SIM:A Virgin Bride

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(Village of Marangu near Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania)
(Planet Earth)

(... not too far in the distance past.... )

Fourteen year old Katherine stood in defiance of her step-father, Dr John Sharkey. She had been trained to accept the ways and traditions of her people from the day she was born. Somehow, she had hoped to be able to escape from them once she became of age.

John Sharkey: Katherine, please. ::grabbing his daughter by the arms:: Think of your mother. ::pausing as he realized his error:: ... your real mother.

Katherine stood in the middle of the room dressed in her finest dress. Her best friend, thirteen year old Afua, helped Katherine prepare as her father continued his annoying conversation. A beautiful mixture of colored makeup outlined Katherine's eyes and face. Each color represented a different element: Red for fire, yellow for lightning, blue for ice, and green for Earth.

John Sharkey: Afua, see if you can convince her. ::break:: I have already made plans with his father. They cannot be broken.

Afua quickly moved to help at John's command.::

Afua: Sister. ::knelling in front of her:: Akida is a member of the Wamoto. His father is a respected member of the Elder's Council. I am told he has great understanding pertaining to economics. He will provide for you, sister.

Katherine Sharkey: Fine, then you marry him. ::hatefully: :

Afua: I can only hope my father arranges for me to marry such a man as he.

Katherine Sharkey: HE IS TOO OLD!

Afua: He is only twenty-one, sister.

Katherine Sharkey: A dinoasour.

Afua: Are you not Chagga? Do you not respect the ways of our ancestors?

Unique among the Whachagga were the Waardhi children such as Katherine. They were well known for their training in the area of earth magic. Known as the field of physical science to the outside world. In many ways, Kat was just as excellent of a catch as Akida. Perhaps more so.

Katherine Sharkey: Yes. ::in a low hostile tone::

Afua: First it was the famines that came. Then the foreigners came... they polluted our land. They brought terrible wars to us. They poisoned the very air we breath...

Katherine shuttered as she thought about the stories from the ancient times. To the outside world, it was known as World War Three. As the remnants of Earth's governments solidified bringing about a new age of prosperity, the Chagga struggled to maintain their way of life. The decades following, the world slowly chipped away at their way of life as resistance was almost futile. Yet for some reason, Katherine always felt as long as the great Mt Kilimanjaro stood as a testament against time and change, so would her people.

Afua: Then came the Federation.. . they promised us a better future... a world in which everyone is accepted only to strip us of our personal freedoms. They tell us how to live on our own lands forcing us to break traditional rights. Now all we have is family... the family of Chagga must survive.

Katherine Sharkey: I understand all of these things sister. ::smiling:: The Chagga will survive. We will not be absorbed into their culture.

The door to the hut opened and Akida's servant Jahleel entered along with three other men. In their hands, they carried small boxes which contained gifts to the father of the bride.

Jahleel: Maamkio. ::bowing to John:: Alileta wewe karama. ::smiling as his eyes cast on Katherine.:: Viatu vingi.

Afua ran over to one of the boxes like a giddy little girl. She waited anxiously as one of the servants opened it allowing her to see inside. Wrapped in beautiful silk were the finest shoes that a woman of their tribe could ever hope to wear.

John Sharkey: We are honored by your presence. Please make yourself at home.

Looking up, Katherine saw Akida himself enter the room. The others bowed to him out of respect of his family's place on the council. Akida was a very impressive man to behold standing at seven feet. To describe him as a giant would have been an understatement. It was rummored that he was the strongest man on the African Continent. As a teen, Akida had been known to wrestle and kill the deadliest wild animals with his massive bare hands.

Akida: (Translated in English) Please accept this. It has been in my family for generations. ::handing John a pearl necklace:: I hope it is acceptable?

Akida caught sight of Katherine standing in the middle of the room. Walking over, he put his massive muscular hands on her shoulders.

Akida: My dear Katherine. You shall become a queen among our people.

Katherine crossed her arms in distaste. The first stage of their courtship, known as the wooing stage, was now complete. Over the next several days, Katherine would be locked in a cage and fattened up for the marriage ceremony. Then her dowry would be paid and she would be carried on the back of Akida's best man, the Mkara, to their new home.

John Sharkey: Katherine! ::gritting his teeth:: What do you say? ::forcing a smile::

Katherine Sharkey: Tunakushukuru. (Thank you)

She tried to smile but somehow her facial muscles just couldn't obey the impulses from her brain.

John Sharkey: Come, ::taking Akida by the hand:: we must have a drink.

Katherine Sharkey: oO You are a prideful arrogant man, Akida. Oo

Afua: Come. ::pulling Kat by the hand:: While the men celebrate, the elder women have prepared something in your honor. ::break:: Don't look so down. You couldn't have done worse. ::looking at the distress on Kat's face:: He is physically strong... he will provide for you and protect you.

Katherine Sharkey: He is not that strong.

Afua: Name one who could beat him in a fair fight. ::break:: Did you see his powerful hands? He could crush any man's skull without really trying. There is no man who could physically match up against Akida.

Katherine Sharkey: ::smiling:: I know one that could. Akida has never faced a man such as he before.

(Present Time)

(( Security Office - Deck 5 ))

Katherine looked down at the side arm that Lieutenant Whale had given her. Finally, she had gotten to meet the great Lieutenant Whale. Somehow, she pictured him... taller.

Henry: I'm ready for leave myself....

Sharkey: I suppose so... I suppose I am ready for leave.

Whale: We’re all ready for leave. Just don’t count on getting much.


Lt jg Katherine Sharkey Science USS TIGER