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Kassiopeia Rising

Stepping back in time to when Fleet Captain/Ambassador Anna Leigh K'tee Tor was "just an Ensign", in late 2189 - 2190. This is one of her adventures long before an interdeminsional rift was discovered and Space Station Requiem was built to ensure everlasting peace.



 

Personal Logs: Ensign Anna Leigh K’Tee Tor

Stardate: 2189.274 - 1st October 2189


I have been stationed on the USS Benjamin Franklin, NCC-013, the first of the Daedalus Class of Starships from Earth, for little over a decade now. The opportunity to see so much of the universe that had been denied to me my first Uhlatǣnth, a hundred years of life. This has been one that I will never forget. I have learned so much about Terrans as a Starfleet Officer, about diplomacy as T ’Lana Dohlma, and in learning what it means to be Human has been beneficial beyond whatever I can hope to be. Well, at least it is beneficial to know what it is like to be a Terran Human.


The crew on board has been very accepting of me, though it was not always so. I did not realize that my people had created such animosity among those they aim to work with since first contact on Earth over a hundred years ago. I know we can be a bit arrogant, but to see first-hand the perceived aristocrat arrogance of Elasians has been eye opening. There are so many times that I wish I could be as emotional as the crew. To allow myself to openly feel joy, sadness, and fear with everyone else, just once. However, this can never be. There will always be that slim chance that a tear will fall, and someone will catch it.


The results after that can be devastating to most humanoid species. To experience another person’s emotions firsthand emotionally and physically, without being telepathic, has sent more people than I care to think about to a grave of insanity and never-ending devotion. I had not realized, until a few years ago, there was a small sect of female Elasians who used this to their advantage and as a means of psychological control over their followers. I have often wondered if that sect gives full disclosure or are they subversive about it.


On the topic of Elas being controlling…


I was just informed that at the end of this cycle that I will be transferred to the Rigel System to assist K’Tuatha who will soon return to Elas for her Centatte, the rite of ascension and the celebration of having lived a thousand years. There I will spend the next Batǣnth of time studying under her before assuming the role of T’Lana Dohlma. Fifty years is really just a drop in the proverbial bucket to the people of Elas that I often wonder just how do the Terrans manage to accomplish so much with such short lives?


 

Anna stood outside the Captain’s Ready Room. She could feel the eyes of the bridge crew boring into her back. Anna could sense they were all wondering what could possibly be going on that she did not just stroll in, unannounced, as normal. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she could feel tears threatening in her eyes. She did not want to leave The Ben Franklin. Everyone here had become her family over the past ten years, and her unofficial guardians with the passing of T’Leth, her first Elasian mentor and guardian.


Her hand hesitated over the door comm button, then fell back to her side. It rose and fell again several times before she felt more than heard the Executive Office, Commander Jason Riker, come up behind her. Quietly, he whispered, “He is expecting you. Starfleet just sent orders for us to take you to Rigel VII. Communications already made us aware of your transmission with Elas.” Calmy, he signaled the door comm for her. With a discreet peck on the back of the neck, he gently pushed her, by the small of her back, into the Ready Room when the door opened.

She was going to miss his gentle and commanding ways, and his emotional strength. She wanted nothing more than to just turn around and crawl back into his arms she had vacated less than a few hours ago. He would survive after she left, she had assured that he never touched her face, or her tears when they were together. She had assured that she had regular inoculations of a powerful pheromone inhibitor. “His destiny and descendants belong to another,” Anna had to remind herself, time and time again.


She entered the sparsely decorated Ready Room of Captain Robert DePalma. He was standing with his back to the door, staring out a window into the space beyond. The stars were distorted by warp travel. His hands were clasped behind his back, his shoulders more square than normal and he stood to his full, stiff height. They stood in an awkward silence for a time, while Anna struggled to find the words for her friend.


“We will be at Rigel VII in three weeks’ time.” He finally broke the silence and left the ball in Anna’s court to continue.


“Yes, Sir. Ja…” Anna caught herself before continuing, “Commander Riker told me on the way in that our course had been altered by Starfleet Command already.”


Robert turned to look at her, for possibly the last time. He wanted to always remember her and cherished every moment that she allowed herself to appear vulnerable around others. Anna was tall and athletically slender for a female humanoid. An even two meters, to be precise, according to the ship’s doctor, along with an even fifty kilograms, which never wavered in any direction. Her long fire red hair was pulled up tightly into a high bun on her head. He grinned to himself, knowing that the sight of her knee length hair drove many onboard crazy with envy when it was down, for many different reasons, especially when she would dance. Shades of orange, tinges of brilliant blue, golden blondes, and ethereal white had begun to show through creating an even more convincing illusion of a head of fire.

Her skin was pale as the Nephrite Jade plaque upon his desk, with a silvery luminescent quality about it that could not be quantified. Her neck and cheek bones were only slightly more prominent than a Terran Human, but not shaped any differently. They would flush with rosy, red color, the same as any Terran Human and her lips were naturally the color of the reddest rose.


He dared a look at her eyes and instantly regretted it. Her eyes were slightly upturned in shape and had turned the color of the Aegean Sea on Earth where himself or any of his crew would gladly throw themselves in to save her, or to drown their sorrows in the same manner as Aegeus did so many centuries ago. Her eyes were always so fascinating and telling of her current mood. Doctor Klaban, his Denobulan physician, had told them they were known as “chameleon eyes”, as they would change color at will or in response to stimuli. Doctor Klaban frequently assured him that no one on his crew was under the influence of her “toxic tears”, as Anna had called them ten years ago. Her "tears" were her biggest concern when she had asked to serve on board as a Xenobiologist Research and Junior Science Officer.


Even having been one of the first graduates from Starfleet Academy, class of 2117, to be precise, she was certainly deserving of a higher rank. He slightly shook his head at the quick math of how old that truly made her. He could not understand why she insisted on remaining an Ensign at every promotion opportunity. He could only believe that it something to do with being a daughter of an ambassador from Elas, thus granting her the rights to have more control over her rank in Starfleet under the Confederation Alliance Constitution. Or, was it some odd tradition among her people to live in a set sequential way due to their exceedingly long life spans.


Her being an ambassador, of sorts, descended from a long line of ambassadors from Elas, and capparently born with "diplomacy" being gifted at birth. Not that he could complain. Her status among Elasians and the Confederaation Alliance, had proved to be useful more than once. Even for one that had not yet formally started training, she naturally excelled in diplomatic relations. It was if she was born to lead, as she demonstrated leadership skills, on more than one occassion.


Starfleet and Elas had agreed her time among Terran Humans would be “beneficial for all.” He silently shook his head, as he remembered that final statement from Admiral Denher ten years prior. It had felt like a career and diplomatic death sentence back then.


“I will ask Doctor Klaban if he would like me to leave my research equipment behind. He may continue to find it useful, after…” the words caught in her throat, “after I leave.” Anna knew that she would outlive everyone on the vessel by several centuries and thought that she had prepared herself for the emotional toll it would take on her to have to leave so many friends behind, again and again. “I have some," she tried to continue. "I really ought to… I should be, um, going…” Anna stammered. For once in her life of one hundred and ten years, Anna was without words.


Anna turned to leave, “Anna?” Robert asked her to turn and look at him, with a single utterance of her Human and preferred name. Anna slowly turned to face him once more, painfully aware that she was near uncontrollable tears. With a few short strides, Robert strode across the room to hug her. “I am glad that we,” he paused and cleared his throat. “That I got to know you.” He whispered before stepping away, as her tears began to fall unchecked and her body began to shudder slightly with sobbing. He walked out of the room to give herself time to compose herself and double checked his uniform to ensure she had not cried any tears onto him.

 

How Anna managed to get from the Bridge to her research lab four decks away, without running into anyone, was highly suspicious. She paused in front of the Sick Bay door, and thought about entering. She was emotionally spent already. As she decided to hold off on saying goodbye to the Doctor and turned towards her laboratory door, the Sick Bay door opened. Doctor Klaban stood there with a small black box decorated in the finest of blue satin bows in his hand.


“Doctor.” Anna acknowledged with a slight bow of her head, feeling tears threatening to emerge once again from her eyes.


Doctor Klaban stood very still and looked at her straight in the eyes. His gaze was purposefully not waivering from her. His already reddish toned skin was flushed in orange and firey gold highlights. His flushing betrayed his highly emotional state of mind and his adrenal glands were already swelling with fluids and beginning to protrude from the sides of his neck. His smile was over exaggerated for Anna’s benefit and in attempts to hide his own pain over losing such a good friend.


A glisten in the corner of her eye, caught his attention, and just for a moment he wanted to understand the type of pain his friend was going through. He quickly toyed with the thought of reaching up to brush an escaping tear from now Azure Blue eyes. Instead, he thrust the box into her hands as his memory sharply reminded him of what happened that last time someone touched her extrodinary tear. With sharper than normal tone and a precise perfunctionary curtness, “I will see to your lab and everything in it." He clasped his hands behind his back to restrain them and gave a laconic continued response. "We Denobulans need extraordinarily little sleep that I can more than aptly take care of sick bay and the research lab until a new science officer is found.” He then, just as abruptly as he arrived, turned on his heel and retreated back into Sick Bay.


Anna looked at the box and opened it to see a small vial of luminous blue and silver liquid. She held it up to the light and caught the faint scene of Tamalian Blooms. Grasping the vial close to her heart, closing her eyes, and bowing her head, she spoke out loud, “Thank you for the inhibitor, my friend.” It took Anna a moment longer to realize that the rich aroma of Tamalian Blooms was now present in the air system of the ship, causing tears to well up in her eyes once more as comprehension that she could openly express emotions for the next several hours awakened in her. Carefully, she placed the vial in her pocket, added the ribbon to her uptight hairbun, then she opened the door to her lab and had a cause to pause before entering.

“That’s odd,” Anna thought as she looked about trying to determine what was out of place and raising an internal alarm. Her eyes scanned the sterile white and grey environment, taking mental stock of where everything is now compared to her walking out an hour before. She started on the left side of the room as she was trained to do. Scanned upper area, scan lower areas, left to right. Beakers and jars of specimens and liquids on the shelves next to the exam table stood at the ready.

A furry biological specimen was displayed open on the workstation, with the trans electro spectral microscope still positioned above it. Her eyes continued to follow down the table to where the data padd was still sitting on the far corner of the table where she had been running scans of the new biological lifeform, they had found infesting Iota Geminorum IV and recently caused the complete evacuation of Pragine 63. She could see the pad screen was now displaying the computer’s analysis with results waiting to be viewed.


Next to the table was her desk, L-shaped, on the far wall. A mug of cold Terran coffee was sitting next to a stack of padds, previous coffee cup rings etched into the desktop, and the desk computer screen showed the tabs of all of her other reports. “That is not right,” Anna whispered to the room “I had a report open on that screen when I left.”


Curiosity peaked, Anna’s head cocked to the habitual right side, as she walked towards her desk, eyes focused on the screen, her head then slowly tilted to the other side. As Anna walked past the wall lined with cabinets on her right, a dark hand suddenly reached out from a cabinet that was slightly open.


“Jih ghaj ghah. Rih!” As waves of nausea washed over her, her gaze finally continued to the right to see the now fully open cabinet; a man dressed in silver with black attire, his other arm outstretched and pressing something against her neck. His dark eyes were small set, dialated from adrenaline, and hiding in thick dark hair. His face was dark as rich soil and was heavy with frontal ridges.


Unconsciousness soon engulfed her, along with the universal sparkle of being transported.


 

Please let me know in the comments below any thoughts on the storyline.

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