visible_sariel: (things do work out)
Sariel Rager, Sonya Gomez, Lian Tsu, Emily Tyler, Selar, Miriam Gates, Tess Allenby, and a bottle of sneakily-obtained, still-under-an-embargo but not all that shocking to have around Romulan ale. For the record, Tyler is the one who procured it.

Sonya raises her glass, grinning in what looks like the sort of excitement that comes of sneaking ice cream out of the kitchen during a sleepover. "As we say in Sebu City, mis amigas--" there follow a few words in Tagalog that the translator doesn't catch before she switches back to excited English "--or, bottoms up!"

Sariel looks as though she's trying to hold in her reaction, whatever it is, but Tsu bops her jovially on the arm. "Come on, Sariel, spit it out!"

"Don't spit the drink out!" Gomez squeaks, half-laughing, half urgent, and Allenby can't restrain a fit of giggles. Whether they're over the word choices going around, the image, or just the booze isn't clear. Rager blinks once, twice, then opens her mouth though not, it must be said, to do anything resembling a spit take. This time the translator kicks in.

"{Dear lord in heaven that's strong...!}"

Her declaration trails away into laughter that's somewhere near the triple junction of startled, pained and amazed. Tsu smirks, but it's nowhere near an unkind thing.

Two seats along, Selar clears her throat, just once, but with apparent conviction. "That is not an experience I will endeavor to repeat."

Gates outright snorts in amusement, and Tyler is a whisker from giggling when she responds. "In other words yuck?"

Selar regards the engineer levelly for a moment before answering that, but there's a lightening of her eyes that takes nearly all the potential harshness out of her words. "... A narrow and emotionally-influenced interpretation of my actual statement, but I do not deny, I would prefer not to partake again if given the opportunity to do so."

Tyler all but crows in triumph. "You totally said yuck!"
visible_sariel: (Default)
Oh, what not on Earth?! It's that time of year in the bar?

This is what happens when an ensign gets caught quite unawares by the unsynching of interdimensional timelines. AGAIN. Oh well, nothing for it. Ignoring the holiday is not happening, but none of the gifts Sariel comes up with are all that extravagant, say sorry.

Will Scarlett, Ellen Park, River Tam, Demeter and Charles Xavier all get tins of tea this year. Will's is black currant, Ellen's is jasmine, Demeter's is orange, River's is green, and Charles's is Earl Gray (Sariel is not hiding her momentary smile over that one, either.)

Turanga Leela and Captain Kirk get, as has become a full-fledged tradition by now, a pound of rather good Caribbean coffee each. It really does beat what's kept vacuum sealed in storage or dished out by a replicator, truly.

Yrael's gift takes a brief trip back to the Enterprise and, thankfully, a return through a momentarily stable door. Whew. A recording of the latest ship's concert isn't too difficult for Bar to convert from twenty-fourth century audio to something fitting the music player the notcat uses. The catnip dynamite stick Bar suggests as she's passing back the converted disc... Well. the shape takes some explanation, but then a giggly Sariel is all for it.

Dale Harding... Has he been here since last year? Will he be here in future? There's enough newly added to his tab to cover a reasonable meal if the answer to the question of the future is yes. That's not all that matters, but it's one important thing that does, at least.
visible_sariel: (something to say)
Many of Sariel's friends get tea this year, it seems. Short notice can really stink sometimes, especially when it's the cross-dimensional kind that has two very disparate timeflows at its heart. Nothing against anyone; this holiday just snuck up and pounced on her, almost literally. All explanation aside, the tin of tea waiting for Will is ginger, the one for River Tam is oolong, Ellen's is orange, Demeter's is jasmine, and Charles's is Earl Gray.

On the other hand, Captain Kirk and Turanga Leela both have a pound of medium roast Caribbean coffee waiting for them. Some traditions last for good reason. Sometimes for multiple good reasons, even.

Yrael's gift is a bottle of red wine circa 2370. It is not, it must be noted, Chateau Picard, but it should be perfectly enjoyable just the same. So should the felted catnip fish tucked in beside the larger present... that is, if you enjoy such things. At least, or maybe unfortunately, it's not a mousie?

Harding... It's been so long since she's seen him, or Scurlock, or Teller, or the other Leela--the one she's been in ground-based combat with, as opposed to the pilot--that Sariel isn't quite sure what to do. In the end, she leans toward Bar and speaks at low volume. Harding's tab (if he's accumulated one at all since last year's local Christmas) zeroes out, replaced by enough credit for a decent meal, and the other three see modest dents in whatever amounts they may owe. It's not extravagant, but it's something.
visible_sariel: (they get everyone home)
The pack requisitioned from Bar is odd enough. It's drab green, sturdy, all in all fairly standard Allied gear. It's close, if not an exact match, to the sort of thing Captain Blazkowicz and his comrades are likely to carry around. When going to another world and time (and there's a phrase Sariel still can't string together without halfway anticipating a visit from Temporal Investigations in the subjective near future) it's very probably best to blend in.

In that pack are several things. Extra rounds of ammunition, for one; projectile weapons are still as novel and unfamiliar to her as phasers would be to a dozen different patrons she can name, but this is Blazkowicz's fight she's joined. Besides, running even the slightest risk of introducing energy-based weaponry into a world and time with active Nazis--no.

You know why you're doing this. You know why you wanted to help the Allies from the moment you saw that sign. It's the right thing to do.

The barest minimum of first aid supplies for another - she can't bring much, between her own lack of familiarity with twentieth-century medicine and the four hundred years and more of medical advancement that she dares carry across dimensions about as much as she does phaser components. That sort of gamble would leave foolishly unwise behind at speeds approaching warp 7, considering where they're heading.

It's the right thing to do overall.

The thing is, it's considering where they're heading that makes the lack of medical supplies a metaphorical wrench, like strained muscles after too long in ocean currents. It's not right--it has to be this way--ow.

But also, you miss him.

For a third, a handful of supplied rations. Better safe with local provisions than sorry and hungry later on.

For a fourth, a folded note, written in French. Some things soundly defy any and all brief thoughts of impracticality.

You couldn't help in his world, during his war. This is what little you can do during someone else's. Greater and smaller good.

That note's tucked securely in one of the pack's inside pockets. Beside it is a family photo, slipped carefully out of its frame: A woman with braided hair showing curly ends, a birdlike, fluffy-haired man half a head shorter, and the daughter who's inherited features from both parents, say true.

Relocating the picture takes a second. Then another one. Moving it feels like using shaking limbs after climbing too many trees. Hold on until you get all the way down, otherwise you'll go tumbling to the deck--what if I don't come back--ow!

Blazkowicz is providing them local communications technology. Her communicator can't be worn on this mission. It's left atop the dresser, her rank pip beside it. God, that feels beyond strange. First academy zero-G holodeck simulation strange. The 'going to class in just your knickers' dream you used to get before trigonometry exams strange!

Palms on jagged rock strange. Grazes likely to sting all afternoon strange.

Don't say Dutchman. Just because the safety line's not Starfleet standard doesn't mean it won't hold up.

Her usual uniform's folded and put away, for now. Where and when she's going, there are no Starfleet reds. Even the boots are different.

"Yous a WAVE or a NNC?"

When Sariel leaves for the main bar, she slings her pack onto her back, leans her borrowed rifle carefully away from the wall before lifting it awkwardly into the crook of her off arm, grasps her room key in the opposite hand.

You know why you're going to fight.

Before Sariel does any of these things, she makes sure she's steady on her feet, and that her mouth is closed. Then she lights two of the four candles standing in a neat row atop the dresser.

One's for Gene, bien sûr et dieu merci. The other is for every person on the upcoming mission, not least of all - and if she said she weren't a little ashamed, she'd be lying through her teeth - herself.

And she lets them burn.

"You ain't changed a bit."

{Dear lord, even at a time like this...}

For minutes on end.
visible_sariel: (something to say)
* desk and chair, twin bed with at least one quilt, dresser, all there when she took the room
* spare clothes, both uniforms and the civilian variety, kept in two drawers
* at least one Federation standard pad and stylus, kept on the desk
* three old-fashioned photographs, one framed in wood, one in gold, and one in silver, all standing nearer the back of the dresser - these are a seascape from the air, a family photo, and a picture of Sariel and a group of also-uniformed friends
* an origami tropical bird, mainly blue, green and orange, kept on top of the dresser - this may, to those sensitive to such things, retain a hint of the power that once enchanted it (Inari's)
* an origami koi, black and yellow, kept on top of the dresser - this may, to those sensitive, also carry a hint of the power that enchanted it (Inari's again)
* three vividly colorful feathers, one blue, one green and one orange, usually found lying on top of the dresser - these may bear the faintest lingering trace of magic to sensitive senses, though only enough to confirm the original wielder as non-evil
* a copper teakettle, twentieth century standard, kept on the desk
* a Japanese puzzle box with a chip out of one corner, usually kept on the desk
* a miniature model of a death ray that projects images from Saint Lucia when activated, kept in one drawer
* several postcards from around the United States circa one world's 1950 or so, kept in the drawer with the not!death ray
* a carved wooden pendant in the shape of an oak tree - this may, to those with a sense for such things, carry a hint of protective green magic (it came from an oak tree of a Sherwood Forest, and yes, that does mean one of those Sherwoods)
* several notes that have been left for her at different times, kept in an otherwise empty drawer - one is from Gene Roe and will be unintelligible if you don't read French, one is from Seymour Krelborn and will be equally confusing if you don't read English, and one is from Dale Harding and will be as confusing as Seymour's if English isn't a language you know
* four unadorned, pale candles in holders, standing in a row on the dresser - these do show evidence of being occasionally lit
* a few teabags and possibly a tin of loose tea, usually kept in one dresser drawer
* one origami squid in shades of blue and green, kept with the other two figures on the dresser - to anyone sensitive to those things, it may retain a bare hint of the chaotic luck power that brought it into Sariel's path (the Fool's)
* one palm-sized model starship, Intrepid class, entirely made of several colors of glass - to sensitive people, this may carry a lingering trace of Cubefall's power signature
* a scarf, dark blue with a pattern of snowmen, in the dresser with her other clothes when it isn't needed
* a working nautical compass and an ornate accompanying box, usually found on the desk near the puzzle box, PAD and stylus
* an old-fashioned key on a length of midnight black ribbon, currently sitting on the desk - this carries a trace of Loki's presence, to anyone able to pick up on it
* a Green Man charm, hand-carved wood on a leather cord, kept with the oak tree pendant from Sherwood Forest - the charm carries a low level of benevolent, protective green magic to anyone who can pick those traces up (Jack o'the Green's)
visible_sariel: (things do work out)
this is what sariel, or more accurately Sariel's door, gets for being absent so long. Oh well, Christmas gifts on the fly are better than none at all.

captain Kirk and turanga Leela both get a pound of good Caribbean coffee each. As has been said before, it beats the replicated variety, and some traditions are carried on for a reason. A delicious one, in this case.

Will Scarlett, Charles Xavier, Ellen Park and River Tam all get tins of looseleaf tea. River's is green with lavender, Will's is ginger, Ellen's is black with cinnamon, and Charles's... happens to be Earl Gray. Coincidence, clearly, or maybe Sariel's just seen him drink it before.

She hasn't seen him in who knows how long, but if he's been in the bar and ordered anything that's taken his tab into the red, Dale Harding will find said lingering debt zeroed out when he next turns up. There's enough for a decent meal or so allocated to him as well.

Leela Sevateem has a tin of cookies waiting for her. One dozen chocolate chip cookies, to be exact. You can't commit to exiling a forgotten, malevolent tree deity, fight an unfamiliar hostile alien, and rescue a civilian with someone, and then ignore them at Christmas.

Yrael's gift is a recording. It's a chamber quartet circa 2370; that flutist's instrument did not, from the sound of it, come from Earth, and the harp usually audible in a few pieces has been replaced with a Vulcan lyre. No catnip to be found this time, however. Maybe Sariel's waiting for New Year's on that one.
visible_sariel: (things do work out)
Captain Kirk, Will Scarlett, Turanga Leela and Scurlock each get a pound of good Caribbean coffee. It beats what comes out of a replicator or ship's stores, and chances are it does the same to anything found on the frontier or in Sherwood, no offense to the cooks and brewers in either location.

Charles Xavier, Ellen Park, River Tam and Demeter all get tins of looseleaf tea. Sariel had to make educated guesses at a couple preferences, but she tried. River's is lavender, Ellen's is ginger, and Demeter's is camomile. Charles's, unsurprisingly, is Earl Gray. Sariel might have chuckled a little at that one, though it had nothing to do with Charles himself. That particular tea has associations for Enterprise crew, you see.

Dale Harding's gift isn't tangible, but it is visible. If there's a figure representing money owed next to his name on the tab board, it's been zeroed out the next time he looks, and credit enough for two or three decent meals has appeared in its place. Sariel would rather be sure her friends don't starve.

Leela Sevateem and Noriko Ashida both get a dozen cookies, made with ginger, cinnamon and orange. Sariel didn't make these, but she trusts the baker. From the smell of them, there hasn't been anything artificial added here; all the spices involved are entirely real.

Yrael gets a recording, translated to a format that will work on a music player that didn't come from the twenty-fourth century - Sariel's pretty sure she's seen the notcat with what used to be called a compact disc player, once upon a time. The pieces on said recording are for a variety of instruments, not all of them Terran; one is a duet between a Vulcan lyre and a sitar, another's flute solo is played on the Andorian version of the instrument, a third combines a piano, a violin and a Trill harp.
visible_sariel: (what in the world?)
Every set of starship quarters are different, according to the personality of their owner if not to their layout.

But the lights in these quarters, whoever's they are, are low enough that those sorts of differences aren't visible. Not all that much is, to be honest.

The corridor beyond is dark too, matching the interior for gloom, and the door between rooms and hallway is wide open.

It's not closing.
visible_sariel: (what in the world?)
The floor is wooden.

Sariel's standing on the bar floor, incongruous in full uniform and stocking feet. Her toes are curling in the cold.

one two staring at you

Someone's sketched another circle and X symbol on one of the floorboards, striping black ink indiscriminately over traffic-smudged wood and the polished metal of a new-looking nail. As she watches, the limbs of the indecipherable shape start to lengthen, to wriggle, to slide across the floor like the legs of an insect, dragging their central circle along in heaves and scuttles.

one two coming for you

Sariel swears she can almost hear the sound of a centipede's legs clattering as the symbol moves. Clickity clickity background noise, clickity click--

clickclick click click clickclick clickclickclick

one two leaning on you

The floor is metal.

Sariel's feet are freezing on the deckplates, and her uniform-blouse-nightgown is spattered with blood, flecking both hands, sticky at her collar and trickling down her calf. It's her own.

She doesn't remember changing locations. She doesn't remember how to retrace her steps. What she remembers of her injuries is horrible enough for being hazy, and every time she moves the comm panel lights

brighter, brighter

glare, casting phantom black willow branches on the walls as the shadows alter.

click clickclickclick click clickclick

That centipede-scuttling shape is still there, smeared across the floor and crawling on its diagonal limbs. It squeaks like an old-fashioned ink pen. It rattles like an insect's myriad legs in motion. It

clickclick click click clickclick

sounds familiar.

one two playing with you

Sariel recognizes the figures the lights don't entirely reveal. Hazy memories are not completely devoid of substance, say true and say sorry. The branches dancing on the walls are lashing like a scientist-surgeon's instruments, slicing the air with jagged edges, and Sariel has little doubt who's controlling them. Any second, she's irrationally sure, they're going to hit home again, going to isolate knowledge and separate it irrevocably from the whole, whiting out skills and memories and processes. Goodbye favorite abilities, not yours anymore.

one two stealing from you.

Any second they're going to find her higher cognitive functions and cleave, leave her like a puppet with cut strings, a creature of animal awareness who'll never come back to herself. Fight. Flight. Nothing else. Any second they're going to hit a nerve, a junction of muscle and bone, a layer of soft tissue, and they're going to sink. In. And saw with jagged edges, and she'll be too sedated to scream but she'll feel--

one two tormenting you

--and she'll remember. Do anything, try anything, try everything but nothing. will. help. She'll be laid open and vulnerable and violated and the hell if she'll break, bend to their will intentionally, but she won't be in control of a thing.

They're pulling the strings. He's pulling the - they're pulling the - they're cutting the--

one two working on you

Sariel knows exactly what she's doing when she turns and dashes down the corridor, feet slipping on trickles of blood and traces of melting ice.

one two following you

And ribbons of running ink.

The door at the hallway's end is wooden. It only hisses at her touch because a shower of leaping sparks burst from it as it crumbles, settling in her hair as she pelts across the ashes. The air now wreaks of smoke and paint. And worse.

Somewhere in the far distance, somebody screams. It's not her.

The corridor walls are gone. The lashing branches are still visible.

one two torturing you

This is not a hurricane in Castries. This is not an alien planet's forest. This is not Sherwood in summertime. This is the Milliways grounds, and there's ink staining the grass. The stain is in the shape of a--

click clickclick click clickclickclick click

--circle and X.

Those branches don't belong to a simple wind-tossed willow tree after all, but they're casting shadows, and Sariel recognizes the vague shapes those shadows conceal.

All but the tallest one. That one's new.

one two coming for you

It's not just curious. They're not just curious.

When Sariel wakes up, she does so abruptly enough that she nearly falls out of bed from the force of her horrified recoil. It's a full five minutes before she's entirely certain that her pajamas and skin are free of blood and ink, and that no cinders are lurking in her hair.

She doesn't stay upstairs long, even with the lights on.

It's far from tangible proof, and she knows it. But that was...

"Mother of God, what the hell? That was absolutely..."

Sariel Rager is no stranger to nightmares.

But that was worse even than the usual.
visible_sariel: (they get everyone home)
It's roughly twelve hours, all spent off duty, from the time Sariel's door back to the Enterprise responds to when her closet again opens on the bar.

I'm for getting out of here.
No need to shout, my dear--

She hasn't actively gone looking for a door, though the idea, she admits, has been in the back of her mind since she returned to the ship. She's been preoccupied, though not to the point of constant distraction, sleep cycle and free time or no; she's made certain of that, harsh reaction though it's seemed at times. Thoughts of Milliways have been there, not waiting to leap on her - they're too obvious to catch her by surprise. Just undeniably plain.

As it works out, the multiverse all but forces her hand. it's the door, not the idea of finding one, that surprises her. The realization that she hasn't got a single object given to her at Milliways on her person is secondary as she stands on the threshhold of what would have been her closet.

There goes the sun,
here comes the night,
somebody turn on the light...

It's there. It's still there.

Somebody tell me that fate has been kind.

She hesitates, for a second. This world needs her, and she it. Denying either truth, though especially the latter, would require a lie to herself so colossal that she's unwilling even to contemplate formulating it.

She is a part, however small, of her world, and it of her. No question. Losing her universe will not be happening if she has any say in the matter at all.

clickclick clickclick clickclickclick click

At. all.

But Milliways needs help, and if she's able to give it, she will. The idea of walking into--good lord, it looks worse in there, and was that a visible tremor?--leaves her honestly frightened, and she'll no sooner deny that as deny her place in her own reality. But she can't, she won't, just stand by. The Prime Directive is not in play, and she's grateful and ashamed of that gratitude all at once. Will is in there. Yrael is probably in there. Who knows who else is in there. And oh, but she owes that unbelievable, logic-defying bar at the multiverse's end. Saying otherwise would constitute yet another lie she refuses to tell herself.

Teller. Leela. River. Lucy. Seymour. Doc Scurlock. Sameth. Ben. Tanya. Captain Kirk. Desire. Demeter. Harding. Yrael. Will. Gene.

bad nights - good nights - celebrations - wakes - chess games - prayers - songs

You can't go out, you are out of your mind!

There must be Milliways.

She tucks three separate notes securely in one pocket before she goes anywhere. When she steps through the door--and she does step through, say thankya--she's wearing a pendant in the shape of a Sherwood oak around her neck and carrying a scant few improvized supplies under one arm. Who knows what might happen? Who knows what's happening now?

It's like a movie. It's a B-movie show...

The bar's floor trembles seconds after her feet hit it. There's a joke there, ready-made for someone more inclined to breaking tension with humor, but though it's in the back of Sariel's mind, she doesn't voice it. She turns.

The door stays.

The floor quakes again, rattling the dishes on a nearby table. The door--

Hiss.

Stays. And opens on her quarters exactly as she'd left them, up to and including the chronometer frozen on the second she'd left.

She can leave. She has a door, if she needs - wants - has to use it. She's not cut off. The way out helps for that reason alone, and it's a large reason, say true.

Emergency escape procedures are in place.

Saying it isn't a relief would again be a lie, and there's no room for blatently lying to herself, Sariel feels, on a good day.

And from the - rattlerattle rumble roar - looks of things, this isn't one.

It's like a movie...

She's not a healer, or a warrior, or a commander. She's just a kid born needing to fly. But she'll do what she can. She'll help. She's Starfleet.

It's a B-movie show. It's like a movie...

And tell God merci, she's herself, too.
visible_sariel: (just me)
Dont' mind this post unless you're interested in Chanter pondering over plot things and writing them down.

This is most of what Sariel's accumulated in her room so far:
desk and chair, bed with at least one quilt, dresser, all there when she took the room
spare clothes, both uniforms and civilian, kept in two drawers
at least one pad and stylus, kept on the desk
three photographs, one framed in wood, one in gold, and one in silver, all standing nearer the back of the dresser
an origami tropical bird, mainly blue, green and orange, kept on top of the dresser
an origami koi, black and yellow, kept on top of the dresser
three feathers, one blue, one green and one orange, lying on top of the dresser
a bright, sparklingly green glass bottle, empty and clean, standing on one forward corner of the dresser
a copper teakettle, twentieth century standard, kept on the desk
a Japanese puzzle box, kept on the desk
a miniature model of a death ray that projects images from Saint Lucia when activated, kept in one drawer
several postcards from around the United States circa one world's 1950 or so, kept in the drawer with the not!death ray
a carved wooden pendant in the shape of an oak tree
several notes that have been left for her at different times, kept in the otherwise empty drawer
four unadorned, pale candles in holders, standing in a row on the dresser
a few teabags and possibly a tin of looseleaf tea, kept in one drawer

And this is possible plot-related use for some of those things:
That teakettle and at least some of the tea will be put to use for herself and whoever else, as Bar and kitchen orders become shakier - edit: both kettle and tea did in fact come in handy.
That green glass bottle is going to smash if (when?) there are further earthshakes/explosions/disturbances. Sariel may or may not keep a shard.
The glass in those photographs is also going to break and need to be replaced.
The desk chair is going to tip over, sideways or backwards, possibly taking damage, possibly staying intact.
The bed could probably slide at least a few inches across the floor.
One or two drawers may well be jostled open. Contents may topple out onto the floor. Clothes on the floor? The notes in the emptiest drawer will not be harmed - edit: no the notes won't, as they went to the Enterprise until the doom went boom. One might be carried in Sariel's pocket when she's looking for the bar, though.
Koi, bird and feathers may go flying across the room, but will be undamaged- edit: koi, bird and feathers went to the Enterprise until the doom was done.
Pad and stylus may also hit the floor, though probably remain unbroken.
Teakettle may crash off the desk as well, possibly ending up slightly dented.
The puzzle box may also hit the deck, and might acquire a minor chip out of one corner if anything. No serious damage, or damage that will make it unusable.
Candles and holders will probably tip over, but none will break. This is deliberate.
That oak tree pendant may end up worn, keeping it out of the shakeup. Otherwise, it will not be damaged - hints of Sherwood's green magic at work there? Edit: The pendant went back to the Enterprise, potentially until doom go boom, but it may still be worn when Sariel tries to find the bar.

Sariel herself will be around for the Allpocalypse; she may get bound, but she also may come in with intent to monitor things and oops! discover she's in for the worst of the mess. She knows she's needed and more in her own world, of course, but she'll also want to help Milliways. She may not intend to be around for the potential kerboom, but she won't just walk out if she's there and able to help somehow when it hits.

In the maaaaaybe category, maybe Sariel could get surprise!magically-taken pictures she was unaware of up to now from Bar before the doom hits? She and Gene on his return, just after he hugged her; she and Will, though not on one particular night; she and Harding, though not during their first intense discussion; she and cat!Yrael or maybe human!Yrael, maybe cat!Yrael with a catnip mouse; she and River?; she and Kirk maybe; she and Seymour on their return from carnival in Castries, she and Teller drawing on that table

Yes, I have been using whitetexted atmosphere-setting snippets from what I know of the infamous Sesame Street cracks in the wall cartoon. I've never actually seen the cartoon with the crack master (I'm too young) and more's the pity, but I thought I'd use what I do know for unsettling atmospherics in the build-up to and during? I hope? the doom. So you know, Sariel has even less knowledge of the crack master cartoon than I do; that is to say, zero. Any references to cracks coming to life in whitetext are Chanter indulging herself in scary narration, not anything Sariel's thinking or unconsciously picking up. The suggestion of whispers she heard when she got that single glimpse of the crack in the wall behind the bar were essentially unintelligible due to overlapping and low volume, so the last quote wasn't something she actually heard and took in, any more than the other whispers were.

Note to self: Bounce this off his mun, and if it's cool, use Gavroche's song about Voltair and Rousseau in whitetext. Not that Sariel knows anything about it, but it can totally be worked in as atmosphere once things start to stabilize. Returning/prevailing light, after all.
visible_sariel: (Default)
Christmas gifts for bar patrons ahoy!

Captain Kirk's gift is a pound of good Caribbean coffee. Some things really do work from year to year. It likely beats what usually ends up in ship's stores (or arrives through a replicator, depending on your point of origin) quite handily.

Tanya gets a warm wool scarf, knitted in a shade of sober dark blue. Some places in America get terribly cold during the winter, and though Tanya might not be fighting in one of them at the moment, it's better to be safe than sorry. Or freezing.

Dale Harding's going to have himself a debt-free Christmas, at least in the bar. The next time he's in a position to notice the tab board, he'll discover that anything still outstanding on his tab has zeroed out, and a sum large enough to pay for two or three decent meals has replaced it.

Yrael's gift includes music, unsurprisingly. The recording he receives would be fairly traditional for a classical string quintet, if two of the participating instruments weren't Vulcan lyre and a soprano variety of Andorian flute. There's also a bottle of red wine waiting for him, vintage 2369. No catnip mice this year, apparently.

There's tea with Teller's name on it, literally. Hopefully he doesn't have a problem with ginger, because that's the variety to be found in the tin he's been given. There's also a porcelain mug in that gift box, presumably to drink the tea out of. The image painted on the side is a raven circling a castle's tower, fittingly enough. Neither the raven nor the tower have laser eyes, say sorry.

River will find a tiny lavender seedling in a suitably small copper pot waiting for her. The plant isn't so small that it's in imminent danger of fading away to nothing, but it's clearly still young. Lavandula aliqua est.

Will, possibly surprisingly but possibly not, has a book awaiting him. It's a copy of The Odyssey (no timeline issues here!), though it's in English rather than Greek. Inside the front cover is a message.
I thought you might appreciate this, if you haven't already read it. Happy Christmas, Will. -- Sariel

Leela gets her own tin of tea. Unlike Teller's, hers is black tea flavored with mint. Hopefully Leela doesn't have either an allergy or an issue of the ick! variety there. If she has, Sariel isn't likely to react terribly badly to hearing about it.
visible_sariel: (what in the world?)
Anyone who calls Sariel a minion is sorely mistaken.

About as mistaken as they are if they call her a coward. Shy she may be, quiet and studious and subordinate she may be, but she's got Starfleet training, and she takes it very seriously. Keep an eye out for anomalous readings. Report what needs reporting.

Do the right thing.

Sariel's loyal to her core. But she's no minion. She lives her life by a very different set of rules than the stereotypical tool of someone higher up. She follows, follows orders, follows protocol, but she doesn't do it blindly.

She serves in Starfleet with her whole heart. That's plain enough, if you know her. The military life works for some people and doesn't work for others, and it's right for her.

But Sariel serves in Starfleet with her whole mind, too.

Commander Data (not as she knows him) has shaken her, chilled her, unnerved her. And he said not to tell anyone, ordered her not to tell anyone, made his order plain even if he didn't speak the word.

But Sariel doesn't follow blindly. She's subordinate, and she's shy and she's junior, but she follows with her whole mind.

And she's no coward. Even if what she's about to do scares her.

Do the right thing.

If Commander Data is malfunctioning, she needs to tell someone.

The Commander Data she's just met could be from her own past, her own future, someone else's past or future. The Commander Data she's just met could be her own universe's version, malfunctioning but unaware that he is. If she tells anyone else, the explanation of her suspicions will be a carefully-worded lie at best, a serious incident exposing the existence of Milliways at worst. If she tells anyone else...

But Commander Data knows Milliways. And Commander Data will want to be repaired, if he is malfunctioning.

Won't he?

Report what needs reporting. Do the right thing.

It's a very wary, very cautious Sariel who reaches for her communicator. She's two steps beyond what was the bar door a moment ago and is now her closet. It's here she halts.

Do the right thing.

Chirp.

"Rager to Commander Data."
visible_sariel: (things do work out)
She's in a library, ancient and well-kept from creaking floor to vaulted ceiling, ranks of elegant wooden bookcases filled to capacity rising on every side.

She's in a corridor on the Enterprise, familiar and still a little thrilling, deckplating and lighted panels and doors along the walls.

She's standing in the black velvet of deep space, unsupported but holding her position, breathing easily even without an atmosphere, watching the stars spin in close proximity - amber and blazing gold and white like cinders, hot blue and burning red and pale, pale green.

"Sariel, come in out of the rain, Sariel, you're going to get all--"

Smoke. she smells smoke. No iron - no burning cloth - no... worse, but she smells--and the stars aren't doing this, but she smells--

"--wet."

And the sound she hears in the next second, as her vision fades in and the scene changes to a familiar street in Castries all at once, is nothing short of a bucket of water being thrown.

"Amalie," her father yells, "I don't believe it, someone up and set the ground on fire!"

The front walk is swept clean, sun-bleached pale straight to the front door, long grass on either side and the tall, wide-branching mango tree spilling over from the neighbors' yard. She can smell the garden around the far corner, a mixture of cooking herbs, a dozen flowers and the strongest garlic her mother could find. There's a patch of sodden, scorched grass just barely in the house's shadow, thoroughly devoid of anything burning. Her father stands over it with an empty pail raised in one hand, gazing from the charred patch at his feet to the wall just beyond his right shoulder, looking as though he can't decide whether to be triumphant or disturbed about it all.

"They what?" Her mother's yelp echoes from the back of the house's interior, shocked and outraged and faintly disbelieving all at once. A second later she's there in a flurry of footsteps and a swirl of colorful skirts, braided hair swinging, the bucket of water she carries in both arms avoiding spilling over by millimeters. "My God, what were they trying to do, burn us all down? That'd be a *disaster*--you sure you got it all?"

"Mmm-hmm," her father nods, prodding the drenched grass with one toe. No sparks result, and what's left of the smoke is being overridden by the garden's blooming marguerites even before her mother sighs in relief and stamps her own foot firmly in the center of the scorched circle for good measure.

Alyssa's landing on her own feet a second later, soaked to the skin but unharmed and smiling in triumph. Selar's rounding that spreading mango tree, unruffled as ever, regal and entirely whole. Mandy's grinning proudly as she clambers through the backyard hedge; Harding beams as he slips around the other neighbor's avocado tree; Will's plucked a yellow rose from a bush, who knows where, and is offering it to her with a smile. "Ye're always welcome, Sariel," he says. Yrael flops down in the grass, a green-eyed white cat, purring so loudly it's likely Vieux-Fort can hear him. Tanya's wrist-deep in Saint Lucia's soil, planting green onions at the garden's edge, and Valerie's in the spy costume she wore once on Halloween, minus the squirting gun, braiding a mango blossom into her hair.

And Lian's appearing in a shimmer - that's not firelight, it's matter into energy into matter again - and Captain Kirk's returning her salute, and Tyler's turning round and round in place on the lawn, gazing in wonder at anything and everything. Teller's pulling something silver from thin air; when he turns it, it sounds like a key in a lock, and the smile he gives her over a flutter of appearing playing cards is impish and friendly. "I'm not late, am I?" Sonya hurries up the walk, unbound, undamaged, a tricorder still in one hand. "I had to get that report in before I left or I would've looked *horrible!*"

"I win," River says, and leans down without bending her knees. "Everybody does." The tiny sprig of lavender she's inspecting blooms at a kneeling Demeter's touch, and River beams as the goddess gets to her feet.

"Yous alright," Gene Roe says from the mango tree's shade. "I know tha'." The last three words are Creole. He's in a uniform four hundred years older than her own, and when she salutes, he returns it, too.

"I miss you," Sariel says.

"I miss you two," Seymour Krelborn answers, and peers around from behind Gene's shoulder. His glasses nearly fall off, and he catches them clumsily with one hand. The other's holding a yellow flower. Gene's smiling his soft, gentle smile the whole time, holding his rosary carefully at his side.

"I don't know how you got your gift, cherie," says an old, laugh-lined man with her father's twinkling eyes and coal black curls, "but you got it." He stands in the center of it all, a scant few inches taller than Sariel herself. There's a model airplane in one half-raised hand, all green enamel, fine details and tiny moving parts. It stands out against the gold of his wedding band and the denim of his sleeve. she's seen his face before, above an album's paper frame labeled with the year 2215. He shimmers with starlight, just a little.

When Sariel looks up, the stars could almost be smiling back at her.
visible_sariel: (Default)
Sariel did go directly upstairs after talking to Captain Kirk. Yes, the staircase did wobble a little underfoot and yes, she did have to pause once or twice to muffle a sneeze, but up she went. She'd told a superior officer that she was going, she wouldn't have used the door back to her universe even if it was there and besides, she really did feel horrible.

the first thing she does, once she's closed the door, is reach for the spare quilt folded on the seat of her desk chair. Scottish winters are cold when you're a child of the tropics, doubly so when you've got a fever. Dazedly, she thinks of thanking Bar, or the landlord, or the waitrats... someone, certainly, for that quilt once she isn't ill. That leaves her wondering why her landlord's been in her apartment without telling her first, but then she has to stifle a sneeze, then another, and things start to get rather confused.

She's in Atlanta.

She's in deep space.

she's in Castries.

she's in Milliways.

Achoo!

In short order or at least, short order for the congested and slightly dizzy, she's curled up on the bed. She's fully clothed and be-quilted besides, muffling the more-than-occasional sniffle and shivering despite the layers of warm fabric covering her. She's in Atlanta-Scotland-Saint Lucia-Milliways-crew quarters, and her name is Sariel-Julie-Winnie-Vanessa. Her head throbs.

The comforter she's wrapped in is patterned with tiny multicolored stars.

the one beneath her shows a tracery of leafy vines.

Her head spins.
visible_sariel: (just little me)
The details of what they're doing make Sariel's head ache. It's not that she hasn't got an understanding of the hard sciences -- she has to, her chosen profession being what it is, but hers is a world of angles and vectors, axes and degrees and intersecting planes. It's Sonya who's got the marginal interest in archeology, and Selar and Alyssa are the ones most likely to read hidden messages in DNA, mathematically represented or otherwise. Sariel could likely handle an encrypted message in a star chart if one appeared, but that's an almost entirely different situation from the one they're facing. Almost. And besides, all other knowledgeable sources notwithstanding, the mystery they've been set is Captain Picard's puzzle if it's anyone's.

Sariel doesn't ask about the minutia that have them leaping across distances on the heels of the literal unknown. For one, it's not her business; leave that to the senior officers. For a second, she already knows all she cares to. And for another--well. She's sure she wouldn't understand half of the answers she got. Again, that's Selar's line of work. She has enough to think about drawing near-invisible shipwide lines in the black as is, never mind she's not the one actively tracing them half the time. Hers is a world of speed and distance and named places - Ruah IV, Indri VIII, Loren III and by the time they break their third orbit, it almost feels like they're the pursued rather than the pursuing.

And in the end, that's very nearly what they are. Vilmor II makes a reality out of that feeling, if the world before it didn't.

Sariel learns just enough about what happens on the final found planet's surface; just enough - patterns and molecules and long-forgotten distant voices in projection - to give those haste-scorched trails left in the void a meaning. At least for her. Sariel doesn't know much about the particular type of molecular analysis the captain's been dealing with, never mind the sheer amount of pure archeology that's gone into the discovery they've made.

But origin myths and reasons and benevolent powers with a hand in the evolution of worlds... those she's familiar with. At least, familiar enough to leave her contented and then some at day's end. Common ground of the sort they've uncovered might not appeal to most when enemies are involved, but honestly?

Sariel doesn't mind.

Somebody say aleluia, aleluia.

Or maybe just merci.
visible_sariel: (at work)
Sariel doesn't know Nella Daren as anyone but a superior officer.

The older woman isn't Nella to her, not even mentally. To her, she's Commander Daren,head of stellar sciences, a decade or more Sariel's senior and wearing competence and experience like a second skin. Stellar sciences isn't Sariel's department, never mind how useful their information often proves at the helm; she doesn't interact with Commander Daren beyond quiet nods in the corridors, exchanged greetings in the turbolifts. All the same, Sariel can't help respecting the other woman.

She works out, somewhere around their initial orbit of Bersallis III, that it's the scientist's particular mix of professionalism and offbeat grace that's won her over so quickly. That, and the close-held flutter of curiosity that she'll never indulge - certainly not with someone ranked so far above her - to know if speaking Kweyol in front of Daren won't get her an answer back in Quebecois. Sariel likes what she knows of Nella Daren, vastly different though their personalities are.

And then Bersallis III hits them from all sides, rains fire and risks lives,

two eyes on the sky

and suddenly, stellar sciences is looming large where it didn't hours before. Daren's got her work cut out for her, cut from cloth that scorches,

one eye on the sky

and Sariel can't do a thing to help. Steady hands or no, it's not pilots they need in this particular situation. So she waits.

So does everyone else.

Sariel's not sure which rattles her more; when she believes Commander Daren has died in the line of duty, or when she finds out she's wrong. The first is understandable, training or no training, and the second is a pleasant shock to be sure, but the fact remains that both realities shake Sariel more than a little. She knows plenty about fighting and bleeding and dying, in the line of duty or otherwise, knows people who've done all three,

Lieutenant Hagler

but a near-death experience, anyone's near-death experience, is bound to get her thinking about the subject. and a few other subjects besides. Would she be that brave? Will she, if the need arises?

And was she?

She finds herself hoping, praying, not for anything even close to the first time, that the answer is yes to all three questions.

As for the other reality, the true reality--well. Sariel knows about coming back from the brink, too.

Sariel keeps the fine thread of connection she feels to Nella Daren to herself, even before the other woman transfers away. Their situations were, are, vastly different, but all the same: Daren's just the tiniest bit like her. And between the similarity, the lingering respect for the commander that doesn't fade with time, and Daren's visible dedication to her work...

Other people might forget Nella Daren.

Sariel doesn't.
visible_sariel: (Default)
Most nights are short.

Sariel dreams of white sand.

But some nights are long.

Sariel dreams of shouting, of torn leaves and a rapid-fire rattle she can't name.

Most days are peaceful.

Sariel dreams of bonfires built on foundations of driftwood, all clean warmth and wood smoke, lapping waves and starlight and talking-singing-laughing in rough circles. Sariel dreams of the nonexistent smell of iron, pleasantly conspicuous by it's absence.

Then again, some days are interrupted by surprises.

Sariel dreams of tangled brown hair, star charts and black-feathered wings in the twilight.

Some weeks are very, very good.

Sariel dreams of starfields, of steel grey and clean lines and temple doorways blossoming shimmering blue in the black. Sometimes there's a singing congregation on the other side. Sometimes there's an old, old preacher rumbling "aleluia, aleluia, through on dry land," in an accent that almost sounds like home. Once there's a row of candles flaring from orange to lamplit white, and Sariel counts four separate flames lighting up the void in streamers just before the door closes and the image fades.

There are no shadows, in that dream.

but there are moments that are less so.

Sariel dreams of feline eyes in a humanoid face. Once the eyes are glass green. Once they're gold. Once they're the shape and color of hydrogen molecules, drawn in running paint.

Sometimes there are bad patches; that's going to happen regardless of your situation.

Sariel dreams of whistling in her ears, of steel on steel ringing just above her head, and of ships the size of small towns turning delicate maneuvers at the touch of a button. She feels every move those ships make.

And some days, things work out brilliantly.

Sariel dreams of dancing in the streets she knows, of lanes and turns and shortcuts she could tread with both eyes closed. sometimes she's in full costume, mud-spattered and beaming; sometimes she's in coral pink straight down to her shoes; sometimes there are yellow flowers circling her head like a wreath. Or a halo. Sometimes she's in Derek Walcott Square.

Time can pass in a handclap. Time can also be marvelous when it crawls.

Sariel dreams that her surroundings change in the blink of an eye. Once in a while, the road beneath her becomes a marshy thicket, all banners of moss and live oaks at the edges. Once in a while, she goes from dancing calypso to a two-step without even thinking, swishing barefoot through the water and the mud and the wild, warm air. She's never alone, then.

On the other hand, time can be nothing short of horrible when it's moving slow.

Sariel dreams of electricity arcing hot and fierce, of benevolent trees walking with purpose, of turquoise water and braided hair and blood in the snow. Sariel dreams of cold hands, blue hands, blue lips and blue faces, of clickclick clickclickclick clickclickclick variations in the dark, of engineers-soldiers-outlaws-friends who sound like rescue when they speak.

There are twenty-four hours in a ship's day. That's roughly one watch for every eight hours, not including switched shifts, unexpected situations and days off.

Sariel dreams that the world around her changes from second to second. Images move in stutters an flashes; once she's in a shuttlecraft. Flicker. Once she's in a classroom. Flicker. Once she's in a bustling market in Accra-a half-demolished building in Shakespeare's London-a cathedral in the heart of New York. Flicker, flicker, flicker. Sariel dreams of being seven years old and talking to a tiny boy who says he's awake. Sariel dreams of a magic pub in her house's upstairs corridor. Sariel dreams that her whole family went away.

Time passes.

And Sariel dreams that they came back again.

Sariel's dreams are hazily remembered, when she wakes.
visible_sariel: (Default)
The Enterprise leaves Deep space Nine a week after she arrives, with all crew accounted for and young Klingon passengers in crowds besides. Commander Data has a story to tell at mission's end, Lieutenant Worf doesn't, and Sariel's too junior to hear the details of either regardless of what's said. That doesn't bother her. It's none of her business what her superiors do in their off hours and anyhow, she has her own memories from their time at the edge of the world. As for those memories -- she's keeping them quiet, holding them close, treating a pair of giggly engineers and a red-headed outlaw just the same inside her head. Treasuring them.

They make the Remmler Array and Arkaria Base in good time. They've been preparing for the impending baryon sweep for half the journey, maybe more, and they're as ready as they can be. Sariel's as glad as the next junior officer that only the senior staff have a reception to attend when they arrive; those sorts of things are awkward when you're shy and from what she's heard Em Tyler say, commander Hutchinson has all of Sonya's talkative nature and none of her cheerful adaptability. She goes her own way once she's planetside, losing herself in the dispersing crowd as officers and civilians alike scatter to Arkaria's far corners.

Arkaria proper has forests, paths and trails marked by the footfalls of a hundred hundred horses and riders, but it's a lake beach rather than a woodland clearing that Sariel aims for. She's not alone; tourists and locals trickle in, trickle out, vanish and linger, and she's not terribly surprised when midway through the afternoon a friend settles cross-legged in the sand beside her. It's Selar.

The lake's water is clean, green-tinged and saltless and too cold for a tropical daughter to swim in. The sand is the brown of the inland, shaded with the colors of the surrounding soil. Selar is her matter-of-fact self, stark facts and plain speech; she's cool, frank, honest to a fault. Sariel doesn't mind - just the opposite, really. Selar's many things, but she's not loud, and her usual blunt truthfulness extends to calling Sariel friend. That's alright, and then some. It's mutual.

Green. The bindings are copper.

Of course, neither woman gets the details of what happened at the reception until later. Stories circulate back in fits and fragments; Sonya calls Em, who's worried about Geordi; she immediately calls Selar, and never mind that the Vulcan doctor's nowhere near Arkaria base itself and can't help. Sariel's right there when the lieutenant's communicator chimes, and--well. She hears.

In the end, it's disaster averted. Narrowly averted, but averted nonetheless. The fine details of the situation don't ever become entirely clear; an infiltration, a hostage situation - Sariel shudders at the phrase - and something about... Captain Picard, a barber and a saddle? Sariel, frankly, isn't in a hurry to ask what any of that last actually means.

The facts are plain as they break orbit. The captain is safe. Commander La Forge is fine. The rest of the senior staff are all accounted for.

Commander Hutchinson is not fine. Commander Hutchinson was dead on the floor.

Sariel didn't know him. That doesn't mean she doesn't still feel a twinge of guilt for disliking the idea of the man. She's not sure what she thinks of Arkaria in the end, pleasant afternoon by the lake aside. Part of her is, and she admits this freely to herself, rather glad to see the back of the place when the Enterprise leaves.
visible_sariel: (just little me)
the door opens on a corridor not entirely unlike those on the Enterprise; comm panels on the walls, deckplates underfoot, airlocks opening and closing with audible hisses in the middle distance. Despite all that, things look just a little more... civilian here. Not everyone passing by is in the same uniform, or in uniform at all, for one. Far from it.

Sariel waits until the corridor's as close to clear as it's likely to get before ducking through, beckoning Will after as soon as her feet hit the station's floor. She still looks a little nervous, but there's a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth all the same. "Welcome to Deep Space 9," she says as the door closes behind them.
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