SIM:JP: Douglas, Zeet, Kadosh: ...and Prelude
Author's Note: Below is the final sim for Ayelet as a regularly-played character. Besides a couple of cameos, most notably in the anniversary sim "Five Long Years", she's now a happily retired character, enjoying her life on Earth.
The events in this SIM occurred on stardate 238812.13.
::Sian, Zeet, and Ayelet walked alongside the Seine, taking in their final sights of Paris. It had been another beautiful day, with a clear blue sky above them. Farther up the footpath, they saw Msafiri heading towards them.::
Bakari: Well, I just received word. The transport heading back to DS17 will be boarding in the next hour or so. If any of you are heading my way, we probably should get to the dock.
Douglas: Not me, Sir. Have taken an extended leave of absence. I realised that I have spent half my life travelling the galaxy, yet have never explored Earth. I am going to the four corners of the globe for a year. When I return, maybe I'll come back.
Bakari: ::nods:: All right. Sergeant? Ayelet?
::Zeet chuckled a low chuckle, his mouth curved up in a sad, hardly enthusiastic smile.::
Zeet: They're sticking me on the USS Hideyoshi... a newly commissioned Ronin-class vessel.
::Ayelet turned to her companion, a bit surprised.::
Kadosh: Oh, you've found out already?
::Zeet glanced away, looking down at the cobblestones of the floor. He had received his new posting almost immediately. The life of an Enlisted crewman was inevitable transfer... he'd heard a lot about Captain what-his-name, but as appealing as the post was... where-ever in space they put him, it wouldn't be anywhere near where he wanted to *be*. His tone was fairly dejected and he mumbled.::
Zeet: Mmm... something like that, yeah.
Bakari: Okay, so I guess just you and me then, eh, Doc?
::Msafiri gave her a blank stare back and then shook his head with a soft laugh.::
Bakari: Okay, I get it! No one wants to go back with me!
Kadosh: Well, listening to the President talk about our exploits reminded me just how long those two months were we all spent with you...
Douglas: Yes, very long and seemingly endless.
::Ayelet smiled back at Sian, who absently rubbed her thigh, just above where it had been severed by a Vaadwaur drone slave.::
Kadosh: And I'm not headed back because I've decided I'll be staying here on Earth. Outside of Starfleet.
::Zeet's eyes widened in a mixture of excitement and confusion.::
Douglas: Really?! Doc?
Kadosh: Yes, I received an offer from one of my professors to take up a teaching position at the university's hospital. I think I'm going to take it. For now at least.
::Tidari's paw slid around Ayelet's waist, squeezing slightly. It was as much to comfort him as it was her.::
Zeet: That's wonderful. I think it's a great post for you.
Douglas: You'd be a great addition. Best healing hands I've ever known.
::Ayelet nodded before turning back to Msafiri. The two old friends silently stared at each other for a moment before Msafiri finally smiled reluctantly and embraced the nurse in a hug.
Zeet let her go, his tail slinking down to the stones. Ayelet was staying on Earth... ::
Bakari: Somehow, I figured you might not be coming back with me. ::He paused, keeping a hand on her shoulder.:: Take care, Ayelet. Do try and visit now and then.
Kadosh: Of course, Msafiri. And you... try to stay positive.
::The man gave a hearty laugh.::
Bakari: Don't worry. I think I *am* becoming a bit of a softie these days.
::After Msafiri left, Ayelet then turned to Sian, frowning a bit.::
Kadosh: So I guess this is goodbye for a while again.
Douglas: I guess it is, but only for a bit. No doubt I'll impose on your hospitality before long, and who knows... take that Rhin off your hands too.
::Ayelet laughed before Sian hugged her, winked and walked away into the crowd. As the medic and nurse continued their walk, they eventually ran into Rick Rawden and Gypsy Hawker, who were walking arm in arm towards them.
::Immediately, Zeet brightened. ::
Zeet: Hawker! Rick!
Hawker: Hi there!
::Gypsy rushed to embrace Ayelet and Zeet. The Caitian wrapped his big fuzzy arms around Gypsy, squeezing her and lifting her off his feet.::
Zeet: How's my second favourite Human, huh?
Hawker: Well, Rick has asked me to marry him.
::Ayelet smiled widely at Gypsy and then turned to Rick.::
::Gypsy held out her hand with a pretty diamond ring. Zeet did a very manly shake of both paws, grinning widely.::
Zeet: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. That's so awesome! Congratulations to you both!
Hawker: He proposed at the top of the new Eiffel Tower. Aww, he's so sweet.
Zeet: Cliche but effective!
Rawden: Thank you. I am the luckiest guy in the galaxy.
::Hugs and hearty handshakes followed.::
Zeet: We're totally invited, right? Right?
Hawker: Of course you'll both be invited to the wedding. So, you two sorted as well?
::Zeet gave Ayelet a wide, sideways smile, causing her to blush a bit.::
Zeet: ...uhh, something like that.
Hawker: Oh, ok. ::smiling:: Well, we must keep our little group in touch. Lady Ayelet and her Knights.
::Zeet brandished an invisible sword.::
Zeet: Today is a good day to pie, my friend. Always remember this.
::Rick and Gypsy said their goodbyes and made their way back to the hotel. Finally, it was just Zeet and Ayelet, standing together on the banks of the Seine in the middle of the City of Light.::
::Idle conversation was made between the two -- the awkward dance of those who are trying to speak without using words -- and slowly the sun sank in the west, skirting the line of houses as though it were afraid of plunging the two into shadow. The light... a brilliant, fiery red... bathed the whole of the area, and the reflections of the water were soft and calming.::
Zeet: I... was kinda wondering about something, you know.
::Ayelet remained looking down at the water as they walked onto a small bridge that crossed the river. A boat on a dinner cruise farther up the river was sailing towards them. She could hear the faint strains of music coming from its deck.::
Kadosh: And what's that, Sir Zeet?
Zeet: I guess... I've heard a lot of good things about the Hideyoshi...
::He shuffled, his bare paws scraping along the ancient cobblestones.::
Zeet: But I'm thinking about requesting a different assignment. Somewhere alien... mysterious. Foreign. And a long way from the homeworld... I was thinking of applying for Earth Spacedock.
::Ayelet chuckled and paused to rest her arms on the railing. She watched as the boat emerged from underneath the bridge and began sailing away from them. The clinking of champagne glasses mixed with the soft melodies and rhythms from the live band.::
Kadosh: And why would you want to do something like that? I would think that a daring marine like you would want some place on the frontier... where fun and adventure awaits.
Zeet: You'd think that, but... eventually you get tired of adventure, and the Hideyoshi's just too far away.
Kadosh: ::laughs:: Don't worry. I don't think they'll make you climb up a ladder to join them.
::She smiled at her bad joke, but she knew he meant something else.::
Kadosh: Okay, okay... too far from what?
Zeet: ...too far from you.
::Ayelet glanced away from the river and turned back towards the marine. She looked at him in silence for a second or two before she realized she was holding her breath.::
::The Caitian gave his best smile, his white teeth showing.::
Kadosh: Zeet, you can't do that. You're a pilot and a combat medic. You can't sacrifice your career for... for me.
::Tidari scooped up her much smaller hand in his paw, giving it a gentle squeeze.::
Zeet: Well, I WAS thinking of applying for a janitorial position in the hospital, but I'm guessing that Caitians shed too much. I'd spend my days walking in a circle cleaning up all the fuzz... Spacedock's the best I could think of at short notice.
::Ayelet frowned and looked away, back at the now distant boat that was sailing off in futile pursuit of the sun.::
Kadosh: What are you even going to do up there?
Zeet: Marines on Earth Spacedock... are probably serving the *most* ceremonial position in the entire service. I mean, really. What's going to threaten Earth? It's just marching and drilling and kissing the boots of the flag officers... and then drilling some more. But you know what?
::He turned her face back to him with his other paw and then took hold of both her hands. As her sad brown eyes looked up at him, the sun slowly gave up and surrendered to the houses' encroachment, beginning to slip behind their ancient stone and brick roofs. For Zeet, sunset was his favourite time... and he was enjoying this particular sunset, spent in fine company, more than most.::
Zeet: ...no matter how bored or tired or fed up I get, I can just look down from a window, and right there I'll be looking directly at you.
::Ayelet sniffled and slowly smiled. Tidari then pondered.::
Zeet: Actually, I think its geosynchronous orbit is over the Pacific Ocean. So I mean... it's more looking directly at you the *planet*.
::Zeet's eyes widened slightly as he realized what he'd said.::
Zeet: ...not that I would mistake you for a planet or anything. Um. ::nervously:: Uhh... can we start again? Hi! I'm Zeet Tidari!
::Ayelet was still smiling as the last bit of Earth's sun slipped below the houses and the whole of 24th century Paris began to slowly fade into twilight. Arm in arm they held each other, letting the day pass into night, their hands interwined.::
Kadosh: Hello, I'm Ayelet; welcome to Earth. :: She leaned closer to him.:: May I help you?
::The woman's words sparked a thought within the Caitian, conjuring up the memory of how the two had first met -- walking in on Doctor Zhou kissing his wife in the Independence-A's sickbay. Although initially disgusted by humanoid displays of affection, Zeet had eventually warmed to them... turning to Ayelet he gave his best, biggest smile.::
Zeet: You're not going to kiss me, are you?
Lance Corporal Sian Douglas
Sergeant Zeet "Knight" Tidari
Marine Pilot and Medic