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WHERE THE DAHLIAS BLOOM (sequel to "Loaned, But Not Owned")

The feminine based voice that is every  Starfleet message terminal chimes and announces an unopened message while she sleeps, and she incorporates this into her dreams.  Since she started seeing Counselor Kinzlee her nightmares (and daytime mares ) have stopped for the most part, she dreams, not of what was done to her so much anymore, but more importantly she has learned to recognize when she is dreaming, and then she can insert some lucidity and talk herself awake.  

In the last few weeks, her sessions have become friendly chit chats over hot mugs of tea.  More review sessions really.  There were the first few days which involved trial and error of various hypos and doses of this or that, finding a combination that abated her trauma, yet kept her in specs with her academics and eventually career.  Her head needed to be clear, and the control of it hers and that's not always possible at first.

Then came the conversations, getting down to the details, explaining events and people from her life and how they have changed her while also learning to let go of their negative marks they left behind.  Next came the hypnosis, digging up all of the events and actions, done to her and things she was forced to do that her psyche buried deep inside.  They were buried only so far, yet they were going to continue to sprout of here and there until they were uprooted and thrown out with the rest of the garbage.  The Counselors meditative techniques were a blessing and made facing her past head on possible.  She went from being scared to think about anything to eventually looking at herself from the side as a witness watching performance.  You feel for the performers and can relate to them, yet know that it isn't real.  These performances had been real but she's moved on so successfully that they seemed like another's life entirely.  

While her body rested in the cool comfort of her dorm room bed, her dreaming self was on an unusual surface.  The atmosphere of this planet is a hazy ugly color of mustard and rot.  The air is arid but she can hear the sounds of water, and bubbling-not bubbling as much, but more guttural, more of a menacing gurgle sound.  And breathing.  Something is breathing.  

She stands in her newly replicated cadet uniform, Science division- on the surface of an unknown planet as so many Starfleet officers have in the last century.  This is odd she thinks, her tricorder readings tell her there are no life signs on this planet,  yet her auditory senses tell her different.  On top of these noises, "incoming message" her communicator chimes on about an incoming message.  The communicator is not on her belt, but it sounds like its behind her, as she turns and it chimes -"incoming message" - it continues to be behind.  Everywhere she turns, -"incoming message" -the chimes continues and grow louder, and she turns and its louder-"incoming message" - and louder.  Her communicator maddingly -"incoming message" -gets louder still as she spins around and twists and turns-"incoming message" - unable to find it, knowing that it is most urgent to--wait. This is wrong. She puts her tricorder away, calmly tugs at the bottom of her uniform and tells herself calmly to "wake up"  Eyes closed, standing at ease amid the hazy of the planet, dust of the surface and continued chatter of her communicator, the cadet breathes in for a count of 4, holds it for 4, then exhales for 6, "wake up" she tells herself again, this time with a slight smile on her lips.  This is all some sort of dream, she's convincing herself.  Focusing her attention on her breath and not the noise of her communicator has calmed her.  Calmed her so much that she has tuned out all of the other distractions, yet has not noticed that the gurgling sound has grown louder as well and a new sound of movement can be heard.  She does not heard this, nor does she see the shadow that grows on her boots and torso and now towers over her until she feels hot breath on her cheeks which brings her out of her meditative stance and she opens her eyes to see--

{perintendent Glaath.  Incoming message from Superintendent Glaath-}  

Her eyes snap open and her bare feet touch the cold floor at the same time while she reaches for the terminal to accept the message without hesitation.  Her dream forgotten at once, another awesome side effect to therapy it seems.  She scans the screen past the salutations to the meat of the sandwich:

                    "Regrettably I am writing to inform you that your cadet level assistant to the Astrophysics department
                     position aboard the USS Enterprise-C will unfortunately not be possible at this time.  The vessel in                         
                     question has been called away on a military missions and 

she looks away from the screen, tears welling in her eyes and now traveling down her cheek

                                                               will have already left orbit by the time you read 

                     this message.  I want you to know that I am making arrangements for you to serve aboard one of our many fine                              
                     exploration science vessels where I am certain you will thrive, in this new and exciting environment.  I 
                     have every confidence in you and your abilities. Good luck.
                      Admiral C. Willington Glaath
                      Superintendent Starfleet Academy


She falls back onto the bed, 'So the Enterprise-C is gone. Probably about the Klingons and Cardassians being on the brink of war has something to do with it' she thinks as she gets up and walks to the replicator for her usual breakfast request.

{"water, room temperature. Whole white bread, toasted"} 

'From a flagship positions to crew slot on a random science vessel, she continues to internalize '...demotions? It's not as glorious as having Enterprise on ones service record, but to be honest a ship's a ship and-'

The terminal chimes again, gooseflesh race up her arms as she hears a brief second vile gurgling which makes her shudder and doesn't even really know why.

{-Incoming message from Cadet Zayyn Lavele-}

She opens the channel-

"Are you okay?" he blurts out, and she smiles and attempts to say 'Hell--"I mean I just heard that the flagship has to leave overnight and I thought you were on it, because you were supposed to be on it, and"

On and on she listens to him talks.  It reminds her of those old holo shows she watched in the library in-between study sessions.  In the show, the character you are watching is having a one sided audio communication and he is saying things like 'yeah but...', 'you see I...' and the silence witnessed by the audience is filled in their imaginations.  Every audience member has someone they can imagine just rambling on and on  about their day, or astral protomatter emitter malfunctions or the daily prices in the off campus restaurants and markets--OR in the case of this one sided conversation- if this WERE  a holovid or fictional words on group access platform for readers to peruse at their leisure somewhere - the audience would have to imagine Levele.  Going on and on about how worried he was, and how scared he was, How scared and thrilled he has been for me, ever since I told him that I was going away on the Enterprise.  

Lavele has went from random classmate, to love puppy tagalong to being leery on egg shells around me, and now he has this tone of worry with a dash of pity in his voice.  'I have spent way too much time on myself, she thinks, to be his friend and council and his cause.  Sometimes I feel like he's hindering my progress.'

"Okay.  Lavele hey hey...shh.  First of all, 'Hello', and yes I am fine, I just got word that I'm being reassigned to-" 

"Reassigned to where!!??" sorry, I mean "Oh. Really, where are you being reassigned?"  He's trying.
"Hehe, well, I don't really know yet...its to be determined.  But when I know, I will tell you. Okay?"

Her episodes months ago, the one he witnessed in the garden first hand seems to have affected his as well as her, and he's had no counseling for this as far as she knows.  His coping skills have apparently settled on being in a state of constant worry and mother hen mode.

"from flattered to annoyed in no time" she says and startled herself when she heard her thoughts coming out of her mouth.

"What did you say?" he asked as she winced and drank the rest of water in one knock

'oh sh--" she winces...
"Lavele, I said that I am flattered that you are so concerned but I am fine" she smiled and blew a lock of her blonde hair that seemed to escape the confines of her bun.  "I'm still packed to go.  Annoyed that plans have changed, but still excited.  What about you? You were chosen for the program as well.  Do you have your orders?"

"Shipping out tomorrow to the USS Tolstoy.  I am one of two Junior Engineering specialist.  But I'll be Chief Engineer for you know it, you watch.  Then its on my way to the big chair.  Dream big or dream on, am I right?

"Lavele, I'm sure you'll exceed their expectations" is all she can think of saying as she shakes her head laughing and closed the channel.

She received her orders from Ambassador Glaath that afternoon, she is taking a shuttle to her rendezvous with HER ship, the USS Donovan.  She's an Oberth class starship which mainly servers in the role of a surveyor science vessel, with occasional support missions if needed.  

'She shipped out already,' Glaath informed her, 'not for war, but to remain on schedule.  Seems there were a few minor repairs that require a ship to be moving rather than stationary.'

Her placement she assumes was a last minute favor called in because of the Enterprise's early departure.  It's not her place to focus on the details, all she knows is that once she is on board, and the Donovan is up and running they will be exploring every cluster and anomaly from here to Mutara.  And that is exactly what she needs, she thinks.  'Things are coming around.'


A shadow crossed the bright San Francisco morning sky as our camera pans over the academy shipyards where rows and rows of cadets stand single file as various officers holding data padds talk to each cadet without so much as a glance up at any one of them.  Amid this orderly chaos is our young straw colored cadet standing alone on the end.  Uniform crisp and pristine, hair up in Starfleet fashion, tote bag shouldered, waiting as all the other, just waiting in a line of her own, noticed by no one.  Almost no one.  

Zooming out and over we see a young man, amongst so many, identical to the rest, yet he unfocussed.  He's seen looking  around, stepping out of line further to the rear he finally sees what, rather whom he's looking for.  She's at the end, in line and  out of earshot of his yells.   Looking ahead at the officers checking off cadets, and back to her.  With frustration on his face, we see him spring into action doing the unthinkable (and what will becoming chuckled gossip for weeks to come in the mess hall on the Tolstoy) by getting out of line once again, dropping his bag--darting to his right and running in her direction. 

Cadets and officers alike can hear the sound of thunder, on top of an unknown voice yelling at our young cadet as his footfalls close in on his prey.  Ignoring the whistles from the officers who too have also done the unthinkable and looked away from the data padds and are now furiously screaming at the boy to fall in-as he spins his target around and surprising everyone who was there cups the nape of her neck with one hand, kisses her full on the lips, and lifts her off the planet with his one arm and manages not to drop her.  

Two lips mashed together, her surprised eyes finally close for a brief eternal second as their last first kiss is interrupted when she feels a cold, rain drop on her temple, which makes her open her eyes looking at Lavele who is oblivious to the raindrops starting to fall on their faces.  As multiple hand appear behind him, grabbing his shoulders.  His smile remains amid the cheers of the cadets in line around them.  
Walking backwards as he's manhandled and escorted back to his line --double time -- as the showers swept the shipyard grounds, he says "I've always wanted to do that" to which she laughs and replies laughing,
"To be continued!!"  as she's left standing there blushing and grinning from ear to ear.  Seconds later an Andorian from what must be her shuttle yells out her name and still grinning she walks between the raindrops up the ramp.

The Andorian that called her aboard is on of two shuttle pilots, once the shuttle is up and out of the system, he turns in his chair towards her and says, "The bar is on the level five, mess is on three, we'll have 2 days till our rendezvous with the Donovan so lets make the best of it" he says with a lopsided grin and a wink.

'Andorians' she shakes her head.  "A Galileo class shuttle with a bar, a mess hall, but NO gym? Where's the humanity?" she replies, as she leaves for the back to find a place to hunker down, proud of her little joke.  

The pilots exchange looks at this, as his co-pilot raises a single Vulcan eyebrow and resumes her duties.

She dreams of the yellowing orange surface and atmosphere to match and hears more of the grotesque gurgling sounds which are getting louder followed by a little girl's giggle....
[and she's dangling there]  She thinks of the little girl on Turkana IV 
[her feet can't even touch the floor] and the giggling is stifled short with a wet snap of...of something that she doesn't want to know.  
Looking around she sees that she is inside a tent made of skin or something.  The door flap of the tent opens and closes making the sound of a starship door with its standard whooshing sound, when the door is open she can also hear screaming outside and sees that there is a fire out there as well.  This makes her think of stories of when people roasted sweets on open flames but this smell she senses is horrible and [whoosh] the door shuts and opens again and-
'What is that incredible smell we've discovered?' she thinks as she now hears a new sound--the alarms rain on her ear drums violently and she's awake and on her feet as the shuttle lurches and rolls to port.    The shuttle's cargo door is trying to close but something is obstructing it, so it opens again.  Each time the door opens, she hears and smells trouble.  
She steps through the door to see the controls in front of her Andorian pilot smoking and smoldering, his body slumped over.  The side of his face that she can see is blackened and charred, and partial is the first thought that came to mind.  That's when she recognized the smells.  Burning hair.  And flesh.  

"I recommend a safety harness cadet" the co-pilot sternly, yet matter of factly yelled at her, "This is Galileo shuttlecraft Sativa ...mayday.  I have lost visuals, my hull has been breached, my engines are not responding and life support is failing- can anyone read me?"  

"That makes no sense," she yells to no one in particular
'if the engines are not responding then why are we flying so fast' she thinks and is answered my her Vulcan pilot over the roar of the engines and multiple alarms blaring 
"whatever we hit destroyed his half of the board, I've managed to isolate the hull breach, but I cannot slow us down.  Again, you need to buckle up.  I am attempting an emergency landing at full velocity, and we ARE hitting hard.

She heard this, then heard her scream "Brace for Impact!", she rushed to a seat and felt motionless as she floated for felt like moments.  And suddenly she crashed to the bulkhead hard on her side and her ears instantly began ringing.
The shuttle cut through the clouds like a knife through soup, and landed upright and slid fast to the edge of a cliff and over moving forward.  Sliding and jumping ridges, she finally crashed to rest against an enormous round tree.  Steam and wisps of smoke began to rise and mingle with the orang, dirty yellow atmosphere that filled the cracked window of the cockpit.  

We see our young cadet, splayed none too ladylike on the floor next to the cargo door.  Her blonde hair tightly wound and tied in the traditional double bun remains intact on one side.  The other bun rebelled at the idea and looks more like yellow ball of yarn tethered to her head, which is pounding intensely as she tries to get off the floor and fails.
She rests for a second on her side looking at her surrounding, the ceiling, a wall, the door, the floor-  
Her gaze drifts down to the bottom of the door and she discovers the reason why the door failed to close.  There was a blue object with one curved antenna protruding from a matted patch of white hair and she retched.
"Are you injured?" she heard a voice from behind and as she turned to look up she sees the co-pilot,-well she's been promoted, she guessed- limping towards her reaching out to help her up.
"I can't hear you very well," she yells and adds "I think I'm good but he" she motions to the cargo door and then to the pilot seated
"Yes,...Bar Ch'Van is quite dead" she says with that cool unemotional tone that you never quite get used to hearing from a sentient being.  She's on her feet still holding the other's hand as she hears "I am...Sussu.  We need to assess  our situation and see if we can call for assistance"
Searching through the onboard standard Starfleet medkit for supplies while speaking, Sussu says "We were on route to the Zeta Eridiani rendezvous point, when the proximity alarms began to flash," she removed something from the kit, opened it and began to shake it.  "Bar's instruments exploded and he slumped forwards.  The auto fire suppression system engaged filled the room as I attempted to divert controls to my panel. Here, give me your arm" 
Sussu hypo-sprayed her with something that was lessening the pain and restoring her hearing as well.  "Our life support is low but stable." she went on, "communications are non functional, and the shuttle is as well."  The lighting system inside the cabin flickered some, and she notices for a split second as Sussu glanced away in this light Sussu's eyes sparkled, "We need to catalog our supplies, rations, weapons and see if we can get our bearings and call for assistance.  I will work on the coms first, but you need to some rest, cadet.  I have given you something to take the edge off, you should."  The cadet sits and slumps in the chair as Sussu finishes "begin to feel its affects any moment"  
While the cadet sleeps, Sussu finds a tricorder, two phasers, a data padd and two weeks worth of protein nibs, vitapartions and other emergency supplements.  She gets the ships sensors and brings up the information on their locations.  The display shows they are on Cayga III, the third planet of the Cayga system.  Class M, bordering on O planet. The higher Oxygen levels of the atmosphere, while not high enough to require protective gear, are yet sufficiently breathable but will noticeable affect a human's emotions and fatigue levels. 
Sussu repairs the coms and send out the distress beacon every ship that she has ever seen has and listens to the light snore of her new friend, she set the data padd next to her and smiles.
"It's fortuitous that Sussu repaired the sensors and coms so fast, I was worried we would be stranded here forever,"
she told this Sussu while she added kindling to their freshly lit fire and NOW she is adding this to her log.  She's never had a "log", which is like an official diary.  'She's never had one of those either.  Writing therapy is as close as she's come, but this is not an exercise this is real.  They may never get off this planet, and if they are ever found, this account will be all there is to tell others what happened.  So its important to be through and exact.  But I'm not going to report that I threw up in my mouth a little' 
Day One 

Sussu has shown her the display and readings on the air quality. We have agree to take in the outside air sparsely and in shifts if it becomes a problem.  She even gave her the data padd so she can keep log entries of their time here.  They removed Bar's corpse from the ship and buried him under rocks away from their camp. Tomorrow the will explore the land in search of help and food.

[i]Day Three [/i]
[i]There is still no answer to their beacon.  We are going to venture further out this time.  Yesterday we discovered bushes of berries that are safe to eat, we also see signs of animal life.  Tracks and droppings, but have seen nothing but each other.  [/i]

She wakes up feeling like she had slept all day and night but in actuality its only been a few hours.  The fire has not yet died and Sussu is sleeping.  She decides to take a stroll and do her own exploring.  The night air is chilly, and she hears the rustling of animals.  'Maybe they are only active at night,' she thinks and she can hear the lonely call of a bird of some sort and she listens for a bird reply and she walks.  

They had not went this far yesterday, Sussu insists on staying within hear shot of the ships beacon, and still thinks she needs to be right there, waiting for someone to rescue us.  She may not express emotions, but it's clear that she fears being stranded here.  Or at least fears missing the call of help, she supposes, and sees a high ridge.  

Venturing to the edge she sees at the bottom of the ridge sits a lake with an island.  At the shore of this island, she sees a small village of domed tents.  There are torches lit, and while she sees no one, it sure looks like it is teeming with life.   Later she will enter her first Log Supplemental where she will record her discovery and that-

there appeared two beings walking from one tent to another, they are bipedal and appear to be primitive being.  Which is to say Pre-Warp, so Prime Directive protocols will need to be applied

Taking a closer look she notes that the lake waters are calm, and show an abundance of aquatic life.  Her readings show the water temperature is -98 degrees, she when she held her hand a mere centimeter above the water she could feel no cold.  'It's as if the water is protecting the villagers, keeping predators from entering the water, to get them,' she thinks.  There isn't a boat that she can see, but there must be somewhere.  

Excited about her discovery she turns around to get back to camp to wake up "Sussu" 

Her compadre was standing a few meters behind her, for how long is unknown.  "I was going to come get you, Sussu, look I've found a village.  The look primitive but if we disguise ourselves" Sussu cut her off
"I am fully aware of your discovery, Cadet. MY question to you is what are your intentions with them?"

'My intentions?' she thinks, what the h- "Contact? Communication. Help.  Like I said, if we appear as travelers who have lost their way we could-"

"What I think we need to do is get back to the ship. Both of us.  If we are going to get rescued we need to focus on that task. That is the HELP we need to be pursuing."  Motioning over the cadets shoulder  "These Caygans are in their place, we should not disturb them" 


As she lay on her bedroll listening the the dying fire and Sussu's sleeping breath, she can't stop her mind from racing.  It has been four days since she found the lake, finding others, even primitive others should be a good thing.  Sussu seems unsurprised by their existence and not only that annoyed at the discovery.  Vulcans have divorced themselves of their emotions, but at times Sussu almost seems angry.  Other times civil.  And there is the fact that she is always watching me now.  Lurking.  I can feel the weight of her eyes, she knows what it feels like to be ogled.  And she doesn't like it.

She rolls over looking at the Vulcan's back, and thinks 'and what about her eyes? I know I have seen them flare, or something, and I think she is aware that I seen it.  Reflective irises are not impossible, I suppose.  Still, I need to think about myself here.  I might need to defend myself if I can.  Oh I hope I don't have to, though' she thought before closing her eyes.

Day 18
Our rations are dwindling. We still have access to berries and the potable water on the ship, but unless help comes soon we are going to be in serious trouble.  The stale air out here almost makes me dizzy. Breathing the automatic filtrated air versus the yellowish misty air that bogs me down(but not Sussu) helps.  The atmosphere, and limited diet is wearing me down.  I sleep but cannot rest.  Labored sleep, waking up feeling as exhausted as I had the night before is taking a toll on me.  But not her.  Sussu seems content here, I do not know the anatomy of a Vulcan, but the air does not seem to affect her as it does me.  She gets irritable, but has started to take what she calls meditative walks to help with these.  And they do seem to work.  I on the otherhand do not have such luxuries.

Day 19

Sussu just came back from her walk and I noticed something odd.  Her pants are wet.  Around her ankles and her boots.  She's been to the lake, or at least a water source.  Sussu was adamant about not visiting that lake for reasons unknown, but why would she on her own.  Should I care? Am I even sure it's real? I'm so hungry and tired, I may be hallucinating but maybe not.   


She opens her eyes and shivers.  Looking at Sussu who is sleeping next the the cold remains of last nights fire.  She sits up and leaves the camp to look for food.  At the edge of the island is the small village.  She walks into the village, phaser at her hip, tricorder in hand, showing no life signs.  Yet, she sees people, peeking from the tent flaps and around trees.  She feels like she has been here before, and she knows that she has been inside that large tent in the center of the village.  

These natives seem timid, but not hiding very well, she is starting to see them everywhere as she makes her way to the large tent's entrance.  She opens the tent flap and finds an older villager sitting on the ground amid crystals, hanging herbs and candles.  He is wearing loin cloths and a loose fitting robe that may have  once been white.  A necklace of bone, crystals and shells rests on his chest, and his white hair is adorned with leaves and dried flowers.  His eyes are closed  and he appears to be in trance, but she timidly says "Hello? I..I need to speak with, I mean um...seek an audience" she's is so nervous. "There's trouble."

A voice fills her head.  His voice, his eyes and lips remain closed and he does not move, yet its the sweetest song she has ever heard.  It's the sound of the robins in the Botanical Gardens as sunset, its soothing like the sweet relief of water after her keeper was finished and fell asleep so she could finally tend to her wounds and clean herself when she was young.  She feels the voice in her head, was sweet and calming and she feels tremendous peace.

 "I came to you, and now you seek me.  I knew that you would.  I have foreseen you in my dreams.  I feel your pain and joy. I have dreamed you just as did the Piasa.  The Piasa sees and feels your strength from far and wants to add yours to its own.  You must get away, you must not bloom.  As the Piasa adds blooms, stronger it grows and more it needs.  It fears you yet craves you just the same."

The sweetness of his words did not make any sense to her, yet part of her did not care.  She was about to ask what he means when his voice, louder this time fills her mind when he says

"Come and See!!"

She gasps as she was swept away to a village, its a bright and pleasant day.  She can feel the warmth of a sun on her face, the sounds of laughter, from people of all ages can be heard.  She hears animals calling their own and song birds fill the air. Children playing a type of Dom-jot game with magnetic balls on the porch of a market, where their mothers bartered inside with the store keeps of various fabrics and old men sat outside the livery sipping teas and playing chess.  The liveliness and life in the village is wonderful and so unlike the one she came to on the island, and this planet for that matter seems different,  The air is clear, and pure and the shy's are blue, thick white clouds above, thick lush foliage around the village can been see along with penned animals and farmers in the fields beyond the town.  She knows this is the same village yet cannot believe her eyes and yet can only stand there and smile.  Then his sweet voice echoes....

Come and See!!"

She is not above a planet, looking at swirls of clouds over marble mixes of greens and blues.  A comet comes into view approaching the planet and crashes to the surface.  Instantly she is hovering over a smoking crater filled with tongues of fire, and a black bubbling substance that lurches and twitch.  Then begins to pulsate and move.  Slowly leaving the crater.  She sees two deer, at least they resemble what she thinks of as deer, only these are walking on hind legs eating berries from the tops of bushes and collecting leaves with their short front arms.  From out of nowhere something flies at the deer striking them both dead. 

"Yaajahhh" they shout as two young boys with bows drop from the trees to the  ground and look over their fresh kills.  Talking in a language she does not understand, the boys begin dress the deer as the sick sound of gurgling appears to grow louder and stronger.  they stop what they are doing to listen as one calls out "Majmah?"  He says this and sees the shape of the black gel take shape of a biped being to her, yet the look on the boys faces were pleasant and happy for one brief moment before they changed to a look of horror and disbelief  and the being opened two glowing slitted eyes and opened a cavernous mouth.  Lunging at both boys, it quickly consumed them both.  Snapping bones and sucking them clean, before the boys field knives even hit the ground.  As quickly as the creature came is was gone.  

In a flash she was inside the large tent, sitting in front of the older villager, her hands holding his.  She looks at him not sure what was happening when his eyes open and he says "Now you see.  Before the Piasa my people thrive and with the Piasa we cower and we die.  The Piasa feeds to eat and eats to grow and when we bloom we become the Piasa"  The elder takes her hand and points to her head and then to her heart as he says "Power here and the power in here, are what the Piasa crave.  This is why it calls you and why it brought you to us."  

"Why me?" she asks, not really sure she is speaking "I am no one, I'm just a girl that crashed" But she knows she dreamed of this place, on Earth.  Did this Piasa really cause her crash?  This old man thinks so.  Ignoring her questions he says "Piasa comes in the night, and takes the form of those you love to feel you safe before it has its meal.  Before you bloom.  You must stop the Piasa and free my people.  That is why you come."  

This echoes in her mind as she finds the tent start to move and change shape.  She sees the village and the villagers and the island.  They move and spin and become black, and hears his voice once more in her mind "That is why you come." 

She opens her eyes and shivers.  Looking at Sussu who is looking at the cadet.  She raises one eyebrow, says nothing and rolls over going back to sleep.

"There is no Piasa listed in anything related to this planet, cadet.  I find no information in my searches regarding tar creatures, or blooms.  I think it might be good for your human lungs and brain if you began sleeping in the shuttle where the air is filtered and not so mind altering.  You'll remember this is almost a Class O planet which..."

She cut her off "I am not crazy, or dizzy or or I know what I saw," she told her in no mood for her smarm or her logic.  They both went into the shuttle "and what I heard, I think if we just would both go to the village, get over the water somehow, we--"

"We will not go to the village, cadet.  The Prime directive aside, we must stay here and wait for the distress signal to be answered.  Bringing someone to the planet is our primary goal, I believe I have already stressed this to you." she stated closing the shuttle door.  Sussu paused then took a deep breath.

"If there was such a creature as you described then here inside is the safest place we can be, do you not concur?" 

The more she tries to find help, the more Sussu gets upset, or defiant.  I cannot understand it.  She's not sure she'd concur anyplace with her is safe.  The look on Sussu's face tells her that she knows that she feels that way as well.  Sussu smiles ever so slightly as her eyes flash a brilliant bright glow.

The cadet dashes for the shuttle door and is stopped by a kick to the side of her cheek sending her into storage lockets and to the floor.  Warm blood runs down her cheek and begins to coagulate on her chin as she looks up at Sussu who seems to have gotten a little taller.  

"You will stop trying to go to my stores, Sussu says coldly.  Her voice an octave higher, and sounds like three or four voices speaking together, but not quite in sync.  The words are together yet each voice inflects differently.  As if the voices are saying the same thing yet each with different meanings...meaning!!....meaning??  "The Caygans." she went on, MY Caygans (there was fear, anger, curiosity and amusement all behind that single word "MY" that made the cadet shiver) are in their place and we (you) mustn't disturb them.  There are so few of them and I'm so hungry.  What we really (so hungry...hungry?) need is to try and boost the signal of our distress beacon. I'm not sensing any life signs or auras at all up there."

Sussu's eyes went dull and lifeless, her head lolls to one side and her eyes begin to glow and turn back on, somehow.  She smiles and continues.

"We were so hungry and meditating when you were found, dear sweet...we think of you as 'Cadet' because the Vulcan called you this, but you have a name, child.  What is it?  

Sheepishly she replies "Dahlia" Dahlia Corinne."  Sussu, or who ever this is looking down at her laying on the floor smiles wide and repeats the name "Dahlia" 


Sussu has now grown a meter taller and more, her skin begins to blacken and shimmer gelatinously and a rush of cold black brilliance flashes in all directions as she speaks down to her "When I felt you," moving to its left from the door to the pilot seats while pointing to the shuttle's ceiling and its eyes flashed even brighter as she did so, "out there I knew I had to have you.  We, Piasa had not felt such a life force, an aura, in a very long time.  It caused quite a stir too, in our haste  to trap this ship..." shifting directions slowly towards the seats more the Piasa seemed to pass through the chair as it did , "We used more force that need and the other" ,the creature paused searching for a word that it cannot remember nor access from Sussu's mind now that she has fully bloomed, "the other being  We tried to take him.  He fought the Piasa for his mind and he, we damaged much of the ship.  Which the explosion killed him, the Vulcan however, she was unprepared.  Nothing about the Piasa is logical, you see so we slipped inside her mind ("thissss mind"-one voice that sounded exactly like Sussu hissed)like slipping into a warm bath.  

What was once Sussu is now 4 meters tall, black, vibrating brilliantly in a human form that Dahlia could not look away from.  She was scared and yet the voices were puzzling, soothing and quizzical just the same.  Looking from the floor she heard is continue "Once the Vulcan was with the Piasa, we used her skills to survive, it was always about survival.  About the feeding. But if we fed on you, took you to bloom what then?  We'd be no better.  We are running out of Caygans, but once help comes, and we can leave this planet on a ship.  There then will be no ending to the bloom.  

"We planned to send Sussu to bloom when help arrived so we could join with you, ca-Dahlia.  But, we have had to adjust our time table, you see"

Sussu said this as her eyes fully lit the cabin, turning from the control board to face her prey, turning to feed the Piasa found itself looking into what Sussu would have identified as a standard Starfleet issue flare gun, and in the instant it exploded a flare into the face of the Piasa, its face filled with fear and pain at the same time as it fell back into the beeping control board, blinded by fire and rage, it roared loudly as Dahlia scrambled to open the shuttle door and ran out into the stale dry morning air. 

The sounds of the transporting away team fill her ears as Dahlia falls to her knees hearing four continuous streams of red phaser fire rain into the Piasa and she hears it howl and wither, steaming and writhing in what all five of the people will describe differently.  Pain, fear, anger and disbelief will be words used by the away team in their reports of the incident.  Dahlia on the other hand knows before she succumbs
 to fatigue and exhaustion the sound the Piasa made was made out of one final emotion. 


wow, so many things to digest in this one. 

First off: you gave a detailed impression of conflict, divorce from her independent feelings, and a clear sense of loss, from one moment to the next, it kept me reading which is perhaps the biggest intention of any writer.

I think you did a great job promoting the hopes and fears, the sense of foreboding, and the confusion she was experiencing, this post had some room for improvement, but in so many aspects, It just rang out as more crystal clear than a movie.

You are an exceptionally talented writer, I look forward to your work and I think you have sparked a sense of creativity in my mind, the little things I want to see in the way I describe the universe through my character's eyes.

I would love to discuss some of the things that gave you the inspiration to write this, my style is different but I can enjoy the work of fellow writers and learn something from their efforts.

Thank you for a well-done piece, I look forward to more.  I am hungry for it.

Wow! Not sure where to start. Your writing is not the typical character/plot that's laid out like a neat little map for the reader, but rather that we pay attention. You have to get involved, to put yourself in the place of the character in order to try to understand what she is going through/feeling, sensing, thinking... At some points it's easy to become the characters rather than distancing yourself from them. It's immersive, if you will. The story itself is a delicious break from the more tried and trite plot lines: we have a character who is in the process of developing, we're seeing an adventure through her eyes - and often with her understanding or lack of understanding of what is happening to her and around her. If I have a criticism it's only that I would like the last few paragraphs to be a little longer as there was a LOT happening, and I'm not sure I full understood it. Lovely writing, really enveloping characters and a unique story. You scored a hat trick.
(12-08-2020, 11:58 PM)greaterfrost Wrote: wow, so many things to digest in this one. 

First off: you gave a detailed impression of conflict, divorce from her independent feelings, and a clear sense of loss, from one moment to the next, it kept me reading which is perhaps the biggest intention of any writer.

I think you did a great job promoting the hopes and fears, the sense of foreboding, and the confusion she was experiencing, this post had some room for improvement, but in so many aspects, It just rang out as more crystal clear than a movie.

You are an exceptionally talented writer, I look forward to your work and I think you have sparked a sense of creativity in my mind, the little things I want to see in the way I describe the universe through my character's eyes.

I would love to discuss some of the things that gave you the inspiration to write this, my style is different but I can enjoy the work of fellow writers and learn something from their efforts.

Thank you for a well-done piece, I look forward to more.  I am hungry for it.


I can re read this and think what was going on while I was writing it.  First off.  I wanted her OFF Enterprise C because theres no info on that ship and I didn't feel qualified to make stuff up.  

I read a story about a tribe a long time ago that thought a creature came to their village and took away their people and they called it "feeding"
In southern Illinois on the mississippi rive near alton, Il the native americans sacrificed to the Piasa Bird.  I grew up 20 miles from where the pic painting on the cliff walls depicting it was and it always scared the crap out of me as a kid.  Now I just think its cool.

the kiss scene i got while listening to the song, the old man that tells her that she must kill it IS the old man from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.   (stolen)

I was writing from my experience in therapy and hypnosis sometimes, I love that you get so much out of the words that are popping up in my mind.  I think its really cool.  

thank you for your enthusiasm


look at the scary thing

(12-09-2020, 12:45 AM)brawndo_mom Wrote: Wow! Not sure where to start. Your writing is not the typical character/plot that's laid out like a neat little map for the reader, but rather that we pay attention. You have to get involved, to put yourself in the place of the character in order to try to understand what she is going through/feeling, sensing, thinking... At some points it's easy to become the characters rather than distancing yourself from them. It's immersive, if you will. The story itself is a delicious break from the more tried and trite plot lines: we have a character who is in the process of developing, we're seeing an adventure through her eyes - and often with her understanding or lack of understanding of what is happening to her and around her. If I have a criticism it's only that I would like the last few paragraphs to be a little longer as there was a LOT happening, and I'm not sure I full understood it. Lovely writing, really enveloping characters and a unique story. You scored a hat trick.

I wanted to have an away team show up investigating a distress signal, and see a girl ( she's a kid afterall ) being chase by a blob and the kill the blob.  
they don't know that the aura of that blob may or may not have transferred to the girl.  or that it used to be inside the body of another.  they can pick up those pieces and put them in their reports i guess.  Her killing off a ship full of officers could happen, but I still think in the end there has to be phaser fire.  

YOU thought she survived the ordeal, in my mind she might of been taken over by the creature, or died.  
I think i ran out of steam once I had what I knew I wanted in the story, I didn't know how to tied it all together, with being repetitive. 

I am happy you like it though.  writing is good therapy but no ones doing the dishes

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