The Empty Shell - Fan fiction.
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Join Date: Dec 2007
12-07-2011, 02:59 AM
Sorry it is a little later than planned, but here is the next chapter.
Chapter 3 – Decisions, Decisions.
An hour later, Kaylan was strapped into the pilot’s seat of a small atmospheric shuttle, skimming along the surface of one of Trill’s oceans. Jinx remained quiet, and enjoyed the calm he sensed from Kaylan. It seemed she genuinely did enjoy piloting and found it relaxing. He had never had a pilot host before. There had been four previous hosts, with Kaylan now his fifth.
The first, Joyra, had been an artist, and while she hadn’t taught Jinx a lot about interacting with others, he was proud to have been her symbiont, as she had created several famous paintings in the time they had been Joined, one of which was even on display in the Commission building. It was called ‘Dreams of Home’ and had been inspired by Jinx’s earliest memories of life in the pool, before their Joining.
His second host, Parew, had been a lot more practical. He had been a scientist, working at first on Trill, helping develop new methods and technologies for scanning and treating symbionts. Then in his later years, he took a position on a Federation starship, the U.S.S. Olympia, as a curious traveller, and a friend and advisor to the Captain.
Geran, his third host, had trained as a doctor, and was astounded to discover that Jinx had, during his time with Parew, been responsible for writing one of the medical books about symbiont physiology that Geran used to study while in training. Together Geran and Jinx perfected some of the techniques Parew had worked on, yet never left Trill.
His fourth host, Terras, was rather different to his previous three, although Terras had a certain lack of ability when it came to talking to others, so in a way, he put Jinx in mind of his first host, Joyra. She hadn’t known how to talk to others either. Jinx and Terras had only been together a half dozen years or so before the accident involving the Plasma Flea, certainly not long enough to pick up the life skills Terras had been developing. As a result, while he found being a starship engineer on the U.S.S. Farseer to be fascinating, Jinx did not really have the skills to go with the knowledge Terras had left him with.
This new host, this Kaylan seemed to be different yet again. She seemed smart, yet he sensed she would not be happy with a lifetime of study. She had a spark of something. Curiosity perhaps? A sense of adventure?
Given how much she enjoyed flying, their new life together would have to involve some kind of ship. That much was certain to Jinx. Possibly a small scout ship, and they could go and explore the far corners of the universe?
Then he realised that last thought was not his own. Kaylan had slipped into his mind while he had been considering their possible future.
‘It is an idea which certainly has potential,’ he thought back to her, ‘But I do see a few small problems. What happens if something happens to us when we are many light years from home? What if our ship breaks down? I may have the knowledge of an engineer, but not the skills.’
‘But I like that idea,’ replied Kaylan, ‘Surely we can think of some way to make it work!’
It seemed that this new host of his was also stubborn. A good trait to have, if it did not get you killed.
As the conversation took place, Kaylan brought their shuttle in to land on the beach of a small island in the middle of the ocean, where she removed her socks and shoes and sat on the beach, her feet in the water. They discussed the idea at length, trying to think of some way of making the career choice of ‘Space Explorer’ work, but every suggestion one of them thought of, the other countered in an argument that just got more and more irrational and outrageous as time progressed.
‘No, stop, enough!!!’ Yelled Kaylan, or at least she tried to in between catching her breath from laughing. ‘Ok, you’ve persuaded me that kidnapping a bunch of Trill and forcing them to work on the ship we stole from the Commission isn’t going to work. Shame really, I thought it was a great idea.’ Jinx could sense the underlying amusement still flowing between them, but felt it time to bring the subject home to rest.
‘Well, that might not work, but you seem pretty certain about the explorer’s way of life, and I’ll admit, it does hold some fascination for me too. But I wanted to be sure before we looked at this option. It will take years of work to get there, but that should not be too much of a problem, and certain experiences I already have will be able to help us, but if we apply ourselves to this, then we will end up with our own ship. A crew too, and one, may I add, that we did not have to kidnap either.’
He could sense Kaylan hanging onto his every word. At his last line, she folded up with laughter again, but came to sense a few minutes later that he was not joking, that he had meant every word of that.
‘How? How would that be possible?’ she asked.
‘You recall the shuttle you saw this morning, from the U.S.S. Farseer? The one that brought me and Terras home?’
‘Well, the ship, Farseer, is part of a massive fleet taking part in trade, exploration, and diplomacy, all across the galaxy. Starfleet, they are called, and they are the military arm of the United Federation of Planets. Terras had gone and applied to Starfleet just before he received me as his symbiont. It seems he had given up on ever receiving one, and had made his own plans, which got a little upset when we bonded. But, we still went ahead with it. He was only a couple of years out of Starfleet Academy when the Plasma Flea bit him.’
‘Then I think we are decided. We will join this Starfleet, and they will give us a ship to go exploring in.’ Kaylan thought at Jinx, amusement leaking through the bond as she mentally said the end of her sentence.
The following morning, Kaylan awoke still lying on the beach, her shuttle still parked nearby. Scattering the remains of her fire, and throwing her shoes into the shuttle, she climbed in bare foot and flew back to the mainland. Walking home from the landing pad, she stopped just long enough to get showered, changed, and have a bite to eat, then left for the trip to visit her parents.
As always, they were happy to see her, and her mother was thrilled to hear she had received a symbiont. Her father accepted it, but he had never been keen on her entering the symbiont program. Neither of them were particularly impressed when she told them about Starfleet and that she had decided to join. Her mother seemed more concerned over Kaylan’s safety, unlike her father who still wanted her to ‘settle down and get a proper job, instead of gallivanting about the galaxy.’
Despite staying longer than she planned, as well as accepting one of her mother’s famous meals – she was an amazing cook – Kaylan had still not changed her father’s mind about Starfleet by the time she had to leave to head home. She did not let it bother her though. Her father had always disapproved of her choices in life. Taking her shuttle out again, she spent the evening listening to Jinx tell her tales of Terras, and their previous experiences in Starfleet.
Kaylan used her last free day visiting all those places on Trill that she loved, and introducing Jinx to a number of new activities his previous hosts, who were a lot less adventurous than Kaylan, had never taken part in. She did take time out to send a message to Toran explaining what her and Jinx had decided to do with their life and as the new day dawned on her third morning after accepting Jinx, Kaylan flew her shuttle to the Commission complex and went looking for Toran and Pezan.
After searching for them for about an hour, Kaylan came to the conclusion that they had arrived before Toran, and went and took a seat in the lobby of the Commission’s main building. However, when Toran did finally make an appearance, he came from the opposite direction, from deeper inside the complex.
“Good morning”, he said from behind Kaylan, who had been watching out the front of the building for him. She turned.
“Toran, you made me jump a mile. Are you well? Where have you been? We have been waiting here for ages for you.”
“We are indeed well, thank you. I trust you are well also?” Kaylan nodded as Toran continued speaking. “As for where I have been, I said I would help you make a start on your new life, did I not? The U.S.S. Farseer is currently on patrol near here, so will be able to take you to Earth, to Starfleet Academy, where you will join their ranks. I have made all the arrangements, and will send the information on to your home terminal.”
“Wow, already? Thanks Toran. I really do appreciate it.”
“You are welcome. Best of luck in Starfleet.”