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Ensign Sariel Rager
20 December 2011 @ 04:27 pm
Christmas gifts for bar patrons ahoy!

Captain Kirk's gift is a pound of good Caribbean coffee. Some things really do work from year to year. It likely beats what usually ends up in ship's stores (or arrives through a replicator, depending on your point of origin) quite handily.

Tanya gets a warm wool scarf, knitted in a shade of sober dark blue. Some places in America get terribly cold during the winter, and though Tanya might not be fighting in one of them at the moment, it's better to be safe than sorry. Or freezing.

Dale Harding's going to have himself a debt-free Christmas, at least in the bar. The next time he's in a position to notice the tab board, he'll discover that anything still outstanding on his tab has zeroed out, and a sum large enough to pay for two or three decent meals has replaced it.

Yrael's gift includes music, unsurprisingly. The recording he receives would be fairly traditional for a classical string quintet, if two of the participating instruments weren't Vulcan lyre and a soprano variety of Andorian flute. There's also a bottle of red wine waiting for him, vintage 2369. No catnip mice this year, apparently.

There's tea with Teller's name on it, literally. Hopefully he doesn't have a problem with ginger, because that's the variety to be found in the tin he's been given. There's also a porcelain mug in that gift box, presumably to drink the tea out of. The image painted on the side is a raven circling a castle's tower, fittingly enough. Neither the raven nor the tower have laser eyes, say sorry.

River will find a tiny lavender seedling in a suitably small copper pot waiting for her. The plant isn't so small that it's in imminent danger of fading away to nothing, but it's clearly still young. Lavandula aliqua est.

Will, possibly surprisingly but possibly not, has a book awaiting him. It's a copy of The Odyssey (no timeline issues here!), though it's in English rather than Greek. Inside the front cover is a message.
I thought you might appreciate this, if you haven't already read it. Happy Christmas, Will. -- Sariel

Leela gets her own tin of tea. Unlike Teller's, hers is black tea flavored with mint. Hopefully Leela doesn't have either an allergy or an issue of the ick! variety there. If she has, Sariel isn't likely to react terribly badly to hearing about it.
Ensign Sariel Rager
Anyone who calls Sariel a minion is sorely mistaken.

About as mistaken as they are if they call her a coward. Shy she may be, quiet and studious and subordinate she may be, but she's got Starfleet training, and she takes it very seriously. Keep an eye out for anomalous readings. Report what needs reporting.

Do the right thing.

Sariel's loyal to her core. But she's no minion. She lives her life by a very different set of rules than the stereotypical tool of someone higher up. She follows, follows orders, follows protocol, but she doesn't do it blindly.

She serves in Starfleet with her whole heart. That's plain enough, if you know her. The military life works for some people and doesn't work for others, and it's right for her.

But Sariel serves in Starfleet with her whole mind, too.

Commander Data (not as she knows him) has shaken her, chilled her, unnerved her. And he said not to tell anyone, ordered her not to tell anyone, made his order plain even if he didn't speak the word.

But Sariel doesn't follow blindly. She's subordinate, and she's shy and she's junior, but she follows with her whole mind.

And she's no coward. Even if what she's about to do scares her.

Do the right thing.

If Commander Data is malfunctioning, she needs to tell someone.

The Commander Data she's just met could be from her own past, her own future, someone else's past or future. The Commander Data she's just met could be her own universe's version, malfunctioning but unaware that he is. If she tells anyone else, the explanation of her suspicions will be a carefully-worded lie at best, a serious incident exposing the existence of Milliways at worst. If she tells anyone else...

But Commander Data knows Milliways. And Commander Data will want to be repaired, if he is malfunctioning.

Won't he?

Report what needs reporting. Do the right thing.

It's a very wary, very cautious Sariel who reaches for her communicator. She's two steps beyond what was the bar door a moment ago and is now her closet. It's here she halts.

Do the right thing.


"Rager to Commander Data."
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Ensign Sariel Rager
She's in a library, ancient and well-kept from creaking floor to vaulted ceiling, ranks of elegant wooden bookcases filled to capacity rising on every side.

She's in a corridor on the Enterprise, familiar and still a little thrilling, deckplating and lighted panels and doors along the walls.

She's standing in the black velvet of deep space, unsupported but holding her position, breathing easily even without an atmosphere, watching the stars spin in close proximity - amber and blazing gold and white like cinders, hot blue and burning red and pale, pale green.

"Sariel, come in out of the rain, Sariel, you're going to get all--"

Smoke. she smells smoke. No iron - no burning cloth - no... worse, but she smells--and the stars aren't doing this, but she smells--


And the sound she hears in the next second, as her vision fades in and the scene changes to a familiar street in Castries all at once, is nothing short of a bucket of water being thrown.

"Amalie," her father yells, "I don't believe it, someone up and set the ground on fire!"

The front walk is swept clean, sun-bleached pale straight to the front door, long grass on either side and the tall, wide-branching mango tree spilling over from the neighbors' yard. She can smell the garden around the far corner, a mixture of cooking herbs, a dozen flowers and the strongest garlic her mother could find. There's a patch of sodden, scorched grass just barely in the house's shadow, thoroughly devoid of anything burning. Her father stands over it with an empty pail raised in one hand, gazing from the charred patch at his feet to the wall just beyond his right shoulder, looking as though he can't decide whether to be triumphant or disturbed about it all.

"They what?" Her mother's yelp echoes from the back of the house's interior, shocked and outraged and faintly disbelieving all at once. A second later she's there in a flurry of footsteps and a swirl of colorful skirts, braided hair swinging, the bucket of water she carries in both arms avoiding spilling over by millimeters. "My God, what were they trying to do, burn us all down? That'd be a *disaster*--you sure you got it all?"

"Mmm-hmm," her father nods, prodding the drenched grass with one toe. No sparks result, and what's left of the smoke is being overridden by the garden's blooming marguerites even before her mother sighs in relief and stamps her own foot firmly in the center of the scorched circle for good measure.

Alyssa's landing on her own feet a second later, soaked to the skin but unharmed and smiling in triumph. Selar's rounding that spreading mango tree, unruffled as ever, regal and entirely whole. Mandy's grinning proudly as she clambers through the backyard hedge; Harding beams as he slips around the other neighbor's avocado tree; Will's plucked a yellow rose from a bush, who knows where, and is offering it to her with a smile. "Ye're always welcome, Sariel," he says. Yrael flops down in the grass, a green-eyed white cat, purring so loudly it's likely Vieux-Fort can hear him. Tanya's wrist-deep in Saint Lucia's soil, planting green onions at the garden's edge, and Valerie's in the spy costume she wore once on Halloween, minus the squirting gun, braiding a mango blossom into her hair.

And Lian's appearing in a shimmer - that's not firelight, it's matter into energy into matter again - and Captain Kirk's returning her salute, and Tyler's turning round and round in place on the lawn, gazing in wonder at anything and everything. Teller's pulling something silver from thin air; when he turns it, it sounds like a key in a lock, and the smile he gives her over a flutter of appearing playing cards is impish and friendly. "I'm not late, am I?" Sonya hurries up the walk, unbound, undamaged, a tricorder still in one hand. "I had to get that report in before I left or I would've looked *horrible!*"

"I win," River says, and leans down without bending her knees. "Everybody does." The tiny sprig of lavender she's inspecting blooms at a kneeling Demeter's touch, and River beams as the goddess gets to her feet.

"Yous alright," Gene Roe says from the mango tree's shade. "I know tha'." The last three words are Creole. He's in a uniform four hundred years older than her own, and when she salutes, he returns it, too.

"I miss you," Sariel says.

"I miss you two," Seymour Krelborn answers, and peers around from behind Gene's shoulder. His glasses nearly fall off, and he catches them clumsily with one hand. The other's holding a yellow flower. Gene's smiling his soft, gentle smile the whole time, holding his rosary carefully at his side.

"I don't know how you got your gift, cherie," says an old, laugh-lined man with her father's twinkling eyes and coal black curls, "but you got it." He stands in the center of it all, a scant few inches taller than Sariel herself. There's a model airplane in one half-raised hand, all green enamel, fine details and tiny moving parts. It stands out against the gold of his wedding band and the denim of his sleeve. she's seen his face before, above an album's paper frame labeled with the year 2215. He shimmers with starlight, just a little.

When Sariel looks up, the stars could almost be smiling back at her.
Ensign Sariel Rager
15 December 2009 @ 01:46 am
Sariel did go directly upstairs after talking to Captain Kirk. Yes, the staircase did wobble a little underfoot and yes, she did have to pause once or twice to muffle a sneeze, but up she went. She'd told a superior officer that she was going, she wouldn't have used the door back to her universe even if it was there and besides, she really did feel horrible.

the first thing she does, once she's closed the door, is reach for the spare quilt folded on the seat of her desk chair. Scottish winters are cold when you're a child of the tropics, doubly so when you've got a fever. Dazedly, she thinks of thanking Bar, or the landlord, or the waitrats... someone, certainly, for that quilt once she isn't ill. That leaves her wondering why her landlord's been in her apartment without telling her first, but then she has to stifle a sneeze, then another, and things start to get rather confused.

She's in Atlanta.

She's in deep space.

she's in Castries.

she's in Milliways.


In short order or at least, short order for the congested and slightly dizzy, she's curled up on the bed. She's fully clothed and be-quilted besides, muffling the more-than-occasional sniffle and shivering despite the layers of warm fabric covering her. She's in Atlanta-Scotland-Saint Lucia-Milliways-crew quarters, and her name is Sariel-Julie-Winnie-Vanessa. Her head throbs.

The comforter she's wrapped in is patterned with tiny multicolored stars.

the one beneath her shows a tracery of leafy vines.

Her head spins.
Current Location: upstairs, room 1701D
Current Mood: sicksick
Ensign Sariel Rager
27 August 2009 @ 06:42 am
The details of what they're doing make Sariel's head ache. It's not that she hasn't got an understanding of the hard sciences -- she has to, her chosen profession being what it is, but hers is a world of angles and vectors, axes and degrees and intersecting planes. It's Sonya who's got the marginal interest in archeology, and Selar and Alyssa are the ones most likely to read hidden messages in DNA, mathematically represented or otherwise. Sariel could likely handle an encrypted message in a star chart if one appeared, but that's an almost entirely different situation from the one they're facing. Almost. And besides, all other knowledgeable sources notwithstanding, the mystery they've been set is Captain Picard's puzzle if it's anyone's.

Sariel doesn't ask about the minutia that have them leaping across distances on the heels of the literal unknown. For one, it's not her business; leave that to the senior officers. For a second, she already knows all she cares to. And for another--well. She's sure she wouldn't understand half of the answers she got. Again, that's Selar's line of work. She has enough to think about drawing near-invisible shipwide lines in the black as is, never mind she's not the one actively tracing them half the time. Hers is a world of speed and distance and named places - Ruah IV, Indri VIII, Loren III and by the time they break their third orbit, it almost feels like they're the pursued rather than the pursuing.

And in the end, that's very nearly what they are. Vilmor II makes a reality out of that feeling, if the world before it didn't.

Sariel learns just enough about what happens on the final found planet's surface; just enough - patterns and molecules and long-forgotten distant voices in projection - to give those haste-scorched trails left in the void a meaning. At least for her. Sariel doesn't know much about the particular type of molecular analysis the captain's been dealing with, never mind the sheer amount of pure archeology that's gone into the discovery they've made.

But origin myths and reasons and benevolent powers with a hand in the evolution of worlds... those she's familiar with. At least, familiar enough to leave her contented and then some at day's end. Common ground of the sort they've uncovered might not appeal to most when enemies are involved, but honestly?

Sariel doesn't mind.

Somebody say aleluia, aleluia.

Or maybe just merci.
Current Mood: contentcontent
Ensign Sariel Rager
27 August 2009 @ 06:39 am
Sariel doesn't know Nella Daren as anyone but a superior officer.

The older woman isn't Nella to her, not even mentally. To her, she's Commander Daren,head of stellar sciences, a decade or more Sariel's senior and wearing competence and experience like a second skin. Stellar sciences isn't Sariel's department, never mind how useful their information often proves at the helm; she doesn't interact with Commander Daren beyond quiet nods in the corridors, exchanged greetings in the turbolifts. All the same, Sariel can't help respecting the other woman.

She works out, somewhere around their initial orbit of Bersallis III, that it's the scientist's particular mix of professionalism and offbeat grace that's won her over so quickly. That, and the close-held flutter of curiosity that she'll never indulge - certainly not with someone ranked so far above her - to know if speaking Kweyol in front of Daren won't get her an answer back in Quebecois. Sariel likes what she knows of Nella Daren, vastly different though their personalities are.

And then Bersallis III hits them from all sides, rains fire and risks lives,

two eyes on the sky

and suddenly, stellar sciences is looming large where it didn't hours before. Daren's got her work cut out for her, cut from cloth that scorches,

one eye on the sky

and Sariel can't do a thing to help. Steady hands or no, it's not pilots they need in this particular situation. So she waits.

So does everyone else.

Sariel's not sure which rattles her more; when she believes Commander Daren has died in the line of duty, or when she finds out she's wrong. The first is understandable, training or no training, and the second is a pleasant shock to be sure, but the fact remains that both realities shake Sariel more than a little. She knows plenty about fighting and bleeding and dying, in the line of duty or otherwise, knows people who've done all three,

Lieutenant Hagler

but a near-death experience, anyone's near-death experience, is bound to get her thinking about the subject. and a few other subjects besides. Would she be that brave? Will she, if the need arises?

And was she?

She finds herself hoping, praying, not for anything even close to the first time, that the answer is yes to all three questions.

As for the other reality, the true reality--well. Sariel knows about coming back from the brink, too.

Sariel keeps the fine thread of connection she feels to Nella Daren to herself, even before the other woman transfers away. Their situations were, are, vastly different, but all the same: Daren's just the tiniest bit like her. And between the similarity, the lingering respect for the commander that doesn't fade with time, and Daren's visible dedication to her work...

Other people might forget Nella Daren.

Sariel doesn't.
Ensign Sariel Rager
23 May 2009 @ 04:09 pm
Most nights are short.

Sariel dreams of white sand.

But some nights are long.

Sariel dreams of shouting, of torn leaves and a rapid-fire rattle she can't name.

Most days are peaceful.

Sariel dreams of bonfires built on foundations of driftwood, all clean warmth and wood smoke, lapping waves and starlight and talking-singing-laughing in rough circles. Sariel dreams of the nonexistent smell of iron, pleasantly conspicuous by it's absence.

Then again, some days are interrupted by surprises.

Sariel dreams of tangled brown hair, star charts and black-feathered wings in the twilight.

Some weeks are very, very good.

Sariel dreams of starfields, of steel grey and clean lines and temple doorways blossoming shimmering blue in the black. Sometimes there's a singing congregation on the other side. Sometimes there's an old, old preacher rumbling "aleluia, aleluia, through on dry land," in an accent that almost sounds like home. Once there's a row of candles flaring from orange to lamplit white, and Sariel counts four separate flames lighting up the void in streamers just before the door closes and the image fades.

There are no shadows, in that dream.

but there are moments that are less so.

Sariel dreams of feline eyes in a humanoid face. Once the eyes are glass green. Once they're gold. Once they're the shape and color of hydrogen molecules, drawn in running paint.

Sometimes there are bad patches; that's going to happen regardless of your situation.

Sariel dreams of whistling in her ears, of steel on steel ringing just above her head, and of ships the size of small towns turning delicate maneuvers at the touch of a button. She feels every move those ships make.

And some days, things work out brilliantly.

Sariel dreams of dancing in the streets she knows, of lanes and turns and shortcuts she could tread with both eyes closed. sometimes she's in full costume, mud-spattered and beaming; sometimes she's in coral pink straight down to her shoes; sometimes there are yellow flowers circling her head like a wreath. Or a halo. Sometimes she's in Derek Walcott Square.

Time can pass in a handclap. Time can also be marvelous when it crawls.

Sariel dreams that her surroundings change in the blink of an eye. Once in a while, the road beneath her becomes a marshy thicket, all banners of moss and live oaks at the edges. Once in a while, she goes from dancing calypso to a two-step without even thinking, swishing barefoot through the water and the mud and the wild, warm air. She's never alone, then.

On the other hand, time can be nothing short of horrible when it's moving slow.

Sariel dreams of electricity arcing hot and fierce, of benevolent trees walking with purpose, of turquoise water and braided hair and blood in the snow. Sariel dreams of cold hands, blue hands, blue lips and blue faces, of clickclick clickclickclick clickclickclick variations in the dark, of engineers-soldiers-outlaws-friends who sound like rescue when they speak.

There are twenty-four hours in a ship's day. That's roughly one watch for every eight hours, not including switched shifts, unexpected situations and days off.

Sariel dreams that the world around her changes from second to second. Images move in stutters an flashes; once she's in a shuttlecraft. Flicker. Once she's in a classroom. Flicker. Once she's in a bustling market in Accra-a half-demolished building in Shakespeare's London-a cathedral in the heart of New York. Flicker, flicker, flicker. Sariel dreams of being seven years old and talking to a tiny boy who says he's awake. Sariel dreams of a magic pub in her house's upstairs corridor. Sariel dreams that her whole family went away.

Time passes.

And Sariel dreams that they came back again.

Sariel's dreams are hazily remembered, when she wakes.
Ensign Sariel Rager
18 May 2009 @ 03:24 am
The Enterprise leaves Deep space Nine a week after she arrives, with all crew accounted for and young Klingon passengers in crowds besides. Commander Data has a story to tell at mission's end, Lieutenant Worf doesn't, and Sariel's too junior to hear the details of either regardless of what's said. That doesn't bother her. It's none of her business what her superiors do in their off hours and anyhow, she has her own memories from their time at the edge of the world. As for those memories -- she's keeping them quiet, holding them close, treating a pair of giggly engineers and a red-headed outlaw just the same inside her head. Treasuring them.

They make the Remmler Array and Arkaria Base in good time. They've been preparing for the impending baryon sweep for half the journey, maybe more, and they're as ready as they can be. Sariel's as glad as the next junior officer that only the senior staff have a reception to attend when they arrive; those sorts of things are awkward when you're shy and from what she's heard Em Tyler say, commander Hutchinson has all of Sonya's talkative nature and none of her cheerful adaptability. She goes her own way once she's planetside, losing herself in the dispersing crowd as officers and civilians alike scatter to Arkaria's far corners.

Arkaria proper has forests, paths and trails marked by the footfalls of a hundred hundred horses and riders, but it's a lake beach rather than a woodland clearing that Sariel aims for. She's not alone; tourists and locals trickle in, trickle out, vanish and linger, and she's not terribly surprised when midway through the afternoon a friend settles cross-legged in the sand beside her. It's Selar.

The lake's water is clean, green-tinged and saltless and too cold for a tropical daughter to swim in. The sand is the brown of the inland, shaded with the colors of the surrounding soil. Selar is her matter-of-fact self, stark facts and plain speech; she's cool, frank, honest to a fault. Sariel doesn't mind - just the opposite, really. Selar's many things, but she's not loud, and her usual blunt truthfulness extends to calling Sariel friend. That's alright, and then some. It's mutual.

Green. The bindings are copper.

Of course, neither woman gets the details of what happened at the reception until later. Stories circulate back in fits and fragments; Sonya calls Em, who's worried about Geordi; she immediately calls Selar, and never mind that the Vulcan doctor's nowhere near Arkaria base itself and can't help. Sariel's right there when the lieutenant's communicator chimes, and--well. She hears.

In the end, it's disaster averted. Narrowly averted, but averted nonetheless. The fine details of the situation don't ever become entirely clear; an infiltration, a hostage situation - Sariel shudders at the phrase - and something about... Captain Picard, a barber and a saddle? Sariel, frankly, isn't in a hurry to ask what any of that last actually means.

The facts are plain as they break orbit. The captain is safe. Commander La Forge is fine. The rest of the senior staff are all accounted for.

Commander Hutchinson is not fine. Commander Hutchinson was dead on the floor.

Sariel didn't know him. That doesn't mean she doesn't still feel a twinge of guilt for disliking the idea of the man. She's not sure what she thinks of Arkaria in the end, pleasant afternoon by the lake aside. Part of her is, and she admits this freely to herself, rather glad to see the back of the place when the Enterprise leaves.
Ensign Sariel Rager
26 April 2009 @ 05:46 pm
the door opens on a corridor not entirely unlike those on the Enterprise; comm panels on the walls, deckplates underfoot, airlocks opening and closing with audible hisses in the middle distance. Despite all that, things look just a little more... civilian here. Not everyone passing by is in the same uniform, or in uniform at all, for one. Far from it.

Sariel waits until the corridor's as close to clear as it's likely to get before ducking through, beckoning Will after as soon as her feet hit the station's floor. She still looks a little nervous, but there's a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth all the same. "Welcome to Deep Space 9," she says as the door closes behind them.
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Ensign Sariel Rager
18 April 2009 @ 05:28 am
This... is completely unsurprising, actually.

Your result for The Sorting Hat Test...


You scored 4% Slytherin, 28% Ravenclaw, 36% Gryffindor, and 56% Hufflepuff!

You might belong in

Where they are just and loyal

These patient Hufflepuffs are true

And unafraid of toil.

Hufflepuffs are known for their loyal, hard-working, and humble demeanors.

Take The Sorting Hat Test
at HelloQuizzy

This gives credence to that fic full of might-have-beens, I think. :)