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Posted on Mon Aug 14th, 2017 @ 11:37pm by Major Storr Garlake

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: USS Vindex - Deck 25 (MCO/Counselor Quarters)
Timeline: Mission Day 100: 0130


Oppressive, overwhelming, darkness. Black so thick it oozed around Storr, so heavy that it held him frozen in place, so oppressive it made his shiver to his soul. His head was light and his body was a feather on the wind. There was no earth below him and suddenly above was a foreign sky, stars glowing brightly in all the wrong places. This was not Pretoria.

Falling became something like being carried on a warm sea. The knot in his gut, brought on by the primal fear of the earth working to pull a body down, slowly began to release. Arms wrapped around him, and for a moment he remembered his lover's touch, the way she pressed him to the ground or around him as he did to her. But this was gentle, like his mother’s embrace when he had been small. Two arms, then four, more, caging him in compassion.

He was enveloped in a warmth that reached through his skin and traced the lines of his bones, and for the first time, he realized how cold he had been. Peace can be a terror when you have never known it before.

Moments passed, and nothing happened, and nothing happened. The safety promised by the embrace blurred the line between the body and the spirit, and his heart and her soul both ached as one. He could scream now, and he did, relentlessly, wordlessly, a cry of hurt and terror, of discovery and loss.

Time moved like in a dream. Days lasted years and months lasted days. He found himself tasting colors and seeing emotions, and he could understand the words whispered by the rain and the desires of the sun and the longing of the moon. He was everywhere and everything, expansive and great and trembling with the enormity of it. The star inside him had burst with light and was forming a new universe.

And then he was reduced back to a single point in the darkness, cold and alone.

What a waste it all had been. He had gone against everything expected of him, strayed far from the borders of "acceptable" mates, of propriety, of religion, of culture, of safety. All for nothing. He had set off to conquer her and he had instead been turned into...nothing.

In the end, there was just no way to be strong enough.

In the morning he woke with a head that felt stuffed with cement, cracking and crumbling against the inside of his skull in jagged pressure. He tried to shake the preceding night's terrors from his mind but instead simply magnified the already throbbing echoes that continued to resound within. Looking over, his eyes rested on his beloved's lithe form, sensuously draped with sheets that rose and fell with her delicate breaths. Storr reached out to her but stopped his hand halfway, not knowing exactly why but watching as it shook violently before bringing it back to his opposite shoulder.

Swinging his legs over the edge of his bed, he cradled his head in his hands and sighed deeply. What was going on? First the waking dream of Bella and now this sleeping one.

A sigh reverberated from behind his clenched teeth.

Standing (carefully), the MCO got dressed quietly so as not to wake the beautiful Deltan still slumbering in his bed. Looking himself over in the mirror, his eye caught the glint of his wedding band. Raising his hand, he turned it over slowly and watched as the light glimmered along the ancient, hammered surface. Was he becoming something else? Nothing else? And why now? Looking back into the mirror, he saw that the man standing there didn't have the answers.

Despite the time, Major Garlake silently left the room. Better to surround himself with his men and his work than the questions that had begun haunting both his days and nights...


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