This is an experimental piece, with an alternate storyline, for my current WIP,Bounded by a Nutshell.
This is a Star Trek fan fiction offering – my very first, in a public venue. It is likely to change, perhaps several times.
Opinions more than welcomed!
~~~”Rachyl says that she’s identified seventeen new strains that seem to have sensate characteristics, just upon the Academy plot. The surrounding landowners,of course, are curious, and she’s been granted carte blanche for the entire community.”
Spock had been attending to Leonard while reviewing itinerary for what would be his first mission since Seth’s birth. He had been requested 2.49 months ago, but would not travel until his family was cleared to attend him on the voyage.
It had been suggested, by no lesser an authority than the man slumping comfortably in the chair closest to the table where he preferred to work, that this was ‘highly damned illogical’. But Leonard was his Kiral, and, predictable grumbling aside, he knew intimately well why Spock would not choose to be away from his family, in the coming months.
And he knew, too, that, at times, there was no logic whatever in fighting Vulcan instincts.
“Spock, am I bothering you? Should I shut up?”
“I ask your pardon, Leonard. I regret that I was distracted. You wished to share Rachyl’s discovery of potential sensate species, correct?”
“Well, I don’t have to, if you’re busy…or..” he let the word trail off, knowing that there were still those things that even a Kiral, or even a kinbrother, might not say without invitation.
“You are not disturbing me, Kiral. I am simply – fatigued. Seth did not sleep much of last night, and Tisira had a recurring nightmare and required 4.652 hours of reading, before she slept easily again.” It was answer enough, for now. No need, as yet, to inform Leonard that he strongly suspected that Tisira, who was highly empathic and intuitive, with as yet undeveloped shields, had absorbed the energy and imagery of his own restless dreaming.
No need to report that, even when the child finally fell into restful sleep once more, he had not, and had lain awake until he could remain no longer, and that he had been pacing alone,without the walls of the Academy when his wife found him…
And then, there had been no more sleep, until much later, when they had had to creep carefully to avoid being seen in what, here, was a remarkable indiscretion.
But the pleasures they had shared, for the first time since Seth’s birth –
“Hey, Spock- ?” The voice was soft, accepting, perhaps even a little amused. “Kirana is playing with Andrew, and Rachyl is weaving nearby. I think they’ll be fine for awhile…why not go catch a nap?”
The assessing cast of his manner, though, and the interruption of the memories, just when they were returning to their souldancing, triggered irritation. “You tread at the edge of propri-”
Shearing, tearing force, into his soul, blindingly red, taking vision, breath, thought-
But she was gone, ripped away, leaving a gaping wound where she had been, in his mind, in his soul.
~My daughter! Ti’kahm! Tisira!~
Nothing, nothing, not even a sense-echo…she was gone. He charged to the cabinet, where she had been napping – but she was not there when he tore the door off in his haste to open it.
His skin was,at once, afire, and prickling tight against frigid cold. He shook, and felt that he had collapsed, that a hand gripped him. “Spock!”
No. He could not answer. Must not.
He must find his child. His Tisira.
He threw his mind into his soul, going more and more deeply, seeking her everywhere, in a blind panic. He must find her, must have her with him.
He plumbed his depths. “Dammit, man – stop it. How is killing yourself going to find her, Spock? Spock!”
His eyes saw the other man’s lips move, felt dimly his panic – but there was only Tisira. A press of cold against shoulder; he forced will against the sedative, and would not let it kill his ability to search.
His depths were barren, without.
Tisira was not there.
“Dammit, man – stop fighting me! Stupid, stubborn, crazy-ass Vulcan fool – yow!”
He seized the man’s arm and flung him away, trying to explain his need, but there was only the word, the name, the void.
He flung his mind outward, along every path that would hold it, out and out, holding nothing back, for he must have again his sense of his child. To live without her was not possible.
“Oh, Shit! C’mon, Spock- I’ve got only one thing left to try, and it’s as likely to kill you as cure you. Don’t make me use it, please!”
Leaving body behind, stretching outward, out across red sands, obsidian cliffs, atmosphere….out, out to the stars, for she was not here….
Something grabbing his chin – hard, before he could resist, tipping his head back, and something wet in his mouth, his throat –
Spock gagged, choked, tried to refuse, and had to swallow – a swallow that made him retch and vomit….
Again the hand. “More.” The voice trusted and grim. “Stop fighting me, damn you, if you want to live long enough to find her. Drink it until I say to stop, and I will let you go. Otherwise, I’m pouring it into you until you drown, choke, or come to your senses.”
Intent registered, as he began to feel his bondmate, always touching and touched, just now waking from the nursing-sleep, and feeling his cries of aloneness.
He seized the clay jar from the Kiral, and drank so deeply, he nearly retched again.~~
The Palliative Spore
From the breath that she had placed the nodestone where Jeniah could not help but find it, Aletris had known that she must, as the counterbalance, create a path to healing, or at least some bettering, against the time when the Trueborn’s need for the tool lessened, because, even then, it was a certain thing that she, who could cling so tightly to her Otherworld prey, would not relinquish it without much struggle – struggle that, after all that had gone before to weaken her, might kill her –
As the nodestone would, too, without protection.
And so, there must be a means by which the poisons of the tool could be lessened, so that the Trueborn might, in time, come to a place where she could heal safely…
The stone she would keep, Aletris knew, until and unless she secured a better trail to lead her to Kaivelt. No poison, now, could be more dangerous to either of them than losing what had been forged in pain and anguish, and which was, in the end, the only hope, now, for either of them.
She had never created such a thing, and, in the beginning, while Jeniah raved with Huntlust and the deeper passions of Kaivelt’s fiery madness, she had little enough time to consider it. This daughter was a danger now, to herself and all others, and that bore watching, constantly, so that she could shield the rest of her children from it, leaving only the intruders defenseless against her skill and cunning, for even their strange light-bending weapons could not help them if they took note of the need to draw them only as their throats were being torn from them.
And, still, she was the world, and the only home any of her children had ever known – save this one, who could feel as Kaivelt did, and was coming to know his wondrous worlds – the desert world, the water world, and the strange world that forged its own path through Everdeep.
It was a good thing, the distracted time of sending prey away from the Trueborn’s need to rend them, not for true hunger, but for bloodlust; it allowed her a fine understanding of the full scope and shape of the madness, and so her panacea would be fit to the need, created solely for that purpose.
Like the nodestone, it must appear in a place and at a time when Jeniah would be drawn to it, because, if not, there was no way to force this one, now, even if she would.
A glowing thing, that grew only in the shade, in restful places….but not one that needed ground to srping forth in, for the Trueborn was more a creature meant for the trees, and most often took her shelter in a bower or upon a limb.
When the Trueborn fixed her maddened energies finally only on the interlopers, Aletris began her study, creating, rejecting, creating again, testing, adding a bit of this and removing a bit of that…
Until, finally, she looked upon a delicate spore that blew upon a wind she conjured just for it, to land in the mossy place on a wide high lifepine branch, just the type of place that would draw the Trueborn when she must have a bower for her Matehunt.
With delicate weavings of sunlight and shadow, rain and time, the spore grew into a lovely mushroom, its creamy skin flecked with hints of iridescent orange in ever shifting patterns, and aglow from beneath, as the nodestone glowed, only this the soothing orange glow of a fire succumbing to hunger, slowly…
She examined her creation, and saw that it was, indeed, very good, and perhaps, just what was needed.
She rested, then, and, when she was recovered, set herself to create a forest of the spores, so that she would not miss the next place where the Trueborn ceased her ravenings….
- #ROW80 1/16/13 – Progress Only (shanjeniah.com)
- ROW80 Goals Update, 1/9/13 (shanjeniah.com)
- Deep and Trustful Excavations, #ROW80 1/16/13 (shanjeniah.com)
Aletris felt her Trueborn’s need; her hunger for her mate was become desperation, matching his.
If they could not be brought together, in some way, both of them would die, and the loss to their worlds would be perhaps immeasurable.
The loss to her, in this daughter dying before time, would be massive, and she was not willing to lose her. Not only did she have need of her, for her sensitivities, and her ability to touch the mind of her Otherworlder, with his deep knowing of things that went beyond mysteries, here, to the level of the unimagined, but the child, as all her children was dear to her, and a touchstone to many others…
More than that,though – Aletris wanted Jeniah to find happiness, to be mated, as she longed for, to the only man who had ever so moved her soul.
She herself was not able to fully fathom the forces that drove Kaivelt to such madness in pursuit of his couplings. But Jeniah knew it, understood it, to her core, in ways that were beyond any legacy of birth, of this world.
They were soul-matched, and must have one another, or else both die.
She could not fathom the connection, yet, in all of reality, she knew that such things could happen, and were beyond any effort at control.
She could ask nothing more of Jeniah, now – she must free her from all else, and allow her the space and time needed to touch the soul of her lover, and to discover all that lie between them, all that had been Broken, and to heal all that could be healed…
She steered all others of her children away from the Trueborn, so that the roiling need to destroy, born, perhaps, of the Tacivaarii Huntlust that had always been so strong in this one, almost, always, at the edge of her ability to control it. Perhaps, too, born of that need to strike out, smash, splinter,and rend that was so deep in the character of Kaivelt’s strange mating-madness.
Jeniah seemed to know how incapacitated she was. She left the Broken in the rift…a few small rodents steered in their direction, and a spontaneous fresh spring, saw that they would not hunger or thirst excessively.
The Trueborn headed for the diggings – the newest gaping wound in Aletris’s hide, where the pain was still fresh and raw…to her, now, it was desert as her mate desired, and she Ran, unthinking, unknowing, until she could run no further, and fell…
In that moment, in the place where she had fallen, and in the instant that her eyes were closed with the force of the impact, that Aletris knew what she must do.
It was dangerous, certainly – the stone might kill, and, without doubting, would further madden her mind, and, through her, Kaivelt’s.
But it would be the way for them to touch, to connect, so long as Jeniah held the stone close to her skin.
And, perhaps, she would be able to hold herself against the inevitable poisoning of the glowing stone, with the strength of her bond.
At least, if the madness brought further violence, there was nothing there for her to destroy, beyond the rapists and their abhorrent doings…
And there, in that thought,was the beginning of a plan.
Aletris knew well her daughter’s strength of will – she had known it, all her life, and before, in those who had created her in the depths of their own struggle each to impose their will upon the other.
She knew, too,how those beings had twisted her life, and her growing, each in a misbegotten effort to own her – she, the child who could never be truly owned by any but herself – for she was, in the moment of conceiving, already what they had made her, and that was a thing that might be hidden or bent, but never changed, save at the cost of her life.
There was a danger she could see, in turning the Trueborn to her will, now, without first asking…even though what she would have her do was well within the longings of the nature she now shared with her maddened lover.
But, was there a way,now that her mind was wholly gone to his ravings, to ask her, or to receive the answer?
Aletris did not know – and, despite her own insistent need to be rid of the invaders, stop their breakings and thefts and killings, she would not turn the woman to her purposes without receiving her boon…
But,as so often happened with this one, her own desires fed the needs of her world…
While Aletris considered options, the woman rose, holding to the stone, and utterly lost now to anything but Kaivelt and his lustful rages, streaked away, finding a poisoned rabbit too near death to resist her graceless and plunging descent – even though she had not taken Lynxform.
She tore the rodent into shreds, echoing the destruction she could feel Kaivelt wreaking, on his own homeworld. She did not eat, not even the heart or lungs – most sacred tenet of the Tacivaarii. She kept none of the hide, except a scrap just large enough to form a sack to hold the nodestone.
Still bloody, without any effort at cleansing, she tore at the bark of a dying lifepine with teeth and fingers,to get at the long, once-pliable fibers beneath. These she knotted into a rough loop upon which she threaded the still-bloodied bit of hide, shaped into a pouch to hold that which she treasured.
Once it was around her neck, the nodestone hung between her breasts.
There was nothing in this to suggest that she was an artisan of fine merit, with clay, with the preparing and use of hides, or with anything else. It was a crude tool, meant only for the purpose, done with little attention and only such care as to see that the treasure within would remain solely her own.
It was the mark of the savage creature she had become, bent upon nothing but the force of her needs, and her mate’s.
She was ravening, and ravenous – not for food, but instead for another target to aim herself at, to destroy, in the mad hope that, in so doing, she would ease the firestorms of desire and need and emotions too long denied, in them both…
Somehow, this rapacious sundering of all she had been before, of all expectation of being any certain way, had healing and purpose in it.
Sides heaving, Jeniah noticed her in her mind, and Aletris presented the thought that she would go, if not wanted…
Wordless clutching, almost desperate, was the response – the power of it nearly enough to shake even a world.
Aletris understood. She was the means of their touching, their joining, and Jeniah would not sacrifice that.
And so she dared to let her thought float out, not asking, nor forcing, simply placing the idea where it could be found, if the Trueborn looked –
It was seized upon in the next instant, her mind fixing on it as the answer – the only logical one, nattered their minds, gone far beyond any logical thought already – to the need to destroy, to excise that which caused their pain and aloneness…
She would do it, and with pleasure and ecstasy in the doing – not because Aletris wanted it -but because she herself did.
And the knowing of it seemed to bring a certain peace, and she sank down where she was, removed the nodestone from its crude pouch, and, cradling it, gave herself over to her matings…
- Sima Garo Provides – Chapter Ten, Scene Two (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
- Sima Garo Provides – Chapter Ten, Scene Three (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
- Sima Garo Provides – Chapter Eleven, Scene One (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
- Deep and Trustful Excavations, #ROW80 1/16/13 (shanjeniah.com)
- Sima Garo Provides, Chapter Nine,Scene 2 (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
Henry was heading to his lean-to from the cottage, traveling along the stream that ran like an echo of the road. He was laden with empty packs he must fill with his winter’s meat, when he first caught sight of the faerie-kin.
She wore nothing but her skin, her young body strong and darkened by the sun in a way he had seen sailors, or those who lived in places far closer to the center of the world.
Or else people from mythical places he had heard of, around the bawdy houses and theatres of Southbank, where people were said to be so dark they seemed made of earth, or even night.
He’d seen women and men of her shadings, but none were from here, where the sun shone as though through water, dimly…
She moved as one who was meant to be in wilder places than this little bit of common woods, scarcely two days’ walking in any direction, and set aside for freedmen to hunt within.
She seemed to have the born wariness of a wild beast, now, listening, scenting at the air, and blending into shadows so that, if Henry had not known these woodlands even better than he knew the walls of his own cottage, he would not have seen her at all.
He knew he should move along -he had need still of meat, groundnuts, and furs for the coming cold. And nymphs and their ilk were known not to suffer well the intrusions of mortals, no matter their reasons.
If that be what she was.
It was said, though, that such creatures were enchanted, that once looked upon, there was no looking away, no returning to the life that had been. Henry had never believed it, not truly.
Now, though, as the small creature stopped to sit quietly upon the bank, her gaze lighting everywhere, then fliting away again, he was not nearly so certain, for he could not leave off staring at her, even at the risk that she would see him.
She half-turned, and Henry forgot even to breathe, lest she see him – yet the fading sunlight danced with eyes that were as blue – nay, bluer! – than the sapphires he’d seem on the bedecked ladies the morts and their men favored for the purse -cutting, and her hair a shining flow dark as night. Of a sudden, he wanted to see those eyes smile and laugh, to touch that hair, which looked softer than even the finest of ladies could boast. He wanted to know all there was to know of this lovely, rare creature.
It seemed that she must have seen him, must know he watched, but she gave no sign of it. The wide bright eyes – eyes that seemed to belong to a child perhaps three years less aged than he – kept moving, in the way of wild animals who must look, and she was still scenting the air.
But Henry knew how to become part of the woodlands. He had used the musk of a rutting fallow deer to mask his own scent, and he knew how to be still and silent, so that even his breath could not be seen. Even though she was only off twenty paces or so, she did not show any knowing that he was there.
She stayed as she was a moment more, before fixing her gaze on the water in a way that bespoke a wildcat far more than a faerie. She leapt lightly from her place to crouch upon a sunwarmed rock, and went still – still in a way that Henry knew he could not, even with a lifetime to practice it, the way schoolboys studied sums and letters. His pride in his own stillness faded – she was as the trees, or the rock beneath her…
After the sinking sun had moved nearly to the edge of the bank, she brought her hands up to her head, where a long strand of ebon hair had fallen into her face. She pulled it back, and with a twisting motion, she secured it all in a knot at the nape of her neck.
And Henry bit his lip hard to keep from gasping at the sight of her delicately pointed ear…an ear that said, beyond all doubting, now, that she was not as he was, that she was not a girl as he was a boy…not human.
It terrified him, and excited him, to have this sudden proof that such things did exist, and he wondered what manner of fey creature this was. Or was she a witchling, else demon-spawned?
He could not think so, watching her watch the water, leaning carefully forward so that she could see, but not so far that she cast any shadow below. No, she did not have the feel of wrongness about her. Otherness, for certain, and he would not deny that. Yet, still- she belonged to wild places, was a part of them. Henry could feel that.
But would Satan announce the guise he used to steal souls?
He wanted to go now, to flee, to pretend that he had seen no such creature, that he was just as he had been when he set out this morning.
But he knew that he would not leave while he could see her. He could not; he was ensorceled by her…no, there was no leaving her. He knew he would follow her, if he could, and learn all he could of her.
The girlchild-creature began to – to become something else, something that came in bits and pieces, stuttering forward only to retreat again, and then the other way, until, at last –
An animal that looked very like a young lynx kit crouched, slowly sinking belly to rock, so slowly lifting a paw, holding, motionless, as the sun dropped lower, drawing shadows over the water…
The paw shot out, the body uncoiled, and, before Henry was fully aware of her motion, she had flipped a leaping fish up out of the water, bitten through its backbone, and tossed it behind her on the bank, settling at once back to wait, as though she had not moved…
But the fish was there behind her on the rock, twisting in its death dance.
- ROW80 Goals Update, 1/9/13 (shanjeniah.com)
- Genesis 2013 – #ROW80 Round 1 Goals Update, 1/9/13 (shanjeniah.com)