(( Siriss Farmstead, Kaleth Woods, Tibro ))
She let the Captain and the Romulan soldier enter ahead of her with the stretcher and then entered herself. The house was relatively small, especially for so many people, but it seemed nice and cozy. And blessings of the Elements, it was warm inside! There seemed to be a fire in the fireplace, but it was obvious this house also had central heating. She helped as the moved the stretcher to the center of the floor and gently set the woman down. Then moved over to one of the comfortable looking couches along one wall and sat down herself. Normally, even with the cold, Serala would not be having such a hard time. The only thing she could assume was that it was a combination of her near-term pregnancy, the stress of her husband’s sudden death, and the cold.
oO Stevok…. Oo
She didn’t know when it happened, but she found herself being shaken awake sometime later by Amuro. She wondered how long she had been out and became somewhat embarrassed by her lapse. The Captain probably wouldn’t hold it against her, he seemed too decent for that, but she certainly would. This was unacceptable. They were in a crisis and this was no time for sleep. Or grief. oO Stevok…. Oo That could come later.
McKnight: You ok?
Serala: I’m fine. I … will be … fine. Just so tired.
Thoran: It is okay Serala, you rest. We will get out of this. :: He sat forward in the chair, still clutching the cup. :: We should make the most of the temporary respite to recharge.
Serala: Daie, Eriov.
Revix: Daehlen, rest as you need it. We will make sure you are safe.
oO Friend? When did we become friends? … Stevok... Oo
Dels’an / Tharen / Mara: Responses
Thoran: Honestly, I’m not sure how long we can remain here. We may be able to delay it further, but they will eventually come knocking. :: The Captain took a sip of his tea then continued. :: Given the amount of materials lying around, we may be able to build a makeshift shelter. A hiding place, something unnoticeable if anybody comes looking.
Serala: Nonsense, sir. Anything we build right now would be obvious because of the fresh snowfall.
Revix: Shelter is important, but what we need is to get out of here. Sooner rather than later.
Dels’an / Tharen / Mara: Responses
Thoran: Amuro with me. Serala I want you to remain here and rest. It may be worth trying to raise somebody loyal to you Ambassador, presuming you are able to find a secure comms system.
Serala felt bad. The Captain was counting on her and here she was like a mewling lamb acting like a spoiled child. Still, she just found herself unable to become motivated. Maybe it was the cold. Maybe it was the pregnancy. Maybe it was….
oO Stevok…. I will NOT cry! … Stevok Oo
Despite herself, small tears began to slowly streak her face.
Serala: Thank you, sir.
Dels’an / Revix / Tharen / Mara: Response
Caught up in her grief, Serala did not notice Revix take the seat next to hers.
McKnight: I got a signal out. We are barely outside the jamming range of whoever is out there.
Revix: Well if we’re out of range then what can they do? They are hunting us like animals. Maybe it’s time we use the environment against them.
Serala: I’m afraid, Captain, that our options, such as they are, are not good. We just need to hope someone on the ship has noticed we have missed our scheduled check-in and comes looking for us. And that they find us before this SpecOps team does.
McKnight: I think they haven't figured that we've made it this far so they haven't extended the range of the jammer. Bad news is I still can't get comms until the storm passes but the Atlantis should be picking up my emergency beacon and home in on us.
Revix looked at Serala and Thoran
Revix: Special Forces are a challenge but I think we can fight them.
Even in her grief, she knew that was preposterous. They were armed, but not well, one of them was severely wounded and she was in no condition to fight.
oO True Rihannsu Commander. Optimistic and confident in his own superiority. Mother would approve. Elements, she’s just like him. Oo
Serala: Commander, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but honestly I don’t think you’re correct. You’re down one soldier, the Admiral’s officer is in very bad shape, and while I am normally quite capable in a fight, I just don’t have the same mobility I had several months ago. Our gracious hosts are civilians and I doubt they could hold up against a special forces team.
The tactical puzzle was forcing her to focus and forget her grief for a bit.
(( OOC: I am going to make an assumption here based on Jarred’s comment to McKnight that he was “with him.” Forgive me if I misunderstood. ))
Serala watched the Captains leave the room heading for the door. She assumed they were headed back out to scout around for something better suited to their needs. Regretful that she couldn’t join them, while glad she didn’t have to go back out into the cold, Serala once again closed her eyes.
(( Flashback ))
Serala: Who’s there?
Stevok: It is Doctor Stevok. From the research facility.
oO What is he doing out here? Oo
Serala: Um, what are you doing out here, Doctor? Kind of a long way from your lab, isn’t it?
Stevok: Not really, no. When you are a xenobiologist like myself, you need to be prepared to travel long distances to study your subjects.
Serala: And am I now one of those subjects, Doctor?
She knew the joke would be lost on the Vulcan. They didn’t really have much of a sense of humor. But she just couldn’t help herself.
Stevok: Do you wish to be?
oO Was that a joke? Did he just flirt with me? Vulcan’s don’t flirt. Oo
Serala: Uh. Well. I don’t really know how to answer that question.
Stevok: Well, that is an answer all of its own. Tell me, would you like some company? That water looks to be quite enjoyable and I am feeling a bit warm.
Serala: Uhm, well, uh. You see, I wasn’t expecting anyone and, well, uh…
Stevok: You aren’t dressed. I understand. Very well, I will turn my back while you swim over and put something on. Would that be acceptable to you?
(( A few minutes later ))
Serala: You can turn around now, Doctor. I’m dressed again.
Stevok: That’s a shame.
oO What did he just say? Oo
Stevok: I apologize. That wasn’t appropriate. I don’t know why I said that.
oO Me either, but I don’t really mind. He’s not acting like any Vulcan I’ve ever met though. Oo
Serala: So, what’s your story? You don’t act like any Vulcan I have ever met?
Stevok: That is most likely due to the fact that I am one-quarter Betazoid. My empathic abilities have made it extremely difficult for me to suppress my emotions. There is a possibility that I may also be experiencing a form of Vulcan flu. One of its early symptoms is a lack of control over our emotions.
Serala: I see. So...Betazoid. Does that mean you can sense my emotions?
Stevok: Yes. Does that embarrass you?
Serala: A little bit.
Stevok: Only a little? I’m kind of sensing a lot of embarrassment. No need, though. I feel the same way.
Stevok let out a low chuckle. For Serala, the rest of the night was quite delightful. For Doctor Stevok, he wouldn’t need to worry about his pon’farr anymore. And in the morning, Serala would discover that the two of them were now bonded telepathically. They were now mates, and surprisingly that didn’t bother her.
(( End Flashback ))
That night had been magical. Reeling from her confused emotion regarding Toryn, she had sought solitude at a tropical waterfall. It had ended in her bonding with Stevok. Stevok who had now been taken from her by a cruel twist of fate. Stevok, who would never get to see his child born. Stevok, who she loved more than her own life.
A sudden, sharp pain in her abdomen snapped her back to consciousness.
oO What was that? Little Bean! Oh please no! Not you too! I can’t lose you both. Oo
Revix / Dels’an / Tharen / Mara: Responses
Serala: Something’s wrong. My baby….