Sunday, July 29, 2012

Your Enemy is Dead Chapter IX


Your Enemy is Dead
Chapter IX


Janice Rand stumbled blindly back to her quarters, threw herself on her bed, and cried.  She laid there with her face in her pillow, her body heaving with sobs.   Then, the computer’s chime rang, slicing through Rand’s need to be alone in her sadness.  Rand lifted her head from her pillow and wiped her eyes.  She looked at the computer, annoyed at this invasion.

“Probably Uhura,” she thought.

Rand was truly not in the mood for another pep talk from her best friend when she knew that the situation was futile.  She tried to ignore the chime by putting her head back on her pillow, but the high-pitched resonance of the chime irritated her so much that she was compelled to answer it.

“It could be the captain,” she said to herself grudgingly.

She struggled to get up from her bed, walked over to her desk, and pressed the button, effectively activating the computer screen.  Rand was stunned when the face that showed up on the screen belonged to Khobran.

“Janice,” he said, his voice hesitant and gentle.

Rand knew that she was a mess, as she could feel the rawness of her eyes and the moistness of her nostrils.  Frankly, she didn’t give a shit how she looked right now.

“Well, well, well.  What do I owe the pleasure?”  There was a curtness in her greeting that made Khobran flinch.

“You’ve been crying,” he said, concern visible on his face.

Rand snorted and crossed her arms.  “What do you care?”

“What do I care?  Of course, I care, Janice!  I resent you implying otherwise!” he said, hurt.

Rand just stared at Khobran, crossing her arms, not giving him any assurance to the contrary.

“Are you free, Janice?  Can you come down to Hades?” he asked after awhile.

“Why the hell for?!”  Rand snapped.

“We need to talk,” Khobran said defensively.

“I heard that one before,” Rand bit back.

“Janice, please!  We really need to talk!  If you don’t have anyplace to go right now, come down.  If you beam down, ask for the promenade.  We can talk there, okay?”
Khobran’s eyes were pleading now, but Rand was unmoved.

“Can’t you just tell me what this is about now, over the computer?”

“Look, if you don’t come down, you simply won’t know what I want!”  he said with finality.

“Khobran, I haven’t known what’s been up with you since yesterday!  You don’t answer any of my messages…”

“I know!  Please!  Come down, this can’t be discussed over the screen--so to speak.”

Rand looked at Khobran for awhile before she sighed, defeated. 

“Okay, I’ll be down in a minute,” she said, reaching over to turn off the computer. 

She sat there, looking at the blank screen.  “What could this be about?  Is he going to dump me when I get down there?”

Rand shook her head and let out a hiss while she got up and dragged herself to the door.
*****************************************

Rand was overwhelmed when she beamed down onto a platform of the Hades Space Station on Adrius IV.  She had been on many space stations during her short time on the Enterprise, but this particular station was the largest she’s ever seen.  It was like an underground metropolis, with pathways and corners and structures reaching tall against the seemingly endless ceiling.  Rand looked at the settings around her, panic rising inside her belly.  Perhaps if she was in a better mood, her overwhelm would have been awe instead.

“What the hell,” she thought to herself.

Many possible scenarios played through Rand’s head about what it was that Khobran wanted to say to her, and she was not looking forward to the conversation.

In front of her stood a large rectangular structure displaying a graph of the various areas of the space station.  Rand walked over to this map and examined it until she spotted the operational devices, which enabled her to pinpoint and enlarge a particular area of the graph.  She studied this map until she found the promenade, enlarged the graphic, and got the information needed to find the place.  Turning to her left, Rand started her trek to her destination.

As she walked, she took the opportunity to take in her surroundings.  Once she got over her overwhelm, Rand was truly impressed by the engineering feat that made Hades possible.  Rand walked for a long while, at times wondering if she had misread the directions.  Then, straight ahead of her, she spotted a curved black sign with the word promenade etched in white.  Behind this sign was a sweeping collection of paths surrounded by lush greenery.  To the left side of all this was erected an elongated balcony, with benches scattered on various parts of it.  Rand scanned the area for a short time until she spotted Khobran.  But, what she saw made her heart leap to her throat.

Khobran was smiling and laughing with a beautiful young woman, who was about his age.  They were very affectionate with each other, touching each other, hugging each other, even tickling each other.  The young woman was tall, with a tiny waist and full breasts on top of long, toned elegant legs.  Her face was both classical and sensual in its beauty, with high cheekbones, full lips, and a swanlike neck.  She wore her blue-black hair in an upswept ponytail that reached down to the middle of her back.  The Federation uniform that the young woman wore was the same red color as what Khobran wore, though the insignia on her upper left chest was from a different starship.  And, like Khobran, her skin was an emerald green.

The tender sight of Khobran displaying a carefree joy that he had withdrawn from her was too much for Rand.  Her body shook uncontrollably, and she didn’t even bother to try to control the tears that flowed heavily from her eyes now.  She stepped up slowly, deliberately, to the Orion pair.  When she spoke, her voice quivered in a wet, low pitch that spoke of her hurt, her pain, her heartbreak.

“Oh, far be it for me to interrupt this touching picture,” spat Rand.

Khobran and his companion turned around to face Rand, their faces showing confusion.  After a short time, they looked at each other. 

“What?!  Got nothing to say to me,” Rand said, daring the pair to say something to her.

Khobran whispered to his concerned companion before turning to approach Rand.

“Janice.”

Rand continued in her accusing tone, her stance defiant in its anger and vulnerable in its sadness.

“I gotta tell you, you sure know how to give it to me straight without even telling me anything.  How in the hell could I ever compete with her!” she said gesturing to Khobran’s companion, her eyes blinded by her tears. 

Khobran looked incredulously at Rand.  “Compete?”  Janice, what are you talking about?”

“Your girlfriend, damn it!” 

Khobran looked at Rand compassionately, and sighed.  “Janice, she’s not my girlfriend.  She’s my sister.  Remember?  We talked about her.  My twin sister, Hydra.”

He came up to Rand and wrapped his arms around her waist.  She looked at Khobran, and then turned to look at Hydra.

“Hi, there,” said Hydra quietly, waving discreetly at her.

Rand sighed heavily, placing the palm of her hand on her forehead.  She desperately wanted to run into one of those parks on the promenade, find a rock, and hide under it.     
In her embarrassed state, Rand didn’t even care if she got pissed on by the gofer that shared the space under the rock with her.

“Oh God.  Of course, I should have known.  I…forget it.  I’m such an idiot,” she said, defeated.

Khobran placed his large hand under Rand’s chin, tilting it upward so that his girlfriend was facing him.

“Janice, I called you down here because I wanted to apologize for my behavior yesterday.  You see, there’s a group of refugees seeking asylum in the Federation.  It turns out that my parents are part of this particular group!”

Rand’s eyes grew big, as she was surprised by this news.  She looked up at Khobran, almost forgetting the earlier funk and embarrassment from a short time ago.

“What?  Your parents?  Are you serious, Khobran?  That’s wonderful,” she said while she reached up to touch her boyfriend’s cheek.  It felt so good to touch his smooth skin again.

“But how?”

“I can’t even tell you myself,” said Khobran.  “Hydra’s been in touch with the Federation Amnesty Office, because she was searching for our parents.  She was actually able to establish contact with them when they were in the process of leaving Kush, where they’d been staying.  But, she lost touch with them suddenly.  She heard nothing.  Word was that the Orion Syndicate caught up with them, but this was never verified!  My sister called me about this on the day that you saw me in my funk.  I was nuts!  Devastated!  No one knew what the hell was going on!  I shut down, literally.  That’s why I was such an asshole to you.”

Rand nodded her understanding to the situation.  “I guess I can understand what you were going through.  I’d probably be unavailable too.  But, you really hurt me, Khobran!  I thought you didn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore.”

“I know that.  Janice, you’ve become such an important part of my life!  I absolutely do not want to end what we have.  Please, give me another chance,” Khobran pleaded, reaching down to brush his lips lightly against Rand’s and collecting her in his arms.

After the kiss ended, Rand pointed her finger squarely on Khobran, her voice firm. 

“The next time you have a problem with anything, you need to confide in me, Khobran!  I want to help you.  I’m your partner here! Know that!”  She hugged Khobran and sighed, shrugging her shoulders.

“I guess it’s my fault as well.  I should have pinned you down and demand an answer to what was going on,” she said sadly.

“We need to promise each other to do better in the future,” said Khobran, while he attempted to kiss Rand again.

 A thunderous sound was heard overhead, like a huge door screeching open.  Hydra hurried over to her brother and placed her hand on his arm, her violet eyes wide.  Following the screech was an intrusive hum, like a shuttlecraft making its landing. 

Khobran and Hydra looked at each other, raw with anticipation as they reached for one another’s hand.  Rand looked on with her own anticipation, jumpy and hopeful while she snuggled against her boyfriend, his sheltering arm around her.

The three of them positioned themselves among the growing crowd of people who gathered around them, people who were also seeking lost relatives.

Then, way up above the collection of paths and parks, a humungous white sliding door opened slowly, creaking with an almost deafening noise. 

Groups of refugees from various non-Federation planets emerged from behind the door as one unit.  They were all quiet, but for the footsteps that echoed throughout.  In spite of all the people in the promenade, there was no talking during this time, at least not initially.

The refugees seemed hesitant as they took in their new surroundings.  Federation officers could be seen walking by the sides of the crowd.   These officers were to escort the asylum seekers to apartment complexes, where they would live until their immigration to the Federation planet of their choice-- where they would begin new lives. 

Rand was amazed at the variety of aliens there were, comprising mostly of races that she’s never seen before during her short mission on the Enterprise.  But then, there was a couple that emerged from this crowd.  When they spotted Khobran and Hydra, they looked at each other with hushed excitement, and then proceeded to work their way through the crowd.  When they broke fully from the group, they walked up to the balcony.

The couple was tall, attractive, and vigorous in health.  They both had the same blue- black hair as Khobran and Hydra, their skin the same emerald green color.  The man was muscular, ruggedly handsome, his eyes a deep cobalt blue.  The woman was as tall as Rand, her body lush in voluptuous curves, her eyes a warm red wine color.

This Orion couple faced Khobran and Hydra and trembled, their eyes filling with tears.  Rand turned to Khobran and Hydra and saw them cry openly.  The quartet reached out to each other and embraced, crying and holding onto each other, as if to make sure that they wouldn’t lose one another again.

Rand stood slightly behind them, hugging herself and looking on with tears in her own eyes as she witnessed the reuniting of what had once been a family fragmented.  Khobran and Hydra were with their family again, no longer the isolated, heartbroken cadets of years ago looking out into the audience during graduation, knowing that their parents were not there.
************************************************************

It was late at night in Rand’s quarters.  She was in her bed, lying on top of Khobran.  As she looked up at him, she marveled at how much he resembled a slumbering god.  Rand smiled, recalling the day that they had spent together; meeting Khobran’s family and falling in love with them, exploring the space station together with all the art galleries, shops, restaurants, and indoor parks, and ending the day with bringing his parents to their well-furnished apartment, where they would stay until leaving permanently for Earth to live with their children once their missions ended.

There would be a big ceremony to welcome the refugees to their new lives tomorrow at the promenade in the afternoon.  Rand would make it a point to accompany Khobran and Hydra.

She ran her hands along the sides of Khobaran’s smooth, taunt rippling body.  Rand marveled at his beauty, his intelligence, his all-around goodness and how much they had in common--even New Jersey, for God’s Sake!  Amazing, the incredible things waiting for us in this life.  As she laid her head on Khobran’s stomach and rubbed her cheek against the warmth of his body, she knew that her cynicism towards love was gone.  She was in a relationship that she could call home.

Rand could safely say, unequivocally, that her enemy was dead.

  
***************************************************************



OUTLINE COMPLETED: June 1st, 2011
DRAFT ZERO COMPLETED: September 9th, 2011
FIRST DRAFT COMPLETED: December 20th, 2011
SECOND and THIRD DRAFT COMPLETED: January 28th, 2012
FOURTH DRAFT COMPLETED: January 28th, 2012
PUBLISHED on TOSHET: January 29th, 2012
PUBLISHED on ASCEML: February, 2012(exact date on Google Groups, xversion.com,
And News Web Reader) under Alt.Startrek.Creative.Erotica.Moderated List. 
Story is no longer on TOSHET or ASCEML. Removed by the author.



         

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