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SIM:Adyr Promises of a New Day

((Crew Mess Hall, USS Valor, Stardate 236002.11))

::The room, one of the largest, non-operational rooms the ship had to offer, had been completely transformed. It seemed that though his officers and crew had very specialized skills that allowed them to work flawlessly within the confines of the Valor’s mission, they also had secondary skills that had allowed this day to become so much more than Alaryc could have imagined. What had, only hours before, been a simple mess hall had now become something both beautiful and intriguing. With the backdrop of the stars shooting by in the windows, the room itself was now comprised of rows of seating contained within blocks of lace on either side of a blue plush carpet aisle.::

::Flowers of purple and blue and various shades of green adorned the walls and the sides of the aisle on the chairs, which had been replicated to match. Shimmering streamers hung from the ceiling as well, giving the distinct impression of fireworks caught in their moment of glory, drifting only ever so slightly in the breeze that the air circulation system created above them all. Colored lights, to accent the entire ensemble, finished the overall picture, bringing everything together in something that seemed both beautiful and a bit eccentric, but so very perfect for the people it was made to celebrate.::

::Alaryc smiled at the senior officers who had already arrived, each of them tugging at the stiff collars of the dress uniforms they had all worn. But not a single complaint was uttered. Instead, smiles were shared as the minutes drifted by. Soon, they retreated to their pre assigned spaces and Alaryc was left alone near the front of the room. It was almost time.::

::The chairs began to fill with officers and crewmen from around the ship, but mostly those who worked with Cory and Natalie in the tactical and science departments. He recognized most of them, if not by name, then by the faces he recalled from the records of every member who had been assigned to the Valor the year prior. He offered smiled to them as they filled the room, only turning his attention down the aisle as the music began to play.::

((First Officer’s Quarters, USS Apollo))

::Cayden smiled in her sleep. It was a different feeling than the one she had been so used to most days when the memories of loss and pain had surfaced. While those memories were, perhaps, the most vivid because of the emotions associated with them, she certainly enjoyed those that brought contentment far better. Though she had not had the chance to know Cory Reese, being posthumously invited, in a way, to this day in his life invoked feelings of happiness and even made her want to cheer for him. She knew what was to come later, but for now, she could join in the joy that existed on this day almost thirty years ago.::

((Crew Mess Hall, USS Valor, Stardate 236002.11))

::Everything was perfect. Even though the room had been decorated in ways that caused the light to shimmer and dance, it all seemed to come together at a point that was the woman who would soon be Natalie Reese. Cory had joked about the brightness of the dress, calling it blinding, and in many ways he had not been wrong. Alaryc, however, wasn’t quite sure if it was the dress or the beaming smile of the woman who was in it. As she approached, both Alaryc and Cory smiled and feelings of pure happiness seemed to fill the room.::

::This was one of the few duties of being a starship captain that Alaryc took the most pleasure in, especially now that it was his closest friend standing before him. This was his family, and he had the power to help forge this bond that love had built. He could tell his friend was nervous from the goofy grin that now splayed across his face, but he could also tell that the man wouldn’t have traded the moment for anything. Alaryc nodded slightly to him, a gesture that was returned, as the official ceremony began.::

Adyr (Alaryc): Today we gather, not as a crew, but as a family, to celebrate the joining of these two souls.

((First Officer’s Quarters, USS Apollo))

::The brightness of the mess hall faded slowly into the darkness that was the bedroom she shared with Liam. She could tell that it was still quite early, because he was still there, but she could also sense that he was not asleep. Perhaps he was lost in his own thoughts much like she was in hers; the difference being that hers surfaced like dreams. With the smile still on her face in the darkness, she drew closer to him and wrapped herself up in his arms. With her head on his chest, she whispered into the darkness.::

Adyr: Whatcha thinking about?

Frost: I suppose I'm just not used to being worried about things. I'm usually the one that's cool as a jazz musician, even when the shuttle's going down. It's nothing to worry about, just not something I'm used to.

::There was some kind of relative safety in the darkness that made her feel, even if for only a moment, that the universe consisted of only the two of them. It had been a feeling she had discovered one night, not so long ago, on a planet called Echevarria. Somehow, being in the darkness and feeling the warmth that existed tangled up together, the rest of the universe faded into a blurry background. And while those moments didn’t come often, especially now, she made it a point to hold them close in her mind.::

::She listened to his voice as it disseminated through the darkness. There was still some kind of worry behind it all, but it was a tone that she was quite familiar with. After all, the ship had crossed into the unknown; an unknown that had seemingly swallowed three ships quite recently. Knowing that there were no words that would make it settle, she simply found his hand with hers and squeezed it slightly.::

::And that was when she heard it.::

((Crew Mess Hall, USS Valor, Stardate 236002.11))

::Having stood there and pronounced the couple man and wife, Alaryc could do nothing else but let his happiness show in the huge smile on his face as the two kissed. As if on cue, a wave of whatever it was that caused the music of the Expanse washed over the ship in a particularly spectacular manner. For those who could hear the music, himself included, the sounds were far less eerie and quite a bit more cheerful than the usually were. Whether that was due to his own perception, or if they really were more upbeat and happier, he had no idea, but it was something he wasn’t going to question.::

::Finally, as the wave of song subsided, the two parted and the room erupted into cheers. Confetti, the same glittering shades as the streamers around the room, was thrown and found itself semi suspended in the air as the couple turned to face their friends. Cory’s goofy smile had transformed into something else, and for a moment, as another wave hit the hull of the ship, Alaryc saw what a moment of pure happiness looked like.::

((First Officer’s Quarters, USS Apollo))

::Cayden sat nearly bolt upright in the bed and turned in the darkness towards Liam.::

Adyr: Did you hear that?

::If he could have seen the look on her face, he would have seen something akin to childish wonder, gleeful happiness, and crazed excitement. And he didn’t answer fast enough.::

Adyr: The music. Can you hear it?

Frost: No, I don't hear anything.

::As soon as it had come, though, it was gone. Still, it left her feeling like jumping up and down for joy. Deciding that sleep was no longer an option, she called for the lights, albeit dimly, and returned her gaze to the man next to her.::

Adyr: I wondered if I’d be able to hear it. Amazing.

Frost: Why don't I go make us some breakfast.

::The day wasn’t going to wait for her or the music that the Expanse created, but at least she finally knew.::

((Crew Mess Hall, USS Valor, Stardate 236002.11))

::The room had been transformed yet again. Each of the many chairs had been moved or reclaimed and the center of the room had become an open floor on which to dance. And while Cory stood to the side and watched, Alaryc led Natalie, in her blinding dress, right into the middle of it. He didn’t quite understand the tradition, but when Cory had asked him to take that first dance with her, he had agreed without asking for an explanation. Now, with all eyes on him, he felt like maybe he should have. Humans certainly had some interesting habits and routines, though not all of them were that unpleasant.::

::With a smile, he took her hand as the music began; music that he had been asked to choose. It was a piece written by Rodan, the first of the Adyr hosts, and a piece that had been played at that host’s wedding so long ago. Though the ceremonies were different, Alaryc could at least relate on some kind of scale. There still were no words to be said that weren’t readily readable in his eyes as he looked down at her. Though she had been close enough to be considered his own family for some time now, this took that to a whole new level. It was in that moment that Alaryc Adyr realized the depth of what Cory had meant when he said that avoiding such closeness meant missing out on something big.::

((First Officer’s Quarters, USS Apollo))

::It was something that she had finally come to experience when Liam had walked into her, and Adyr’s, life.::

::He had left and she was close behind. The day was already in full swing, with plenty of work to be done. Now that they were in the Expanse, many doors and opportunities opened to them, especially in their search for the ships that had disappeared not too long ago in this very area of space. Having gotten a note the night before from Vid-Lotilija regarding the contents of their scan, Cayden found herself rather excited. There were many promises of what the day would bring, none of which scared her just then. On the contrary, as the day began and she stepped out into the corridor on her way to the bridge, Cayden carried with her a sort of physical happiness that would prove most difficult to strip away.::

::Of course, that was before she remembered the other effects of the Expanse.::

((Corridors, Enroute to the Bridge, USS Apollo))

::Things seemed busy and on par for a starship on a mission. People moved about with a purpose, all seemingly with a place to go. Cayden knew it was still early, but it appeared that quite a few officers had the idea in their heads that getting a somewhat early start on the day was a good idea. Walking down the halls, the Trill offered a smile to everyone she passed, even the crewmen who stopped to salute her and her newfound commission. It was something Cayden wasn’t used to, but the experience of Alaryc was assertive enough to make it seem as if she had been wearing the uniform for years.::

::The shadowy tones of the music danced along the hull and she found herself listening intently to the strange chords that it formed. She was listening so intently, in fact, that when she heard the voice screaming, she stopped dead in her tracks. It faded as soon as it had reached her ears, and for a moment, she looked around her to see if she was simply hearing something more than just the music that Alaryc had once heard.::

::But the music, and the traffic in that given area of the ship it seemed, faded just as another scream met her ears. Looking to the place where she figured the sound was coming from, she frowned. A bulkhead? Then, Alaryc’s memories seemed to surface again. A bulkhead, yes, but probably one that hid one of the many tubes that traversed the ship. Once she had the realization, she moved towards the spot and set to opening that part of the wall.::

::When she had, she ducked inside the Jeffries tube totally unprepared for what she found.::

Adyr: Vid-Lotilija! What happened?

::There were tears falling down the woman’s face and she strained to look down the tube towards her.::

Vid-Lotilija: He..help me. I... I'm hurt, please, it hur..hurts so muuuch.

::Instinct kicked in about then and Cayden, for the first time thankful for its presence, slapped the badge on her chest.::

Adyr: =/\= Transporter room one, medical emergency, two to beam directly to sickbay. =/\=

::Just before the blue lights took them, Cayden tried to convey an ‘it’s gonna be okay’ smile to the science officer she had seen on her feet only the day before.::

Vid-Lotilija: I'm so-ory! ::She whispered.::

::Then, the familiar tingle of the transporters took them both and in seconds, the cramped insides of the Jeffries tube was replaced by the far more open area of sickbay. Cayden saw the doctor approach quickly and she stepped out of the way.::

Pierce: ::gaze flicking to Cayden:: What happened?

Adyr: I’m not sure. I found her in one of the Jeffries tubes on deck two.

Pierce: I'm sorry, found her? ::murmuring, almost to herself:: What in the hell...

Vid-Lotilija: I'm fine, I just need to get some rest

::Much more muffled now, Cayden could hear the eerie tones of another wave washing over the hull. She backed off more to let the doctor do what needed to be done and wondered if it was all related and if the woman would be alright. For now, she could do nothing more than stay out of the way. Still, concern was etched on her face as she looked on. It was certainly one thing she hadn’t expected to come that day; what else would take them by surprise as they dove deeper into the Expanse?::

TAG/TBC

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Lieutenant Cayden Adyr
Mission Specialist/Command Advisor
USS Apollo

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