(( Rho Aurigae Four ))
::Paradise. The Garden of Eden. Shangri-La. Jannah. Whatever one wanted
to call it, Alora couldn't imagine that she was the only one who gazed
around at the beauty that surrounded them without a similar concept
running through his or her thoughts. For her, it was certainly as close
to it as she had ever or would ever get. Her eyes widened as she simply
stared in amazement. Even the tropical forests on Earth couldn't quite
hold a candle to the lusciousness that surrounded her. A rainbow
surrounded them with a constant undercurrent of green accenting the
rainbow. She tiptoed over to a cluster of flowers, blossoms of purple
with stripes of blue upon the throat opening their mouths to the light
from the sky. She caressed a petal and then jerked back as the plant
arched toward her. In a frozen state she waited, but nothing happened so
she touched it again. As if the flower desired her touch, it arched
against her caress. She didn't notice the absence of the humanoid
species, her attention rapt upon the strange new species. She didn't
even take note of the building at first, the flora far too fascinating.
Then a specimen of fauna fluttered furiously past her. A strange winged
insect with six wings and a variety of curls whose purpose she could not
immediately fathom landed upon the leaf of a bush, then darted back into
the air to move on to the next. Alora rose and took a step as if she
might chase after it, when she caught sight of that building. A
dwelling? Did someone reside there?
Something rang through the air. She tore her eyes away and rose, head
tilting as she listened and froze once more. Music, tones she could
recognise though in a pattern she'd never heard before. A minor key, but
with a hopeful tone and yet also a plaintive hue. As most music did, it
was formed via pattern and after a moment, Alora could follow it. Her
own voice joined in, though not loudly. Low and sweet, she repeated and
followed the music, then split off only to enhance it, her vibrato
winding around in harmony with the melody that rang through the air.
ROSS: Looks like we found them.
::Abruptly her singing ended as Ross shattered the spell the notes had
woven over her. She blinked, glanced over at Ross, then turned her
attention to the direction in which the music could be heard.::
ROSS: Time to go say hello.
::Yes. Time to say hello. And yet she didn't quite want to go, not just
yet. She wanted to revel further in the shimmer of notes that danced in
the air. Yet, she would not disobey and so as the others began to move,
so did she.::
::Crystal steps led up to a decorated archway, leading them into a
chamber that sounded like it was built for acoustics. The ceiling was
far, far above their heads, and silken banners decorated the crystal
walls. A wave of bodies filled the area, purple and blue, their white
hair in an array of styled braids all joined together for some purpose.
On the edge of the group, Alora stopped dead in her tracks. The beauty
of their surroundings was complimented by the beauty of the people that
inhabited it. For a moment the song continued and once more, Alora was
drawn into its message. She could not understand the words, but there
was no denying their elegance. As before, her body trembled, but this
time with the almost overwhelming desire to be a part of it, to
harmonize with the loveliness that echoed through the air. Her mouth
opened, and a split second later she might have joined in - except the
music came to a sudden halt. Her mouth closed and her gaze met that of
the Kubarey. There was curiousity. There was surprise. There was anger.::
ROSS: ::Quietly,:: Captain… Perhaps it's time to gracefully back away.
JOLARA: ::almost whispering:: I agree.
EGAN MANNO: Yes. Slowly, and without turning our backs, please.
::Back away? Yes. Yes, that was probably wise. The beauteous spell had
been broken once more and what was left was the grim disturbing reality
that they had trespassed upon something special. The Kubarey reacted
before they could and the next thing Alora knew, she was being taken by
her arm. She could have side stepped, gotten offline, kept him from
taking her within his grasp, but doing so might only incur more wrath.
Alora didn't resist, but tilted her head up to gaze into the eyes of her
captor. He was handsome to behold, a well sculpted face, his hair
plaited simply in comparison to the others. As her green eyes met his
own, surprised registered upon his features.
Alora faced forward and even as the woman who seemed to hold a position
of power spoke, her eyes focused not on her, but on the others. Her eyes
met some of the gaze of the Kubarey gathered together. A mixture of
emotions swam through a variety of faces and then she paused upon a
particular, miniature. A child, her clothes gilded with silver gazed
back at her, unafraid. Curiousity was evident within her large eyes and
Alora met hers without fear. A smile curled upon Alora's lips. There was
a pause, then that smile was echoed by the child.::
EGAN MANNO: I am Captain Cassandra Egan Manno, of the Federation starship--
ANANJA: Why are you here?
::The sound of the voice speaking Federation Standard broke through
Alora's reverie. It seemed to have lifted a fog and for the first time,
Alora registered what sort of position they were in. Her body tensed and
the shivers that traversed through her that time were of fear and
trepidation. They were in trouble. They were in deep trouble.::
*MACKELLAR:* Did she just–?
JOLARA: It's not the universal translator.
::Alora glanced over at the doctors even as another Kubarey male spoke
to the woman - who shook her head in reply. The expression upon the
male's face caused Alora's stomach to twist as he exited.
EGAN MANNO: I am Captain Egan Manno of the Federation. We were -- invited.
ANANJA: He believes you have desecrated our temple, and he is angry that
you have interrupted one of our most holy rites.
JOLARA: It was not our intention to...
::Alora winced at the way the Kubarey who held Rune captive treated her.
At least her own seemed to be of a gentler sort. Her gaze darted over to
where she'd last seen the man. Anger? He looked...as if he were eager to
do something to them. Was it just anger? Alora wasn't so certain of that.
EGAN MANNO: No, it was not our intention to intrude. But we came to make
contact with your people, and we had no success with your ship in orbit.
::Ross was released by his captor and for a moment, Alora thought hers
might do the same. He didn't and she remained in his grasp. It was
gentle, but quite firm and she would not attempt to break it. Doing so
might cause a fight, and that would not go well for her nor her fellow
officers. What happened next, however, almost drove her to her knees.
The earlier Kubarey had returned with an item and when he gestured to
Ross, the man disappeared. Panic attempted to well up within her breast
and Alora took a deep breath to press it down into submission. No. She
couldn't panic. It would do more harm than good - she had to remain calm.
Somehow the captain managed to wrench free for a moment to establish a
commlink with the ship. Alora stared over at her for the brief moment
she had as she screamed a command.::
EGAN MANNO: Egan Manno to /Garuda/! Get us out of here!
::Nothing happen. Not a reply, not a transport, nothing. They were left
in the hands of the Kubarey. The captain was treated none to gently.::
EGAN MANNO: Where is he? What did you do to him?
::What. Where. Why? They had tresspassed, but couldn't the Kubarey see
they were there on a peaceful mission.::
DeVeau: We meant no harm.
::Her voice was smooth, calm. How had she managed that? The hold of the
Kubarey man tightened just a little, but it was not painful.:
::Green met the sharp gaze of the woman, and Alora held it. Somehow, she
held it. Despite the molten lead in her stomach, she managed to keep her
own from dropping.::
DeVeau: It was beautiful.
::Why had she said that? What on earth possessed her to say such a
thing? It was true, but weren't there more important words to be spoken?::
DeVeau: The music. It was beautiful.
::And she faded into silence, her eyes turning back to the audience to
lock upon the child once more, who continued to watch them with calm
Lt. JG. Alora DeVeau