The Empty Shell - Fan fiction.
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Join Date: Dec 2007
12-12-2011, 04:01 AM
Chapter 4 – Strange Sensations.
A few days later, having said all her goodbyes, Kaylan was spending some time rock climbing, when her communicator beeped. It was Toran, comming her to inform her that a Runabout from the U.S.S. Farseer had arrived to pick her up and take her back to its mother ship. Jinx wasn’t too pleased that Kaylan chose to hang upside down from the rock face while speaking on her comms though. He found it very disconcerting. He could feel Kaylan’s blood all around him trying to move in the wrong direction. Turning himself upside down in her pouch, so he was the right side up, he felt much better. Then he felt a moment of dread. If Kaylan was like this on a planet, where there was gravity, and all kinds of environmental forces at work, what would she be like in space, where she could exercise and play in a Zero-Gee atmosphere. He mentally groaned as Kaylan clicked off her communicator.
“Well Jinx, time to go. Aren’t you excited? I am.” She thought at him. He could sense the excitement in her mind.
“I’m certainly looking forward to it, although more immediately, I am looking forward to you righting yourself on this cliff face. Hanging upside down does nothing good for my internal organs. Or yours.” He replied, with a hint of rueful amusement as he considered that, technically, he could now be thought of as one of her internal organs. He managed to keep himself the right way up as Kaylan turned and righted herself on the cliff.
She quickly climbed to the top where she had left her shuttle, climbed inside, and took off for her home. She quickly gathered her belongings, and sent a quick message to her mother, telling her parents she was off, and would be in touch soon. And if her little brother wanted to use her apartment, he was welcome to, so long as he took good care of it. Unsurprisingly, her mother got a bit tearful, and so the farewell took longer than planned, but still in good time, Kaylan was soon flying over to the Commission complex to meet the Runabout from the Farseer.
She could see it as she came in to land next to it. It was quite a sleek looking shuttle, larger than the shuttle she had seen from the Farseer, and considerably larger than her tiny atmospheric shuttle. Still, she understood that it would take a couple of days to reach the Farseer’s location, and that Runabout looked a lot more comfortable than her shuttle for such an extended flight.
As her shuttle landed and she climbed out, Kaylan spotted Toran and another being, with purple skin, it appeared from this distance, step out of the commission building and walk over towards her. By the time they arrived, she had unloaded everything she was bringing with her. All in all, there was not too much stuff there, some clothing, and a few personal items were about all there was.
Leaving her belongings next to the Runabout, Kaylan walked a short distance to meet Toran and the other person. Up close, she could see, he did indeed have purple skin, and was of no species Kaylan had ever seen or heard of, although he did seem vaguely familiar to her. He was wearing what she knew from Jinx was a Starfleet uniform, mostly black with blue sections running down the sides of his legs and across his shoulders, and two small rank pips attached to his collar. Medical or Science divisions, Jinx informed her.
“Morning Kaylan, Jinx,” waved Toran as they got closer. “This is Lieutenant Fless. He will be piloting you to the Farseer.”
“Miss Kaylan,” Fless greeted her with a slight bow, “Please allow me to express my condolences on the loss of your brother, Terras. I did not know him personally, however I understand he was a good officer.” Kaylan gave him a startled look.
“On Jinx’s behalf, thank you Lieutenant, however Terras was not my brother. I take it you do not know a lot about Trill physiology?” Now it was Fless’ turn to look startled. Giving him a grin, Kaylan continued, “If you like, I’ll tell you a bit more on our flight, or better yet, a trade. I explain Trill physiology, and you explain how to fly that.” She pointed at the Runabout.
The next few days were rather pleasant for Kaylan. Between Fless’ instruction and Jinx’s previous experience, she learned how to pilot a Runabout quite quickly, and in return, she spent quite some time explaining Trills and their symbionts to Fless, without going into too much detail. Fless was intrigued by the fact that Jinx carried all the memories of his previous hosts. Apparently, there was a species of wild animal on his homeworld, a small planet in the Delta Volanis cluster, who had something similar, although it was genetic memory passed through generations, as opposed to inherited from a host.
Over the course of the journey, Kaylan figured out why this person was familiar to her. Terras had served on the Farseer, so she was remembering Fless from Terras’ memories. So far as she could recall, Fless and Terras never really knew each other, but had seen each other in the course of their duties. All in all, she found it rather confusing, to say the least.
In the days that followed, on board the Farseer, Kaylan’s confusion got steadily worse, as she kept spotting members of the crew she recognised and knew, but from Terras’ perspective, not her own. On more than one occasion she received strange looks from others who she casually greeted without thought. She must have found herself standing outside of Terras’ old room, instead of her own at least a dozen times before she got it into her head, well, hers and Jinx’s heads, that that room was not hers any longer.
A few days before she was due to arrive on Earth, she confided to Jinx that she would be happy when she got off this ship. She was getting used to knowing people without them knowing who she was, and had finally got her ‘automatic pilot’ route back to her quarters worked out so it took her back to her rooms and not Terras’. Even once she was used to the strange sense of familiarity of the ship, even though she had never been on board before, just the fact that it was an entirely new and alien environment to her meant she could not get herself comfortable with being on board.
Then one morning, she was sat by herself in Ten Forward, watching the stars streak by at warp 5, when her communicator beeped. Pressing it, she spoke, “Jinx here.”
“Jinx, this is Captain Rewman. I thought you may like to come up to the bridge for your first view of Earth.”
Kaylan grinned and stood up. Her biggest wonder about this Starfleet was that it could make all those stars seems so close. Being able to see them arrive at the planet where she would spend her next few years would be appreciated.
“On my way Captain, and thanks.”
Kaylan quickly crossed over to the turbolift, stepped in and directed it to the bridge. The doors whooshed closed and the lift accelerated. After a couple of seconds, the lift stopped and the doors whooshed open again, revealing the bridge. Kaylan stepped out and stepped over to where the Captain was sat. Rewman’s first officer looked up, saw her, then stood and offered her his seat. She thanked him and took it, turning to look at the viewscreen.
“I remember my first time on Earth,” said Rewman, without taking his eyes off his readout consoles. “Coming out of warp and seeing the planet for the first time was impressive. So, if I am ever carrying people bound for the Academy, I always invite them up here to see it.” He obviously felt that this was not required and he was doing it as some sort of favour to Kaylan.
“I am sure it will be, Captain, and thank you for the invite.” Kaylan replied, not really wanting to spoil the Captain’s moment and tell him that she had seen the approach to Earth at warp on several occasions thanks to Terras and Jinx and their memories.
Then, without warning, the elongated stars on the screen suddenly stopped, showing a small green and blue planet, with a rocky grey moon, floating in space in front of them. The area of space around the planet and moon was extremely busy. There were spacedocks at work, building or repairing ships, patrol ships wandering around the system, and a few starships either heading towards or away from the giant space stations. While her eyes tried to drink in the sight and see everything there was to see, Jinx sat in the back of her head, filling in the details from his memories.
“Welcome to Earth Kaylan. I hope you enjoy your stay.” Rewman looked over at where she sat, jaw open, staring out of the viewport.