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Iterum Nata: Act One
#1
Captain's log stardate 42744.3

I have been asked to take part in a special commission to investigate a citizen of Unax III.  There have been some rather extraordinary claims by a young woman there, claims that have reached famed peace advocate and activist Saigon Drake, who is forming and a member of the commission.  I look forward to meeting him and hearing what he has to say

"Energize, Mr. O'Brien"
The small, elderly man clad in formal robes and ceremonial beads materialized on the transporter pad.  Beaming with joy, the man smiled and softly spoke.
"Captain Jean Luc Picard.  It is a pleasure to know you.  I bless you."
"Mr. Drake, the pleasure is all mine and it is an honor to make your acquaintance.  Your campaigns for peace and sometimes resistance when it is necessary are legendary and of course they were and still are required reading at the academy.  Walk with me.  I shall escort you to your quarters" Turning to the transporter chief he adds "thank you, chief"
"aye sir"
Looking down at his sandals as he strolled, the small bald man said the taller one, "As you know, Captain, I have come across a miracle in many terms and have taken upon myself to for a commission to investigate it."
"A miracle? Yes, well your initial message stated that a woman from Unax III has claimed what was thought the impossible.  Forgive me, Mr. Dra-"
"Please Captain, please call me Saigon, or even Drake if you prefer.  I've never felt much like a "Meester"
"Yes, eh well forgive me, Saigon, there's not much to go on here.  While the idea of the impossible being possible, is intriguing.  The very definition of impossible can vary so.  I must insist on more information.  I've been given orders to accommodate you and permission to join you, at my choosing.  I'm afraid, Saigon  with all due respect, I am not just going to blindly go along.. without knowing more."
"The woman I speak of is Leira Zaid.  Everything you will need to know is right here in this data padd and you can read all of it while we make our way to Unax III.
Captain Picard took the padd from his guest and gave the smaller man a quizzical look.
"On our way?" He smiled slightly at the grinning, knowing old man shuffling along side him, "Mr. - I mean, Saigon as I just stated I will need some time to evaluate this information before joining your commission.  I've agreed to nothing"
Drake's smile widened as he squinted his eyes and said "yes yes Captain, read away.  I am well aware of your need for knowledge.  It's why I have sought you out for my investigation. You see, a colleague of mine and acquaintance of yours,  Dr. Sara Kingsley spoke rather highly of you.  Her assessment of you is why I am here before you now."
"Dr. Kingsley, yes of course.  Ah, here we are, sir. Your quarters.  I trust you will find everything to your liking.  And with that, I must return to my duties" Looking down at data padd as he spoke he continued "I will review these and, well, I will...Saigon, there must be some kind of an error.  The woman you are investigating you said was named Leira Zaid.  This padd is called 'The Life of Samara Devi" 
"no Captain, there is no mistake.  The information on the padd will tell you want you need to know about Leira Zaid.  Leira was born in Vilno City on the planet Unax III.  Born 8 standard years ago.  Samara Devi is the deceased woman Leira has claimed to be ever since she has been 4 years old."

Space....the final frontier these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.  It's continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds.  To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before....
Iterum Nata
1
Sitting with a steaming cup of tea, glancing at Livingston who pecks away at the slowly sinking flakes of protein, Captain Picard wondered about the fish and where he thinks his food fell from, if at all.  Am I the deity that provides it of it's manna?  Smiling, he opened the file on The Life of Samara Devi and began to read.

The Life of Samara Devi 
as reported by Saigon Drake 1st council of the Destine
Samara Devi would climb the steps of the Krynshaw temple, as she had since she was a little girl.  She loved the temple, her temple.  She loved her god and she loved Kedar, her husband.  Samara was devoted to him, to her marriage and her new role as a young wife at the age of 22.  Her husband Kedar, was already a successful merchant in Vilno City, he was also a Braleem, who are the wealthiest and highest caste of citizens on the planet.  Samara wanted nothing more than a simple and happy life, it was her father that made certain she was married into an elite lifestyle. Kedar Nash waable to provide everything she could ever need or want. There was one thing still that was missing, the very reason she climbed those hallowed stairs every morning.  Her morning routine to visit the temple, to worship and pray to her god was for the one thing she needed most of all.  A child.  [Captain: This was also the one thing that ended up taking her young life.  As you will read.-SD]
Kedar and Samara were married during the festival of Navar [to celebrate the close of the 2nd revolution of the Triple Suns] in the village of Garnia on Unax III, and soon after became pregnant.  Her pregnancy was a difficult one and she endured much pain during the period of gestation.  After giving birth to a son, who the couple named Laul.  Samara was bed ridden and under the care of a nursing staff provided for by her husband.  They cared for her, monitored her and the baby as well as tended to her daily needs and the personal grooming requirements of a noble Braleem wife.  There were complication to the pregnancy and after nine days, Samara Devi died.


2

Leira Zaid, born in the beginning of the 3rd revolution of the Triple Sun [this would be around 2356, Captain]  in Vilno City. also on Unax III.  Living in an overcrowded district of one of the largest cities, life for Leira and her family was tense, yet exciting.  Surrounded by all types of people they were friendly to all, devout and simple members of their community.  Leira did not speak until she reached the age of 4, which is not uncommon when one has older siblings.  Leira was always a quiet and observant baby and toddler, content as well.  Her parents noticed that their daughter was very watchful of the world outside their home.  Children usually are oblivious to the chaotic life in a city, but to Leira she seemed interested and as if she knew more the others around her did.  She often played alone in her room and outside in their courtyard and was distant at times, even to her siblings.  It was her oldest sister who first noticed how often Leira spoke to herself, using words that even she didn't know.  When she told her mother, Ariel of this she was waved off and told "What small child doesn't use nonsense words?" to which the daughter replied that she not only used strange words, but she says them strange too. [It should be noted here that she is referring to the child's dialect, perhaps] 
Leira asked her mother one day in a quiet voice where her image of Pumani was.   This confused Ariel on many levels, because Pumani is the god of the waters or something, which is a story in the Book of Mand, the center book of the Memnaha religion.  A religion that Ariel knew was not practiced anywhere around here or anywhere else east of the Barrier Sea.   No one that she knew or knew of in town were Memnahans or worshipped Pumani.  She thought 'How in the bliss did my little girl hear of such things let alone ask where her image of the god is?  When Ariel told her that she had no idea what she is talking about and that she has no such image the 4 year old began to cry.  She insisted that it hung above her bed and that she prayed to it every morning and every night.

3
Weeks went by with much of the same type of discussions occurring, with Leira becoming more insistent and firm in her now demands of the return of HER Pumani as she now began calling the image of the deity that she doesn't have and never did.  Ariel did everything she could to keep this subject from her husband and Leira's father, Diaz but this was getting harder to do.  Finally one morning the girl walked up to her mother standing tall and said "You are NOT my real mother.  I am a Braleem wife from Garnya.  I will live here no more.  These are not my clothes, this is not my house.  You have nothing to do with me!"  Stunned at such a display, Ariel realized that this is what her little girl really thought, unable to believe it even though she felt it to be true.   Scared, she knew she had to tell her husband.  Before she could Leira then said that she wanted her red Obi, the traditional dress of a Braleem in the Memnaha religion.  Like the image of Pumani, she never had a red Obi and she her mother told her so she ran to her room and soaked her pillow with her tears.  Ariel promptly went to purchase a red obi for her and presented it to her.  It was Ariel's hope that maybe this would appease her daughter.  It did not.  Leira said that not only was this not her red obi, this obi was not even made of the right material.  The she said that only her husband, a skilled cloth merchant and trader would know the correct fabric to buy.   Ariel was shocked to her very core.  It was time to talk to Diaz.

When Diaz came home from his law office, Ariel talked to him outside in the courtyard and told him everything that has been occurring.  Since Leira's birthday up to what she said and how she acted today.  Not only was their 4 year old girl apparently from a village Ariel has never even heard of, she was also married.  Diaz listened thoughtfully and fully.  Knowing his wife so well, he was certain that there is no way she was lying or mistaken about what she was saying.  He also knew of no place called Garnya, but there was a village called Garnia.  That village was over 2000 wheels [about 200 km] west of Vilno City.  Diaz told his wife that Garnia is the center of the Memnaha religion and they believe the birthplace of Pumani. 



"Captain on the bridge" Riker stated
"Mr. Data, set a course for the Unax system, warp one"
"Aye sir"

Sitting in the captain's chair, after discussing the report he's read so far, his Number One stated the obvious

"So you're going to take him up on his offer." 

"Will, I feel I must.  The report I am reading is fascinating and to be part of the determining factor of the validity of reincarnation, as this child claims to be"  he trailed off thinking of a 4 year old standing before an adult as a proud and noble wife and nodded in silence.   
"Number One, inform Saigon Drake of my decision and invite him to supper tonight"  

"Aye Captain"

Standing and with a tug of his tunic, Picard said "Ill be in my ready room" and went back to continue his briefing.



4
As weeks went into months, Leira's insistence that she was the wife of a merchant from someplace called Garnya continued, she also claimed during this time to be with child.  Diaz had heard quite enough of this, but at the calming of his wife and allowed such discussions to continue.   She also began insisting on only eating foods that are prepared in the traditions of the Braleem ways, which consists of mainly vegetables and limited spices.  None of this made sense, Leira at this food all her life and could not know of the diet and cultures from so far away.  She talked about her favorite ankle amulet, her red obi, and the yellow house where she and husband live day after day.  So much so her stories became something of background noise to the family until one day Leira told her mother that the voice inside of her told her what her name is.  Ariel stopped everything, listening intently as the hairs on her arms stood at attention.  The woman resting inside the mind of her 4 year old daughter is named Samara Devi.


Diaz told Ariel they are to speak of this to no one, lest they be outcasts, and thought to be mad.  Leira was to be walked to the local school and straight home after her lessons.  She also was to be monitored by her siblings.   During school one day, Leira commented on the immaturity of some of her classmates and accidentally mentioned her noble husband.  This made her fodder for teasing, whispers, bullying and ridicule. Diaz hoped that whatever this was, it would simple be outgrown with patience and silence.  And as the years went by, Leira spoke less about Samara and her so called past life, or whatever this really was, but she continued to eat her special meals, and also began preparing them herself to her taste.  

After years of being "the quiet one", to being the freak that thought she was married and better than everyone else AND a mother on top of that, 8 year old Leira Zaid had had enough of the teasing and ridicule and suppressing what her mind was telling her and demanding of her.  She had decided that she was going to run away.
5
Leira decided that she would travel to Garnya herself, even if she had to walk there.  As she walked through town, a family friend and colleague of Diaz's, noticed her as she walked and asked her where she was going.  She matter of factly told him she was going home to Garnya.  The could feel the seriousness in her voice and see the determination on her face. He then did something no one else had ever don't, he listened to her.  He asked her why she was running away and was amazed to hear the rest of her story.  
Semag Nigeb, a prominent lawyer in town would later tell Leira's biographer the he didn't see "a child before him, that he didn't hear the words of a child, but an adult woman, and a woman of means at that."  He would also be quoted regarding this part of her story as saying "dealing with and detecting liars is part of my job as a lawyer.  And she is no liar."  He walked her home and on the way explained to her that while he never heard of a Garnya, if she meant the village of Garnia, that is was impossible for even the strongest man to walk that.  In front of the gate to their courtyard Semag stood before her, knelt down to her eye level and told her that he believed her.  And one day she will find the answers she seeks.
Sometime after this, Leira and her siblings were at a local park when Leira wandered off on her own.  She was bullied and then pushed down by some boys that were there.  A woman yelled out at the boys who ran away.  When the woman helped Leira up and asked if she was alright.  The woman, a highly regard local mystic, looked into the girls eyes she saw another mind "far away".  She helped Leira find her family, then spoke with Diaz and Ariel.  Diaz immediately apologized saying that she's not the first to be burdened with collecting their wandering child.  She told him to hush now with that talk, then told them what happened to her.  They thanked her for her help and she looked Diaz in the eyes and told him "I know what's been happening with the girl."  Not able to compose himself, and hearing  an adult outside of the family talking about their secret so openly his voice quivered as he replied "We are cursed, aren't we?"  She replied "No, you and your family are blessed, she is innocent and truthful.  But your girl has a karmic debt to pay."  The woman told them what she sees in Leira and they vowed to listen to her, ask her what is happening and not dismiss her a just a child, or mad. She is scared and who can she turn to if not her parents?  Diaz and Ariel both agreed to do just that.

6

During the festival of the harvest Leira begged her father to take her to the parade, she loved to see the horses and other animals.  While watching the parade, she watched with eyes wide and was overwhelmed by what she had see.  Tugging on her father's sleeve she told him how the horses reminded her of her wedding day.  Her mother  and then her father rode on white horses followed by her and her husband-to-be who rode side by side.  Once married she and her new husband, whose name is Kedar Sym mounted one horse together and rode off as was tradition.   Leira's father caught his outburst in his throat and smiled at the beaming girl.  To her it was a joyful recollection, the sights of the parade brought back memories, even the name of her husband. Yet to her father it felt like a good day spoiled with more nonsense. After they arrived home, they were met at the gate by two unexpected visitors.  Leira's teacher and the headmaster were there, waiting to speak with Diaz.

Leira's parents were reminded that the rumors about her were well known and the teacher were there to let them know that they would like to know more.  They could sense the apprehension in them and assured them that they are not there to seek gossip or to pry.  They have witnessed changes in Leira over the years, they have experienced her mannerisms and think of her as a smart and polite "old soul", they love having her as a student and would like to help her in anyway they could.  Listening in from upstairs, Leira over heard them and came down to join them.  She told her teachers, in front of her tearful parents everything that have been occurring.  They left the family vowing to see what they could find out about the village of Garnia, and see if there is someone named Kedar Sym and get back to them when they have news.  
7
After weeks of no news, there was a knock at the door.  They were greeted by a middle aged man named Pepe Chupney, and he wowed everyone when he said he was a cousin of Kedar Sym's.  He had news that not only had he heard of their daughter and her tale, no doubt thanks to her teachers.  He also wanted to tell them that Kedar Sym is alive, and living in Garnia, but Samara Devi was a painful part of his life.  Pepe said he wanted to make sure that no one needlessly upset his widower cousin.  He then asked to meet Leira and enjoyed tea and conversation while they waited for her and her siblings to come home from school.  
The children arrived, walked through the courtyard, and were introduced to a friend of theirs.  When Leira looked upon Pepe she dropped her knapsack, ran and leaped into Pepe's arms.  Squeezing her little arms tightly around his neck.  Pepe was shocked and Leira went into memory after memory.  Speaking so much and so fast she had to be reminded to take a breath.  No one could help but smile at the sight of this girl and her excitement.  When she she got to the news that Pepe had once has a crush on Samara, before she was married to his cousin, the man holding the 8 year old blushed and handed her to mother.  Embarrassed, amazed and intrigued he told her parents that everything she was saying was true.  
After staying for dinner, he left promising to send Kedar for a visit very soon.  They were pleased and excited for the first time in a very long time.  Leira was smiling as she watch him walk through the gate and out of sight with tears streaming down her cheeks.  She told her mother she was happy but sad.  For if the life of Samara Devi really is true, then so is her death.  Leira told her parents that Samara went to temple to pray for a child everyday, became pregnant and bore a son.  She fell ill for weeks after giving birth to her son, Laul never really knowing him, because she was so sick.  Diaz and Ariel had absolutely no idea how to console their daughter, she had no business knowing such trauma and heartache.  
Yet she had no choice.
8

   The next week, another stranger knocked on the door.  The man apologized to call unannounced and introduced himself to Diaz as Kedar Sym's brother and that Kedar sends his apologies but he simply could not find the time to travel.  The man wore a thick coat, furry hat and glasses.  When Leira came down the stairs, she froze when she saw the man in the doorway.  The man looked at the little girl and smiled.  She walked up to the man, looked up at him and said, 
"Kedar Sym.  My husband."

He stood face to face, looking at another man's child.  Yet he could no deny what he was feeling, he would later recount and he fell to his knees saying "My Samara".  Just then, the front door, creaked open slightly as a young boy poked his head through and stepped into the house.  Barely a year older than Leira stood Laul.  Samara's son.  Leira approached him and began to cry.

Leira and Laul played together in the adjacent room, playing with cards, reciting rhymes to each other and singing songs they both knew.  Diaz, Ariel and Kedar sat in wonder and silence watching something strange and yet amazing.

9


As Laul began to become tired of play, Leira joined the adults in the kitchen and approached Kedar and said "Samara has questions for you"  She sat down and began.  "First, did you do as instructed with the money that was hidden under her bed?"  She could tell by the look on his face that he had not.  Samara had saved money from a very young age and had told her husband should anything happen to her that he was to give it to the temple.  Kedar explained to the girl that he used the money to pay for her funeral expenses.   Leira looked disappointed, she paused as if listening to her thoughts, which she most likely was and asked, "Did you keep your promise to not remarry?"  Kedar answered this question, but did not look at the girl when he did.  "No.  I am sorry" he said with shame.  "I have remarried."
Laul was being raised by another woman.  Leira was quiet for several minutes, processing this new information.  Kedar, Diaz and Ariel sat uncomfortably in the silence not sure what to do, what to say or what to expect next.  Finally, Leira said matter of factly that she knew he was not perfect.  That she knew, for example that while she was ill and bed ridden that had been intimate with one of her nurses.  Everyone shifted uncomfortably but dared not to interrupt as she said "There was a night that I woke and managed myself out of bed.  The house was still and dark, yet sounds from the guest room caught my attention.  When I looked inside, I saw you and her making love. 
10


All color from Kedar's face vanished.

11

He took the child's hand into his own, and while Diaz stiffened and Ariel put a calming hand on his shoulder, Kedar Sym wept.  She was absolutely right.  He spent her money instead, he  remarried after promising not to and worst of all cheated on her.  As he wept he stated that he was young at the time, too young.  Speaking to the child as if he was speaking to his wife he continued, "I didn't understand the importance and commitment true marriage required."  Then he begged for her forgiveness.  Kedar had no doubt in h is mind that this was Samara Devi in front of him.

As news spread of this confirmation, Leira became somewhat of a celebrity and the town was a buzz with talk.  Her teachers, family and friends and the community were overwhelmed by the idea of it all.  While there were just as many naysayers and skeptics, there seemed to be a miracle in their city.  Living as a young girl.    
      





  

 


  
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