Posted on Wed Jan 9th, 2013 @ 6:24am by Lieutenant Kestra Elaan
Location: Kestra's room on Spartan
Timeline: MD2 1500 hrs
Kestra's quarters were completely uniquely Kestra. She had always loved the wild hidden places and so had visualized her favorite spot when she had been told that she could have any kind of quarters that she wanted. It looked like a forest glade, where a large fallen tree had been hollowed out and soft comfortable bedding placed inside. The seating area was a mix of rocks covered with so much moss that they were squishy soft, and a tree trunk that acted as a table. The decor flowed so that even the bathroom was included though the actual toilet was hidden by a curtain of vines. There was a shallow pool of water, just enough so that Kestra could completely submerge herself and barely long enough to allow it. This was what she thought of when she thought of home and why Treetop and Rainforest's minds had soothed her so easily.
Carefully she set Riss down, letting her new friend find her own way amongst the decor. There was only one thing that was missing and Kestra couldn't quite place it, but she knew that it was something important, something that, no someone that should be with her but was gone. Frowning she shed her new uniform, tossing the clothing over the nearest rock before climbing into the pool and scrubbing the snotty filmy feeling from her skin. There was nothing like good old fashioned soap and water to get the grimy feeling of her rebirth off of her. Everything was just how she liked it, the soap even scented so that it smelled like a Chameleon Rose.
The weariness hit her hard as she rinsed her hair and body, now she understood why everyone assumed that she would pass out. As it was she could barely force herself to leave the pool of warm water so that she could dry herself and climb into her bed. Once there though, she slept, and as she slept she began to dream. She had been locked in stasis for so long, with only the learning dreams, her mind so focused on the new that it hadn't had any real time to process the old, she hadn't really dreamt or remembered what she had lost on the road to defeat the Anazi.
~Kestra! Wait for me!~ She could hear a laughing male voice echoing in her head. Someone who was so dear to her that she couldn't even begin to imagine life without him. And yet his name escaped her, buried under so many layers of fractures and healings that she couldn't begin to find it.
Looking around she found herself in a setting much like the one in her quarters, only there was no vine curtain, no toilet for it to hide, and the pool was much deeper and cooler. She knew that she was different, and she let the dream have it's head, deciding to give herself over to it rather than try to control it.
Kestra laughed as she dove straight into the water. She could hear his cry echoing through her head as he trampled through the underbrush. It was her birthday, and she had chosen to play in the forest with Declan, spending the precious time on Betazed with the only person other than her parents to ever truly accept her. It had been three years since they had last seen each other, three years since his bonded had died on the day before their wedding. Now Kestra was sixteen, her body showing the womanly curves that it was growing into. Her silky wrap fluttered on the branch of a near by tree where she had tossed it so that she could have something dry to wear when they finished swimming. She still wore a bathing suit, more like a black tank top and pair of extremely short shorts. ~Slowpoke.~ She called flipping on her back so that she could look up at him.
~Not my fault you are so tiny.~ Declan laughed as he pulled his Starfleet uniform off. They had been so close for so long he had no qualms about spending the day playing in the water with her. He dove under the water to grab her ankle and tugged her under to hold her close. He was twenty-three, old enough to know better than to fall for the beautiful, uncontrolled red head but still young enough that he couldn't seem to stop himself.
Her laughter continued to echo between them, she could hear his thoughts, knew what he wanted and knew why it wouldn't be a good idea. Yet she couldn't seem to make herself care. She let him tug her under and pull her close. She froze the doubts and fears in their tracks refusing to acknowledge them even as he wrapped his arms around her.
~Happy Birthday Kestra.~ Declan sent the words even as he moved in and kissed her gently. He continued to hold her close, even after he should have let her go.
Kestra let out a soft moan as she pressed closer to Declan. Everything that was her demanded that she press herself closer to him, body and mind. She could feel his desire, flashes of images that made her feel warmer than his lips had. Still she wanted to be closer, she wrapped her arms and legs around him, letting Declan bring them back to the surface and managing to maneuver them to shallower water.
She had always been told that intimacy for her would be a bad thing, unless the other person was a stronger or just as strong telepath. She couldn't really understand why, right now she felt like she was swimming in Declan's mind. Slipping beneath the lust and erotic thoughts she found a wave of love, dreams of growing old together, children playing in a yard and grand children cuddling up to hear stories. Then she slid even deeper, coming to a layer of fearful thoughts, what if she didn't care for him the same way what if she said no, what if she found out. That last one was the oddest of all. However she was still lost in his kisses, the feeling of his hands as they wandered over her body. She was drunk with it, still feeling that unstoppable need to be closer.
Declan for his part was living out the beginning of pretty much his every fantasy. He had Kestra, warm, willing and actively kissing him back. He could feel her thoughts, much like his own, full of images that should not be between them, especially given how young they both were. Then he felt her mind slipping deeper into his, finding the love hidden under the lust, then the fear under the love, then she slipped into a layer of shame. Declan tried to put up a barrier, something to keep her to the happier thoughts and feelings but Kestra's mind just obliterated them.
Kestra's brow furrowed for an instant as she felt some resistance, her mind was still drunk on his kisses, not really realizing why he was suddenly fighting her from going any deeper. She simply plowed on a head, this time finding a layer of shame.
For an instant Declan was back there. The war was already bad, and they had captured a prisoner. It wasn't an opportunity that was likely to come along to many times and when it did, they took every measure they could to get the information that he had. Declan had dove into the man's mind, despite the prisoner's objections, despite his pathetic attempts at blocking the telepath. He had broken one of his people's most sacred laws, and he had done it without a real fight.
Then before the shock could pull her out Kestra's mind slid even deeper. Under the shame there was fear, and respect. Fear that she wouldn't understand why he had done it, and respect that she hadn't gone insane being bombarded by the desires, dreams, and thoughts of those around her. That was when Kestra pulled away. Her hands were on his shoulders and his were on hers.
"I didn't mean..." She said the words softly, not wanting to force her mind on his again. "I'm sorry Declan." There were tears in her eyes, not because of the fact that he had done something like that, but because she could still feel him. She could feel his sense of violation, the raw feeling of all his thoughts and fears being laid bare before her.
For his part Declan was still reeling. He had never thought about the fact that Kestra could just dive into his mind and see every secret that he had. He backed away a couple of steps, trying to put distance between his mind and hers. "I know you didn't.." He stopped as he closed his eyes for a moment. "I know you didn't mean to Kes." He reached out and cupped her cheek. Despite the fact that she had just pulled his deepest darkest secret straight out of his mind he knew that she was just as horrified by the fact that she had done it as he was.
He took a deep breath and swam back over to the bank where he had left his uniform. Things had gone too far too fast and he was actually thankful that Kestra's uncontrolled ability had caused them to pull back. He was raw and felt too exposed, they needed to get back onto an even footing. "Why don't we go have lunch?" He offered, not wanting to waste the small amount of time that they had together even when all he wanted to do was get far away from her to regain his mental footing.
"Sure." Kestra agreed softly, she could feel his mind trying to hide from her. Knew that he was feeling violated and at the same time that he didn't want to hurt her. "You don't have to stay here Declan, if you don't want to." She gave him the out, part of her wanting him to take it because the turmoil in his mind was painful for her to see.
"I want to spend time with you Kes. I just," he paused and looked over at her. "That was too deep, I never even thought about the fact that you could do that without trying." He finished pulling his uniform on and held out her wrap. "I'm sorry that things got out of hand."
"It's okay Declan." She swam over to the side and climbed out of the water and pulled her wrap on. She had pulled back into herself, not knowing how to give him what he said he wanted and what his mind screamed he wanted. She wanted to reach out and hold him but she knew that wouldn't help. "Maybe I should just head home." She offered him a smile and turned to leave.
"Kestra." Declan caught her arm and pulled her close. "I don't want you to leave. Our time is too short to waste it on embarrassment."
"You have nothing to be embarrassed about." Kestra said looking up at him. "Nothing, Declan. You did what was needed." She took his hand in hers and studied his fingers. "I don't hate you for it. How could I hate you for something that I do just by breathing? Something that makes even kissing me impossible not because of what you did but because I would do that to you again." She gave him a sad look and let out a sigh. "Nothing you could do would make me hate you, or fear you."
~Thank you, Kestra.~ Declan breathed out a sigh of relief as he sent the thought to her. ~I needed to hear that more than you know. Now let's go eat.~ He chuckled and tugged her alone.
They had a wonderful meal, that Declan's family chief had packed for them. Declan spread out a blanket and they sat in the forest eating all of Kestra's favorite foods. The incident with the kiss was pushed out of their minds. As they finished the meal Declan reached into the basket one last time and pulled something out. The Chameleon Rose in his was a deep rich blue, almost as though someone had turned a sapphire into a flower.
Kestra's eyes opened wide as she stared at the flower in Declan's hand, the color told her more than any words or thoughts ever could. She could see a flash of uncertainty in his eyes as he handed her the rose. The color never changed, staying a deep blue and she got to see the worry fade from his eyes as he realized just what that meant.
Things changed, they were no longer in the forest, they were older and both wearing the uniform of Starfleet medical personnel. Declan's arm was around Kestra's shoulders and in her hand was a deep blue Chameleon Rose, the two best friends were working on coming up with a way to use telepathy to battle the Anazi. She could vaguely remember the day, only hours before the botched experiment that would cost her everything.
Ever since her sixteenth birthday Kestra and Declan both had thrown themselves into finding a way for her to control her ability. To keep her from delving into him like she had that day. They hoped that the mixture of techniques of different telepathic races along with other avenues would make it possible. One thing that they had learned though was that Kestra's ability made one hell of an offensive weapon. Learning to control it would make her an asset that anyone would kill to possess. Even uncontrolled there were those factions of Starfleet that would kill to get their hands on her.
~I'm not sure you should do this Kes.~ Declan sent with a worried tone to his thoughts. He knew part of the reasoning behind her determination to be the first experiment. Deep in his heart he feared that he was the real reason, that she wanted control so that the two of them could have their chance together.
~Would you rather someone with a family? With people who care about them and depend on them do it? Someone like you Declan? Your family already lost Barim they couldn't handle losing you too.~ Kestra sent softly, she knew Declan cared about her, but at the same point in time they could never be more than best friends. To go any farther would put Declan in danger and Kestra was not willing to do that. ~Besides, you'll be right there with me.~ She offered him a smile and wrapped her arm around his waist.
~Like I would be anywhere else.~ Declan scoffed, the worry was still in his thoughts but like so many things that he knew she could hear Kestra seemed to ignore it. ~I'll be the first person you see when you wake up.~
They had laughed together and Declan had held her close. She had listened to his fears, and fought the urge to sooth him. She simply let him hold her and rode the wave of his emotions and thoughts. ~It'll all be alright.~ She sent the words with confidence. ~You'll see.~
The experiment had gone flawlessly to begin with. Despite the drugs that kept her body from feeling pain she was still aware enough to hear Declan as the first procedure was begun. They were in her mind, trying to find the key that would lock down her ability, the same key that would unlock those same abilities in others. Later she would think that maybe if the drugs hadn't dimmed her mind so much that she could only hear that one voice that she might have been able to save him.
"Declan, step away from the table." Dr. Law gave the order softly. His people were all in place and they planned to weaponize the girl or kill her in the attempt. After all it wasn't like she was human or anything.
"I'm sorry sir?" Declan shook his head trying to clear it. Kestra's mind was linked tightly to his, something that he had insisted on so that if something started to go wrong he would know in a nano second.
"You are no longer needed Declan, now you will leave." Law said with a smirk. "Don't worry will take very good care of Kestra."
Declan's brow furrowed as he looked at the other doctor, his instincts screamed at him even as he fought to keep them silent, to keep Kestra from feeling the upset that was making him so nervous. "Sir the agreement that Miss Elaan signed stipulated that I be with her the entire time, both to monitor her and to safe guard her findings."
"Mr. Suder. This wasn't a request." Law barked. "We are going to be transporting Miss Elaan to a more suitable location and you are not welcome."
It was then that Declan knew, they had been tricked. For the second time in his life he forced his mind into that of another. That was where he saw it, the doctors with their hands in Kestra's brain weren't looking for a way to decrease her ability or to give her control. They were looking for a way to control her, to turn her into a weapon so that they could use her with impunity. His eyes widened the only indicator that he knew something was wrong.
~KES! Wake up, you have to wake up, it's a trap. Kes hear me.~ Declan sent the call to Kestra as he tightened his hold on her hand. "I'm not leaving her, I gave her my word."
"Very well." Law said simply as he brought up his phaser and shot Declan in the heart.
It took Declan's mind a moment longer to die than his body. ~KES RUN!~ He threw everything that he had left in him into the cry. He knew he was dead, all that mattered in the last few nano seconds of his life was that he saved her. The pain registered briefly but it didn't matter, her life mattered, keeping her from becoming a mindless killing automaton that Section 31 wanted.
Kestra's eyes flickered open despite the drugs and others trying to keep her asleep. The first thing she saw was Declan's eyes, empty and lifeless as he slid to the floor of the operating suite. His fingers slipped from hers as her eyes locked onto Law's uniform. The Starfleet uniform that she had been so proud to wear encased the murderer of the only person who had ever chosen to love and stand beside her.
The burning started somewhere deep inside as her mind exploded into a killing rage that she had never known before. Years of study, training to become a warrior, snicked into place with an almost audible click. Her hand flashed out, a precise and well placed blow that took Law in the throat and crushed his larynx in one action.
He clawed at his throat, fighting to try and open his airway as Kestra rolled off of the table, her legs flashing out and catching more of the Starfleet clad murderers, killing some instantly others lingered for moments. Some tried to run but her mind caught them. She froze their limbs and forced her way into their minds. Some she made forget how to breath, others she forced to turn phasers on themselves or on their fellows. Someone managed to call for help but it was too late. Rage tore through the facility, Death wearing the guise of a tiny redhead girl bathed in the blood of all those who had taken the last person she had had.
When the marines had arrived Kestra had been covered in blood, the sterile gown that she had worn for her surgery a tattered rag that showed how some of her victims had fought back. The first wave of Marines had hesitated, unable to see Death in the costume he currently wore. They had died screaming, all because they wore the uniform of betrayal. They were Starfleet and Starfleet needed to pay, pay in blood and bone for the life that had been taken even as he tried to protect her.
The screams had echoed in her ears, the blood coated her body like a balm, the terrified minds that she ferreted out of their clever hiding places were a song to her. She hid in the shadows of their minds, making them see her form in the men who stood beside them. Every room saw death, every hall held bodies of those who had tried and failed to run.
Somehow she ended up back where it all had started, Death's door into this world. Looking down she saw the form of her forbidden love, his hand holding the needlepoint Chameleon Rose that she had made for him, the deep sapphire color contrasting sharply with the blood that seemed to coat everything else.
The sight of the fabric in the fingers that would never again trace the stitches oh so carefully placed hit her like a stunner. Succeeding where all others had failed in bringing her to her knees.
The wailing screams had brought them first, thinking that there was someone who had survived Death's glutting feast. What they found stunned most of them, though one of the older Marines had had enough since to stun the girl on the floor. For years the men and women who had come through that door would remember the sight and sound. The tiny blood covered Kestra screaming and wailing for Declan to wake up, of her stroking his face and telling him that they were safe and he could open his eyes again. They would remember that tiny form falling over a dead man, trying to protect someone who was past needing it even as she lost consciousness.