped Nijil pack the blanket, warmers and utensils back into the case. “It was a beautiful night, Nijil. Thank you,” she said, smiling warmly at him. Inside, she still struggled to remember that one word. “Shall I help you get this back to your quarters?” “Please, if you would. I could have had this beamed earlier, but like a madman I dragged it all over the station.” Jylliene smiled. “Gladly. It’ll give me a few more minutes walking back with you.” She picked up the case. Nijil grabbed the other end, the one without the handle. “I’ll get this end. Oh, I could have gotten an anti-grav one from cargo bay three. I do not think these things through.” Hwav...hwav..hwavhel - that was it. Jylliene smiled and helped him out with the case. ----- They stopped outside of Nijil’s quarters. “I hope you liked everything. I owe the gardener,” Nijil said, smiling as much as ever. “Absolutely,” Jylliene replied. “It was all wonderful.” She gazed at him. Arhem rruieh hwavhel. Say it. He stood there simply staring at her dark green eyes and realized the wonderful scent earlier was her. He smiled again, but said nothing about it. Moments passed. “Busy day tomorrow?” She nodded. “It will be. Oh - one thing, e’lev...” Arhem rruieh hwavhel. It’s not that difficult to say. Just say it. Before she completed her sentence, he took another chance, held her and kissed her. After some time, he let go. “Thank you and good night.” Nijil smiled the biggest smile then dragged the case into his quarters “Good night,” she replied quietly, then walked to hers and entered. As the doors closed, she collapsed onto the couch. Arhem rruieh hwavhel. Please gods, elements, prophets, fate, fortune, and everything else, we see each other safe again afterward and I get another chance to tell you.
  19. Galae Personnel File: Personal Data Name: Nijil tr’Korjata Gender: Male Age: Late 30’s Height: 1.75 m Weight: 69.4 kg Hair: Black, straight Eyes: Hazel Body Type: Average Place of Birth: ch'Rihan Joined: No Education History Both Nijil’s parents are farmers and as such he expected to follow in the family footsteps. That was until he met a childhood friend at the age of 10. Achel and Nigil were inseparable for over a decade, getting into trouble wherever they went. At the age of 16 the two of them ‘borrowed’ a damaged atmospheric shuttle from a scrap yard on the edge of town. After months of secrecy and a lot of other ‘borrowed’ parts the two of them completed repairs. Though his first choice was the Academy, it was the War College that accepted him into their engineering training. A fortunate accident of training schedules placed him in a more hands-on environment of support and smaller craft. He performed well on smaller vessels compared to larger systems of stations and warbirds. The main complaint of his instructors were his tendency to make exacting repairs rather than quick ones and talking back when he believed he was being wronged. Psychological Profile Seen as a competent officer in his engineering field. Tendency to remain in the background. Curious about other species in a decidedly non-Rihan manner. This was not tolerated while in the RES, but now that he’s attached to a Federation base this is a non-issue. The largest concern of his previous superiors was a inclination to divulge information too willingly. Commanders noting his skills simply kept him in the dark on matters of security. Upon receiving a commission to the Aehallh his outspokenness dropped off. A talk with his brother, already in the service of the Empire, is believed to be the reason. While he got along with fellow crew without incident, close friends proved fleeting. Observations upon his post to the Aegis revealed contact with a particular crew member of non-Rihan background. Other data suggests a different profile needs to be established looking forward. Galae Information RSE Aehallh, Third Engineer, all systems. Sky Harbor Aegis, First Assistant Engineer, small craft, all systems Medical Data An injury to his left hand on the RSE science vessel Aehallh Multiple concussions and other falling injuries Family Data Father: Niilan (farming, currently missing) Mother: Barissa (farming, currently missing) Sister: Jentela, 6 cycles older (teacher, currently pregnant and missing) Brother: Baroth, 10 cycles older (Last known location: patrolling the far edge of the Romulan empire)
  20. Nijil sat dejected in his quarters. The room dimly lit. Just as he prefered. The computer consoles hummed again. Their readouts calculated subspace variances and decrypted all manner of Rihan transmission. Machines proceeding without question. Halting only with loss of power. So what was stopping Nijil? Was he some kind of fvadt varuul! Certainly not. Just nervous or gun shy. He laughed at himself about the latter, but perhaps it’s a real question he avoided answering. Annisha deserves the credit. The precocious eight year old knew enough to see an attraction existed and called him on it. Her innocent observation left him with a realization: The next move is his, she won’t wait forever. Jylliene leaving sickbay and walking past her door later that evening marked two moves he failed to make. At medical she at least seemed in a hurry to get back to her shift. The Captain may have granted them some time alone. Nah, more like wishful thinking. The message reply to his request for quarters included a regulation regarding relations with officers. Discouraged only. Passing by her door though...why? The worse thing she could do was say go away. Not this time. Nijil straightened his off-duty attire and headed for the exit. He glanced at the chrono: after midnight. Arriving at her door he lightly rang. “Jylliene, are you awake?”
  21. A Little Girl and a Strong Woman Nijil and Annisha headed down to the midway without Jylliene. The Rihan girl had more questions. Some he could answer, others embarrassing to contemplate. The life could not more fast enough. They grabbed their two drinks at a place down the walkway from that bar and sat. “So, Trills have those spots on their bodies…do they go all the way down?” Annisha asked in the middle of Nijil’s mouthful. Choking, “As far as I know they do. I do not have first-hand experience.” He held it together, finishing his slug. “And that thing, inside them,” she continued, “Does she have one of those insider her wiggling around, eating her insides?” “What? Certainly not. The thing a symbiote and does not eat a Trill’s inside. As for the wiggling, I don’t know. I’ve never asked her.” Too bad his drink did not contain alcohol he thought. “I bet it does,” a smiling Annisha said as she sucked up her drink through a long winding straw. Her eyes crossed and she twitched her head. “Oh, oh. My head hurts.” She closed her eyes now. “It’s a ‘brain freeze’. The discomfort will pass,” he said with a grin. “If you are finished I can take you back to the temporary orphanage.” The girl looked disheartened. “Aww. Can’t I stay with you?” He did not know how to answer, though he should have realized she might ask. Time froze for him before he replied. “I’d like for you as well, but this is not the time. I just can’t.” His answer felt dismissive. So many children who would never see their parents again. So many Federation races who may possibly turn their backs to Rihans in need. “We will talk about this later, okay?” With big eyes, she nodded. He got up, took her hand and headed back to the orphanage. Neither of them spoke on the way back. The engineer remained in a bit of shock at her asking him. She walked with an air of disappointment. Another rejection by the closest friend she had. For all of the fortune passing his way of late he too had few friends. What she found in him other than her hero left him baffled. After minutes of walking and turbolifts, they arrived at the passageway into the orphanage. “Now you behave yourself. I’ll do what I can to find you people to live with.” He bent down and gave her a hug. “Jolan tru Annisha.” “Jolan tru, daehlen,” she said, returning the embrace. She scurried off in the direction of the orphanage’s headmaster. The woman gave him a stern look. Nijil simply nodded and turned to go to his quarters. A long silence marked the walk back. The closer he got to his place the more he thought about Jylliene. What did I see earlier in sickbay? Jylliene’s terse explanation of her injury made little sense. She spoke to her mother and then broke her wrist. Must have been some conversation. Was it some old disagreement? Wait, she mentioned speaking of me. Was it about me? The last thing he wanted to do was mess this up. Not like the last time. Hindsight demonstrated leaving his first love had been the right move. Well, she left him, but it is unimportant now. Plasma out the manifolds. His walk took him past her quarters first. The curiosity rose as he passed each door. Was his thoughts for himself or for her? Was there a difference? How about… There it was. The door. Jylliene’s door. Perhaps if he pressed his ear against it he could hear something. No. He needed to respect her personal space and family relations. He had to know if something he did caused this. Let her calm down. She needed a friend. She is a strong woman. His hand closed in on the door chime. Creeper, give her time. Closer. She is probably resting. Closer still. My e’lev. Millimeters away… Stop. Nijil did stop. He backed his hand away from the chime. He turned and walked to his quarters a few doors down, gave a look back down the hall then entered his place.
  22. (Events happen about a day before Mollais Hfeh'rhe. Not a joint log, but involving to some degree the relationship between Jylliene and Nijil) hwaveyiir - executive center/flight bridge oira - bridge/battle bridge th'ann'rhe - brig haerht - cargo hold aeh'lla-ifv - cloaking device aaenhr - colony/base awaenndraev - computer hyaa-aifv - disruptor dohtor - force field taeron, bvoeh'rhe/hifvai'rhe - infirmary, sickbay aikhos - memory banks ahrrein'firh - observe caution hfeh'rhe - quarters yhfi'etrehh - turbolift Jylliene scanned through the rudimentary listing. She noticed that she was focusing on what she considered possibly “useful” words, though it occurred to her that she couldn’t really think of how she would actually find duty-related words useful. She wasn’t on a Romulan vessel. Nor was that why she had delved into the list. faedhe - relax, rest aoi - forever ihir - to be/to do kraep - sad viduus - happy oelh - excited, joyful kuoku - child shikaen - family hfihar - House heis'he - love e'lev - love (my love) h'levreinnye - love/lust-devil (term of endearment) Jylliene blinked at THAT term. aehallh - nightmare aefvadh - welcome, you're welcome, be welcome imirrhlhhse - F--- Well, she figured she might actually hear that last one. Perhaps if something went badly in Engineering. Eitreih'hveinn - Farmers' Festival Nijil did say that his family had been in agriculture. Those were the types of terms she wanted. Meaningful to him beyond his duty here. Jylliene’s parents were in academia back on their home world. Her mother studied linguistics, and had often shared points with Jylliene. One of the most fascinating things to both of them was the development of language; how they changed with invasions, exposure to new peoples and vocabulary. Jylliene had found it interesting to see how, despite the adoption (whether under force or through simple utility) of new vocabulary (and sometimes, new language as a whole), people tended to prefer to maintain their original words for intimate relationships. Whether they were terms for family members, friends, lovers, or related verbs or pronouns, they held on to their original vocabulary. New words didn’t have the familiarity of the old. The old words themselves came to feel intimate in relation to the strange new terms. Here on Aegis, Federation standard was, well, the standard. Very useful, and indeed, Jylliene and other Trill learned it very early, as soon as formal instruction began (and often, even before). Regardless, though, it wasn’t that first home language, babbled by infants to their parents, excitedly awaited by their parents’ ears, or words whispered between lovers under the enfolding blankets of night. And this led to Jylliene perusing lists of Romulan vocabulary. Nijil, and all Romulans, had lost so much as of late. If she could use at least a little of his native language, even if he’d never see home again, perhaps she could bring him that small comfort of home. dinglha - hungry draemn - liquor Really? As Jylliene scanned the list, she could find no reference to the well-known Romulan Ale. Nor even just “ale”. She’d have to ask Nijil about that one. ellaer - meal tie-hh'ellaer - breakfast miite'ellaer - lunch kuhaos'ellaer - dinner Arhem rruieh … (I want...) ...soah (chocolate) ...hwavhel (you [singular dative]) Jylliene grinned inwardly, and turned off the console.
  23. (Log events take place between "A Fine Mess Part V" and "A Long and Winding Request". While not technically a joint log, the log was approved by the player of Nijil before being sent) Jylliene looked at the sleeping figure on the couch. She had tried to insist that she would use the couch, as it would be better for his continued his recovery if he slept in the bed. Nijil would hear nothing of the sort. He did seem comfortable enough, and was sleeping peacefully. Once or twice, he shifted about, seemingly disturbed, but settled back down fairly quickly. She *did* hope that he’d be able to get somewhat larger quarters, though she enjoyed his company. Even if he was asleep, it was just nice to have someone there. Okay, so perhaps not just “someone”. She doubted she’d feel similarly about the company of a number of their crewmembers - not because they were unpleasant, but just because she’d feel like she’d need to be a good host, or wouldn’t quite feel she could really be off-duty. She could relax around Nijil. Fine, fine - it was nice to have HIM here. His tea certainly didn’t hurt. Nor did that kiss.
  24. (Log events take place shortly before "A Long and Winding Request") Jylliene walked towards Nijil’s quarters. She had received the package he left for her just a few days ago, and wanted to thank him, but their anticipated tea had been delayed by his injury in the Klingon incident on the Midway. Eh well - in a way, it would be more interesting seeing him now that she’d had a chance to try on a few of the garments. She had decided to wear the lovely deep green dress for the visit. Admittedly, it WAS nice to have something a bit more, well, feminine to wear. She paused at the door and rang the chime. Nijil had been only resting for a few moments, but it was the first time since his injury he felt able to close his eyelids. “Ugh,” he went in his head. “What?” He got up out of the bed and walked slowly to the door. “What could you want,” he asked? The door hissed open. Jylliene had been smiling, until the door opened. Recovered enough for release to quarters, he may have been, but he looked exhausted, and she immediately realized she may have woken him. She babbled, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. Did I wake you? Should I go? Wait, do you want to come with me? You never did get a proper bed, did you? That’s gotta be hard on the back. I...” she paused, took a breath, and began again. “Good to see you. Thank you -” Before she could ramble on any more he grabbed her and pulled her into his quarters. The door closed behind her. He took a step back and looked her up and down. He paused some more. “I guess you got that package.” “I did, yes. I came over to thank you,” she said, smiling. “But I really don’t want to keep you up if you should be resting.” “No! No. It’s alright. Please sit in my...closet.” He waved a hand to indicate his room. All of it. “It’s cozy,” she said, looking for a place to sit. “I just sit here.” Nijil sat on the bed. Normally he just moved the pillows along the long side and it magically turned into a couch. He kept on looking at her. “My elements. You look great. Did they fit? It sure looks so.” He turned a little green at his own enthusiasm. Jylliene grinned. “Yes, they did. Very well. And thank you,” she added, reaching out and touching his cheek. “But where did you get them?” Greener, he answered. “They were in that small cargo container sent here from my folks. I’m guessing the clothing were my sister’s. A thing for clothes. Sorry if that’s a bit weird, but I had not planned on wearing them.” “Well, I imagine the dress wouldn’t really suit your frame...I hope it’s not, well, awkward, my wearing her clothes? Maybe I should have asked before I just impulsively decided to wear this over here.” “I’ve not seen most of them. And believe me, you don’t remind me of my sister either.” Nijil did not know when to shut up. “Tea?” “Tea would be wonderful.” She sat down on the edge of the bed. Nijil got up and heading to the small replicator. He ordered two hot teas in his native language. Moments later he sat her cup and saucer on the table next to her. “Just as you like it.” Jylliene cradled the cup in her hands and took a sip. “Perfect,” she said. His smile was a light year across. He sipped his own brew. “So did you see the brawl on the midway?” She nodded. “We were watching from the CT. Had it up on the main display. It was quite a sight. Speaking of that, how is your back doing?” “It’s stiff and a little sore. I’ve had trouble sleeping. I was just drifting off when you knocked.” He had a thought of Jylliene making one heck of a Romulan. “I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to interrupt. But...I imagine this isn’t the most comfortable place to be recovering. Would you prefer to come over? I can try to firm up the couch a bit, or you’d be welcome to take the bed. Or...I could run by medical, pick up something to help you sleep.” “I think I’m medicated enough. That couch thing may do the trick.” Nijil thought for a moment. “People are probably thinking something is going on between us.” He did not learn to shut up. Jylliene grinned. “I’d be happy to have you. Even if you end up sleeping most of the time away while you recover. And as far as what they think, well...let ‘em.” She paused, then continued, “They may be half-right anyhow.” Nijil swallowed and did not answer. “Let me get a few things.” An image of Annisha flashed on one of the monitors. His computers were searching the subspace waves for news of the girl or her parents. The search expanded to images and where available holograms. Jylliene glanced at the screen. “That was one of the children caught in the middle of the fight, wasn’t she?” “Yes, the one I deflected the knife with using my back. She lost her parents as far as she knows. She remains on the station for the time being.” The pack was full of clothes and a few PADDs. “When we get back to my quarters, I can link my computer in, if you’d like. You can continue your search,” she added. “Ready to go and thanks. I’ve thought about hacking into the station’s core for even more processing power, but I can’t get around the firewalls. So don’t let me around your ops station.” He stood up and opened the door. Jylliene grinned and stood. “We’ll be off, then. See if we can’t get you rested properly.” She led him along the way to her quarters, and as they walked, it did seem like Nijil was right - there were some glances directed at them. Admittedly, it could just be from seeing them out of uniform, or perhaps the dress not being typical among the civilian attire seen on the station. Jyll really didn’t care much one way or the other, all told, though the thought occurred to her that with the increased surveillance, they could be seen on who knows what screens right now. Probably security’s, regardless, knowing the SubCommander, though she imagined he had far more important things to be focused on at the moment. They finally arrived at her quarters and entered. As the doors slid shut, she stepped back towards Nijil and leaned closer...
  25. (Log events take place immediately after A Fine Mess Part III) The door slid shut behind them as Jylliene and Nijil entered her quarters. The first thing he noticed, stopping him in his tracks, was the size. “I live in a closet,” Nijil said, looking about. “I didn’t think your quarters would be much different in size than this,” she answered. “One might think that. There was a bit of activity here when they assigned me quarters.” He thought for a moment. “It’s not important, it...” he stopped. “I don’t have a couch like that. They think I’m a Klingon.” “Perhaps once things settle down, we can peek and see if there was a mistake.” He looked at her, “When you get the time. After all I was sleeping around the station when I arrived. I..I mean not with people. By myself. I should sit.” The engineer headed toward the couch that caught his fancy before. Jylliene chuckled quietly as she approached the small replicator. “Two cups of tea - darjeeling oolong.” She carried the tea over to the small table, and set it down, then took a place on the couch as well. “It’s good to have a break from the activity. A little chance to refocus,” she said. “It’s been a very long shift. Several shifts, really...and I’m babbling. My apologies. Tea,” she finished, cradling the cup in her hands and sipping from it. “Ie. I mean yes.” He took the tea cup in both hands, his injured hand showing prominently in the light. The warmth felt welcoming compared to the cold dark of various conduits he stuffed himself in. “What kind of tea is this?” “Darjeeling oolong.. It’s a nice variety. One of my favorites.” Jylliene took another drink. “Did you drink tea before coming to Aegis?” “My family grew tea on ch’Rihan along with other crops. Wine. Many items. It’s all destroyed now.” Remembering this reality stung, but as more memories stung, Nijil began to be immune to his own losses. He took a drink rather than a sip of the tea. “Hmm. Mmmm. Good.” Jylliene grinned. “Glad you like it. Perhaps a tasting sometime of several varieties.” She took another drink. “Would you care for anything to eat?” She stifled a yawn. It had been a long shift. He nodded, as if in a non-speaking state of mind as he drank more tea. “May I ask you something?” “Of course,” she said as she stood, walking over to the replicator, and trying to decide what to request. “What do you think of Romulans?” She pondered that for a moment. “The ones I’ve met have been very dedicated to their post and their families. Loyal. And I am quite pleased to be able to work with some,” she said, smiling back at Nijil. She settled on a general plate of sliced cheeses, meats and bread, and carried it back to the table. Drinking some more, “That is good to hear. There have been others...others who seems to abruptly stop their conversations when I approach. I’ve heard “varuul” more than once. Not directed as me.” He drank some more, realizing he arrived at the end of the cup. He frowned. As he looked up again a picture frame caught his eye. “I hope a sandwich tray works. At least you can choose what you want this way. With a little more advance notice next time, we could try for more of a real meal.” Nijil grabbed a cheese without looking at the plate, his gaze fixated on the people on the photo. He grabbed the frame without asking and yawned. “This is you in the photo. You look younger.” She nodded. “It was when I entered the program to be evaluated and prepared for joining with a symbiont. My parents were quite proud of that. Selection is still fairly restricted.” “Joining. I think I read about that somewhere. Many species in your Federation. I’m not sure I would be comfortable with a joining.” Nijil studied the photo further. “As it turned out, nor was I. I saw someone I cared about change dramatically after joining. I didn’t want to consider the possibility that I’d yield my personality to a stronger symbiont - to lose myself before I really had a grasp of who I was or what I wanted specifically,” Jylliene replied, looking at the photo as well. Nijil nodded and yawned. “Forgive me. I have been walking nearly the entire station. Seeing her on the list of the dead conspirators shocked me, speaking of altered personalities. I hope she did not kill anyone here. I need to know.” “You don’t need to know right this moment, though, do you?” she said, look at him with concern. “We’re both exhausted, I think,” she said, stifling another yawn. He shook his head. “Knowing would not change anything for anyone but myself.” He yawned hard enough for it to hurt. Over the course of several minutes he’d fallen deeper and deeper into the cushions of the couch. “You don’t have a couch - do you at least have a bed in your quarters? Or will you even make it back there awake?” she said, with a gentle grin. “You do look comfortable right there.” “I yes.. I have a bed of sorts, though I feel I’m never in it. Most of my quarters are filled with displays and indepen...yawn... ent computers for...oh.” Jylliene was already on her feet, and had fetched a light blanket from her bed, and was busily arranging pillows into something more like a bed’s layout. “If I offered you use of my bed, would you accept, or will you insist on taking the couch instead?” He yawed. “The use of your what? He still clutched her family photo absentmindedly in his left hand. “Bed. You’re my guest, Nijil. I wouldn’t dream of not offering you the better sleeping area. But if you’d be more comfortable with the couch, you’re just as welcome to it.” “Oh...ehsiu. This is ra.” He started to speak in his native tongue as reality got quieter and dimmer. “Aur hfihar looks oelh...emaehe is ulluahn or urrhaa.” His head fell to one side as his speech drifted off. She smiled. “Hfihar..?” Jylliene paused. “You are tired,” she said, and rubbed his shoulder. “You’re speaking Romulan to me. Go to sleep, sweets. There’s plenty of time later for more talk.” Jylliene drew the blanket over him, then retreated to her own bed. “Computer...lights off.”