[USS Vanguard] Re: Letter to She'Ra

  • From: "Kieran Darkwater" <kdarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 22:14:12 +0000

The Vulcan shuttle had always had a predatory appearance, to Kieran's way of 
thinking, a sleek, grey bird of prey that slipped through space with great 
ease. Pulling back into Starbase Brigadoon, however, he was reminded just 
how small it was as he stared out of the window,  with mixed emotions to be 
returning to his ship. Someone knew a lot about him, more about him than he 
was entirely comfortable with, and he wasn't entirely sure that was down to 
his official record and his occassional dissertations and public writings.

Lifting himself from his seat, he made the three-step journey to the exit 
and nodded once in parting to his pilot, the vulcan returning the gesture 
with an economy of movement to be expected from the cold people. It was the 
first gesture of communication that had been forthcoming since they had left 
Vulcan, but Kieran hadn't minded the quiet: it had given him time to think, 
and to rest. Wincing slightly, he wrapped a protective arm around his 
bruised ribs and thought about more rest as he made his way through the 
starbase docking area to the umbilical that led back to the Vanguard.

Logging himself onto the ship, he nodded to the crewman at the hatch, and 
walked slowly through the hallways of the largely deserted ship and into his 

"Computer, transport the personal belongings of Kieran Darkwater from the 
Vulcan shuttle T'Vel to these quarters." he said, in a quiet, tired voice, 
slumping rather gently into the reclining seat in the study area of his 
quarters. The package materialised within seconds, and he leant back, 
closing his eyes.

"Lights, dim. Music, Bajoran choral works, 'Crystalline Tapestry' by 
Chevoran El..... reduce volume..... more." The subtle chiming began, a 
musical work that he hadn't been able to secure on Vulcan, and that more 
than anything had prompted him to select it. The long, spiritual history of 
the Bajorans was in many ways an anathema to the Vulcans, but even that 
knowledge couldn't settle his mind.

"Personal Log Entry...


Kieran strode into the Captain's ready-room with the invitation, confused 
for a brief moment not to see the Captain there.

"Lieutenant?" the voice said, from behind him, and Kieran turned to see the 
owner of the office sat comfortably in the soft seating area he had not seen 
used before.

"Captain, I was wondering if I might request a brief leave whilst we're 
docked for this refit?" he said, passing the PADD across. "There is a 
martial arts tournament on the Bolian homeworld that I'd like to travel to, 
and then a series of lectures on Vulcan about the history and philosophy of 
Surak." he explained, looking about slightly. He had never had cause to look 
at this end of the ready-room - the Captain had always been sat behind his 
desk on previous visits.

"This seems to be in order," the Captain replied, with a slight smile, "Good 
luck. From what I hear of the Bolian tournament, you may need it."

"I'm not rash enough to enter for the Open Tournament." he said, with a wry 
grin. "The display event will suffice for me, I can assure you." Nodding in 
departure, Kieran made his way to his quarters to answer the invitation, and 
begin his packing.

* * * * * * *

The stars blurred slightly, alerting him to the return to impulse speed and 
he closed his book slowly, surprised at how little time the journey had 
taken. These new shuttles had drastically improved engines, and could 
maintain their maximum speeds for far longer than had previously been the 
case, but the change was still surprising.

Patting the shoulder of the pilot, he gathered his belongings as he shuffled 
towards the door, knowing the shuttle was only stopping over long enough to 
drop him off.

"Thanks for the ride." he said, taking his gear with him, clamping the 
grav-lifter to the crate, and walked out onto the Bolian transport terminus 
with a smile. The journey had been long enough to leave him feeling cramped, 
and he adjourned to the Officer's quarters of the Bolian StarFleet building 
with some relish, quickly changing for a session in the gym. The slightly 
heavy gravity, and even heavier air, built up a sweat quickly, but by the 
end he felt suitably relaxed though he knew he would ache in the morning 
without a careful stretching regime during the rest of the day.

The tournament started the day after next, which was not enough time to 
fully acclimatise really, but thankfully he was not entering the open 
tournament, and lack of conditioning shouldn't present too much of a problem 
in a competition that emphasised grace, timing and precision more than 
victory. Dabbing at his neck with a towel, he stepped into the corridor 
outside the gymnasium, catching the fleeting glimpse of someone walking 
past. The glance must have triggered some instinct, because his arm came up 
to ward the figure away just as the buzzing pain-stick approached his 
shoulder. Training rolled him away from the blow, along the wall, letting 
the thrusting weapon impact on the surface behind him to leave a mark as he 
gained himself a little space. Twisting the towel quickly between his hands 
he backed away from the weapon as the second thrust came, wrapping the band 
of material around the end and stepping forward again, taking his opponent 
by surprise and grounding the charged end into his own neck.

Jolted back, Kieran was shocked to see the assailant stagger, recover his 
balance, and dash off, leaving him stunned and alone in the corridor.

* * * * * * * * * *

"Mr Darkwater, I don't know where you've come from recently, and I don't 
want to know, but round here we don't get StarFleet officers being 
attacked." The Bolian appeared slightly rotund, at first glance, but that 
was merely a feature of the people. Kieran sat in his office, still with the 
towel wrapped around his hands, trying desperately to keep his patience.

"I understand that: this would be an exceptional incident at most any 
StarFleet facility. That doesn't obviate what happened: someone attacked me 
with a Klingon pain-stick. Someone, I might add, with the physiology to 
withstand a hit from such a weapon. That seriously narrows down the 
possibilities. I am not making this up, I am not delusional, deluded, 
disturbed or demented. What are you going to do about this?"

"Mr Darkwater, I've had enough of this. What have you given me to go on? One 
marked wall, and a fanciful story... about both of which I am going to do 
nothing. You've tendered your report, I've tendered mine. Unless something 
else comes up, that's the last I ever want to hear of this, and you can rest 
assured that I shall be sending a copy of my report to your commanding 

Kieran didn't stop to answer, stepping out of the door a mixed bundle of 
frustration and tension, half-expected the cloaked figure to appear again. 
Back in the room he had been assigned he threw his towel at the wall, and 
slumped into the seat. This wasn't the sort of preparation he needed for the 
tournament, and he could think of nothing else that might cause someone to 
attack him: could someone really take the competition that seriously?

Closing his eyes, he leant back against the rest of the chair, and replayed 
the brief struggle in his mind, seeking something he might have missed. The 
darkness passed to his right, stopping suddenly, and he brought his hands up 
into the Swallow Passes By defence, moving into Ward, Grab, Roll and Push to 
break and gain distance. The figure turned, knees flexing as he pivoted, 
right hand leading with the pain-stick and the other... the other held tight 
to the lower ribcage? There was only one fighting style he knew like that, 
and that was one of the Vulcan disciplines. That stance was used to ward off 
rising strikes to the Vulcan equivalent of a gall-bladder, that hung near 
the bottom of the ribcage.

A Vulcan? That made even less sense...


Sorry for the delay, but it's started now. More to follow soon.

Lieutenant Kieran Darkwater
Archaeology and Anthropology Officer
Science Department
USS Vanguard

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