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JL | RADM Sha'mer, Cmdr Valeese | "Kindred" pt I

Posted on Mon Feb 12th, 2018 @ 5:18pm by Commander Valeese Stacker & Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: The Round Table

Along came memories of stories - rhymes about spiders and rain. Washed away it rose once more the moment the sun shone bright enough to dry up the bitterness and pain of yesterdays. She knew better. While not a spider, Valeese was considered to be just as undesirable by so many members of the Federation... And beyond. Tonight, though, she wasn't the spider. Tonight she was able to hide behind delicate gauze and silk and silver and glitter and crystal and beads and and and... Tonight a holo projector changed the very shape of her ears, shortening them until they were identifiable only as being elfin. Tonight the bright purple of her eyes meant nothing in the face of costumes where eyes were every color under the rainbow - or none at all. She was alive only in mythology and waiting for a chance to live in an environment where she didn't turn stomachs. That began the moment she stepped into the arboretum and had it confirmed that no one was any the wiser of her true identity.

At least until she passed by one individual with a mind far sharper and more astute than others.

Sha'mer hadn't even planned to go. "I'm not part of the Vindicator crew nor of the Station crew, I'm here as just another visitor," she'd told Ra'lin.

"Didn't the Commodore say that you're part of the Vindicator family now?" Ra'lin asked, all wide-eyed innocence. That act hadn't fooled Sha'mer when Ra'lin was two and it didn't fool her now that she was in her twenties either.

"Been eavesdropping?" she asked with a stern frown.

"I just picked that word up through the link, nothing more. I wasn't listening to the rest." Ra'lin looked down, but couldn't help but smile. "I'm glad you met the Commodore, though. She's nice. She-" reminds me of you.

"I know she does," Sha'mer said softer. She sighed. "So you want me to come? Why?"

Now Ra'lin looked up again, eyes twinkling. "I've never seen you go to a party, and certainly not like this! Imagine, you could be anything you want!"

Sha'mer arched an eyebrow. Though there had been parties on Trilista in the past, Ra'lin had been too young to attend those. And she had to agree, nobody had ever organised a masked ball on the Colony. Or on any of the other places she had served before, for that matter. Not that she had ever felt that as a serious lack which needed to be remedied. "I like myself just fine." But there was a twinkle in her eyes as she said it.

"Ow, c'mon, mom, it'll be fun." Ra'lin knew she had won, though neither had come out and said it.

Sha'mer leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms. "So, since it's your wild idea, tell me: as what should I go? I could just dress up and play 'Admiral'. I think I can do that."

Ra'lin looked at her, pleading. "No, mom, please don't do that. There are so many other things you could be doing. I'm going as a fire elemental. What do you think about the element of air?"

"The element of air." Sha'mers eyebrow rose again and stayed up. "What should I think about it?"

Ra'lin bent forward. "Okay, this is what I had in mind…"

And so Sha'mer floated serenely through the crowd, and sometimes above it, dressed in a gown of light blue, light grey and white, with a tight top and wide flowing skirts which changed into smoky clouds near the hem. It made her appear to be dressed in a nimbus. An elaborate mask covered her face.

She had seen two other elements in the distance, Fire and Ice, and smiled. If Ra'lin was Fire, it wasn't hard to guess who the other one had to be. Most of the others here were unknown. One Vulcan, whose disciplined mind still radiated a slight unease at all the illogicalities going on around him. A few of the quicksilver minds of the Stenellis delegation in the distance. A Betazoid mind brushed past hers and the owner, a man dressed like the main character of a famous holonovel, gave her a cheerful wave. Near one of the other elementals she spotted the richly layered mind of the mysterious Lieutenant she'd met a few days ago, and not far from Sha'mer herself she found another familiar mindtone: the distinctive blur of a Vorta.

She turned around to spot the owner of that mind and saw a classic Elf, seemingly right out of the Lord of the Rings. Smiling to herself, Sha'mer floated over, while quickly running through her memories to find a certain Elven greeting. It had been a long time ago since she'd read the book, but this appeared to be one of the memories which had not been swallowed by one of the black holes in her mind. "Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo," she said when she came near.

The Elfish tongue rooted quickly within Valeese's mind. She'd recognize the words, their meaning, anywhere. If it hadn't been a distinctly female voice that had uttered them, she'd have wondered if the speaker had been Stacker having read the book she'd given him. No such romance would occur, however. Turning, she saw the sky... A cloud... A vision of air... And she smiled, ducking her head politely "Mara sinyë." She greeted in kind, the Sindarin words melting from her mouth. "Not often I meet someone that knows their Tolkien, let alone their Sindarin." Valeese followed up, deeply chuffed to have company and one that appeared to be cultured - even if she had no idea who in the world they truly were... And maybe that degree of anonymity was was made the encounter all the better.

"In this company, you might be surprised," Sha'mer said, looking around again. "At least one other that I'm sure of, another I strongly suspect." Her eyes strayed to the glass-juggling man talking with the element of Ice. She wouldn't put it past him to have read the book and retained the memories. "So who knows who else might engage you in conversation. Though I must confess to only knowing a few common Sindarin phrases, so maybe someone else would suit you better, indeed."

"Eh..." Valeese shrugged gently, "Somehow I doubt that, but the mood and the music and the costumes are enough to keep me happy for the night." She smiled, toying with the gossamer fabric draped about her arm, "I couldn't ask for more, honestly." Sure she could, but she wouldn't. For in that brief instance of time she was free to be and free to dance and no one would give her another thought. She was just another mystery stuck in an evening when anyone could be anything. Tomorrow she'd go back to being a shunned monster and no one would be anymore aware that they had danced and smiled and enjoyed company and time spent with her. That was the most amusing part of all of this. "I'm glad to even have found someone who knows what it is." The smile became more of a high beam.

"Now I wonder," Sha'mer said, floating just a little bit closer and pitching her voice so that only a few would be able to hear it, such as a keen-eared elf, or a Vorta. "Will you stay until midnight, or slip out just before, to leave everybody wondering who the mysterious, regal elf was?"

The Vorta's amaranthine eyes blinked beneath the silver filigree and black eye shadow that framed them, a sign that she was both taken aback and intrigued by the question the nimbus proposed, "I hadn't thought about that," She replied honestly, shaking her head slightly, "Leaving before midnight sounds like the safe plan, but I hear there's an awards ceremony happening after so maybe that wouldn't be exactly wise to miss... I'm sorry. Inner monologue sometimes spews."

Sha'mer smiled, just about visible on the part of her face not covered by the mask. "Ah, but wasn't it a wizard in your realm who said something along the lines of 'When you talk to yourself, it is because you choose the wisest person present to speak to'? Which might not bode well for the rest of us. Then again," her smile faded and she shrugged, "I've never claimed to be wise."

"Yes... Yes he did." Valeese's brows sort of furrowed beneath her mask and a finger rose unconsciously to tap at the swell of her lower lip, "I mean... I'd hardly consider myself the wisest individual either, if we're being real with one another." She blinked, shifting her weight from one foot to the other, "Could be said that it's true because only we know what we really and truly want or hope for as far as outcomes to certain situations could be concerned. How philosophically deep." Her smile was slow, but colored by her appreciation for the conversation at hand. The cloud was wise whether she wanted to admit it or not.

"Then perhaps attaining wisdom, instead of knowledge, is something we ought to strive for," Sha'mer said. "And sometimes wisdom is simply drawing a line and saying 'We just don't know'." Under her mask she frowned, wondering at which point their light conversation had suddenly gained an extra layer. "I guess in the end us mortals all look up to the Elves for wisdom."

To Be Continued...

Rear Admiral Cintia Sha'mer
Director of Starfleet Operations


Commander Valeese
Chief Medical Officer


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