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JL | Evan Merlin & Valeese | "Wax and Wane"

Posted on Tue Feb 20th, 2018 @ 12:48am by Commander Valeese Stacker & Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: The Round Table
Location: Cold Station Theta

Once Supergirl had flown off, the Goblin King's attention turned to another pair not far away from him. He had seen them before, and was pretty sure he recognised both of them. The one on the cloud had the unique signature of the Admiral he had encountered a few days earlier. And the whisps of conversation he'd caught – when one or the other forgot for a moment they didn't need to talk louder than very sensitive Elven ears could hear – had given him confirmation that hiding behind the Elven outfit was the dear Vorta doctor. He smiled to himself, happy that she had found the courage to brave the crowds, happy that the masked ball gave her, too, the anonimity so dearly craved.

But now the Elemental of Air floated away and he seized the oppurtinity as it presented itself. "Greetings, fair Elven lady," he said, giving her a bow. "I am glad that you have decided to spend one night of your long life with us, simple mortals."

"Too long," Valeese countered, a crossed leg bobbing from where she sat in a garden chair, blissfully trying to find a chance at peace in the long, loud, night. The music was far from the issue - lilting serenades and waltzes did little to trouble her delicate sense of hearing, it was the never ending laughs and shrieks and squeals from party goers that kept her on her toes and left her unable to relax. She glanced towards the Goblin King, studying him for what he portrayed rather than looking for the who hid behind the makeup and costumery. He wasn't Stacker, that much was absolutely certain. "

"Too long your life?" the Goblin King asked, as one of the glass balls which remained made an appearance and began to dance across his hand and wrist, rolling back and forth in an entrancing weave. "Does this mean you wish to cross to the land beyond the sea, or take your place amongst the stars? Gracing us for one last time with your presence? That would sadden me."

the Vorta considered him, watching the crystal dance at his behest and shine in the light as it did, "Hardly," She scoffed at last, "Life may be long and filled with a distinct lack of ardor, but it's still precious and holy." The response rolled as easily as her shrug, allowing her to maintain an air of detailed nonchalance - but intrigue, in contrast, all the while. "Life, and everything in it, truly fascinates you - doesn't it?"

"Oh yes." The reply was immediate, without hesitation. "Yes, it does." He gestured with his free hand around him. "It's an immense universe out there, and it mostly consists of empty space. There are many worlds, but on only a few of them clings intelligent life. Life is precious, tenacious, it thrives against all odds. Yes, it fascinates me, in all its aspects, and delights me, too."

Merlin. She'd know him anywhere with that zest for knowledge and love of all things living. He was the type that would stare in wide eyed fascination, clapping with merriment, at the chance to go face to face with a Borg if only to be allowed to study the way it moved, spoke, breathed... He was the sort that vivisected a person without the guts and gore... A psychological vivisection of sorts. Valeese smiled and shook her head, "What about it, may I ask, is your favorite aspect?"

Again the answer came promptly – not the quick response of an impulsive thought, but rather the smooth answer which stemmed from thoughts which frequently recurred. "The Vulcans, for all their rigid fixation on logic, still admit to the 'emotion' of curiousity. They adhere to one encompassing principle, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. I couldn't put it more accurately myself." He spread both arms, whirled smoothly around his axis, as if he wanted to embrace the universe in all its aspects. "And what is yours?" he asked, once he had completed his spin.

The Vorta watched the strange one's dance, blinking slowly although the glimmer of her eyes betrayed her utter fascination. Songs of Vulcans, of emotion - they all lilted and deigned to die in storage somewhere deep within her ever thirsty psyche, but the man himself was a boundless source of knowledge and entertainment. It was little wonder that the Stenellian Empress had become so smitten and taken with him. If one was to have a concubine, let them be one that was ever changing and filled with philosophy, or so Valeese thought. "What if I told you I didn't have a favorite?" A lie if there ever was one, but the reaction was worth digging for.

"That would indicate that you love life in all its aspects, an admirable trait in itself," the Goblin King answered promptly. "It takes a truly open mind to see beauty in everything, from the greatest predator to the smallest insect, from utterly alienness such as Species 8472 to what is generally accepted as mundane." His voice became softer, more thoughtful. "In order to love all life like this means to accept everything equally, to abandon concepts such as 'evil' and 'good' in relation to species and life, as well as concept as 'ugly' and 'beautiful'. Few people manage to do that…" He trailed off and the ball's motions, which had slowed down as he talked as well, came to rest.

More quiet blinking ensued as she watched and listened to him dig his way through his answer. It was not unlike watching a fine artist take brush to canvas, sweeping color in careful but flourished motions. Was Evan Merlin, or whatever his name truly was, crazy? Without a doubt, but Valeese was not one to judge psychosis unless it became a threat to the greater well being of the station, or himself, whichever came first. As far as the man was concerned, he was safe... Just colorful and filled with a need to understand, see, touch, and savor every aspect of life known to man, and alien, kind. "I beg to differ," She grinned, "One can appreciate and admire without loving or even liking something."

He studied her, from behind his mask – masks which might as well not be there at all, with the way their words connected them. "But isn't appreciation and admiration not a form of loving, or liking, or bonding in itself?" he countered. "Can you appreciate or admire something you truly loathe?"

She considered his question for no more than a second before she replied, "There's a very thin line between love and hate. Both are such strong, passionate emotional concepts."

"True in regards to the emotional concepts," the Goblin King replied. "But a thin line would imply that love could easily turn to hate and vice versa." He tilted his head. "Do you believe this is the case?"

Valeese nodded, "That's often the case in many situations, sad as though it may be." How often had she seen couples fall from absolute adoration to complete contempt? Too many. Species once loved had become hunted and hated in the blink of an eye as well... And vice versa. The Klingons were a prime example if there ever was one. Of course as her synapses fired to bring each memory and thought to the forefront, she was equally as inspired - and entertained - by the strange one in front of her. "Can you name anything you truly love?" She asked, her head tilted in finite curiosity.

"Define 'love'," came the reply, promptly. The ball in his hand had begun to move again, slowly as yet.

The little elf sighed and canted her head gently to one side, "Love. Four letter word which is noun, verb, and adjective all in one. The act of accepting someone for their flaws, an unconditional commitment to selflessly serve, truthfully communicate, fearlessly protect, gracefully forgive, compassionately heal, and enduringly remain in a relationship with and for the greater sake of another soul." A gesture of a single hand directed attention towards the little star and her raven off in the distance, their connection unmistakable. "Love."

Again the tilt of his head, a longer silence this time. Finally came a reply, again soft, thoughtful, the sea-coloured eyes behind the mask now a deep, dark blue. "Then I have only loved…" he said slowly, and softer still, almost inaudible even for someone like Valeese, "yet I know, deep down inside, that I have hated, too… Or maybe will hate?" He shrugged, gave that airy wave of his hand that would have immediately betrayed his identity to anyone who had met him before, even if Valeese hadn't known him already. "Sometimes past and future can be confusing, too."

"To have only known, or be able to remember love..." She smiled and brought her hands together, "That is somewhat of a miracle. I wish I could say the same." Merlin was a fantastic creature. Creature only because no one knew what to call him, not unlike the new soul the Vindicator had drug from the depth of the nebula beyond. "Keep it that way. Don't give yourself to the darkness."

He shrugged, and as he did, the colour of his eyes changed again, from deep blue to a lighter teint, turquoise and green. "I know there is darkness. I can feel it sometimes, those depths. But I'd rather stay away from them, and play and frolic near the shore, where all is light and life." He gestured again, towards the area of the arboretum where the beach was situated, and the waters beyond. Not a true sea by any stretch of imagination, but the closest they could get to one in a conversation like this. "While I have the luxury of time."

"You haven't aged a day in thirteen years. I'd say that the luxury of time is one thing you most definitely do have." Valeese nodded almost somberly, "I wonder if you're not unlike a Vulcan, just a bit brighter and more educated about emotion."

Another of those airy waves. "Maybe. I don't know. Maybe hidden in those depths lies the secret of my origins, but that alone is not sufficient motivation to plumb them." He grinned briefly. "I suppose time will tell. Ageless elf."

"Perhaps." Valeese shrugged gently with that small smile still painting itself across her features, "Or perhaps the key to your past is held by your present for safe keeping until you're ready for it in the future." Now he had her talking in riddles too. It didn't trouble her, instead left her with the need to watch him with all the more in the way of interesting building. "I saw you dancing with the Empress and the way you looked at one another. There's something there, just maybe not quite ready for definition, but it's there." She paused, but only briefly as she drew new breath and her brows furrowed slightly beneath her silver wire mask, "How do you feel about that?

"You are very perceptive," he replied, the grin relaxing into a smile. "One of her small joys is the anonymity this ball provides. And yes, there is something there. Some kind of connection, not easily defined with words." He looked around. Midnight was drawing near, maybe an hour away, now, maybe even less. Who would leave just before this midnight hour would strike, maybe to leave behind a single shoe as an old Earth legend or story had it, and who would stay? "Would you like something to drink?" he asked.

The commotion of a near by work of performance art, shouts and all, barely tugged at her attention. It should have. Instead she was wrapped up soundly within her own mind and lost in thought about her own beliefs and those she shared with the strange sea-eyed man, "You'd be surprised what is given away by sound alone." She nodded, "Or maybe it's more the understanding of a like mind - someone else who cherishes the chance at to practice a bit of escapism." Her mouth was drawn into more of a simper than a true smile. "No, my dear. The hour is upon us and I still have one more to try and find before I give up for good on it." Valeese bowed her head to him as she gathered herself to rise to her feet.

"Then I will leave you to your search, and I will continue with mine," he said with an elegant bow. "The difference is, you know what you're searching for and you haven't found it yet. I, on the other hand, have no idea what I'm searching for." There was that grin again, appearing like the sun from behind a cloud. "But here, as in most things, the journey is more important than the destination. Enjoy the rest of your stay here, and once again thank you for gracing us with your presence."

"Blessed be." Was all that she said in return, allowing him the chance to depart before she herself rose and disappeared deeper into the garden.


Commander Valeese
Chief Medical Officer


Lieutenant Evan Merlin
Strategic Operations Officer


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