[ussbansheec] Aberdeen Rain
- From: Andy Maluhia <CaptainAndy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbansheec@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 19:59:51 -0400
by Nan and Kai Ecitsuj
Nan watched the rain falling from the comfort of the huge overstuffed
sofa in the living room. Aberdeen was certainly wetter than any place
he'd ever lived even considering that snow covered most of Ninitchik
through out its year. That moisture, though, was of the frozen sort.
It fell softy or blew through on the Winds' howling. It certainly
didn't make the steady drumming noise that this Aberdeen rain made. No
matter, he told himself. So long as we're all warm inside and safe, it
can rain all it wants.
It was late enough that everyone else was asleep. Or, to be more
precise, his Nartok and the two older children were in their
regeneration chambers and little Slaine was asleep in her bassinet
which stood right in front of her alcove. Aileas and 5 of 12 insisted
that they could respond to anything the baby needed right out of their
alcove. We will, they assured him, be with her before she can cry more
than a second. So he, not being at all sleepy, lay back in the living
room, reading an old book while the cheery fire place kept things warm.
He certainly didn't expect to hear soft, small foot steps from the door
way. He twisted his head without moving but then sat up completely when
he saw their eldest standing there.
"Hey, what are you doing up, Kai?" he asked quietly. Even as he said
that, he could see the boy was shaking with something that certainly
looked like fear in any other child. He held his arm out, inviting the
boy to him. "Couldn't sleep or regen?" he asked as the small, black
haired child fairly ran to him and held on as if for dear life.
"No, Amaguq," came the soft voice. He and 11 of 13, who was now named
Isobel, now understood why the adults had different names. Those
special titles separated them from other adults, made it known to one
and all that they were their family, their own little Collective. Kai
had learned that 'Amaguq' was the word for 'father' in the white haired
one's native tongue and decided to use it all the time once he realized
how much it pleased the kind man. "The noise is frightening."
"What noise is that, son?" Nan asked as he settled the boy on his lap.
"The loud ones," the boy said, shaking his head. "The ones that result
from air superheated by electrical discharges."
Nan blinked for a second. "Thunder and lightning," he finally said. He
hmmphed softly to himself. It was odd that the boy could give the
scientific reasoning for the phenomena but still be frightened of them.
"You know that we're safe in here, don't you? Warm inside and out?"
Kai gave a tiny nod. "It's scary, though. It won't let me ignore it
enough to sleep or to go to my alcove."
"Ah, well, I think I can help you with that," Nan said gently. He
reclined full length on the sofa then pulled the boy next to him,
cuddling him to his side. "You stay here with me until you're not
scared any more then. I'll teach you something about the lightning and
thunder if you'd like."
"Please, Amaguq?" Kai asked, craning his neck to look up at him. This
sort was not known to the Collective and for that Kai was glad. This
one was too loving and kind for that. He smiled at him, knowing it
would please him. "Please?"
"Silly Qimugkauyar," Nan chuckled as he ruffled the straight black
hair. "Of course. Watch the lightning, Kai. When you see it, count
the seconds before you hear thunder. For each second you count, that is
how far away the center of the storm is."
"Really?" He didn't really doubt Amaguq especially since there was no
weather in a Borg cube.
"Yes, really. Look! See, there went a flash so start counting," Nan
told him. He counted to himself as well while he watched Kai's mouth
counted. Small arms tightened about his neck as he reached the count of
six. Patting the little back to soothe any fears, he asked, "How far
did you count?"
"Six miles," Kai reported, feeling a warm swell as Nan grinned and
nodded. "Can we count more now?"
"Of course, my Qimugkauyar. Just get comfortable," Nan told him.
Kai reached small hands toward the end of the sofa and pulled the soft
woolen blanket up over them, giggling slightly when the fringes tickled
his nose. Nan grinned widely as the boy snuggled into his arms then
kissed him on the top of his head. "Now," he began in his Storyteller's
voice, "I know of a people who lived on the North American continent a
long time ago who said that the noise thunder makes comes from dwarves
who live in the mountains near them."
Kai's face screwed up in confusion. "Very small people do not make
thunder," he stated.
"No, they certainly do not but their legend has it that a man like them
wandered into those mountains and happened upon those dwarves playing a
game of nine pins. That man, whose name was Rip Van Winkle, realized
that the noise that the balls made as they were rolled along the
mountains was the noise of thunder," Nan explained.
"That does not make sense," Kai stated. He was about to say more but a
flash of lightning interrupted and he made sure to start counting. Soon
there was a rumbling of thunder and he looked up at Nan. "Eight."
"Good job, son. Maybe the storm is moving off. Now, I know that whole
story sounds preposterous but such stories are a way that many people
use to explain things that they don't understand."
"Do they have those kind of stories on Ninitchik?" Kai asked.
Nan bit back a smile. Kai and Izzy were sounding more and more like his
Nartok every day. "We do, even though we now know why theses things
really happen. We would say that thunder is the sound made by
Kajutaijuq, a female giant, as she chases ice bears across the tundra."
"Why tell the stories still if they aren't true?" Kai asked.
"Because they are still a part of who we are as a people today. We
remember things by telling stories, even when we remember them simply
because the stories are well told," Nan explained. "You know, some day,
when you and Izzy are a little older and more acclimated, you might
actually enjoy stories that are make believe."
"We like your stories, Amaguq," Kai stated sleepily. It was comfortable
there in Amaguq's arms, he told himself. Safe and warm. "Will you tell
Nan lifted his head. The boy's eyes were closed. Rather than wake him
up, he simply made himself comfortable and they both fell asleep to the
sound of Aberdeen's rain pattering on the windows.
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