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For the last few days Kyler had been avoiding her quarters as much a possible. More than once she remembered falling asleep in one of the observation lounges only to wake up in her own bed. With only the faintest memory of the familiar scent of her dad as he more than likely carried her. She didn't hate him and she never could, but right now he just couldn't understand what she was going through. He was just too closed off and too jaded to understand why she was doing this.
All he could think about was his pain, but what about hers? She had lost mom too! He had been with mom for years before she was born, even before Elijah was born he had time with her. Kyler had only been three at the time she barely remembers her mother or her big brother. From what she had read and heard from Lieutenant Commander. McCoy and Leonidas, her parents had been high school sweethearts. So maybe no wonder it was so hard for him to talk about her, but that didn't help Kyler any not when she desperately wanted to do something for her for a change.
The pain of the argument she'd had with her dad still lingered in her gut even though some time had passed, she just couldn't bring herself to be in the same room for long. He owed her an apology! Not the other way around. Tonight after supper like so many others since that night she sat alone in one of the observation lounges. Tonight it was on K Deck not that it mattered dad could find her, all he had to do was ask the computer, but for her, it was separation from her dad. She had been crying again, and she wasn't sure why. Through the tears she brought up her PADD meaning to contact Leo her adopted big brother. They may not have been blood but she was as much her brother as Elijah had been. She's known him practically her whole life, so to her he was family.
Wiping a fresh set of tears from her eyes she pushed a button on her PADD thinking she was bringing up Leo, without even looking at the screen she spoke. "Leo, I want off this god for shaken ship..'
Surprisingly, Harrison had fallen asleep at his desk. It wasn’t the largest desk in all of Starfleet, but it was his. The teaching was not too bad, but he did want desperately to finish this class and get back to London. He had been sketching plans for torpedoes that could house them. His plan was starting to be knit together in way that would work. The Augment was so confident that it would work that he had decided to put them in the live torpedoes that were going to head up to Jupiter in the USS Vengeance. At least, that was what he understood. Little did he know that there would be a straw to break the camel’s back and they would end up in Kirk’s care on the Enterprise, but he was no clairvoyant.
When his screen lit up with an incoming call, it took a moment for him to come out of his slumber. When he finally looked up at the thing, the girl was already speaking. He knew it wasn’t going to be his sister – as she had vowed never to use the communications equipment due to an inadvertent discussion with one Kyler Ward. In fact, it was this very girl calling him now. Why was she calling at this hour? His hair sticking straight up, Harrison blinked at the screen trying to process the scene before him. Sliding some stacks of work out of the way, he straightened himself in his chair. Obviously they were both having a long night.
“Young Miss Ward, I believe you have the wrong person,” he tried to stop her in her track, make her realize he was not this ‘Leo’ she was so desperate to speak with. Leo. The only person he knew that could conceivably be called Leo would be Mister Leonidas Argent, an older boy in his class to be certain. Perhaps they were studying together? But with the anger and the pain in her voice, it was clear to the Augment that she wanted more than just to study. She wanted to get off the ‘god forsaken ship’. That would be the Enterprise, to be certain. What happened to make her want to leave so badly?
“Are you quite alright?” He asked the crying brunette girl, some paternal type instinct wanting to grab her off that ship this instant, away from whomever had been hurting her. But his transwarp beaming device was not ready for use yet, and even then, he might get one or two decent uses out of it before it burned up. It played too great a role in Khan’s schemes to be used frivolously. “You can talk to me, I am here,” he tried to encourage her to open up, to calm down. Khan couldn’t stand to see anyone crying, especially young girls. “Please, tell me what happened. You have teacher-student confidentiality,” he encouraged, not knowing if that was truly a trust respected in Starfleet or not.
Kyler have never hated the stars so much, but right now she wanted to go 'home' back to Leonidas. He had alway encouraged her to follow her dreams, he would have supported her not yelled about how 'it took our mother away' What did she know? She didn't know the woman! Kyler barely remembered what she looked like on her own without pictures. And the sound of her voice had long since faded, she couldn't even remember her smell except for a little bit sweet and a little bit burnt. It was an odd combination but that was all she knew. She had next to nothing of her mother in her mind and her dad was trying to take away the one thing she had. Engineering. It wasn't that bad, she wouldn't die, the again if she did at least then maybe she'd be with her mom. That was a horrible thought and she knew it, but damn it, she wanted her mom. She'd barely managed to get through puberty without her. Dad knew next to nothing about 'that time of the month' if it hadn't been for the other woman aboard ship she'd have been completely alone.
Leonidas would be up, though, he was more a night owl like she was so she had no worries of waking him. Even if she did by chance he wouldn't have been mad, he'd have woken up quickly the second he heard her words and realized that she was crying. That's all she wanted was the comfort of his voice, it was the best she could have right now, what she longed for she couldn't have. The familiar earthy scent and the softness that reminded her of home. The Stars had once been home and they could be again she poked but right now she was a hurt little girl who felt like her dad just didn't understand.
When the voice came to her ears she jumped, "Pro... Professor Harrison, I'm sorry." She stammered thoroughly embarrassed that she'd called him especially looking like this. Quickly she wiped the tears from her eyes and face trying to make herself not look so badly. Try as she might though all she wanted to do was cry or scream, maybe even curse a little. She sat there avoiding his eyes, only to steal small short glances from time to time. As she wiped at the tears on her face, part of her hoping he'd listen but another half wished one of them would hang up. She couldn't talk to him about any of this, he had more important things to do than listen to her woes.
Snuffling a little she shook her head in a 'no', "It's nothing..." She said squinting at the time on her PADD, "I woke you didn't I? I'm so sorry." She breathed trying to keep her voice from shaking as she talked. When he told her that she could talk to him she hesitated, she wasn't sure what to say or what she could say but when he promised her teacher-student confidentiality she finally nodded. "Do you remember that paper, we did in class about what jobs we wanted? Dad found mine,he read some of it. Now he's being stubborn about it." Her voice held firm but it still looked as if she could cry again, "He doesn't understand ... he won't listen. He just keeps going on about how it killed mom how she died, that engineering is cursed.. It's not fair! I never got to know her, this is my way of being close to her.. and..." Kyler's voice trailed off, "Miss her... and I .. don't even... know her." Her voice trembled and cracked under the emotion of it all, as the tears started to trickle down her cheeks again.
(( Harrison could always link in Leo if she needs. Just throwing that out there. ))
Grading until all hours was not something the Augment was accustomed to as of yet. Granted, he should have been by now because that was his job within Starfleet – to build things and teach classes. To build warships and weapons. To shape the minds of the future. Marcus really did not think ahead about how that might impact the future of Starfleet, but he was certain the man was probably looking in on the classes he did teach. Not that he knew of it from direct interactions with the Admiral, whom he usually tried to avoid, but hit was a good bet that he was not just letting one of the greatest military leaders of all time loose upon the student populous of Starfleet Academy.
Then again, the Admiral was quite distracted with getting the USS Vengeance up and running. Maybe that was enough of a distraction to not pay that much attention to Khan. Honestly, the Augment was moderately surprised Marcus had not put a stop to the communication between himself and his sister, Kati. Of course, the idiot probably had no idea that Khan knew she was alive and awake. If he knew, then he would have taken greater pains to separate the both of them. As of yet, no such actions had been taken. They could both come and go as they pleased, although the Augments were not stupid. They knew to take precautions when it came to seeing one another. But Khan couldn’t stay away from his sister for extended periods of time, not after all those years.
He didn’t even worry about his hair sticking straight up as he stared into the monitor; in fact, he was actually quite oblivious of it. Khan was not exactly a prideful man, but he was conscious of appearances. “It is of no consequence,” he tried to sound reassuring, shaking the sleep from his voice. Whomever had made her cry would pay. Khan absolutely hated to see children hurt – maybe it was because of how he had grown up, but he hated it. To see her crying like this on his monitor? Khan was not about to just instantly dismiss the student. He wanted to help her, if he could. Of course, he had other things to worry about, like saving his family from the likes of Marcus and his cronies, but if he could spare a moment to help Kyler, then he would.
Khan pursed his lips together to keep from issuing a scoff when she said it was nothing. Clearly, something was bothering her from the way she was crying and wanting to get off the Enterprise. “I did not intend to fall asleep at my desk, so waking me is quite welcome,” Khan stretched a little, his body having contorted strangely to allow him to curl up and go to sleep at his desk in the first place. It was then that he caught a glimpse of his reflection and moved a hand to smooth back his hair into its usual position.
He blinked, recalling the assignment but trying to pull hers from his memory. Right, the dream career assignment. She wanted to be an engineer. Not understanding her father’s issue with engineering, his brow furrowed. Engineering was a noble pursuit and she wanted to follow in his footsteps and go through the Academy. Although, Khan was certain pieces of the Academy were fully corrupt, he was also certain to have been one of the few to know of such corruption. So, then, what was her father’s issue with her wanting to go to the Academy and pursue such a noble cause? Engineering was difficult, something that people dreamed of. Building starships, piecing together alien technology to understand from differing designs …
“How did … I am certain engineering did not kill your mother,” Harrison was brought back to the present conversation as Kyler went on about things he did not understand. Perhaps he should try looking into her past? No, that would by prying. From what he could gather, her mother had been an engineer who died in the line of duty. An honorable death, he was sure. And the child naturally wanted to be close to her mother. But her narrow-minded father was having none of it. So it was he who was making her cry. If Khan came across this man, there would be words. Maybe the Augment was occasionally quick to anger, but there was no excuse for making Kyler so upset.
“And I assume you have told him as much?” Khan furrowed his brow, wanting to offer her a tissue, but unable to do so in person. He was in over his head and he knew it, but he wanted to help her in any way that he could.
No matter how much he said it was fine Kyler hated that she'd woken him up. Of all the people she could have called be accident why couldn't it have been Victoria? Anyone but the man she had a crush on!
Finally, she nodded and accepted that wasn't upset. "I've fallen asleep in here before or at the desk in my room." She told the man trying to relate a little as she adjusted her top. So that it wasn't too revealing after all she was just in her pajamas. She couldn't help but hope it wasn't too obvious as they talked.
"I don't really know how Mom died." Kyler admitted, "Dad never talks about it. I just know that she was an engineer and something happened there. My older brother was with her he died too" there was sadness in her voice that she didn't try to hide. "Tell that to him. He's convinced I'm committing suicide even considering it. I can't convince him..." Her eyes were downcast until she thought of something. "Could you talk to him? Maybe he'd listen to you." It was probably wishful thinking on both. Mr. Harrison had better things to do and it probably wouldn't work at all. It'd probably make it worse, but right now desperate times called for desperate measures.
Sighing she nodded slightly as she wiped the tears from her face. "A few years ago before we came on this five-year mission he locked away all of the pictures I have the Mom. I can't even get them with his override." she said not really thinking about how bad that was to say. "I only have one old picture of them. I'm not even in it just Elijah." Kyler added softly, "I think she was pregnant with me...." The tears brimmed in her eyes again as she said that. She missed her mom too but her dad acted like only he was affected.
History might remember Khan as many different things. But one of the things they should know about him was how compassionate he was – especially when it came to children. Kyler was still but a child herself and he was desperate to help her. Even waking him at this hour from his sleep – when he should be grading – was a welcome thing. So he wanted to repay her. And protect her. But there was only so much he could do from this small office. A functional commander in name only, the office was really quite the small pittance in his opinion.
“Sometimes your mind wants to keep going but your body needs rest,” he nodded towards the girl on the other side of the comm link as she adjusted her top to make sure it was covering what it needed to. Sure, augments were a rather sensual people, but even Khan could accept that she was a schoolgirl who probably had some childish fantasies about him. It was common in schoolgirls with their professors, yes? At least, he had seen it depicted in films before as such. And in books. And he had seen young women throw themselves at him when he was more than some Starfleet commander.
But yes, Khan wanted to help the girl. But how? The site-to-site transwarp beaming device was still in pieces and even then it would only be good for one use. Hmm. There had to be other things he could do. Khan wasn’t exactly the best one of his siblings at … talking. Maybe if he pulled up this Leo person she wanted to speak with? There could be a three-way chat and Khan could casually pull his way out once she had calmed down? Perhaps he could offer such. In a moment.
It seemed she needed to vent, so he let her. His eyes wandered from the screen a few times because he was hacking into Starfleet records on another screen, trying to get a more complete look. Her mother’s service record. Something. Working for Marcus did have a few perks, he supposed. “It looks like the ship was attacked. She died at her post. I am unable to find records regarding your brother, but if he was aboard, I can see how he may have perished as well. Honestly, I am uncertain how anyone made it out relatively unscathed. Was your father injured, or do you know? Perhaps you were too young,” he offered once there was a bit of a break in her rambling.
But then she started saying something else. For Khan to tell him that it wasn’t the fault of the whole field of engineering. While he was a commander and her father was a mere lieutenant, that was not going to … fly. “I very much doubt I can convince him,” Khan shook his head, the sleep still lingering at the corners of his eyes as he tried to blink it away. “First of all, the two of us hardly know one another. And secondly, have you tried talking with him about it?” Of course she had. Why else would she have written that assignment for his class? Why else would she be in tears?
“You have your father’s codes?” He felt himself asking incredulously before realizing that it might sound bad that he had picked up on it. That was certainly something he could use at a later date. Depending on how things went when he enacted his plan to save his siblings. His pondering on the opportunities were dashed as she cried more. Harrison felt his fingers stretch out across the screen, as if trying to wipe them away from afar. “Do you want me to see if I can hack into the system and look for them? Perhaps my security overrides will be of use?” Why was he even offering something like this? Marcus would come down on him SO quickly! But it was worth trying.
Listening to Harrison she nodded slightly, that was true enough. She'd had points like that recently when she'd cried herself to sleep, maybe that was the same thing? She couldn't really be sure, but she didn't say anything.
Not when she was too busy adjusting her top. Kyler didn't really think anything of the fact that he leaned closer as she did so. In her mind, he was probably still trying to shake the sleep from his mind. If she was completely honest with herself, she'd admit that she had a bit of a crush on him. But then what teenager didn't have a crush on at least one of their teachers? It was like a right of passage or something. They knew nothing would come of it but still, they couldn't help but to fantasize about it.
"I don't even remember her. I just have an odd memory of something sweet and kind burnt." She managed a small laugh, "I know it sounds really stupid, but that's what I imagine her smelling like. It's all I have really, other than that picture." She breathed softly. And then somehow by some miracle, Harrison was able to give her more --- far more than she bargained for. She leaned closer to the screen reading his lips as she listened to his words. "Attacked?" She questioned. "I was only three. But Elijah he was with her and..." Kyler's voice broke as she shook her head as Harrison's words sank in. "He.. he lied to me! He said that there was an accident, that she and Elijah died in Engineering... like it was just them." At least that was how she had understood it, it wasn't as if her dad talked about her mom or brother often or at all really.
All her life she had wanted answers, and now that she had them it was a heavy pill to swallow. Kyler's face was a mix of emotion now, sadness and anger. A word that would have warranted a mouthful of soap escaped her lips before she spoke again. "He's so full of shit..." Though that was little better Kyler continued, "He told me Engineering is cursed because mom died there. So by his logic the whole freakin' galaxy is cursed right I mean.. people die all the time!"
Kyler almost didn't hear what Harrison asked her, but she nodded her head slowly. "Yeah... he doesn't know." She told him. When he said that Kyler actually smiled a little as she wiped the tears from her face. "Could you... I mean if it's not too much trouble." Without hesitation she quickly sent over father's access codes. What she didn't know was that the access code she knew also controlled things for him within the ship, opening doors etc. But it was how she logged onto the PADD system and the only code she knew that could access his computer.
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Turn your face towards the sun. Let the shadows fall behind you. Tell a prayer, just carry on And the shadows will never find you. Lost in the rock and roll. Got lost in a promise of a love I never know. Shadows chase me far from home. I remember when my heart was filled with gold. And you know I've been burned, I've been burned, I've been burned.You see me lose control. It's not worth, It's not worth, It's not worth My soul.
MOUNTAIN // 29
I ain't nobody's bitch.
CENTRAL // 27
Welcome to Organic Chemistry. Where questions like "Where do you keep your chloroform?" are no longer suspicious.
CENTRAL // 31
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved except in memory. -- Leonard Nimoy