Cadet Ico Ena - Asylums for the Feelings

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Oct 13, 2021, 7:51:16 PMOct 13

((Hidden City Outskirts, Darime IV)) 

Ressan: ::Hoarsely,:: Come on, Ena! Isaacs, she's going to jump out, so get ready!

Isaacs: What—

She was running, racing as if her life depended on it, down the narrow tunnel, her shoulder's light casting maddening shadows around her whilst behind her the drone, the light that had killed Gilbert chased her.

So, indeed, her life depended on that race, that running nightmare, and on the hand Jack held out to her at the mouth of the tunnel, a beam of hope, a chance of survival.

Her breath came in ragged gasps, her muscles burned but she ran, yet, she sprinted, and ran quicker, and held out her hand in front of her.

When she thought she could not go any further, when her heart threatened to leap out of her mouth and all her muscles stung and screamed, fed only by fear and adrenaline, Jack's long fingers closed around her wrist.

Green eyes met purple ones.

Her fear met with his determination.

Her foot pressed against the edge of the pipe, her body pushed forward, partly by her own momentum, but mostly propelled by the Kelpian's superior strength.  She leapt, she flew, she was thrown forward, towards the cave, towards the chance of salvation.

For a moment, she kept moving forward, her feet off the ground, her hand still  outstretched towards Jack's hand who had released hers.

She hovered in the air for a split second, a crystallized moment against the skyline of the awakening city, its spires and pale, crystalline columns, astonishingly beautiful even with the lethal secret they concealed.

Then she fell, weighed down by  the unavoidable pull of gravity.


Isaacs: Let go! Jack can—

A moment later, a moment that seemed to stretch on for an eternity, she hit the ground. Or not the ground, but something softer, something that tumbled and she and whatever had picked her up so gracelessly rolled across the soil, the world lost all sense of up and down, what little air was left in her lungs remained somewhere between two metres above the cave bottom and the mossy floor of the cavern and, for an instant, Ico's whole world spun crazily in every direction until it came to a painful halt on something hard and sharp.

She felt dizzy, her lungs ached as if they were full of holes. There were muscles she only recognised from anatomy lessons that were aching and, at some point, she became aware that she was sprawled on top of Ryan - OF RYAN'S POINTY AND ALL BONE KNEES-. But she was alive, they were alive, and fear turned to joy, a shift spurred by the rush of adrenaline that flooded her veins.

So, for a second, for a brief second, she smiled and giggled, possibly a hysterical guffaw that threatened to escape the prison of her lips. While Isaacs let out a groan, she rolled away and flopped down on the moss just, just, to witness how the drone, how the killer light buzzed for a moment in the mouth of the pipe before it retreated back the same way they had come.


Isaacs: It’s gone. You okay? Nothing broken?

Without even a thought, Ena threw her arms around Ryan, and cried out the answer to the muddy fabric of his uniform's shoulder.

Ico: ::thrilled:: I'm alive! We all are alive!

Then, she realised where she was, what she was doing, she gave him a little glance and, as she did so, her cheeks turned redder than they already were from the exertion of her career and as quickly as she had approached him she backed away, every cell of her being questioning what the hell she was thinking to.....

The awkward moment ended with a soft flop, a muffled bubbling sound. Ena pulled her hands from her face and looked up at the cavern wall only to see...

Isaacs: ...Jack?

Slowly, slowly, air came into his lungs. He croaked out a couple of words.

Ressan: ::Croaking,:: I swear I had something for this.

Ico: JACK!!!

Isaacs: No. No, no no—

Before Ena's mind registered how they had done it, she and Ryan had run, tumbled, or crawled to where Jack laid.  

Her heart skipped a beat when she saw the wound in her friend's back, and two more when Ryan delicately turned him over and she beheld the horrible entry wound in his chest.

The young bajoran clamped her hands over her mouth and fell to her knees next to him. For her. He had done it for her. For saving her, for giving her a chance to live, one more minute.

She had thought that all her tears had been shed for Gilbert, that there was nothing left but salt in her eyes after the pain of that first loss, but still... still... still, her sight blurred and she felt the moisture gathering on her eyelids.

And a single, solitary tear rolled down her face to fall over the broken frame of her friend.

Isaacs: Come on, Jack. Please. Stay with us.

Ico: Not-not Jack, not you, not like that, not-not-not after....

The despair she had felt, multiplied two times over, percolated in her voice and she wanted... to do something, to stop death, to stop time. But this time, she didn't even consider raising a prayer. How could her voice reach the Prophets from that cursed cavern? How could They allow such a thing to happen, what Plan was in Their Mind that could lead to so much death?

So, she only met his gaze, shocked, and reached for one of his hands and clutched it between her fingers, as if her will could hold him there, as if her hands could tear him from the fingers of the death.  But it was already beginning to spread its coldness over his skin.  All she could do was regard that glint she had spied earlier in those purple eyes remained there and, yet, how that vibrant colour grew duller and, at the same time, his expression became serene.

Ressan: It's my time. I can feel it. I have to... go now. But don't worry. ::His eyes drifted toward Ico.:: Isaacs... can get you out of here. You'll be okay.

Ico: No-no, not without you Jack, you have saved me, you have saved me, you ....

The words slipped from her mouth and slowly faded away, like the life that was ebbing away in Jack since, as much as she willed it, she couldn't keep him there. She knew it, but she didn't want to believe it, but she knew.

Isaacs: Response

Ressan: ::He smiled fondly and reached up, touching Ico's cheek, leaving behind a bloody handprint.:: We... will see each other again.

She raised one of her hands to her cheek and held Jack's hand there, and then, she understood. She realized all too late, just way too late. 

Soon, the Kelpian's gaze turned away from her and focused on something, beyond, pupils dilated and face tranquil. And with the last breath, with the last spark of who he was he said it.

Ressan: It's... beautiful.

And so, he passed away.

Ico remained silent for a while, a very long while, before she released his hands and put them tenderly over the hole in his chest, the gap through which the life had drained out.

If it weren't for his open eyes, one could almost say he slept.

At least it seemed that way amidst the tears that had once again accumulated on his face.

Once again, Ena cried, but not the hysterical, desperate, shocked weeping of Sol's death. Rather the tears of one who has lost practically everything, and retains only the dim, ethereal  hope with her. When there were no more tears left in her, no more silent crying and her chest felt empty, so empty she could hardly begin to describe it, she finally turned her eyes to Ryan. She offered a hand to him, because she didn't know if she could do this on her own. Nor if he could.

Ico: He said, that the Kelpians believed that the body itself was nothing, that their remains should not be honoured as they were no longer them... ::She swallowed, her breath caught for a second before she could speak again::...Maybe... maybe we should leave him here. Don't let his sacrifice be in vain.

Isaacs: Response

With that she stood up and wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand, leaving two lines in the handprint still visible on her cheek.

Ico: We've been trying to get away from the city, away from those things... but maybe... maybe we should go there ::point to the city::

Isaacs: Response

Ico: I don't know, but it's the only option we have left, isn't it?

Isaacs: Response

Cadet Ico Ena

4th Year Cadet

Starfleet Academy

simmed by

Lt. Alieth

Chief Science Officer

USS Gorkon NCC-82293


Image Collective Facilitator /Art Director

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