[USS Vanguard] Getting it in the head

  • From: "Kieran Darkwater" <kdarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 20:51:36 +0000

<Same time 'Getting A-Head' (Cynan) + Flashback>

Kieran dived for cover as the guard took a last look about the place,
leaving Cynan alone at the doorway. His breathing was heavy, and his
ribs still ached, having never quite healed properly, despite the sterling
work of the medic that had treated him. Coupled with the surprisingly
heavy work of manoeuvring quietly on the low gravity moons he had been
frequenting of late - and not by choice - he was feeling more tired than
any time since he'd finished basic training.

Daring another look, he managed to scoot up to Mandrake, within a few
feet of his back as he paused again. The guy had taken a shot at him, it
was true, but he was a better shot than that: had he been seeking to
hit Kieran he almost surely would have - at least that was how Kieran saw
it. Phaser drawn for effect, seeking to keep up the display that Cynan
was maintaining, he stepped up to the man trying to find out what the
hell was going on.

Quick as a flash the target showed Kieran's assumptions for the
falsehood they were, and he found himself slumping into darkness from the 
to the back of his head...


The morning after the attack outside the gym had found Kieran, slightly
bleary and ill-prepared for his competition, striding into the arena
attempting to settle himself into a conducive frame of mind. The crowd
had gathered, though the sound damping field kept noise to a minimum to
assist the competitors in their preparations. Taking a spot on a nearby
bench, retying his belt, he began his warm-up routine, a few simple
static stretches to prepare the tendons and ligaments, followed by a
series of cardio-vascular exercises. Feeling his blood pumping, the muscles
in his back and thighs heating up, he was almost able to forget the
sleepless night and the attack of the day before.

Indeed, if he wished to do well he would have to put such thoughts from
his mind completely, and the ritual of stretching continued to do that,
increasing his focus until he found himself knelt calmly at the edge of
the competition area with the other contestants, settled, centred and

The first few competitors rose and performed, and though his eyes saw
the displays, Kieran's mind was on his own expected action, and he was
paying little attention until a Vulcan figure stepped out from behind
him to take his place. The stance was unmistakable, the wide, stable feet
and the lower back-hand guard position, and as he spun slowly into a
low cross-block, his suit moved enough for Kieran to see the ugly,
blackened area of skin on his neck where the pain-stick had struck.

He was Vulcan, and they didn't generally compete - there was no real
benefit to competition, in logical terms, after all - and he'd made no
effort to conceal the damage. It was almost as though he were taunting
Kieran, egging him on...

Even as Kieran watched, the display finished, and the Vulcan left the
arena once more, his eyes fixed on the StarFleet officer's face as he
left. Kieran was half-way to his feet to follow when his name was called.
He turned to the announcer for a moment, but when he turned his gaze
back he found the vulcan was gone.

His performance, interrupted as it had been, was poor by any standard,
and though there was no obvious dissent from the onlookers, the
noticable shuffling in seats left him flaming with embaressment as he 
made his way out of the arena to sit against a wall in the competitor's
area. Leaning back against the cool stone, he let his eyes close for a
moment, revelling in the darkness with everything shut away....


The darkness parted slowly, and the crunch of footsteps told him that
Cynan was walking away, ignoring the fellow officer - or was he a fellow
officer? - he had left in the dirt. Dragging himself to all fours,
feeling the world spinning about him for a moment, Kieran finally struggled
to his feet, keeping low, and made his way slowly and cautiously away,
keeping his head low as it filled with possibilities - explanations and
recriminations in equal measure.


Lt Kieran Darkwater
Archaeology and Anthropology Officer
USS Vanguard

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