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The Gentleman - Part 1

Posted on Fri Dec 1st, 2017 @ 8:06am by Lieutenant Commander Yara Blackwater & Commander Charles Kincaid (Deceased) & Lieutenant Rafan Kel
Edited on on Fri Dec 1st, 2017 @ 8:29am

Mission: Deep Space 12
Location: Private Room; DS12
Timeline: Pre-MD07 1745hrs

Charlie had spent the last couple of days reading about the Zhian’tara ritual and he still wasn't totally sure how it worked. Everything about Trill symbiosis was alien and almost impossible to wrap his head around. It seemed likely that he'd have a much better understanding of it after the ritual though, which had to be a good thing. He was sure that being asked to take part was a big deal though.

The Commander took a breath as he tapped the door chime to Rafan's quarters, no going back now and he certainly didn't want to disappoint his science officer.

Rafan was relaxing and waiting at he waited with the Guardian for Charlie's arrival, just as with the others who had already gone through the ritual with him, she had remained somewhat aloof from the proceedings. She had been making certain that everything was just so for the renewed rite; Fresh mud, small candles lit and burning evenly, and the light scent of incense in the air. All in all it was a very peaceful atmosphere as both Trill turned their attention to the door as the Guardian stepped away from the place that she had taken at the window while Rafan moved over to the altar.

The door slid open as she smiled at the human standing beyond it and smiled warmly at him. "Welcome Commander, come in, come in so that we may begin the ritual."

“Thanks.” Charlie said, a little unsure of how formal this ritual was supposed to be. He looked around at the candles, the altar and all of the other accouterments with curiosity. He had taken the precaution of disabling his command codes for the time being. It wasn't that he didn't trust Rafan, but the idea of being host to another being’s consciousness concerned him a little, he didn't want someone else taking his ship for a spin as well as his body. “So, uh, how do we start?”

The Guardian smiled and guided the human over to the altar opposite Rafan, who gave a short nod to his commanding officer and let out a deep breath, an action that did little to conceal his own nervousness at undertaking this ritual. It wasn't that he was afraid of anything going wrong, it was just that with each past host that he met, there would come greater understanding and this was all building to a confrontation that he didn't have any desire to take part in.

"Just stand here, Commander." The Guardian said and moved to stand before Rafan and Charlie, quiet as she looked at both men and deemed that they were ready before she began to speak.

"I'nora, Ja'kala Kel," She began in a soft and melodic tone, moving slowly towards Kincaid as she continued her chant as she moved around behind the pair. "Zhian'shee, Led tanus rem."

"Gon'dar, Rafan tor." Her voice was even and strong, Rafan could feel the pull of the words at his consciousness, could feel Kel stirring within him as the memories of her past hosts were awakened, a single consciousness being drawn forth for the ritual. It wasn't an unpleasant feeling for the Trill, but it felt as if a rush of pins and needles were moving up his spine, though the shiver never came as he continued to listen to the Guardian's voice.

"Rafan, zhian'tara vok. Tu Kel, zhian'tani ress." She was standing between them, her hands came up and rested lightly on the backs of their necks. "Zhian'par, Ledo garu'koj..."

Her voice trailed off as an ethereal swirling appeared over Rafan's stomach before drifting free, winding its way up his body, up the arms of the Guardian, tendrils of harmless electric energy dancing over the delicate line of spots before the mist coalesced into her hand. It then seeped into Charlie's head as the memories and consciousness of Ledo took its place within him.

It took Rafan a moment to recover as both Trill turned their attention to the Human, both watching expectantly to see what was about to happen.

"I don't think I'll ever get used to that sensation." Ledo said as he slowly opened his eyes. Or whoever's eyes these were. He looked down at his hands and the uniform he was wearing with curiosity. "Ah, this isnt a Trill body is it? No wonder it feels so odd. Human? His hands feel so warm."

Ledo had experienced this before, just as a Trill. The zhin'tara was a ritual that held particular appeal to him, it was his chance to be a living historical artifact, a link to the past that could provide a true eyewitness account. One that wasn't open to interpretation, or indeed misinterpretation. He got to be the archaeologist that discovered himself, something that both fascinated and slightly amused him. He leveled what he hoped was a warm smile at Kel's latest host, still unsure of how this new face would look.

The Guardian cleared her throat to swing the attention back to her for the briefest of moments before Rafan dove into any conversation with Ledo."I have a few questions for the both of you, very simple and will only take a moment." She said while standing slightly apart from both men.

"I need to make certain that the memory transference is complete." She said while looking at the Ledo inhabited Charlie, then glanced at Rafan.

"Please," Rafan said as the Guardian's attention went to Charlie.

"If you would, please tell me the last thing that you remember." The kindly woman asked, her eyes were soft but probing as she waited for an answer.

"I remember... my last conversation like this." He replied after consideration. His memories were starting to solidify and the haze was lifting. "I was speaking to Hysio during his Zhian'tara." He smiled a little. "His guardian seemed a lot less personable than yours, I must say. He was a rather grim faced old gentleman as I recall."

"Good, good." The woman said with a smile before she turned her attention to Rafan, her gaze careful and measuring as she watched to any hints that something was amiss. "Now tell me Rafan, what can you remember of Ledo."

For a moment, Rafan furrowed his brow as he reached out for the familiar memories, ones that he knew were there a moment ago but found nothing as he looked over at Charlie. "I can't remember anything aside from papers that I read by him."

"Excellent, I'll leave you two alone so that you may speak privately, if there are any problems, please don't hesitate to call for me." The Trill woman said, bow her head as she excused herself and left the two men alone together, Rafan smiling as he saw a familiar expression settling on the other man's face, one he was familiar with since he'd often taken to wearing when he was amused by something.

"Its a pleasure to finally meet you, Ledo, I've always enjoyed your work." Rafan said as he held out an arm towards the nearby couch. "It was where I took a great deal of inspiration for my own work from."

"Well, I'm very glad to hear that my work is still of use." Ledo said with a smile as he took a seat. This human's knees were I'm significantly better condition than his had been, and that simple action proved much easier than it used to. "Am i correct in inferring that you're a Starfleet officer? Presumably involved in the sciences?"

"I am yes, I have acquired a few doctorates and have several master's in a variety of scientific and applied disciplines." Rafan replied as he moved to take a seat across from the Trill host inhabiting Commander Kincaid's body at the moment. "I am currently working on turning some of those masters into doctorates."

[To be continued]


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