SIM:Jhalib Ekal - Return

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Ekal Chronicles
OOC note:This sim is set after Ekal's appearance in Kidman I.


::A thunderstorm raged outside, but the view of the city from their mid-level apartment was still as pleasant as usual. Relaxing almost, given his current inhibited state.::

::Ayden did not feel well. It felt like part of him had been left behind in a different timezone. His body felt sluggish, and then too fast to be normal - if that made any sense at all. One minute he’d be thinking clearly, the next he couldn’t get his mind to focus.

::Because the man-made time jumps could not manipulate space, the trips were significantly longer than what he'd expected. Which meant planning had to be more articulate, every little detail prepared for. They left from Meridian - but once in their receiving year, he had to identify transport, travel times, perhaps the schedules of every important and “fixed” event he’d pass purely by coincidence, and then record his exact movements in case he’d ever need to go *back* to that point of time and had to avoid himself. It was a long and tedious process that took months.::

::The door to the apartment opened and Ayden was up in a flash, nearly falling over as he did so, stumbling and catching himself on the arm of the couch. Yes, he definitely didn’t feel 100%, but having been three months since he’d seen his partner, there was no way he was letting some weird post-jump illness stop his reunion.::

::He was standing by their bench when Merce called out a greeting as if he’d seen him just this morning, the purple-skinned Coverian tossing a data key onto the table, his bag not far behind it.

::But what had been months for Ayden, had only been hours for Merce.::

::Merce, sifting through some items in his bag, did a double take of vulcanoid excitedly standing before him, his response rather nonchalant.::

Merce: You shaved.

::Self-consciously, Ayden brought the back of his fingers up to his cheek. To avoid looking scruffy, he’d cleaned himself up a bit before going to fix the Rowena’s sensors. Evidently, he’d forgotten about the five o’clock shadow he’d had before he left.::

Ekal:::with feigned confidence:: I did!

::Merce’s eyes narrowed, cautiously approaching the vulcanoid as his red eyes glanced over him.::

Merce: Something’s different.

Ekal: Come over here and I’ll *show* you what’s different.

::Merce’s response was a coy smile, waist now encircled by the vulcanoid to be caught in a lip lock.::

::It was a crude feeling, but he'd have been lying if he didn't feel like it wasn't a relief to be back, with the cooler skin of Merce's hands on his hips. His thumb ran along his lips, breaking the seal between them and grazing the Coverian's tongue as it curled in what Ayden *had hoped* would be the anticipated lead-up to a pleasant evening (that had been well worth the wait). But his fiance pulled back, biting his lip.::

Merce: What am I tasting?

Ekal:::proudly:: New tooth cleaner.

::Merce’s hand wrapped around Ayden’s wrist, pulling away very slightly.::

Merce: Nairen is due home soon, and you’ve deliberately gone and made my tongue uncomfortable.

Ekal: Actually, I cancelled tonight. She’s got some other things to do - so we’re alone for at *least* a few hours.

Merce: Sounds like you’ve got everything planned.

::The vulcanoid leaned in with a coy smile, nose rubbing against Merce's with that instinctual Brekkian affection.::

Ekal: Just the one thing, really.

Merce: Well, as much as I am interested in that kind of evening . . .

::Coverian pulled Ayden’s wrist up, his fingers actually pressed in against his pulse point. His heart dropped into his stomach as he realized what Merce had been doing, effectively killing any kind of heat he'd been feeling just seconds beforehand - almost like he'd just had cold water poured onto his chest.::

::The well-trained doctor had been taking Ayden’s heart rate.::

Merce: Your pulse is fast.

::Ayden's eyes flickered between Merce and his own wrist.::

Ekal: Did you not just have that amazing kiss? You know, the one where I-

Merce: *Abnormally* fast.

::Considering it'd been beating out of his chest the moment he got back from 2395, it was probably a fair assessment.::

::Ayden sighed, pulling his wrist from Merce’s grip and taking a seat at the bench, rubbing his eyes.::

Merce: Tell me honestly. How long have you been gone?

::It was a question he didn’t want to answer, because he knew exactly where it was headed. What he’d hoped to do tonight was get reacquainted with his fiance, to not have to worry about all the little things Merce was now going to bring up.

::But this was Merce.::

Ekal: Three months.

::If Merce didn’t have a bench to brace against, he’d have probably fallen over. The Coverian pinched the bridge of his nose, leaning against the counter as he processed the new information. He’d seen him just this morning, after all - now suddenly he was speaking to an Ayden Blake displaced by three months.::

Merce: Three months without proper medical attention-

Ekal: I had the breather-

Merce: The breather isn’t the thing keeping you alive, Ayden - all that does is temporarily provide relief for a few minutes at a time, and you damn well know it. The whole point of the breather is to rebalance your oxygen intake so that you are fit enough to get yourself to a doctor for treatment.

Ekal: Merce.

::The Coverian was about to say something else, but shut his mouth, crossing his arms as he gazed at Ayden. The vulcanoid stood again, leaning forward on the bench across from Merce.::

Ekal: I just got home. From three months away. I don’t want to fight you.

::Merce huffed in a response, hands flat upon the surface of the bench.::

Merce: I need you to understand why I am upset. You are actively choosing to ignore the advice of your doctors - fine. That’s your choice. But I want you to come home from these . . . “jumps” you make.

::Ayden said nothing, looking away.::

Merce: I love you. And I get it - this is something you believe you have to do, and I don’t want to stop you. But I’m standing here looking at you now, and . . . you are different.

Ekal: Different how?

Merce: There's no energy in your eyes. You look absolutely exhausted. And you were so ready to go along as if you *hadn't* been away for three months. ::He shook his head.:: That's not okay.

Jhalib Ekal


  • This sim suggests that Coverians elongate their tongues to procreate (which was about as weird for you to read as it was for me to come up with).
  • Though Return simply uses the word "Home" as a location marker, we'd later learn in The tragic ending of the family Blake that Ayden and Merce are based on Cait.
  • This marks the first mention of Nairen Ekal, Ayden and Merce's daughter.
  • It's not stated in this time, but the continued use of time travel causing deterioration of Jhalib's pre-existing condition is caused by the CRI brace. His first two "jumps" backwards in time were through the Guardian of Forever, which then ceased all contact with those who wished to use it - possibly due to the frequency of it's use.
    • Though the CRI brace operates similarly as a site-to-site transporter, it cannot manipulate space - only time. Anyone using the brace must be located in a place that existed in the year the user wishes to go to - as such, extensive research must be conducted so to locate stations, planets, even starships at the exact moment of a jump so not to end up in the vacuum of space. This makes travel to the future especially complicated - as no definitive records of the future exist.
      • This is why it's mentioned that planning jumps takes an extensive amount of time, as many factors must be considered not only for the user but the timeline itself.
  • Throughout the sim, the dialogue tag for Ayden is "Ekal", rather than "Blake" (which is what occurred in The tragic ending of the family Blake). This is because Ayden hasn't given himself the time to "wind down" from the jump.