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Topic: EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace (Read 116 times) previous topic - next topic

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EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace
EPILOGUE: SUPPLEMENTAL [ DAY 06 | 2000 HRS. ] MEMORIAL TERRACE

[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Memorial Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat  
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After Kai Akoni - the mountain of a Human from the Endeavour - had approached her and asked her opinion on him applying for Wenn Cinn's role, Ida had found... relief, in not necessarily having to accept the administrative responsibilities of the ridge-nose's office. She believed in Ives having the sense to thoroughly evaluate the man for the role, and she was confident that if he was found lacking, she'd get the offer. The same offer that had been passed her by in favour of David Grayson, just before the Niga incident.

That time had been different in all respects, she thought idly as she walked the corridor, with so many things on her mind she felt like her head was about to explode. Back then, she had not been upset by her being dismissed for the role, but that Grayson had been picked for it - this imbecile who she had no confidence in. She'd not been alone about it either, it being a source of discontentment in Security because he had no leadership profile, merely the rank for it. As it turned out, Grayson had preformed a bit better than expected, until the Calamity put him on ice. Allegedly, having read reports from other abductees, Grayson had been on the Versant, killed before the Enterprise simulation began. Not just him, but others, like Rihen Neyah and Lieutenant Eve Jenkins - once the Head Nurse in Sickbay.

The Savi hadn't abducted the woman that Ida was about to meet, however. Evoras being a pure-bred Vulcan, she had been left behind on the Sword, fought the Klingons and the Borg right after being thawed, and now ran the Tactical Department until - perhaps - a higher ranking or better fitting candidate was picked for the role. Like Ida, the woman was at least likely going to be one of the second in command in her department. To Ida, however, Evoras' rank mattered naught. What mattered to Ida... was that she represented something untainted. A reminder of who she was, before everything had fallen apart around her. A reassurance, that despite what she'd done at Niga, there were those who understood.

So, when she stepped unto the terrace, it took Ida a while to realise that the place was in a stage of transformation. Ops personnel were moving the couches and armchairs to the glassed railing that overlooked the arboretum, and the walls were being fitted for large display areas. There were crates, some open, and Ida saw names on metal placards. Names of the dead. That's when she remembered the notification she'd received, about the new Memorial Terrace. A place for remembrance, and realising what the cost of this victory against the Borg and the Infested alike had been. Ida had merely thought the arboretum a nice view to share with the Vulcan when she'd suggested the terrace.

Hearing a sound, Ida turned around to see her, her antennae angling towards this woman that had modelled for her in a portrait once, that time that seemed so long ago. It had been a strange beginning, having drawn her on canvas without a thread of clothing on her body, and then to have found comfort with the Vulcan after the Ishtar Entity had manipulated them both. It had made them desire people they didn't care for, and at least for Ida, sharing that shower with Evoras had been an act of distinguishing her own preferences over false ones.

"By Lor'Vela," she said quietly to her when she drew near. "Seeing you back on your feet is... surreal. I visited your stasis chamber, saw your face behind that glass, and I thought you'd never be thawed after what the hologram did to you."

After all that had happened, ranging from her failure to stop "Cala" from reaching the bridge that day, to the abuse she'd suffered, the violations at the hands of Savi, and the loss of the ridge-nose that she'd admired as her superior officer, Ida felt how she was loosing the tight hold she had on her emotions. She felt her face twisting, and soon enough, she realised she'd put her hand on Evoras' shoulder - staring into her eyes. She kept herself from embracing her outright, only having to reassure herself that the woman was real and stood before her.

"I'm sorry," she said, her voice thick, jaws clenched and the image of the Vulcan being a bit blurred by her unshed tears. "I failed to stop it. I couldn't keep it from reaching the bridge. I tried. I did everything I could think of. I was alone, and... It still gained access to Thea's systems, relocated to the bridge, and it gunned down half the Senior Staff. Grayson, Amatras, Howard... you."

Ida could still remember the moment she learned Evoras was among the victims. "I... I rammed that ship with the evacuated Harbinger, but only after hundreds of more had died at it's hands. Far too late."


OOC: Here is the reference image for the area: [Show/Hide]
  • Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 03:48:54 PM by Auctor Lucan

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace
Reply #1
[ Lt Evoras | Memorial Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | General Protection Fault ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

She didn't really want to be here. Aside from the fact that her usual duties either kept her in the upper decks or the magazines, unless she had to inspect the guns of the Stallion herself, she knew that Ops had already begun work on the memorial in the Arboretum. A place she had once enjoyed for its placidity and fragrances, for its running water and quiet burble of conversation, was now a monument to her failures.

As much as she hated the reminder, as much as she struggled under the weight of her guilt, she knew that coming here had the potential to be cathartic. Or at least motivating.

So, the Vulcan forced herself to watch the Ops staff affixing the plaques to the wall for a moment, sliding her PADD into a thigh pocket. An expression that might have been distaste passed her features, before she looked instead for the wiry frame of her blue friend. Evoras forced her hands to relax back out of the fists they'd formed at her sides.

There you are.

Evoras walked around the balcony deck to approach Ida, who was preoccupied watching the goldshirts' work. Deliberately, she scuffed one boot against the carpet when she was still a couple of metres away in order to discreetly announce her arrival. Words would have been sufficient, but even now, she wasn't sure which to choose.

"By Lor'Vela. Seeing you back on your feet is... surreal. I visited your stasis chamber, saw your face behind that glass, and I thought you'd never be thawed after what the hologram did to you."

The Tactical officer's ears flared back for an instant as she looked at the deck and swallowed. Her expression had some of her wry character back in it when she looked back into the Andorian's eyes and tapped one side of her ribcage. "I have an artificial heart, now. Though I'm hesitant to test whether or not this one is phaser-proof."

The comment did not garner the anticipated response - even she, who most Vulcans would label as dangerously (even radically!) loose with her emotions, had trouble with the more tumultuous examples of the species in the Union. Tears welled up in Ida's eyes, and her hand clasped Evoras' shoulder. She wasn't sure, but her own face might be mirroring a ghost of the anguish on Ida's.

"I'm sorry." At that, Evoras merely frowned, and reached her hand up to clasp the one gripping her shoulder. "... Grayson, Amatras, Howard... you."

She shook her head, and pulled the Andorian to the nearest couch. "Ida, there was no way a person - a flesh and blood person - was going to stop a hologram run by an AI like Cala. Lor'Vela grace you for trying, but there was nothing to be done."

Ida disagreed. "I... I rammed that ship with the evacuated Harbinger, but only after hundreds of more had died at it's hands. Far too late."

Evoras moved the hand to her lap, and held it in both of hers. "And if you hadn't? The Calamity could well have finished the task. I was comatose then, but not dead. You still saved me - and everyone. There was merely a delay." She nearly told Ida then of Sreilen. How she had saved not only her, but the soul of another. A buy-one-get-one, in the words of one of her least-favourite cadets on the range. However, even Evoras could tell that wasn't the best idea. Her marriage would be a matter of public record (and she would be surprised if Ida didn't know of it)... but as far as anyone knew, she was a widow.

Better to keep it that way. The dogmatic majority of Vulcans had enough problems with her as it was. And she had positively no idea how Ida might take it. If she would even care. The problem was, after all, somewhat esoteric.

Instead, she shifted round to settle against the backrest (with the fortunate side-effect that she didn't have to see the bulkheads steadily accumulate their burden of names out of the corner of her eye), so she could sit a little nearer to the Deputy. "When they brought me out of stasis and told me what was happening, I asked after you. The nurses told me all the hybrids had been abducted, but I thought you might be there still - Continuance assignment permitting, of course. But then I saw your name... all the Andorian names... among the missing." For just an instant, she scrunched her nose as she considered whether to continue the line of thought or not. Even among non-Vulcans, the wariness about displaying too many irrational or illogical desires was well ingrained.

"I think after our night post-Ishtar, I... needed to see you after another traumatic event. That would be my hypothetical diagnosis, anyway, were I a doctor. On a more personal level, I wanted to see a friend.

"I do not blame you for Cala's attack. I never have."

The irony of Evoras of all people trying to assuage another's guilt was not lost on her. Though her own guilt was, naturally, entirely justified and justifiable. Ida's was needless, and it was hurting her.
Nator 159:
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Ranaan Ducote:
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Evoras:
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace
Reply #2
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Memorial Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
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As torrential as the hurt, the shame and the guilt had become after what she'd suffered, Ida heard Evoras provide rationale and reason to her actions - attempting to alleviate the distress. It was difficult to accept the answers to her plight, even if spoken by this dear Vulcan - whom she'd confided in before after what Ishtar had made her do - but Ida would not deny or dismiss her friend's words. It would shame her further if she wasn't even able to hear the Vulcan out after all the time they'd been apart.

So Ida listened, clung to the pillars of truth that her friend raised in the middle of the maelstrom - this support upon which she might rebuild her confidence. Evoras then spoke of how she'd been thawed, and how she'd asked for Ida, only to learn that she was gone. Looking down at the olive-skinned hands that held her own, Ida recalled how she'd thought of Evoras when she'd finally got the chance to bring retribution to the A.I. nightmare ship. Having escaped the brig on the Harbinger, she and two others had managed to fight their way to the bridge. The ship had been set to self-destruct, but they'd made it just in time to end the battle: [Show/Hide]
Though when Evoras mentioned the other Andorians, the thoughts of that bygone battle froze and shattered. Ida's forehead creased in a deep frown, having just left the two surviving ones in the medical lab... after seeing that holographic face over the small stasis unit...

Ida shook her head, dispelling the mixed emotions a little so that she might speak. It was difficult, but she'd try. Evoras was giving her means to shed any guilt about the tardiness in dealing with the Calamity, but at the mentioning of the Versant, it was not so easy to climb out of the pit she'd ended up in. Evoras was right there next to her, and it was like the proximity allowed her the ease to feel... to hurt. She raised her free hand to rake her fingers through her white hair - finding her hand to shake a little. The tears in her eyes may have cleared away, but as the Vulcan had been her confidante and support before, Ida explained what the Andorians had been abducted for. She did so while sitting with a straight back in the couch.

"The Savi wanted to catalogue Andorian mating... picking four of us because the Shen and I were..." Ida almost gagged at the absurdity of telling Evoras that they were fertile. Her jaw clenched, her shame evoking ire. "We were reduced to animals. Made to rut in madness, high on drugs and false promises of solving the Andorian infertility. Lies, just so that they could feed their Archive with the detailed account of successful Andorian breeding. They made us go through with it; the Shen forming an egg for me to later carry in my womb. Before I came here to see you... I saw my c-child in stasis - projected as a hologram. Begotten by rape and manipulation. It's in stasis because I refused it... I could not bear the egg in me. It was not my choice!"

Her heart was beating fast, and she swallowed, trying to control the revulsion, the undignified abuse of her body.

"Worst yet... was earlier today, how the Thaan in the group..." Ida wanted to strike something, Anything to exert her anger, but the anger was just an effect of the hurt that cut her heart open for Evoras. "He would not loose his child when I refused to carry it... So he ambushed me at his quarters a few hours ago, before Commander Stark's meeting, and he drugged me, and then called for the Shen and the Chan to finish it. He.... He warmed me up for the Shen to... to insert the egg into my womb, before they arrived to those quarters. I was unconscious... did not feel him violate me, with him justifying his crime to save the child."

Somehow... it was actually easing her hurt to speak of what had happened, with her heart rate dropping again, and the revulsion subsiding. She took a shuddering breath and finished the short story. "He did not count on the other two being more righteous than he. They fought him when they found me there. By accident, the Thaan sustained a close-proximity stun bolt to the head. He was already dead by the time I woke up in sickbay. At least a new medic there could offer a solution... to have the egg in a small stasis chamber, sustained for a later time when science may know how to save it. A solution... so that I wouldn't have to bear it to term."

With that off her chest, she realised she had put a lot on Evoras in telling her what had happened. This was not the way she wanted to reunite with her. She frowned, looking down at her own thighs - antennae drooping. She'd fought for so long that she'd become too numb to feel herself bleeding. "My apologies... I did not mean to unload all of that... I... With all that has happened, I need to see someone who can help me. I would not presume to..."

Evoras was not her counselor. She was a friend, even a lover of old. This was not the time and place. "I should leave, and spare you all of this..."

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace
Reply #3
[ Lt Evoras | Memorial Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy | General Protection Fault ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Evoras listened. There was plenty she wanted to say, but little of it wise, and none of it likely to be helpful. The story of Ida's violation made her jaw tighten and a series of dark thoughts attempt to break through to the surface. The Savi's penchant for invasion of self and dignity obviously had no limit... and she had had them under her guns. She could have prevented them doing the same to anyone else, forever, their malleable Code be damned. Somewhere deep within her, a burning orb of hatred slipped a little closer to her nexus of control.

It took Sreilen's memory to still her. Infinite Diversity, Infinite Combination, as he would have reminded her. Ives hirself - also a victim of their sick experimentation - had already seen fit to believe the Savi claim that they were reformed. The matter had been settled, and the Versant was at any rate far too far away to seek revenge. That, and the retributive attitude was entirely medieval.

"... I could not bear the egg in me. It was not my choice!"

It was Ishtar, all over again. The Vulcan kept hold of Ida's hand, sensing there was more to come.

More there was.

This time, Evoras did take one of her hands from around that of her friend and covered her mouth, fingers curling down to pinch the corners of her chin as her eyes cooled down to hard stone, looking off to one side. As if the Savi hadn't been enough. As if the crew didn't have enough problems without attacking each other. She found herself planning - premeditating, really - a suitable accident for the thaan. There were myriad ways to do it, and almost all of them would not lead back to her. Ida would have suitable motive, though, for an investigation. There was also the prospect of what it might do for the Andorian if her friend were caught, and-

"-sustained a close-proximity stun bolt to the head. He was already dead by the time I woke up in sickbay."

"Good," she said without meaning to, venom in her voice. She realised how deeply she was breathing, and that the roaring in her ears was not an overactive atmospheric circulation unit nearby.

"My apologies... I did not mean to unload all of that... I... With all that has happened, I need to see someone who can help me. I would not presume to..."

Reply.

"I should leave, and spare you all of this..."

Reply.

"No," was all that came at first, and that not easily. "No," she said again, softer. "I'm glad you could tell me. And it is good that you will seek counsel on your own... it's rarely as effective when mandated, I find." Did she? Or was that another of Sreilen's memories, leaking into her own? She should meditate later.

"I am sorry that your traumas did not cease with your rescue from the Versant. I am not equipped to help you as I would like to, but I will always listen."

Evoras looked over her shoulder, back towards where the Ops staff were still pulling out the (too) many name plates to affix to the bulkhead.

"And if his name ends up on that wall, I will burn this entire arboretum," she promised, quietly.
Nator 159:
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Ranaan Ducote:
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Evoras:
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Re: EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace
Reply #4
[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Memorial Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat 
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Hearing Evoras speak, Ida was relieved that she had not unpacked too much. The Vulcan did not only support her, she had very firm opinions about the thaan that had violated Ida. Her comment in the end made Ida chuckle, in spite of herself, and she took a deep breath. It was... an odd, easy sensation she felt, having put her grievances to words, but the hurt and shame was still there. Perhaps it was a clear sign, that she needed to give voice to her hate and ire, and deal with the shame.

She doubted, however, that she would take a lover anytime soon.

Even Evoras, whom she had fond thoughts of, didn't spark any notions of desire. She had not expected that she would, but seeing her, remembering her, it reminded her of what she'd come to loose since the Niga Incident. Her sense of duty kept her together, perhaps, and she expected a lot out of her own performance in protecting the crew. Before, she'd balanced it with her artistry, and with a lover or two... but she'd never take any lover again, and she had no desire to put her soul on canvas.

She dreaded what her art might depict.

"Thank you," she said, shaking her head. "Shelat, this voyage has not been kind on us... but at least we stopped the Borg, and Wenn Cinn was able to finish it. I was there to see him off when he stepped on the shuttle. I did not find the words, at first. When it had launched, I sent him a message, thanking him on behalf of us all. I hope he heard it. He was a fine warrior... for a ridge-nose."

A faint smile, even though the loss of he superior officer had taken her harder than she liked to admit. Bad timing, with all else she'd gone through. "I realise that when you were hurt, Cinn had yet to return. You'd known him as dead. Not sure what to think of his Profets, but given what happened... it makes me wonder if the reports from Deep Space Nine were all true."

It was definitely easier to speak of other things than herself, even if the loss of Cinn was a grim topic. "Makes me wonder if he might return again, though I have no such expectations."

Ida looked around, feeling like the more names that were put on the bulkheads, the less she wanted to remain. "I might not be in the mood to paint you again..." she said, concealing the loss of such wishes by clearing her throat and rising to her feet, "but I could do for a drink, if you feel so inclined."

Ida looked down at Evoras and gave her a faint smile.

As if to say she'd survive.

Re: EPIL: S [D06|2000] Memorial Terrace
Reply #5
[ Lt Evoras | Memorial Terrace | Deck 21 | Vector 03 | USS Thurgy | General Protection Fault ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

The Vulcan looked away as Ida invoked the memory of Wenn Cinn. She had been on the bridge while the Bajoran had gone below decks to prepare for his act of sacrifice. She currently inhabited something of a grey area in her opinion of the act... it was something that she could have well imagined herself doing in another universe, one in which she was not carrying Sreilen's katra - ironically enough, condemning him to at least a period of grief at her passing, even if he would survive himself. But with both of them 'inhabiting' her body, it didn't feel right to make the decision for him. She wasn't sure if a katra could consent.

"He was a fine warrior... for a ridge-nose."

She nodded in agreement. "The Needs Of The Many," Evoras added. If there truly was no other way than to have a person activate the device, then there were few nobler ways to die than in the pursuit of saving billions. Even though there was a certain way of viewing things that put it a simpler way; Wenn was being returned to how he should have been already. As if reading her mind, Ida added,

"I realise that when you were hurt, Cinn had yet to return. You'd known him as dead. Not sure what to think of his Prophets, but given what happened... it makes me wonder if the reports from Deep Space Nine were all true... Makes me wonder if he might return again, though I have no such expectations."

"I think even a second chance at life is more than anyone should hope for... whatever the wormhole aliens are, whether or not they are truly divine, they are certainly powerful enough to influence the course of histories."

"I might not be in the mood to paint you again," Ida was saying, and her act of looking around at the growing list of name-plates allowed Evoras to experience the slight olive flush at her collar in private, "but I could do for a drink, if you feel so inclined."

Evoras clasped her hands together, in absence of the Andorian's own, and responded to the blue woman's smile with a small one of her own as she stood in kind. "One of the lounges, then? Or quarters?"

Whichever choice was made, they would have to leave the arboretum (and its latest macabre charge) behind. The gunner made for the doors, confident that Ida would be in stride.

- FIN
Nator 159:
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Ranaan Ducote:
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