SIM:Zehn - Maternal Instincts
- Kaedyn Zehn
This SIM shows Kaedyn visiting the family of his recently deceased previous host for the first time.
((Marine Captain Jilenna Zehn's Quarters - SB118))
- As Kaedyn Zehn approached the quarters of his previous host, he
suddenly felt his stomach churn with nerves. In seven lives, he had never experienced something like this. The transitions between hosts had always been far more cut and dry than this, usually occurring between a host who was ready to die and another who was prepared to be joined.::
- It had only been a matter of weeks since Jilenna had left the
station to go on the routine trip that would result in her death. For the first time, he wondered whether this was a good idea. Perhaps the counsellor had been right when she suggested that he needed to stay away from Jilenna’s life until he could get his head around everything.::
- But then his son, well Jilenna's son, was in there. He had been
able to think of little else since the moment we woke up and while his rational mind knew that it would have been better for him to be on Trill discussing things with counsellors and spending time with Eliaan but his heart had drawn him here and it was too late to turn back and be rational.::
- Taking a deep breath, he instictively reach out to enter the code to
unlock the door but caught himself before he did and pressed the chimes. His nerves exploded into a rush of adrenaline as he waited for the response and again he considered leaving. Before he could, the doors opened and Jilenna's mother stood in front of him.::
- She was smaller than he remembered, although this was largely due to
the height difference between Jilenna and Kaedyn. She wore her grief simply, like a shawl around her shoulders and it was clear from the dark shadows around her eyes that she hadn’t been sleeping.::
- He froze, unable to articulate everything he wanted to say to
Jilenna’s mother. She stared at him wearily, no doubt wondering why this stranger was bothering her on top of everything else she was going through. He wanted to cry and hug her; he wanted to apologise and run away; he had no idea what he wanted anymore.::
Mezan: Can I help you?
Zehn: ::his voice croaking:: Mom, it’s me...
- She wrapped her arms around herself, as if hugging herself for
warmth, although her face remained unaltered. He remembered her looking the same after Jilenna's father had died many years before. After regarding him for a long time, her shoulders slumped slightly and she shook her head slowly.::
Mezan: You'd better come in
- She stepped aside, allowing him to enter the quarter's where he
remembered living. Everything was identical to how it had been before but through new eyes it looked different. The whole station felt like that, Jilenna had lived there far longer than Kaedyn and was much more familiar with it than he had been.::
- Nothing he could say seemed big enough to cover what she had lost.
Nothing was going to make her feel better or understand why he was there. He couldn't explain it himself, other than to say everything in his being had drawn him there, it had been a stronger feeling than he had ever experienced.::
Mezan: What is your name?
- She repeated the name, as if confirming and committing it to memory.::
Zehn: I... I don't really know what to say. ::he shook his head:: I don't know why I came, it was selfish of me. I just wanted to make sure you were okay
- She smiled, sadly.::
Mezan: I appreciate that, Kaedyn. It can be overwhelming when you are first joined, I have experienced the same thing.
- Her tone was polite but distant. It was as if she were talking to
Kaedyn, the stranger, rather than Zehn, her daughter's symbiont, which was completely understandable.::
Zehn: I wasn't prepared to feel like this. I wasn't prepared to be joined.
Mezan: The Symbiosis Commission hadn't been thorough with your Initiation?
Zehn: I was never an initiate. I was just on the runabout with Jilenna when...
- The subject of the accident broached, Mezan sat down on one of the
couches. Having stood awkwardly for a moment, he sat down across from her.::
Mezan: Did she... ::she cleared her throat:: I mean, was she in pain before...
- Kaedyn shook his head.::
Zehn: There was something on the sensors, Eliaan asked what it was and then darkness. The console exploded and I, she, was knocked unconscious. I don't remember any pain or fear.
- Mezan squeezed her hands together and nodded, the relief palable on
Mezan: That's good. I was worried about that. I'm glad she didn't suffer.
Zehn: How are you... I mean, have you been... Are you doing okay?
Mezan: I'm as good as can be expected, I suppose. One should never outlive their child, it's just not right.
- He reached across and placed his hand on her arm. She stiffened at
the contact before relaxing again.::
Mezan: I'm glad you were there, I'm glad that part of her lives on.
- Kaedyn opened his mouth to respond but they were interrupted by the
sound of crying from Janel's bedroom. His eyes widened and, letting go of her arm, he stood up. She followed suit and they were both standing in front of each other. He wanted to go and comfort the baby but he could see from Mezan's face that she didn't know how to proceed. Somehow, despite knowing he was there the sound of Janel's crying made it all the more real and Kaedyn couldn't stay away from him any longer.::
Zehn: May I?
- She said nothing but gave a small nod of permission, despite her
obvious misgivings. He returned the gesture and headed into Janel's bedroom.::
- He approached the crib and looked down at the crying infant as Mezan
watched from the doorway. This had been what he had been obsessed with since he woke up on the Lovelock, making sure that his son was safe. Reaching into the crib, he lifted the baby and placed him on his shoulder. As he bounced him gently, he felt complete again and the knot in his stomach untied. Soon, Janel settled and Kaedyn continued to bounce him, repeating a low shushing sound.::
Mezan: I think he recognises you. You know he never takes to strangers...
- Her veneer of control seemed to crack at that moment and she began
to cry. Holding Janel in one arm, Kaedyn instinctively reached out to her and she walked towards him. He wrapped his arm around her and held her as she sobbed.::
Mezan: Oh my poor baby...