Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:23 pm

"You make it look so easy," she grumbled as her hands gripped the bars as tightly as they could, sweat already dripping into her eyes. The antigrav unit at her waist was taking most of the pressure, but the medics still expected Kesh to do more of the work than she felt capable.
Her young face focused on Henry. "Look at you," she grunted as she pushed herself, "...standing there," her hands inched forward along the bars, "showing off..." she breathed deeply, steeled herself and moved her feet forward a fraction, "your perfect legs!"

Henry looked down and pinched the fabric of his loose training shorts, lifting them to partially expose his well-toned quads. The motion gave the distinct impression of a curtsy.
"I know, right?" he floated. "Didn't start out that way; journey of a thousand miles and all that. C'mon, you're doing great."

She laughed easily. "Liar." She smiled at him. "Easy for you to say," she griped, a moment later, "You're not the one re-learning how to... walk!" Her last word was given more as an order to herself than anything. Her foot moved forward.

Henry returned the smile before observing Kesh's efforts. Her legs seemed far too weak, especially compared to Tony's modified hologram. Adult human leg muscles developed over two decades of adolescence, and Kesh was starting nearly from scratch. A long, painful road lay ahead for her.
"There's one," he said, smiling back up at her. "These twigs'll know who's boss soon enough." Whatever it took, he had no doubt she'd get through it. Hell, she'd survived being a brain-in-a-box; a few weeks of physio wasn't going to stop her.

"Can't believe they once kicked you in the face," she observed through gritted teeth, her body sagging back into the anti grav units as her strength gave out.

Henry raised a questioning brow.
"What? No, not these legs," he recalled. "Nah, the one that kicked me was a nice shapely one, leading all the way up to- well, you get the picture."

Kesh paused with her hands resting on the parallel bars and watched him, a flicker of amusement in her eyes. She hovered with her feet just above the ground as she gathered her meagre strength. "You know, I wouldn't have let you away with that before..."

Henry folded his arms, entertained. "Well yeah; I'm gonna take advantage of this situation. I mean, what are you gonna do, kick me?"

Kesh laughed aloud, threw him a determined look, and pulled herself back into a stand. "Maybe... if I can get over there..."

---

Transcript excerpt 397-36-B39

Subject 397-36: I was so full of anger before. It coloured everything I did.

Interviewer: Why do you think that was?

Subject 397-36: Fear... I lost my parents when I was young, my sister died at the Academy... I never had a proper Imzadi experience when I was a teenager, no-one to bond with... so my early dating experiences were a mess, my mind reaching out at the slightest show of intimacy... It was, um... embarrassing and heart-breaking and scary.
I became afraid of showing weakness. I was obsessed with appearing strong, and confident, and untouchable... I wanted to be alone, even when someone wanted to be close. I've pushed a lot of people away because I was afraid I'd slip up and they'd see how scared I was... Later on, I found it impossible to admit that I liked someone, that I wanted a friendship, or a relationship, or just... anything, really.

I fought with people I admired because it was the only way I felt comfortable interacting with them... I sparred with men I was attracted to, because it was the safest way of getting the attention I craved... I didn't know how to flirt without a weapon in my hand... I got very, very good at hand-to-hand combat, I can tell you.

Interviewer: And if someone came to you for help?

Subject 397-36: I wasn't the sensitive type, and helping is only effective if you can admit that you have flaws, too; shared worries... I was never very good at that. I would offer practical solutions when my friends just wanted to know they weren't alone, or I'd be critical... I probably made them feel worse.

---

The running track wasn't huge. It could best be described as utilitarian at best, and slap dash at worst, which was ironic since it was a holodeck programme. It could have been programmed to be much more pleasant, Kesh felt.

Nonetheless, the sparse vegetation and flat surface made Tony easier to spot.
She warmed up while he completed his latest lap, her limbs bare, her physical activity gear moving and conforming to her body's stretches.
"Mind if I join you?" she asked as he neared, speeding up and matching his pace after a few moments.
He slowed down and greeted her with a grin “Think you can keep up?”
"With you? No problem," she teased, finding her stride. "I eh," she began, settling her breathing into a steady rhythm, "So... How ya been, Tony?" She looked at him briefly, catching a gentle wave of rising emotion. Something was on his mind.

Tony glanced at her before returning his attention back to the track “You know me. I keep going”
"You know, I've been dead for about two years now, " she replied, conversationally, "... 'You know me'" isn't going to cut it,” she replied, pressing on, “Tell me what you've been up to? No one is giving me any information on what I missed... "
Tony hastened his pace but Kesh followed soon after, matching his speed once more. “I left Starfleet”
"Oh- wh- really? I pegged you as a lifer... Why'd you leave?"

“I didn’t have the stomach for it anymore” he said angrily as he kept running, the sweat was stinging his eyes and his leg was hurting but it made him forget. Normally. Not today.
“I lost too much.”

Kesh recovered her initial surprise, focussing as Tony's feelings radiated off him in waves. "Did they decommission the Bremen or something...?" Tony had loved that ship. She remembered streaking away from the Bremen as fast as her Defiant would allow as it fired on them. It was one of her final memories.

“The Bremen is fine… well fine enough all things considered. It’s…..okay shut up, I’m not the one in recovery here,” he said as he slowed down to a stop and placed his hands on his legs, taking deep breaths.
Kesh turned and jogged on the spot. "Fine fine..." she decided, wondering at his tone. "So, what are you doing with yourself now, if you're not knee deep in Starfleet-issue plasma conduits?", she persisted.

He looked up at her “Bringing you back to life”
"Haven't lost your sense of humour, I see," she smiled, or your looks. "But... before this, after this," she pressed, sensing he was evading the question.
Tony smiled and raised himself up “You are looking at the Chief Greaser of the Majel, a class 8 cargo carrier. Sometimes we have internal heating.”
"I may have been born yesterday, but that doesn't mean I'll believe anything you say, you know." She turned, gave him a wink and resumed jogging slowly.
Tony shook his head incredulously and sighed before taking off after her, enjoying the rear view for a minute “I went AWOL”

She turned, skipping backwards as she ran along in front of him. "You left the Bremen, and have Starfleet after your guts... all so you could polish the rust on a Class Eight cargo mule?" she laughed and threw him a conspiratorial smile as she continued to run backwards, "was there a woman involved?" she teased, warming to the subject, "Some... pretty little grease monkey siren? Don't tell me Taemin is complicit in this somehow... Oh Rixx," she added, misreading the expression on his face, and the guilt she sensed, "did you run off with her?!"

Tony shook his head and took up position beside her again “No, there’s no woman. Not anymore."
"Don't make me tie you to a chair and force the information out of you, Tony. Cause I could, you know," she meant it jokingly, of course, but that didn't make her words any less true.
"It wasn't Taemin….” that’s another story, for another time.
"At least that's something, I guess..." she chuckled, pondered her next thought, and ploughed on, "I don't mind telling you... and this stays between you, me, and that... dead tree there," she indicated a half rotted shrub on the edge of the track as she righted herself, "the idea of you and her always freaked me out, you know? It's like... what's the appeal of a cheap imitation, you know? Especially after... everything that happened," she smiled nervously at him a moment later.

It seemed to Tony like he was destined to have this conversation with Kesh over and over and over until the end of time and he was the only one who realized.
“We never even held hands you…..” he forced himself to stop again and take a deep breath “I am sorry I broke your trust, that I made you feel like I picked her over you, my friend."
"Your timing was pretty lousy, you know... "
"But I won’t apologise for trying to help her, rather than condemn her... because she was you. And I couldn’t see her hurt.”

His sincerity was clear. "I see..." she said, quitting her incessant jogging. "Well, as long as you're ok with me continuing to hate her for kidnapping me, drugging me, impersonating and imprisoning me..." her dark eyes held his firmly, "then let's call that water under the bridge, hm?" She sensed his relief. "And I'm, em, I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have walked away from that fight. Maybe we'd have managed to make up before... before that console exploded..." she scuffed the gravel strewn track with her running boots. "I always intended to try talking to you again. I didn't want to lose your friendship."

Tony smiled and nodded then reached out for her hand but thought better of it and cleared his throat. “Water under the bri-”
Abruptly, she interrupted his reply with an enthusiastic embrace, her arms flung around his neck as she pulled him into a warm hug.

"Good," she said, speaking into his shoulder and squeezing him tightly.

For the first time since losing his daughter he truly cried again.

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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Gunther Vermeulen » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:17 pm

Wow, that was good!
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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:18 pm

The blow hit her hard, sending her reeling to the floor. Pain, she had discovered, felt different in this new body; sharper, more immediate. It took over her entire world. Before her death, this kind of a fight would barely have phased her, she knew, but now...

...Now it was all more acute. Maybe, she concluded, as she slowly picked herself up and got back to her tired feet, she'd get used to it. Her body was new, every single experience was going to feel different, she'd just have to learn to handle it.

She looked over at Henry, and put her guard up again. "I'm OK," she panted, her eyes examining his relaxed stance.
Or maybe, she wondered, maybe she didn't have the same emotional connection with pain that she used to. Maybe, she no longer felt the need to punish herself so much. Maybe she didn't possess the same obsession with controlling her impulses... Maybe... "Let's try that again?"

Henry immediately seemed reluctant. That jab had been meant only to test her guard, but it had sent her sprawling. He knew right away what his error had been.
Kesh had made incredible progress up to that point. Her body was healthy, and her fitness was coming along nicely, but these were new muscles, and new reflexes. It wasn't simply a matter of her cognitive memory telling her body what to do.
"I think maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves," he offered, his hands on his hips.

"No, no," she said, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, "it's ok. She planted her feet, and gave him a confident nod. "No one ever learned anything by playing it safe. Come at me, Henry." Her eyes shone.

"No one ever learned anything by being overwhelmed, either," he said. "We've skipped a step. You may remember the movements and the techniques, but your body doesn't. Muscle memory, twitch, reflex; we need to start there."

She lowered her hands, letting them hang by her sides. "Ok, hotshot, what do you suggest?" It felt weird hearing wisdom from Henry Sumner. Or maybe it was just weird accepting it?
Before, their friendship had been confusing at best, contentious at worst. Now, she found herself wondering if most of that had been her fault.

"Reps," Henry said, practically beaming. "I'm gonna get some bags set up, and we're gonna drill the motions into your meaty bits. We'll see where you're at in a week or so, and figure out whether you're ready to spar. Alright?"

"Okay..." she said meekly.
Crestfallen, she nonetheless did her best to marshal her rising disappointment. "I just kinda hoped I'd be further along than this by now."

She remembered how evenly matched they had been in the past, how determined she had once been to show no weakness, to best him whenever possible. She remembered the dirty tricks that now seemed so unnecessary, and the white hot fury they had managed to fan in each other. All that seemed to have disappeared, and in a way, she realised, she missed it. She missed the physical contact, the intensity.

Henry gave her a sympathetic smile and nod.
"I know," he said, unstrapping his gloves. "But you spent years training your old body to get where it was, and you've had this one all of, what, six weeks? You're making extraordinary, literally unprecedented progress. Be patient with yourself, ok? You'll get there."
"OK..."
She pulled off her own gloves, threw them to the side of the room, and pulled her hair out of its fastener. It fell in dishevelled curls around her face and shoulders. "But bags aren't as much fun to beat up, you know." She padded over to his side, gave him a trusting smile and lined herself up with the bag now suspended from a hook in the roof.

"You'll be back to kicking my ass soon enough," he said as he moved to brace the bag. "Trying to, anyway." He offered a taunting grin.

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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Einar S » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:45 pm

haha yes :) she will
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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:34 am

Transcript excerpt 397-36-B39

Interviewer: Dr. Kymar has reported than your motivation has decreased over the past week.

Subject 397-36: Oh? Nice to know he's been keeping tabs, at least.

Interviewer: You find that surprising?

Subject 397-36: Let's just say that, of all the dinners I've shared with him, Tony and Henry... he only made it to the first one.

Interviewer: You find that surprising?

Subject 397-36: I find it de-motivational.

Interviewer: Facetiousness is not helpful, Ms. Suder.

Subject 397-36: Yea, well, it feels good, and lately, little else around here does.

---

Henry checked the chronometer on the training room wall.

She was late, and not for the first time. He wasn't overly surprised as her enthusiasm had been waning the past few days.

"Computer, where is Kesh Suder?"
"Kesh Suder is in the conference room."

He made his way through the sterilized white hallways of the Selma II facility.

A few minutes later, he'd made it across the base and found her, staring silently and still at the conference room's faux window, her back tense and straight, her arms folded out of sight. The window showed stars streaking by at a leisurely pace, a facsimile of a starship viewscreen at warp.

Behind her, the conference table and chairs remained empty and undisturbed, save for one central seat, that had been turned towards the window; a cheap imitation of a Captain's Chair.

She didn't move as he stepped into the room.
Henry didn't say anything to start, simply taking a seat in one of the chairs set along the sleek table. He had tried on several occasions to imagine what it would be like to come back to life in an unfamiliar body and an unfamiliar place. He was never able to get much farther than the notion that it would be terrifying and bewildering. Indeed, her early progress and attitude had been a surprise. This lonely gazing into space was more in line with his expectations.

"This is as close as I'm gonna get to a bridge again, isn't it?" she said after a lengthy silence. She continued to stare at the fake starscape.

Henry gave a slight shrug, though Kesh couldn't see it.
"I doubt it," he answered. "Kesh Suder is a woman who won't be denied."

"I used to be, but now..." she turned and he saw her eyes were red, her expression wan. "Now, what am I Henry? ...I thought I knew, I thought I'd find my way back, I thought this was just all going to sort itself out, but” she looked at him helplessly, “...I'm... so much weaker now... I'm not... I'm not me anymore!"

He gave her an empathetic look. Even if he couldn't imagine coming back from the dead, he knew well what it was like to not know himself.
"You're still you. You'll always be you," he explained. "You've just changed."

"I died, Henry!”, she all but sobbed, desperation lacing every word, “I died on my own bridge!" She looked at him with helplessness in her black eyes, "I... died, and I remember... every... last... second. Every breath, every thought, I recall your worry, the moment Doctor Tomesu knew he couldn't save me... I remember calling out to everyone in those final... moments, Rixx, Henry... it keeps rattling around in my head day and night and I can't get it to stop!"

She covered the few feet between them. Her expression was ragged, her eyes raw, "And now I'm trapped in this... imitation... that Dremel and Tony are so proud of, and nothing feels the same!" She tugged at the front of her tunic, "nothing feels like it should! I'm terrified I'll never feel right."

Henry didn't respond immediately. What could he say? 'Get over it?' Kesh had been through something no other Human or Betazoid had experienced. There was no fair advice to give, and so he was left with unfair advice.

"That's shitty," he began. "That's a shitty thing to experience, and it's a shitty state to be in, but you're in it." Henry rose and mirrored Kesh's stance, staring hard into familiar-yet-unfamiliar eyes.
"When you're in the shit, you put your head down and churn through it," he finished.
"I don't think I can... I'm... I'm not the formidable Kesh Suder anymore, Henry... And no amount of training will change that fact." She stepped closer to him.
"Do I seem the same to you?" she asked, desperately, "Do I sound the same, even...? I know I don't act the same..." she took his hand and rested it on her body, over her heart, covering the place where that fatal console blast had ripped away half her chest, the wound she could recall every agonising moment of, "...do I even feel the same?" She stared at him despairingly, every cell in her new body screaming for him to comfort her.

Henry frowned as he felt Kesh's new heart pounding in her chest. The rhythm was a familiar one, filled with rage and fiery id, and he couldn't help feeling guilty. He'd been telling her it would take some time to regain some of what she'd lost, but perhaps it would have been better if he'd told her not to expect any of it to come back; that had always been a risk, after all.
"No, you don't," he admitted, prying his hand from her grasp. "You will never be what you were before. So what? What's gone is gone.”

Kesh stared at him, shaken, suddenly silent, and overwhelmed. Her face contorted as she absorbed what he'd said. His words, one by one, hit her like a phaser blast, leaving her head ringing and her mind numb. What's gone is gone? Easy for him to say, he'd had years to mourn and recover. She hadn't.

“What's important is what you do with your life... now...," he trailed off, furrowing his brow. He seemed to check out for a moment, lost in thought, before returning his gaze to her. "Maybe you're not as special a case as I thought you were," he mused.
Henry stepped over to and accessed the wall console near the door. It was hard to see exactly what he was doing, but he brought up what appeared to be some sort of list. He scrolled through it for a moment before finding whatever he was looking for.

"The Federation has lots of people who have died, only to exist again. They're called Trills, and you now have an appointment to speak with a joined one on Monday," he explained. "To be perfectly honest, I feel a bit dumb for not thinking of it sooner."

Suder's tired eyes widened as she considered his proposal. She sniffed into the silence, wiping the tears off her pale cheeks. “That's... yea...” she leant back against a table. “That's brilliant, Henry...” She stared at him in surprise.

He turned back and gave her a grin. "In the meantime, I propose we get shitfaced."
“Wait...” she rubbed her eyes and threw him a lop-sided half smile. “...You have booze..?”

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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Einar S » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:32 pm

very nice you two :) I enjoyed that very much
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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:10 pm

"I have no idea," she said, accepting the bottle, "what kind of drunk I'm gonna get, you know. New body, new rules." She poured a large measure from the proffered bottle, took a deep swig from her glass, and swallowed. "Rixx, that's good stuff." She passed it back to Henry and leaned lazily against the wall of his small quarters. "Don't tell the doctor you got me pissed, all right?"

Henry took the bottle, eyeing Kesh curiously as he poured some of the Aldebaran whiskey into his own glass. He left the bottle for her and sat on his narrow bed, taking a sip and staring blankly at the far wall.
"Shit's crazy," he said after a moment.

She watched him in silence as he carefully poured his drink, regretting her initial enthusiastic swig.
"Sorry, "she said softly, "it's been years since I had a drink, technically..." she grabbed a glass and moved leisurely to sit at his side, the bottle propped between them on the thin mattress.
She joined him in his examination of the wall, leaning against him gently.

"I'm sorry for my outburst in the conference room." She ran her finger thoughtfully along the rim of her empty glass, "it's just... at the beginning, my memory was patchy, foggy, like everything was a dream... But it's returning more all the time. I was spared that... particular... memory til last night." She looked at him, her face drawn and tense.
He gave his head a gentle shake, looking down at his glass.
"No need to apologize," he assured. "I can't know what this is like for you, but I can imagine it fucks with you pretty good." He took the bottle and poured a couple fingers into Kesh's glass. "Do you wanna talk about it, or be distracted from it?"

"I dunno... I have a guy for that already," she admitted, raising her glass to her lips, "maybe drinking to forget is the best idea, kill off a few of these brand new brain cells Dremel worked so hard to make," she smelled the sweet tang of the whiskey with pleasure but didn't sip.
"It's one thing to know you had died," she said as she slowly sounded out the thought, "it's entirely another to remember it." She shuddered, as she flashed back to those final moments. She drained her glass.

Henry gave Kesh a sympathetic smile and refilled her glass.
"I thought I had died, once," he announced. He wasn't sure whether sharing this information would help distract Kesh, but it felt like the kind of conversation the moment needed.

"Oh?" she enquired. "Do you... remember it?" her voice was soft, tentative. Had Henry told her this in the past, she would have turned and run, but now, things were different
"I do," he nodded, sipping from his glass. "I was fifteen at the time, and I'd gotten into a fight with my father, and he slapped the shit out of me." He couldn't help frowning at the memory, and he briefly reconsidered telling the story before pressing on.
"I went up to my room. I had a lot of trouble sleeping in my teens, and the family doctor had given me a prescription for zolpidem to help me sleep. I grabbed the hypospray out of my desk and emptied it into myself."

Kesh fell completely silent, her mind went blank, her own woes secondary suddenly. This fact hadn't been in his medical file because it had happened before he'd joined Starfleet. She was lost for words. Instead, she reached out a hand and rested it on top of his, her fingers curling around his tentatively.
Henry gave her hand a small squeeze and what he hoped was a reassuring smile.
"That was my only real attempt, and I can say that I'm glad I wasn't successful," he said. "I've had an interesting life and, recently, I've been starting to look forward to the rest of it." He took another sip and smiled at her.
"Especially now that Kesh Suder is back in the universe. Shit was getting dull without you."

She rested her glass down and turned her body to face him on his single bed. Her eyes flicked over his face in the soft light. "But I'm not really her..." she spoke softly, honestly, using a tone that would have been completely alien to the original. "I may have her face, and her body, and her voice... But I'm different. I know I am, I can sense it in all of you."
She felt the urge to lean closer, and she gave in to it, an unabashedly intimate gesture that the original would not have allowed herself to indulge in. "Will I ever be enough?"

"We react weirdly to you because we thought you were dead," said Henry, who didn't exact recoil as she neared. "And so what if you're different? There have been several different Kesh Suders, from the fresh-faced doctor to the hardened spy, and then the Commanding Officer. Why should being different mean you're not Kesh?"
He finished off his glass and set it aside before locking his gaze with hers once more.
"It's not about being enough, either. You don't need to try and fit into other people's descriptions of who Kesh is. You only ever need to be yourself."

She listened, his words calming her turbulent mind a little.

"Maybe..." she replied as she noted the flecks of gold in his warm eyes. How had she not noticed them before?
"She..." she looked away, "denied herself so much, Henry." She held his hand tight. "There were so many things she was too scared to do, or say." She raised her gaze once more, a determined look on her face that was reminiscent of the original. "I don't want to be like that."
Kesh took a second to let her words sink in, and then suddenly kissed him.

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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Einar S » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:16 am

:stare:
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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby C. J. Short » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:42 am

[redacted out of shame]
Last edited by C. J. Short on Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death." - George Bernard Shaw, Overruled

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Re: Captain Kesh Suder, deceased

Postby Aoibhe Ni » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:04 am

C. J. Short wrote::frogcool:


:picard:

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