Previous Next

The First Steps

Posted on Wednesday, 15 June 2022 - 6:54pm by Commander Soral & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Risa
Timeline: 2396


In the fading light of the setting sun, T’Ayn completed her daily meditation and spent a few moments to watch the sky darken and the first stars become visible. Contemplating those points of lights, the Healer was aware of movement behind her. "This is a peaceful place to meditate," she observed, "you have chosen wisely. Although I must admit that it is somewhat disconcerting to be under a different sky. While some of my sisters have travelled to other worlds, as a Novice, I am rarely permitted such... experiences. While I have done so already, I must again thank you for your hospitality."

The young woman turned away from the view to face their host. Shar of Vulcan himself, recently revealed to be Soral. A Starfleet officer no less who abdicated for Vulcan to be free of the Federation. It was an interesting paradox to her. Starfleet and the Federation were so intertwined, to serve one while simultaneously undermining the other was not what one would expect.

"You did not rest," T’Ayn added, her words coming without any hint of emotion. A mere observation. An obvious one. "We can assist if sleep alludes you, however, if it is simply that you do not wish to sleep, I must remind you that your state of consciousness will not help or hinder our work or your wife's condition."

He gave a nod. "No thanks is necessary my hospitality is always open and as for my rest it is difficult. You and your sisters have been of great assistance to my friends and I. I am grateful for this." He paused. "How is Alexandra?"

T’Ayn gestured for him to sit, opting to do so herself. “Gratitude is not necessary, we are here to assist. And that extends to your well-being.

As for Lady Alexandra, my sisters are doing all that they can. We have not had the benefit of treating one who is both Human and El-Aurian. And the Human element is… somewhat unique. It is fascinating to observe. Nevertheless it is challenging. As is the one you know as Lexi. She appears very knowledgeable in our ways, and has a strong will. Yet there are positive signs and if Lady Alexandra can find her strength, I remain confident that we can bring her back to you. May I make a request of you?”

"Of course." He gestured with his hand.

T’Ayn offered a small nod and - briefly- a hint of a smile. “You choose to make Lady Alexandra your wife although, as I understand it, you were promised to another. Why? What made you choose this path? Forgive me if I overstepped - my sisters consider me too willing to listen to the stories of others and that I should spend more time in meditation or studying ancient texts.”

"Indeed, a good question, one I have been asked often. I am afraid the response is rather simple. I honour traditions, and rules, and the Vulcan way yet as a follower of Shariel passion is also to be considered. The simple response is that taking Alexandra as my wife was a choice of the heart, one that I will never regret. I knew, in the instant we met, that I wished to marry her."

T’Ayn listened, considering. “A marriage to a human - or half human - must be… interesting. They are most illogical at times, led by hearts and not minds.”

"It is one of the things I admire about her most. I have a way of looking at things logically and her passion and intuition is...refreshing. She makes me see things in another light."

“It would appear you have found what many seek for a lifetime. My sisters and I excluded, of course,” T’Ayn added.

"I take it you have both taken final dedication vows?"

“Not quite,” she replied in an almost wistful tone. “I have a different path to follow. But for now my path is clear. I shall continue to aide my Sisters and watch over you and your wife. A task to which I must return. This moment will pass, as the other trials you have faced had also ended. In the meantime - Shar of Vulcan - you must rest.”

With that she rose, bowed and took her leave - disappearing into the house.

Soral sighed. He knew she was right. He would rest but only a little. He rose from his seat feeling every ache as he moved to the sofa and lay down with a book. Two sentences in he was fast asleep.

Four Hours Later

Extinguishing the last candle, T’Rae made barely a sound as she moved through the darkness. Navigating through the house, she was aware of her sisters who had joined with the High Priestess in meditation before allowing themselves an opportunity to rest. So few understood the physical and mental cost which accompanied the work of the Healers. Most endured by the High Priestess of course, yet nevertheless significant for all who sought to undo troubled minds and broken bodies.

Her footsteps carried her through the house where she found Soral very much still awake despite the late - or to be more accurate - early hour. Clearly the instructions to rest had not been followed…

“Our work is complete,” she announced as she stepped into the room. “She has asked for you, frequently, but is asleep once more. I believe rest for you both is required. I apologise for leaving you ‘in the dark’ since our arrival. This has been a most challenging endeavour. I can assure you that while it may take some more for recuperation, we anticipate a full recovery.

Little of Lexi, as she called herself, remains. Memories, perhaps some feelings… no more than that. Her Katra burned brightly yet was weakened by recent events and transference without the aide of a priestess. I am sure the next few days will be difficult and with your blessing, one of the Sisters will remain for another two days.”

He had slept...but only for an hour. He woke restless and disturbed. "Indeed. Stay as long as needed. I do have some...personal questions if I may about myself. Since you worked with me at length."

A small nod invited him to continue.

He sighed. "I have spoken with Hamura, they are … integrated. My mirror Katra we focused on integration more so then Alexandra and Lexi. Will the balance always be kept?"

“There is no reason to expect the balance will be broken,” she replied, “which is not to say balance will be easy. It is a most unusual situation all around. And what of your balance, Soral?”

He sighed, " not know. I thought I had found it yet there are times when the two minds war with one another. Meditation...does not aid in it. At least for the moment."

His words brought a thoughtful silence. “Perhaps, in this instance, you may find balance easier now you are reunited with your wife. You have endured much in a short space of time and while the situation is complicated, nevertheless I believe some of the bond endured. Although I do not know her wishes in that regard.”

"Indeed. She and I have much to talk about. We are both the same yet changed beyond what we were. I had thought of leaving Starfleet briefly."

“And now?”

"I do not know. I assume you saw the happenings of my mirror counterpart?"

“I’m aware of most,” she replied quietly, “however, you cannot allow past events to dictate your path ahead. Time to reflect would be wise.”

"That is the point. He may not have been me but the words he spoke...were very much a sentiment I shared." There, he'd said it out loud for the first time.

“Does that trouble you, Soral?” She queried. “Look at the paths you have both taken. The differences. The similarities. It is logical to conclude you will have opposing and similar views on many things. That he said what you also thought is perhaps a testament to his more… emotional side. It appeared to strongly influence those matters most important to him, such as his home world, his wife, his children. Which is not to say he was not also capable of the most troubling acts.”

She opened her mouth to say more but paused, tilting her head as she listened. “I believe Lady Alexandra is awake,” she concluded. “I shall tend to her, she must rest and you as well. I can ask one of my Sister’s to assist you with meditation if you wish?”

"Indeed. I will need the assistance."

“Very well. Would you prefer any specific member of our order to assist?”

He shook his head. "No."

“Very well. Wait here and we shall assist you,” the woman said, retreating from the room and leaving him alone as she retraced her steps. Moving to open the door she found it impossible to do so. No amount of strength would force the handle to move. In silence she returned to Soral, “it would appear I am locked out of the room. Perhaps you could assist?”

"Indeed." He stood and walked over to the door. Perhaps diplomacy was needed. "Alexandra?" he called out while knocking softly. Perhaps the gentle approach at this moment.

From the other side of the door there was no immediate response. From the far side of the room, Alex sat curled up and cocooned in a blanket she had found on a chair by the window, one which overlooked the beach. Not that in the middle of the night there was much to see. Instead she could look up at strange configurations of stars from a strange room after waking up in an unfamiliar bed.

Hearing Sorel’s voice she glanced at the door, realising her hope that whoever it was who tried to open the door before had just gone away. But of course Soral wouldn’t go away. As much as he had every right to.

She felt a hundred years old as she stood, keeping the blanket with her not because it was cold but because it was comforting. She’d have laughed if it wasn’t so sad. Some Starfleet Officer, huh? A few steps brought her to the door and she paused, leaning against it, her forehead resting on the wood as she tried to summon the courage to face him, never mind look him in the eye.

Touching the control panel beside the door, it unlocked instantly and she stepped back as she pulled the door open.

“Soral…” she said his name with uncertainty, as unsure of herself as she was of him and them. Yet there was an apologetic and almost pleading undertone.

He inclined his head and held out a hand to her. "I am here, always. Will you allow us entry, my wife?"

There was a slight hesitation before she reached for his hand. Her control was crumbling despite him calling her his wife. She didn’t deserve such forgiveness. And yet she still stepped forward, seeking the security and safety of his arms. Wishing he could feel how truly sorry she felt for all she had done, for how many times she had failed him.

He wrapped his arms around her. "It will all be alright. You and I shall need to rest a little and then we will rebuild all that was taken. I promise you that."

Burying her face in his chest all of the tears came freely as she clung to him. First Sara, now this… how often had something conspired to tear them apart?

He looked over at the priestess. "I think we shall be alright for now. Your sisters and you should rest as well. I will stay with Alexandra to ensure she is alright."

T’Rae had remained silent to allow them a moment but now nodded, “of course. If you require assistance, I shall be downstairs.”

He gave a nod. "Thank you." He waited until she was gone and then lead Alex to the little chair. "Sit. Let us have tea. Your mother says that everything can be cured by tea. I have grown rather fond of that saying."

Alex sank into the chair, folding her legs under her as she pulled the blanket closer. It was such a Laura thing to say, and she nodded even though he was already beginning to fuss and prepare the tea he had spoken off. She watched him, silent as she watched his every move. Registering every familiar and unfamiliar move. Within minutes the scent of the rich English tea her mother moved so much was filling the air as she took a cup in both hands, making no move to drink it and instead taking comfort from the warmth.

“Thank you,” she offered quietly.

He gave a nod. "Perhaps we should take some time. Laura is worried maybe the two of you should spend time together. I can care for the children on Vulcan. Then when you are rested we can work together to rebuild our foundation."

“My mother…. She’s happy being with the children. She will be fine. I just need….something,” Alex said softly as she stared out of the window at the night sky. “I don’t want rest, Soral. I want to feel like me again. Whatever that means.”

He thought a moment. "You are a scientist, a brilliant one. I may have a proposition."

She eyed him wearily. “What do you mean?”

"There is a scientific expedition, a Betazoid, Vulcan, and Andorian group...perhaps you could join them. It's going to be part scientific investigation and part symposium of new findings...perhaps an emersion into a world you love."

“Investigation into what, exactly?” She asked cautiously with no small hint of curiosity.

"Ruins and a technology yet unknown from an old race known as Kafari they are more notorious then what were once the Fabrini."

“Kafari?” She repeated. “Who…? Never mind. When is this happening? Is it Starfleet or …?”

"Starfleet is not sending a team. This is a group of independent scientists." He smiled slightly, "I take it you wish to go?"

“Perhaps,” she conceded. It sounded like an escape. “Independently organised by who?”

"The Galactic Scientific Council."

“And do you have a hand in it, in any way?” she asked. “Truth.”

He supressed another smile that threatened to get out. , "See, even without the bond you know the right questions to ask, however I do not have a hand in this one." He took her hand raising it to his lips and kissing it.

Alex stilled, watching him closely. “How…? How do we fix this Soral?”

He studied her. "One step at a time. This expedition, finding ourselves then finding ourselves together again."

She said nothing, instead turning her head to again stare up at the night sky. He made it sound so easy. So certain. She wished she did too.



Previous Next