Literary Challenge #34 : Souvenirs
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Join Date: Jul 2012
12-11-2012, 08:26 PM
Feeling the familiar shiver of the transporter beam ripple though her, Lieutenant S'rR's Kane saw the structured familiarity of the
's transporter room solidify about her. Beside her, Commander Rynar Lambert kept a firm grip on the Tal Shiar operative, who had become considerably less violent after being rendered unconscious and bound with flexi cuffs.
Lambert glanced over at S'rR's. Her left hand, and much of her lower uniform, was covered with the unmistakeable hue of Romulan blood, and her face appeared slick with sweat. In reality, it was an insulating fluid, high in lipids, which Pentaxians secreted while sleeping, or in reaction to cold conditions.
"Go get yourself cleaned up, Siri," Lambert said, as they stepped down off the transporter platform, rain dripping on the deck from their uniforms. "I'll escort our friend here to the guest suite, I think the Captain is going to have a few questions for him."
"Aye, Commander," S'rR's replied, before leaving the transporter room and heading for the nearest turbolift.
As the doors to her temporary quarters sighed closed, S'rR's opened her uniform jacket, and dropped it to the floor with a wet
as she pulled her feet from her boots. The polymer and synthleather jacket had kept the torrential rain from soaking her undershirt, but her arms, back and torso still felt clammy, thanks to the arctic-cold winds which had caused her to
Heading for the bathroom, S'rR's stripped off the remainder of her uniform as she walked, pulling her hair out of its tight queue, and involuntarily starting as the cold, wet strands slapped against her upper spine.
"Computer," she said. "Set water temperature to sixty degrees celcius and activate shower."
"That temperature is above recommended safety level," the computer obligingly informed her.
"Override safety protocol, authorization Kane Beta Nine," she replied. To a Human, such a temperature would indeed be dangerously hot, but to S'rR's' primarily Pentaxian physiology, it was a tolerable warmth, much like a Terran feline sleeping comfortably on a burning hot radiator.
The scalding water hissed from the shower head, and initially washing the copper-colored blood from her left hand and forearm, S'rR's allowed the water to cascade over her body, washing the cold rain from her shoulder-length ice-blonde hair.
"Computer, play some music," she said, closing her eyes and turning her face toward the burning water.
"Please specify selection," responded the computers' accommodating voice.
"Something ambient. Ethereal electronica," S'rR's clarified, resting her right arm and forehead against the back wall of the shower, feeling the water hammering onto her shoulders and running down her spine, driving the penetrating cold from her body, and replacing it with a luxurious heat which relaxed her muscles, as moments later, soft, atmospheric tones drifted through the air.
S'rR's listened for a few moments before opening her eyes and looking down at her left hand. The blood from the disemboweled Romulan was gone, and her eyes were then drawn, as always, to the geometric designs which had been tattooed on her arm a decade previously while on the first contact mission with the Zildarni.
She had been twenty four years old, and barely come to terms with her repatriation to the Federation, after her half-decade of incarceration in a Cardassian gulag, but Marcus had insisted that she take the mission, to help her ease back into active duty.
The Zildarni had been a kind, noble people, towering over the away team at nearly nine feet tall, and with grey, leathery skin like Terran rhinoceros. Despite having achieved warp capability, the Zildarni maintained an almost stone age level for their social customs and rituals, and they had insisted upon tattooing each member of the away team as a way of solidifying their contact to the Federation.
Initially panicked at the idea of being thus marked, but knowing that to refuse would have been an unforgivable insult, S'rR's remembered sitting cross-legged on the floor of the spirit house, listening to the almost hypnotic rhythm of the tapping sounds of the sharpened tools being hit repeatedly, driving the crude black ink into her flesh.
Her accelerated healing abilities had caused the wounds to heal almost immediately, much to the delight of the shaman, who had never seen his work heal so quickly and perfectly. The flawless healing of each line inspired him to continue working far longer than he had on any other member of the away team, even the Captain, and after twelve hours, S'rR's looked down, seeing intricately enjoined squares, triangles and lines extending from the deltoid muscle, all the way past her elbow to the middle of her forearm, each line crisp and clear, each colored segment dark and bold.
"Does this design have any meaning?" she had asked, to which the shaman nodded.
"It will protect you on your travels," he had replied. "Bringing you prosperity."
"Thank you," S'rR's had said, kissing the shaman on both leathery, horned cheeks, before standing and picking up her uniform jacket, reluctant to cover the artwork which had been uniquely done just for her, and carrying it in her hand as the away team left the spirit house.
The chiming of the intercom snapped S'rR's out of her reverie.
"Go ahead," she said, inwardly frustrated for the interruption to her shower.
"Lieutenant, please report to the conference lounge," said the voice of Captain Amanda Palmer.
"Aye, Captain, I'll be there immediately," S'rR's replied, stepping out of the shower and briskly toweling herself dry, before heading to her closet and quickly dressing in a fresh uniform. As she shrugged into her new jacket, she watched the tattoo vanish beneath the black and mustard-colored synthleather, before heading for the door of her quarters.
Last edited by marcusdkane; 07-30-2013 at
. Reason: Reformatting