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The Musician - Part 1

Posted on Fri Dec 1st, 2017 @ 7:41am by Lieutenant Commander Yara Blackwater & Lieutenant Rafan Kel

Mission: Deep Space 12
Location: Private Room; DS12
Timeline: Pre-MD05 1445hrs

Dread.

That was what Rafan was feeling right now. There were few things he actually dreaded, like being around Yara, that was not something he dreaded, though there were plenty of other members of the crew that dreaded being even within glaring distance of the caustic blonde officer. He enjoyed her misanthropic company. Then again, he was fairly certain that he had fallen in love with the human woman, but had decided to suffer silently about it since he was certain that Yara wouldn't be receptive to the idea of him even dropping that little bit on her.

EVER.

No right now he was dreading meeting the one person in the universe who was possibly the one person that despised him the most of anyone, he was meeting his sister Jessara, who acted more like a Vulcan than a Trill and had even earned a few eyes rolls from Yara over their little science feud. She'd even had to down a few stiff drinks just to make it through the evening with the spotted woman and her coolly analytical arrogance. He then smirked to himself as he just pictured Yara staring at him and shaking her head before muttering something about being too damn wordy when a few would do much better. He'd unconsciously be pacing around the room where they would be carrying out the ritual, only becoming conscious of the action and stopping in the same breath as he turned his attention to the door upon hearing the chime ring, announcing the arrival of his sister and the guardian, so he took a deep breath as he let it out in order to steel himself for the coming confrontation between him and his sibling.

"Enter."

The doors parted as both women entered the room, the Guardian looking as nondescript and unassuming as one might be with her dark hair pulled back into a simple ponytail, as simple as the plain gray dress as she turned back to look at the other woman quirked a brow at her. "You give me no trouble until now, are you certain that you wish to go through with this?"

“He is my brother and despite whatever else, there’s that.” Jessara replied gruffly as she moved into the room after the older woman, narrowing her eyes briefly at her brother but in a way that truly questioned the relevance of his very existence it seemed. “This should be an interesting experience at the very least so I am willing.”

"Then I suppose that I am thankful I am able to provide you with that, Jessara." Rafan said with a deep sigh as he looked over at the guardian before moving to take his place near the brazier, waiting on his sister as the drably dressed Trill moved to stand at a point where she would be behind both siblings. If there was any signs of annoyance or exasperation at either Trill, the guardian was revealing nothing as she took and deep breath to center herself as she held out a hand to Jessara.

"If you will step over here, we can begin the ritual."

Jessara moved to where the other woman had indicated all while peering at her brother. She was trying decide if this was something that would be routine or if Rafan would somehow manage to make it difficult like he usually did with everything in his life - which is why he had little true success in life. Really though, she still wasn’t entirely sure why Rafan had picked her of all people to help him through this instead of their sister. It was confusing and a little frustrating since she had never really gotten a straight answer out of him.

"Concentrate on the flame, Jessara." The Guardian said as she stood behind both Trill, returning to her gentle quietness as she looked at both of them and deemed that they were ready for the ritual to begin.

"I'nora, Ja'kala Kel," She began in a soft and melodic tone, reaching out to both in a way that was deeply profound in a way that none of the other would experience since this was an ancient part f who they were as her voice carred them onwards as she continued her chant from behind the pair. "Zhian'shee, Arij 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, Arij 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 Jessara's head as the memories and consciousness of Arij took its place within her.

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

The young, severe looking Trill had simply stood there in silence as the ritual was carried out. Jessara had never taken an interest in joining, feeling as though being joined was simply a cheap way for those who could not quite succeed in their own endeavors to simply abuse the power and experience of those who came before them. Efficient perhaps, but something that she who had worked so hard to make her own way looked down on. Still though, even she had to admit there was something that was stirred inside of her by the words of the Guardian, the tingling sensation beginning to spread through her body. When the soft wispy tendrils of energy coiled down her neck she let out a soft gasp, her eyes closing as it spiraled down into her own core and settled.

For a moment she just stood there silent and still, but eventually she lifted her head and turned to offer a sweet, kind smile to Rafan and the Guardian; it was an expression that did not fit in the slightest on Jessara's face. "Ah... here I am, then."

"Allow me a few questions to ensure that everything that went as it should." The Guardian said as she looked between them, settling her gaze on the Arij possessed Jessara. "Tell what is the last thing that you remember before this moment and are you able to remember your name?" She asked, watching the other woman rather hawkishly.

For his part, Rafan was a little surprised and off his footing by the rather alien expression being worn on his sister's normally severe features, though he tried to do his best not be too judgmental or let this be a failed situation.

Jessara-Arij just continued to smile placidly as she turned her attention now fully to the Guardian. "I am Arij Kel... originally Tanau and the last thing I remember is speaking with Hysio at his zhian'tara." She paused then and looked to Rafan warmly. "You are quite handsome, aren't you?"

Before Rafan could answer the rather flirtatious comment made by Arij, though it was more than a little off putting since it had come from his sister - Trill might be a bit more open-minded when it came to their sexuality, but even then there were things that were still quite taboo for them, the Guardian spoke up as she turned her attention to Rafan.

"Tell me, what can you remember of Arij's past?" She asked, trying to diffuse the situation.

"Ah...actually nothing, I can't remember anything." He replied as his attention turned to the woman, questioningly to see if the was more or if they were about to be left alone.

Arij stood there a moment and seemed to be adjusting a bit to the new sensation and it seemed to dawn on her the relationship Rafan and the woman she was inhabiting shared. To her credit or potentially embarrassment, she said nothing. Instead she just looked to the guardian and tilted her head slightly as if she too were waiting to see if they would be left alone now

The Guardian gave a sage nod to this answer as she took a step back to look at them both, smiling warmly at them as she held her hands in front of her a moment, speaking in soft, but firm tone. "It appears that the transfer was successful, I'll leave you two alone so that you may share your experiences with one another." She bowed her head and then moved to leave as Rafan watched the rather strange woman before her attention turned to Arij in his sisters body.

Rafan continued to stare for a moment, wondering what his sister was thinking as she was being used in such a fashion. Did she care? Was this merely a fascinating experience for her? Did she care that this was something that would help him?

He sighed and shook his head before looking back to Jessara-Arij. "You are my oldest host and I'm not quite certain where to begin, though you certainly did make it interesting with your first comment to me."

"Mm, yes. I'm sorry about that. I didn't realize that this was your sister; I can see where it might be awkward but the statement does still stand." She said with a slightly guilty smile. "We start wherever you like. This time is for you, Rafan, use it to your advantage for growing with Kel."

"Though I have seen some pictures of you and I have to say that there were times that I spent more time staring at them than listening to your music." He revealed to Arij, which was true...she had been his first celebrity crush so to speak and he still wouldn't change it for the world. It had been her music that had inspired him to learn more about the rather lovely musician. He held out an arm towards the nearby couch as he worked very hard to disconnect the less than pure thoughts that he'd had about her as a teenager from what was going on here.

"So what motivated you to want to be joined to Kel? And did you pick Kel? Did she pick you...what was that process exactly?" He asked her curiously, settling into a desire for knowledge where he was truly comfortable.

Arij let out a good natured chuckle - a sound Rafan would have quite possibly never heard from her - and moved to sit down on the couch with him. She seemed to take his comment in stride about him preferring to look at her instead of listening to her music, though there was this odd crinkle around her eyes that spoke of Jessara herself being decidedly less than amused knowing about who exactly her teenage brother fantasized about behind his locked door at all hours of the day.

"Well, let's see... I knew I wanted to be joined when I was very young. My father was joined and made sure his children knew how much it had enriched his life. Now most Trill seem to think you must make educational and scientific advancements to be considered for joining, but you can do so much more than that... like I chose to excel in music." She paused and smiled, "You see how that turned out for me. That's also why I was given Kel. So many symbionts begin life with a scientist - not that it is bad mind you - the Symbiosis Commission began to see prudence in branching out the starting lives of newly matured symbionts."

Rafan listened carefully as he considered Arij's words, her desire that had led her to become a host, smiling a little since he knew that he could contribute a bit of his creativity to Arij's influence and he knew that there were also some aspects of his work that had something of a musical flare to them as well. "I think it has given Kel a more mellow personality and just thinking about it, I've been influences towards more...outside the box thinking and I think I came to appreciate strings more in my musical tastes post-joining."

"She did seem to have a particular liking to music." Arij confirmed and crossed Jessara's legs gracefully. "So, tell me, do you play any instruments? I know my influence would be small in Kel now, but I like to think I offer the hosts at least some of my talent."

"After I was joined with Kel, I took up playing the Sontaran song ball...it is a bit like interpretive music since how you move the ball creates the tune that you end up playing." He explained and thought about the last time that he'd actually played the ball. "Its a hobby that I play around with and I have encoded some of my more sensitive research within music, something that I actually started because of you."

"Musically encoded research? Well that is new." She said with a soft, pleased chuckle and gave him a light smile. "What in heavens name are you researching that requires you to encode it?"

"Well I started using the method when I was working at the Daystrom Institute and have continued using the method ever since as I've found it to be much more secure than the more normal types used." He replied and smiled back at his sister as Arij spoke to him with her voice, he had to admit that it was a touch strange to see his sister so relaxed and at ease around him.

"Most of my work at the Daystrom Institute was typically classified research projects from the Federation or Starfleet, so I was required to keep it under lock and key whenever I wasn't working and I've used it to safeguard some of my own personal work regarding cultural identifiers that can be established through a species art for first contact situations...a mouthful I know..."

Arij listened with at least a moment of intentness that soon began to drift as Rafan began to ramble as he so oft did. She still listened to him, but she did take a moment to also briefly look around the room. Finally she looked back at him and quirked a brow, wearing an amused smile. "You are quite a talker, aren't you?"

"Hmmm...oh yeah, I tend to ramble on a bit...one of my own personal quirks." He admitted with a touch of shyness and a little bit of a blush at her observation as he imagined that expression on Yara's face...though she tended to look more annoyed and impatient with him when he decided to ramble on a mile a minute. "I ted to do it most when I'm excited or fascinated by something..."

"Well then I suppose I should be flattered." She said and chuckled again, waving her hand a moment. "Still, what else would you like to know, my dear? Surely you have more questions. I know my voice in Kel must be quieter now, but I assure you I am still there."

"I was always curious if you ever had any other aspirations besides being the artist that you became or if that was all you ever desired to be?" He asked and tilted his head a little as he looked at his sister, but see the very alien expression resting on her features. Without that rather scowling expression he was so used to seeing on her he thought that his sister could be a very pretty individual, though he also knew she was quite married to her position and science.

"It might sound a bit cheesy, but if you could give me any one piece of advice as a host, what would it be?"

"I suppose I always wanted to be an artist, though my focus often switched when I was young. I wanted to be a dancer, a writer, a painter, but finally I settled on a musician." Pausing, she smirked deviously. "You might find you like one of those undertakings yourself, my dear." She sobered then and thought a moment about his other question.

"My advice to you would be to not lose yourself in the endeavor of enriching Kel. I worried about that, especially being the first host, but she is not as worried as one might think about experiencing everything."

Rafan nodded. He had certainly been very worried about providing Kel with the most enriching experiences he could manage without putting himself or Kel in overt danger as he noticed the devious smirk a moment before it faded away into her sobered expression. "Well...I've done some teaching as a guest professor at Starfleet Academy...but I've never considered any of those other careers for myself really, I've been too wrapped up in my career as a scientist to really think about that."

Arij laughed again, reaching over and resting her hand on Rafan’s knee. “My dear, you do not have to make a career out of them. Hobbies can be just as enriching as careers. It is about the enjoyment of life; that is what Kel is most concerned about. She likes to learn, but most of all she loves to enjoy things.”

"Oh...well...I suppose that is why I enjoy learning about everything and anything, I mean I already enjoyed learning new things, but it became more...pronounced after my joining." He said and smiled as he looked over at Arij, wondering about her life as he considered his and wondered how much he had missed out on with his avoidance of this ritual and accepting Kel just as he desired.

“Probably, yes. Kel has her own voice in the mix too, most people tend to forget that.” She shifted again and smoothed our the pants Jessara was wearing. “She likes peculiarities.”

"Peculiarities?" He asked curiously, wanting to make sure that they were on the same page with that particular statement.

“Things that don’t make sense to her... those are things she tends to gravitate towards.” Arij tried to clarify, waving Jessara’s hands a bit as she did so. It was an abstract concept though and when she was joined, Kel had always been rather mercurial.

"Hmmm...alright, that does make sense to me believe it or not." He replied with a smirk of his own as a smile slowly worked its way onto his lips as he thought about Yara. "My friend, she's always saying that I'm very flighty and tend to be running in a dozen different projects and get too excited over everything."

Arij chuckled again, the expression gentle and good natured just as she had been. “Ah... but I can tell you enjoy her being around even for that. It is important to have people around you who can ground you. Now tell me since I don’t know for myself anymore. Are you married?”

"I do enjoy being around her very much, she is someone very special to me." He replied, smiling as he continued to think of Yara and could help hearing some sarcastic quirk about his smiling way too much. "Though no, I'm not married, I've dated a little but I...haven't found the right person for me and my life."

"Mm... I do know how that is." She sympathized with a nod. "It was something I always wanted, but Kel... she didn't want to settle back then. It's really probably the only regret I have from my time with her." She said honestly and the regret in the woman's voice was quite clear.

"Well I've found a wonderful woman that I am interested in, just she's kind of closed off to anything but friendship." He said upon hearing that regret and not wanting that to be something any of Kel's future hosts heard in his voice as he spoke of his life. "I've just been trying to pick away at the ice she has put up around herself...cause I have seen her smile...well smirk before and it is a very lovely expression."

“I knew it!” Jessara suddenly blurted out in her own tone of voice, but quickly cleared her throat and seem to return to Arij. “My apologies, that was a rather... vehement reaction from your sister.”

Rafan had been surprised by the rather non-logic based outburst from his sister as he quirked an eyebrow at her but then shook his head a little as he settled back down to continue his conversation with Arij. "Its alright...my sister has always been a bit...intense when it comes to matter relating to me."

“Mm... anyways, I wish you luck in that if it is something you truly desire. Is there anything else you can think of that you’d like to ask me? I know to a scientific mind I might not be the most interesting of the hosts since I only practiced music, but there are other aspects of life that I might be able to share with you?” She offered with a smile.

"I honestly feel a little unprepared, I was expecting there to be more friction from my sister regarding the ritual, especially since we aren't that close." He said and shrugged a little, being honest as he looked over at Arij. "What can you tell me about being Kel's first host? It must have been an experience all its own."

Arij looked like she wanted to say something but she was being stopped, so she gave up and sat back a bit in her seat. "Yes, it was. As her first host I felt the burden of making sure she was exposed to the best of everything I could give her, but like I already said it did come at some expense of my personal hopes and dreams. That was my mistake though in my young efforts to be all that I was supposed to be for her, something I hope no host after me has made."

Rafan sat there and considered Arij's words, curious what she had been stopped from saying just a moment previous as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully, considering what that must have been like to be the first host to a symbiont and the incredible pressure she must have been feeling. "Honestly I've probably been making that mistake myself...or at least up until I met Yara..."

Sliding Jessara's leg down, Arij reached over and touched the other Trill's hand lightly. "Why don't we go for a walk and you can tell me about it? I'd like to see the station and not just this one room. It would be nice to walk around on... well, two feet on my own again." An amused smile touched Jessara's features as she moved to stand and looked down to Rafan. "Come on, you look like you could use a nice walk too."

"I must get my desire for walks from you." He chuckled and moved to stand, smoothing out his shirt as he let out a deep breath and did his best to order his thoughts to speak with Arij as he looked around, considering the room and thought that it was a bit drab. "Ready?"

"Nothing quite clears the senses like a good walk." Arij said and gave a firm nod. "Let's go." With another smile, she turned and moved out the door, happy to be out again and looking forward to talking more with Kel's newest host.

Rafan followed Arij out of the quarters, making sure to lock the door before the pair had taken a moseying walk around the station, it was an easy thing and Arij had be able to see the myriad of new species and advancements that had taken place from her time. They had spoken at length about various things, she had offered him advice regarding Yara, though it was also quite possibly the most pleasant time that he had ever spent with Jessara. He never understood why she had been so competitive with him, there were times that it seemed almost hateful in how she wanted to outdo him, like she would replace him in the eyes of their parents. Though he had also tried not to dwell on that too much since he had wanted to focus on Arij and what wisdom she had to share with him, though he did admit that he envied her the relaxed and so very casual demeanor that she carried herself with, she had chuckled and told him that he'd needed to relax and it would all come to him naturally.

Though by the time they returned to the quarters, it seemed too soon and the Guardian was there waiting for them to return Arij to Kel and then things would return to their equilibrium of normalcy.

At least that was what it seemed like when Jessara gave him a curt nod and left without a word, leaving her brother alone to try and understand if she was merely being herself or if there was some sort of new understanding between them.

Rafan was considerably confused by that....


[To be continued]

 

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