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Going Home - A Drink for the Road

Posted on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 @ 1:02am by Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun & Captain Rhenora Kaylen

Mission: Gamma Quadrant
Location: Bajor
Timeline: Backpost

The wine store was quiet, devoid of other customers in the early hours of the day.

"Good day to you" the storekeeper greeted them before letting them go about their browsing.

Rhenora ran her fingers along the wine bottles, looking for something in particular.

Remal had his eye set on a 29 Ch'arlie when he looked over and caught sight of his blonde beauty in the morning sunlight, as it bounced off the glass bottles. He would have let out a low whistle had it not been for the scene which had played out only moments before.

She caught his eye and flashed him a smile, still perusing the wares. She felt like something lighter and was drawn to a selection along the far wall. 'Fell of Arangosh' piqued her interest and she picked up the bottle, turning it over in her hands to read the description on the back.

“That is a good choice, Emissary, nice and light. The flavor, I find, is a bit tart though.” The woman, who was behind the counter appeared at Rhenora’s side. “Perhaps I can offer you something similar?” She quickly perused the bottles before pulling out something else. “This is a lovely selection of Rosei called the ‘Fires of Arandur’ that would make for a lovely evening for the two of you.”

Rhenora's blood ran cold at the thought of the name. It had been a long time since she'd thought of Arandur, the processing centre she had liberated during the resistance. It was supposed to have been a straightforward 'smash n grab' raid, busting out their fellow cell mates, until the power system overloaded and set the whole thing on fire. "I haven't heard that name in a very long time"

A bottle in each hand, Remal chose that moment to insert himself into the conversation. “Fires of Arandur, huh? Sounds like it has a bit of spice to it.” He rolled his eyes a bit. “Also reminds me too much of the processing center that burnt down, what, thirty-five years ago now?” He continued to the counter where he sat his bottles down with a clunk. He could tell by the distance in her eyes, something was bothering Rhen. “Hey, babe, are we ready to go?”

“ Who wha?” The words startled her out of the memory. With a shake of her head, she tried to clear her jumbled mind and walked over to her husband. “ Yeah sure, I was just… remembering,” She said lamely, realizing that yet again she’d been caught in a world of her own mind.

"Where were you this time and should I be worried?" He asked, using his intimate knowledge of her ability to connect to the Prophets. Though this didn't exactly look like a vision, she had spaced out for a moment.

“ Arandur and the fire, I haven’t thought about it for so long, the name just brought it all back” She replied a little ashamed. “ Sorry if I scared you…. Again”

He handed the cashier the credits and picked up the bottles before turning for the door. "Half hour or less until the shuttle arrives."

"Wait! Before you leave. I know you may not recognize me, but I want to thank you; for what you did, so many years ago." The cashier spoke with tears welling up in her eyes. "I was at Arandur when you liberated us and burned the place down. I was scheduled for the block the next day, so without you, I would not be here. Thank you." Her words were directed at Rhenora.

Rhenora stood there, eyes wide for a few moments. Apart from Caro and Ped they had no idea who else was in the processing centre when they liberated it. Thankfully all the same that they could help their fellow Bajorans, their main target had been their friends.

“ Umm… you’re welcome, we were just trying to help” She managed to finish, not used to someone actively thanking her for deeds done in the past.

"I don't think you've ever told me about Arandur. Perhaps on the ride back to the station, if you're up to it, you could use me to get it off your chest?"

“ There’s probably a few things I haven’t told you about” She grinned at him, leaving the comment hanging in the air as they strolled out of the store. The shuttle site was a few minutes' walk from the village, so they had plenty of time.

There were always things better left buried in a box in the backyard, but this was clearly forefront on her mind and needed a release. "There are probably a number of things I haven't shared with you, but as you are thinking about it, perhaps you could share. I'm sure there is a tale in there just waiting for release."

“ There are always tales, some better than others” She admitted with a crooked smile as they meandered towards the shuttle pad. “ Arandur was a Cardassian processing center, we’d hit it once or twice before, freeing our countrymen, each time the Cardassians would increase surveillance, increase security and take out a few revenge attacks on the village. This time two from our cell were in there, we had to take out the power generators, then the secondary generators before we could get in. The power surge started a fire…” Her words trailed off as her memory kicked into gear, taking her back to those times.

He listened as she recalled the tale of Caro and Ped, of the fires and the aftermath. As they walked, he listened, taking it all in. This was him helping her to get off her chest anything and everything that may be weighing her down. And this particular story carried with it a lot of weight. The salvation of friends, a near-death experience.

By the time she had finished, the shuttle was on approach. As it swung around and gently sat down, he asked, “So, are you feeling any better? Because if not, you could always talk to Nerys?” He wrapped his arm around her for comfort.

“ A little” She agreed, drawing him in and hugging him tight “ The Prophets will work through it with me, they have a habit of doing that - particularly when you least expect it.”

“Indeed.” He held her tight and stared out the window at the small village while the shuttle lifted off. Once again they were leaving their home, bound for wider skies and grander vistas. They were leaving the complexity of the people below for the much more simplistic venue of space. He was feeling strangely at ease with the concept of leaving, as though each time they did, it became easier to do so. As the horizon line of space came into view, he kissed the bridge of his wife’s nose and went back to his own world of thinking.


Random musings of a Tired Mind... or two

Two tired minds, tired but wired
Writing a story, like something transpired
Coffee in hand, spirit in mind
Fingers a typing, like their minds were entwined.

Together they form, truer words never uttered
Unbarring the cages and from windows unshuttered
A depth of emotions as it spills from hearts to page
Coffee, the driver, of the prolific and the sage.

There is something unique, when minds work as one
When thoughts align and stories are all done
When prophecies are written and wars are all won
What remains when the songs are all sung?

But two hearts beat together, together
Storms and tide they weather, weather
For when they battle the mighty horde
Remember well,
The pen is mightier than the sword!

Find what moves you to write, and in the immortal words of Captain Kaylen, "Do it!"


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