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Posted on Tue May 11th, 2021 @ 2:42am by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: Trapped in Time
Location: Captain's Quarters

Captain Kaylen Rhenora walked back to her quarters, bone tired from a hectic and stressful day on the bridge. Despite her need to remain there she needed sleep and had relinquished command for at least a few hours to sleep.

He had spent his last few hours as a mentally divided man would. Sitting on the edge of his shared bed staring into the wood cabinet surrounded by candles attempting to communicate with deities he had shunned. Whole at the same time thinking about children and his potential to be a father.

Whole one diversion planted thoughts and images in his mind about the small ship called Alla and her fate, the other provided him with a sense of joy at the sound of a child's laughter, the concerns for how to ready their space for a young one, and the potential for their future given what the Prophets had already shown them. He needed focus and soon, else his duality would drive him crazy.

She found him adrift in his own thoughts, her own sense of self rattled to the core but still wondering just how she was going to articulate her thoughts and feelings. Food could wait, heck even coffee could wait. Her husband was trying to sort something out in his mind and she would be damned if she let him do it alone.

Silently she kicked off her boots and padded on bare feet into the bedroom, sitting softly on the bed next to him and resting a hand on his own. Not saying anything, not doing anything, just being there for whatever muddle was being addressed.

Remal, his eyes closed, felt her touch and smelled her scent before his mind realized she was in the room and sitting next to him. So lost in trance like concentration he struggled to pull himself away just enough to whisper, "hi. Are you not supposed to be on the bridge?"

“I was tired, and there are others who can take the reins. Commander Savar is back and he is more than capable of running the show” Rhenora replied quietly, still resting her hand on his.

“ You seem… troubled”

He opened his eyes and peered deep into hers. “You’re going to sit there and tell me that a 95 year old Bajoran vessel, possibly the first ever Bajorans to enter the Celestial Temple, is something you would give up just to spend time with me? I must say, I’m honored.” He swallowed and turned back towards the small shrine.

“As for being troubled, you could say that. I’m struggling to make any sense out of the images I’ve been shown. And I’ve been given some more. There was some sort of conflict between them and the temple beings. Possibly a test in an effort to understand, but I’m struggling to focus on it when in the back of my mind all I can think about is cleaning up vomit from a child who has gotten sick in the night. The act of comforting our child, keeping them safe and happy. Making them feel loved.”

Rhenora was quiet for a few moments, digesting his words and formulating the response she believed would be most appropriate. “You will always be the primary focus of my life, of our lives” She hastily corrected “Duty can wait, especially in this case. That ship has been there 95 years, another 8 hours isn’t going to harm anyone” She squeezed his hand “As for baby vomit, it appears that may be the case in the near future”

His focus lost, he turned to her again, “I take it you paid a visit to the good doctor and she gave you some news?” His intuition as usual was on point, though he could typically read his bride like one would read the morning news.

“ Indeed she did, we have about four and a half months to get our lives in order before the world as we know it is turned on its ear” She smiled at him, hoping he would share her inner delight at the news. “Apparently I need to eat more…”

He was happy and his face could not contain the joy within. “Well, you’ve come to the right man. When it comes to food, I don’t mean to brag, but I am pretty handy around the kitchen.” He took both of her hands in his. “As for turning our world on its ear, for us, it will be just another Tuesday.”

She laughed at his change of mood, from sombre to joyous in a matter of heartbeats. “ Just another Tuesday? Remind me never to have you on the bridge for a Friday afternoon shift then… they always seem to turn to pot” She rose with him and followed him to the kitchen, stomach rumbling as they went.

“Noted.” He said even as his hands began prepping the kitchen to serve them some food. He didn’t think about it, just sort of did, as he pulled out spices and began cutting up vegetables. A man of two minds, he wanted to talk about the situation on the freighter, but he also wanted to make sure his wife was okay with how she felt about their future. “Any concerns or worries about the pregnancy? Yours or the Docs?”

"She says everything is doing what it should, eat, sleep, herbs repeat" Rhenora replied, noting that Remal seemed a bit preoccupied. "Penny for your thoughts?" She asked gently, watching him chop the vegetables and assisting in pulling out some more items that she thought would work with whatever it was being concocted.

He was now absently cutting his third carrot into crunchy strips. He stopped and blinked for a second. "Sorry was I distant? I didn't mean to be. I'm just balancing the difference between what I know of the freighter and what I know of changing diapers. It's a lot to work through."

"That's quite the mental stretch to be working through" she smiled, content to let him lead in the kitchen and offer assistance where she could. "Have the Prophets offered any further insights regarding the freighter?" She probed gently.

“Oh, um, there was a situation I think. The two passengers wanted to enter the Celestial Temple, which the crew fought. I’m not sure they wanted to be the first Bajorans to visit their Prophets in person, I mean who would blame them. But the passengers insisted. There was something about an engine malfunction and a stand-off.” He thought harder, trying to gleen what information he could from the jumble of images.

“Oh, and then the Prophets manifested themselves, possibly as creatures from the young girls’ storybook. After that I’m thinking the Prophets began a series of tests to learn more from the newcomers. The rest is a bit of a jumble. I was waiting for more when you came home.” He realized he had stopped cutting in order to focus. Looking down he also realized he had enough chopped for eight servings.

“ Well that gives us a little more to go on” She picked up the vegetables and transferred them to a hot pan to soften slightly, the leftovers could be enjoyed for breakfast the next morning but also spoke volumes of Remal’s preoccupied mind.

Within short order a delicious and nutritious meal found its way to the table, accompanied by a glass of synthohol and a glass of spring wine.

“ To happy endings” She raised her glass towards her husband.

"To new beginnings." He corrected while still noticing that she was dwelling on her own end despite his belief otherwise. "Because every ending is a new beginning except your last." He raised his glass, his mind full of hopeful optimism.

“Well this is very true, a freudian slip of the worst kind I’m afraid” Rhenora admitted, blushing a little at the mistake. They sipped their drinks quietly and ate for a few minutes, Rhenora demolishing her plate then pausing to wait for Remal.

"Sorry, kinda hungry" she blushed again. "Would you care to meditate together after dinner? See if we can glean more information?"

"It couldn't hurt. Just make sure you get your fill." He offered her another helping. "The act of meditation while normally soothing, is particularly difficult when you are forcing something to happen. Right now patience is of the utmost importance but so is the struggle to free your crew from that ship."

Rhenora worked her way through a smaller second plate of food until her hunger was finally satiated. She regarded her husband across the table and considered their new future together as a family. It would be challenging no doubt, but she felt confident it would be filled with the love and laughter only two loving parents could provide. Her eyes teared a little at the thought of their dreams of a happy family finally coming to life - a dream she had all but abandoned to duty and her passion for exploration and helping people.

He could see the joyful longing in her face, like some long lost hope coming to fruition and he shared in her presence. They cleaned the table up and put away the food in reasonable time before moving to the small shrine and sitting upon the floor in a cross legged manner. He let out a little “oof” as he fell that last few inches, where his stiff bones wouldn’t allow him to bend.

She sat down beside him, with much less effort, giving him a quirky smile. “I heard that, old man.” She joked.

Eyes already closed, hands in front ready to concentrate he replied, “Laugh it up, I’d like to see you do this in three months from now.” He jested.

“ I’m sure I’ll be eating my words, my coffee, and everything else not nailed down” She retorted as she got comfortable, legs easily crossed and hands open in anticipation and acceptance. The candles were already lit and her eyes drifted closed, opening her mind to whatever it was that the Prophets chose to share with her. She hoped that it would be a joint meditation, and so she reached one hand out and placed it on top of Remal’s, a symbolic gesture of body and hopefully mind.

He in turn locked fingers with her. “Probably not coffee. I’m sure the Commander will agree with me that caffeine content inside coffee can potentially be bad for the baby. Especially in the amount you ingest.” He couldn’t help but pick on her even in this moment of concentration.

She pouted at his suggestion but knew he was probably right. Sacrifices would have to be made “Your job will be to make makara herbs taste good” She whispered back to him with a smirk.

“Hmmm, no promises. I do have some herbs growing in the arboretum though.” He waited for more flashes, a message, something. He knew she was a lightning rod for visions, but they had not communicated with her about this particular situation, as though it was for him and him alone.

“You were growing herbs already?” The question was almost as quiet as the room around them, the slight hum of the Liberty’s engines the only sound apart from their breathing. Everything grew still.

“Always prepared. You never know when you may need some herbs or meet a lovely pregnant woman.”

“You had an inkling” She whispered as their meditation took hold, everything from the flicker of the candle to the hum of the engines blending into the nothingness of the background. She breathed, opening her mind, her heart and her pagh to the Prophets.

Like a spark, he felt the energy surge through her and into him. The Celestial beings were reaching out and he was ready to see whatever it was they wanted to show.


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