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Nijil tr'Korjata

A Little Girl and a Strong Woman

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.




She is probably resting.


Closer still.


My e’lev.


Millimeters away…




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.

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