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Part IV - Rising from the Ashes

Posted on Thu Apr 15th, 2021 @ 11:11pm by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: *CD*
Location: Bajor
Timeline: Current

The day wore on, villagers busily clearing and cleaning and expecting nothing other than thanks for the task. They wanted to help those the Prophets had chosen, they felt it was their duty to.

Somewhere someone had prepared enough food for everyone and had set up two long planks supported by boxes, now lined with plates of locally sourced food and produce. The sound of a meal bell could be heard over the scraping of shovels and grunts of lifters. Still, Rhenora felt somewhat violated by these people aiding her in such a personal task. This wasn’t for the villagers to do in her opinion yet she was powerless to say otherwise. Now she understood the conflict of the Sisko Emissary - how he had to adjust to things in a way he never had expected to. She spied Remal with the architect and headed over whilst everyone else grabbed something to eat.

Relieved to have a moment of peace he sighed as the others moved off towards dinner. "So, what do you make of all of, this?" He gestured at the Bajorans being jovial and helpful.

“ A rather potent mix of gratitude mixed with ‘leave us the hell alone’” She retorted, popping her hands on her hips to emphasize her frustration. “I’m thankful not to have to do the grunt work, but I don't like all these people going through our stuff”

"I could ask them to leave for you if you'd like." He turned and produced a roll of parchment. "But before I do may I show you something we've been working on?"

“They would take that as offending the Prophets” She replied miserably. “It’s like we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.” She turned her attention to the parchment he was holding. “What’s this?”

He unrolled the parchment and laid it out on the table. Then pointed to an area that was hand-drawn. "This would be plans," he paused for effect. "For a, uh, for a nursery."

“ A nursery?” She was a little confused, then sneezed as something tickled her nose. “You think.. We… I’m….” Her voice trailed off.

"Well, not exactly the response I was looking for, but… See I don't expect anything anytime soon but since we're building again I figured, you know, why not?"

She blushed at the gaff and refocused on the plans, scolding herself for the impulsive reaction. “Sure, it makes sense. The Prophets did show us a child in our future” She left off the darkness that usually followed that vision.

"I had originally planned to add on later, but since we are here, now." He looked at her face, still bothered by something. He allowed the parchment to roll itself back up as he stood tall. "Alright, what did that woman say that has you so spooked?"

Rhenora paused, gazing out to sea for a few moments to gather herself before trusting her voice not to shake. “I have foreseen your demise, the Prophets can not protect you and your child” She raised haunted eyes to meet her husbands.

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in close. There really were no words to make bad words disappear from someone's mind. All that he could do was show they were strong together and no amount of sting could impale the love they held for one another. From his perspective, their bond was stronger than any fear and would endure any hardship.

She fell into his embrace, always thankful for his presence, his strength and his support.
“ She’s bad news Remal, there was something in her voice that makes me think we are involved in something much bigger than we anticipated”

He wanted to comment, to laugh it off and say something like ‘aren’t we always', but he didn’t. This was not the time nor the place to joke. “I take it you didn’t recognize her as one of the three from yesterday. What about the man she was with?”

“ I didn’t recognize her, her energy was dark, there was a fire there. The man who was with her, he felt vaguely familiar but I can’t place where I’ve seen him previously” She tried to remember the details but struggled. “They were so… nondescript, almost deliberately so”

“Probably purposefully. What worries me is that brings the total to five, potentially. It would seem our enemies are multiplying.” Just as the weight of the encounter prepared to weigh them down further, Remal felt a tug on the hem of his tunic. He separated slightly from Rhen so that he could look down at this newcomer into their midst. “Well, hello little one. To whom do I have the pleasure?”

“Lehma. I was told to tell you that the food is ready and they won’t eat unless it’s blessed. They also said, hurry your butts up.” She smiled and then the color left her face as it lost all expression.

The next thing she spoke was not from her own voice but from somewhere else. It was a sound and tone only they could hear. “The prophets are watching out for you. You are safe, so long as you are of Bajor.” And then she was back to normal, tugging on Rhenora’s shirt to get her to move as though nothing happened.

Rhenora shared a glance with her husband, her mind struggling to keep up with her emotions after all that had happened in the last few days.

“ Did you…?” She asked quietly as they made their way to the table.

Nodding and smiling he commented under his breath, “I just tend to roll with it these days.”

“Do we have any other option?” She asked rhetorically. She reached for his hand for comfort.

As they approached the crowd, he clenched down hard on his cheeks. “I’m afraid not. Would you care to do the honors, since it feels somehow wrong of me since the whole denouncing thing and all?”

“ I don’t know what to say, I’m a starship Captain not a Prophets puppet,” She whispered, her eyes showing a hint of apprehension.

“Then I’ll take this one.” He maintained a grip on her hand as he stood tall and addressed the crowd. “Friends, neighbors, fellow Bajorans. We wish to thank you for all that you’ve done for us, our gratitude knows no limits. What darkness has taken from us, only the light within can give back. We are truly blessed by you and the, uh, Prophets for everything. May they bless the bounty before us. Many abrems.”

“Abrems!” They responded in unison before digging in.

“How was that, too much?” He asked her quietly.

“Perfect, much better than I would have come up with” She quipped as she sat down next to him, marvelling at the assortment of food on the table. “I have a mixed feeling of being blessed and yet somehow conscripted at the same time”

He sat and applied a healthy amount of fresh veggies to his plate. “Conscripted huh. Into the army of the Prophets no less.” He jokingly chuckled, not aware of the underlying irony in his words.

They spent the afternoon and evening mingling and conversing with the locals, building and constructing the cabin to the point that a firm foundation and base structure was beginning to take shape by the time the first yawn appeared on Remal’s face.

“ is it time to beat a respectful retreat?” The voice echoed from behind him, followed by a sneeze, a curse and a hand on his shoulder.

He looked out beyond the beach at the moons rising over the water, the sun having already dipped behind the hills. “I think we’ve had enough fun for one day. Is there room to sleep in that yacht of yours?”

“There is, but I think I’d prefer our bed back on the Liberty, and a hot shower, and coffee” She stretched, hearing the vertebra in her spine popping as she straightened.

He looked around for the security team, not finding them anywhere in sight. “Unless you want to fly the bird then we need a pilot.” Sometimes he forgot they could just transport to and from their destination. Mostly long-range transports were reserved for emergencies and priority of Captains only.

Concern filled her mind for a moment before she spied the two officers still eating at the table surrounded by a plethora of villagers. She strode over to them and they sheepishly stood, knowing they’d been busted with fingers in the pie so to speak.

“ If you could fire up the yacht please, we’re heading home” She said with an icy tone that spoke volumes of her observations regarding their conduct. They beat a hasty retreat, leaving the villagers to slowly disperse back to their homes as the sun descended below the horizon.

“Well that was not the day I had expected” Rhenora admitted as she rejoined her husband and they walked slowly hand in hand towards the Captain’s Yacht.

“Perhaps tomorrow will be better. Or perhaps, the unexpected is to be the norm for us. Somehow, I imagine having children will be no different.” He took her hand and helped her onto the ramp into the shuttle. “By the way. Shekuu for each and every sneeze I heard you sneeze today.”

“The damned soot and ash keeps making me sneeze” She apologized ”I’m sorry” She shrugged, knowing there couldn’t be any other explanation. “Did you finalize the plans with the architect?”

He followed her tiny tush up the ramp, fighting the urge to pinch the whole way, instead opting to keep his mind on the conversation at hand. "I did. He says it will only take a few days to get things roughed in though he will need help with certain things. You know colors, textures and matter-energy converters, the basics." She always had this hip-notic way about the way she moved her hips.

"You think they'll take matters into their own hands and build it while we're away? Holus bolus?" Rhenora asked, feeling his eyes on her as she ascended the ramp and stepped into the yacht.

He paused and looked back. The crowd was wrapping things up and dissipating back to their normal lives. No emissaries, no reason to continue, at least for the night. “They promised not to. I made them well aware this was a venture you and I needed to accomplish to satisfy the will of the Prophets.”

He turned back towards her. “Not exactly a lie, while not necessarily the truth. They promised to only be there to help us as needed. How could I say no to that?” As he stepped up and into the shuttle, and settled in to get comfortable by her side.

“This is true” She mulled as she settled into the passenger compartment in the yacht. The two security officers were up front running preflight systems checks and preparing the vessel for departure.

“ I don’t know about you - but I find all this ‘emissary’ stuff exhausting. It’s like being given a job with no description, no guidelines and no goals.” She lamented.

He gave a slight huff, “Not entirely unlike being a parent I suppose. We’ve been through so much worse. I’m sure we will figure this out too.” He never asked to be an Emissary, much like he had never asked to be a freedom fighter, a doctor, a counselor or a cook. Yet with each task he had managed to persevere. The one thing he did ask to become one day, was a good husband.

She sighed at the injustice of it all, it felt like their destiny wasn’t their own and they were being manipulated like puppets to do someone else's bidding. It grated almost against her soul but that very soul told her this was a higher calling causing all kinds of inner conflict.

“ I just…. I don’t know what I want anymore” She sighed and looked at her husband. The yacht lifted off and flew in a graceful arc over their now partially built replacement cottage.

“Well, hopefully you still want me.” He said as he took her small hand in his.

“You’re the only thing I’m certain I want” She smiled warmly at him, wanting nothing more than to feel his presence beside her. The yacht ascended towards the atmosphere, the turbulence light as they cleared it and headed towards the Liberty still docked at DS9. The blue green Orb below held a different meaning to them now, a more complex one.



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