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Age 12: Pacaid

Posted on Mon Sep 14th, 2020 @ 12:40am by Lieutenant Phelan

Mission: S02E01 "Cold Reception"
Location: Group Home, Vermont, Earth
Timeline: 18 Years Ago - After Group Home

Because the floor was hard and Indral complained of bruising, they moved the mattresses to the floor. Phelan’s larger bulk spread diagonally across the beds with Indral on the left and Endrys on the right, though both of them had a hand threaded through his fur. Not that he minded. The comfort of their proximity helped him relax in a way that he hadn’t been able to in a very long time and he knew, though he wasn’t quite sure how he knew, that they drew comfort from his presence as well.

Pacaid.Just the sound of the word conjured up memories of a time nearly forgotten. He held his guard, expecting them to take away anything that brought pleasure or peace, and when they did not, he began to take risks. Small ones at first. Attempted conversations under the shade of old-growth trees that improved over time, as his friends, his Pacaid, began to learn to speak as he did, through the graceful movement of his hands.

They took to carrying a set of clothes with them, pieces tucked into their backpacks so that he could change though it didn’t happen often. Choice had not been permitted in that place, among those people. It would not be taken from him again. Bold words though and he recognized that they would be hard to enforce. Still, he was growing, filling out, getting bigger and stronger. The time would come when he could fight for the right to choose. Was already choosing.

Time passed and the trauma he’d suffered began to recede from the forefront of his mind. At first, such respite was measured in minutes but later, in hours and finally in days. He found that in the space created, there was room for new ideas.

On this particular day, they sat under the interlaced boughs of close-set trees; Phelan, bowing to the necessity of hands at last, sat with his back against the tree and a PADD propped up on his thigh and held in place by one hand. He read all the time now. At the moment, he and his friends, his Pacaid were reading a book on Vulcan history and the rise of Surak and his teachings; the instructor had organized a debate and put them in the ‘pro’ position.

“I don’t think,” Endrys said, his statement punctuated by a theatrical sigh, “that I will ever understand the Vulcans.” He turned toward Indral who was half-asleep, with one hand folded behind his head and the other vainly attempting to keep his PADD upright. “It's a bit like cutting off an appendage, isn’t it? Giving up access to the wealth of experience that comes with emotions.”

~I could see,~ Phelan signed, frowning over a particularly difficult passage, ~how there might be benefits but I don’t think it's a path I could walk.~ His head came up as the breeze brought with it an unwelcome scent; he growled, a low rumble that was not nearly so impressive in this form.

Endrys leaned over and tapped Phelan on the chest. “Stop that,” he said. “He’ll be leaving by the end of the week. And Indral is safe, aren’t you Indral?” Endrys turned toward the youngest of the group and, seeing that the individual in question was now soundly asleep, tapped him on the chest as well. “Wake up and be reassuring.”

Indral woke up at once, pulling himself up onto his elbows as he turned toward Phelan. Low rumbling and fixed stare could only mean that Issak was in the area. He sighed and dropped back down. “It's alright, Phe. He’s got a family coming for him and you know how it goes. No one is as perfect as a kid about to get adopted.” HIs expression turned sour as recent encounters returned to his mind. “And he won’t try anything with you around. Remember last time?”

~Yes,~ Phelan answered in sign punctuated by a smug nod of the head. The breeze shifted, carrying the scent farther away, and a part of him wanted to follow, to track. Always wanted that. He forced himself to return to the conversation instead. ~I remember. Issak thought that bigger means badder.~

“Not any longer,” murmured Endrys and the three shared a laugh though Phelan’s was more of a slightly feral grin than an actual laugh. Mesni vocal cords were not intended for human speech. There was a long, scientific reason behind it but the truth was, he couldn’t. Not that it seemed to bother Phelan all that much. “Now let’s get back to this. The blasted debate is coming up and I really have to figure out the … logic … behind this whole logic thing.”

In the hierarchy of Pacaid, there was one who led and for them, that was Endrys. And so, when he told them to return to the task at hand, they listened and bent to the task.

A Post by:

Lieutenant Phelan
Chief of Security
USS Crazy Horse


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