Side Sim: Reunion with Old Friends (TAG Kastarak, T'Aria, and Sega'a)

Posted Jan. 25, 2023, 8:42 a.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Umbri Hawkins (Acting Weapons Officer) (Yvonne Sephiran)

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Umbri Hawkins (Acting Weapons Officer) in Side Sim: Reunion with Old Friends (TAG Kastarak, T’Aria, and Sega’a)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor / Counsellor) in Side Sim: Reunion with Old Friends (TAG Kastarak, T’Aria, and Sega’a)

Posted by Crewman Ngokav Sega’a (Yeoman / Steward) in Side Sim: Reunion with Old Friends (TAG Kastarak, T’Aria, and Sega’a)
Posted by… suppressed (6) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Just before Kastarak could respond, Umbri heard a knock at the door. Only one person they knew would actually knock as opposed to using the doorchime. “Get your butt in here, Sega’a!” they called.

“You don’t have to ask me twice…” came his muffled reply before he sauntered into the room as soon as the door, in its usual leisure, allowed.

When the door opened, Umbri saw not only Sega’a but T’Aria as well. They got up and greeted T’Aria with a traditional Vulcan greeting. “Peace and long life,” they said.

Kastarak quickly formed his fingers on his right hand in the traditional “V”-like shape, and nodded to T’Aria and Sega’a.

“Peace and long life,” T’Aria raised her hand in the usual Vulcan manner, then bowed her head to extend the same warmth that a hug might provide. “Kastarak, Umbri,” she turned to Umbri, “I hope your leave proved rejuvenating.”

Sega’a knew his fingers stubborn and adapted to the tight, bent grip required for his particular set of skills. But the Vulcan salute? For reasons unknown to him, he couldn’t master the split-finger hold. He still tried. So, while Kastarak, Umbri and T’Aria exchanged their greetings, Sega’a forcibly adjusted his fingers to match… sort of.

Turning to Sega’a, they figured a hug was appropriate. So that’s exactly what they did. “It’s so good to see you!” they said, grinning from ear to ear.

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Umbri Hawkins, Acting Weapons Officer

“Oh!” Sega’a coughed, distracted from his painstaking attempt to mould his fingers into something resembling a ‘V’ (though better resembled a ‘W’ or high five) by their hug. His surprise faded within seconds and he wrapped his arms around Umbri in a warm, tight hug.

“I’ve missed you, my friend!” He held them for a few heartbeats before pulling away to take a good look at them. If not for the gentleness touching his face, his concern might’ve been mistaken as scrutiny or anger. “You look well, though I suspect you could use a few homecooked meals. I’ll have your favourites prepared! Any protest will be respectfully ignored.” And he shot them an impish.

As he saw Umbri and Sega’a hug, Kastarak noticed a strange, and rather unfamilar sensation, in his body. The sensation was as if he had come across a threat – with a similar preparation of hormonal and other physiological responses, as if the body was preparing to defend itself from a threat, but it did not make sense. Why did he see the hugging between Sega’a and Umbri as a threat? What about it threatened him?

Umbri had moments earlier potentially declared their agreement with a faulty proposition of beginning a romantic relationship. Kastarak had concluded that the thought to join them in a romantic relationship had never occurred, but could there be something deeper, hidden a few layers below the conscious surface? It did not seem right. Yet he recalled how felt when he saw Sega’a, how he would always feel warm in Sega’a’s presence, a warmth which he felt when he had been reunited with Umbri too. When Umbri was gone, they did appear in his mind, in his head as memories and random thoughts. But the same was also true with Sega’a.

This was all very confusing. He looked at Umbri again, and tried to notice what sensations he might feel in his body. He noticed increased temperature and tension of muscles. Anger? He asked himself. Surely it cannot be anger? He was confused as to why his body might signal anger toward Umbri.

He tried to approach it logically.

(1) He felt a threat response in his body when he saw Umbri and Sega’a hug.
(2) He felt feelings that he interpreted as anger (however illogical – why are emotions so illogical?) when he then looked at Umbri.

He could not make sense of this. The situation was overwhelming. To unlookers, it must have appeared as if Kastarak was zoning out, almost dissociating. He was aware of what was going on, but at the same time, he was not.

He felt his gut turn. Moreover, he felt a strange response in his lower jaw, with an acidity and dryness around the saliva-producing glands. His mouth got dry, and he experienced dizziness. And he felt his body temperature rise even higher.

He fell on to his knees and vomited.

– Kastarak

“Kastarak—!” Sega’a froze as a cold, nauseating shiver rushed up his spine and into his chest. He knew Kastarak got sick. He’d seen it before, especially in new recruits first getting their space legs, but this was different. Fear seeped into his mind. What happened to his friend? Someone get him water! He wanted to rush to his side, to do as he had with so many officers and crew before, but he couldn’t find the inertia.

Move! He urged himself, but by the time he managed to dislodge his feet from the ground, his friends were already on it. So, he prepared himself to listen and retrieve whatever Kastarak needed.

“Umbri,” he heard T’Aria’s voice cut through the haze and he turned, finding her with a hand placed gently on Kastarak’s back. “Do you have a bowl and a cloth to wet?”

Umbri looked at the scene in shock, but shook themselves out of it when T’Aria spoke up. “Yes, I’m on it,” they said, getting the things she asked for and handing them to her.

“Thank you,” T’Aria set the bowl within reaching distance of Kastarak, then got up to dampen the towel with cool water. When she returned, she noticed Sega’a standing, lost, and decided to give him something into which he could redirect the nervous energy apparent in his face.

“Sega’a,” he perked up when his name was called, “there’s a synthesizer down the corridor in section 4. Retrieve a glass water, room temperature, and ice chips.” And he was on it, rushing out of the room when T’Aria asked Kastarak, “what are you feeling?”

Without looking up, he uttered, “hot…” Could he have come down with a fever? So quickly? It did not make sense.

“Okay,” T’Aria knelt beside him, inclined to request emergency transport to Sickbay for what she suspected might be a fever or hyperthermia. Both were symptoms of worse conditions. Without knowing which or if he was stable enough to move, she refrained from seeking immediate help.

“I have a cool cloth that may ease your discomfort,” she held it for him to see and assess its appeal, “may I place it around your neck?”

While he made his decision, T’Aria searched him signs of illness. Vulcans had an internal cooling system that made it difficult to assess the effects of hyperthermia. So, she looked for dryness and discolouration in his skin. Were his lips chapped or unusually green? She assessed his eyes for alertness and appearance. Were they sunken, glazed or half-lidded? She watched his movement and listened to his speech. Did he move languidly as if weakened or in pain? Was his speech delayed or slowed? Was he confused or irritable?

T’Aria relied on these outward cues to reveal what she couldn’t see without a tricorder.

— Sega’a / T’Aria

(OOC: apologies for the rushed conclusion, have to rush off to class. Lol — Trin)

OOC: You’re fine! I wasn’t expecting that reaction from Kastarak, either. I guess this is what Ric meant when he said “Vulcans come out best in awkwardness”.

After Sega’a left the room, Umbri stood a few steps away while T’Aria spoke to Kastarak. “I think I might have overloaded him. He said something which my silly human brain must have interpreted wrong,” Umbri said, mentally slapping themselves. ‘He’s a Vulcan, Umbri! He doesn’t do awkward situations well!’ they chastised.

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Umbri Hawkins, Acting Weapons Officer

Sega’a rushed in, narrowly avoiding a collision with the door, and looked for Kastarak. Locating him, he hurried over with a small bin of ice and a glass of water in tow. He set them on the ground and took a careful step back, concerned that he might make matters worse for Kastarak if he got too close… even if he wanted nothing more than to give his friend a hug and assure him, in his illogical-ness, that everything would be all right.

Kastarak looked up and felt a soothing and oddly familiar feeling when seeing Sega’a. Kastarak travelled back in time, to a time when he was a child, and returned home after injuring himself in the garden, his knees bleeding, the pain being so new and strange, and Mother and Father being at home, providing comfort by their mere presence. But Sega’a was not Mother, nor Father, but the feeling was there.

Instead, he moved to stand by Umbri.

He tried getting up, yet it was difficult, so he remained on his knees. Breathing was starting to get difficult, too.

Instinctively, T’Aria held her arms out to catch him in case he might stumble and rose slightly.

“I don’t think…” he said to Umbri, struggling, “this is only an emotional reaction or a cognitive overload. I think I am sick.”

He looked up, saw Umbri, T’Aria, and Sega’a.

He felt a sudden urge to touch them or to be touched by them.

Could it already be the time? Had the thoughts of Umbri’s maybe-proposition caused this imbalance in him? And so quickly?

Nothing made sense.

He suddenly felt fear that if the others would touch him, he would have strong emotional reactions that might injure the dignity and safety of the others.

“Don’t touch me!” he warned,. “I’ve a headache now!”

– Kastarak

“Kastarak,” T’Aria respected his request and took a step back, “if you are ill, we must get you to sickbay. Are you able and comfortable walking with us? We will not touch you.”

— T’Aria

T’Aria’s suggestion made sense. He needed to get a grip of himself. He felt such embarrassment (what an odd emotion!) that he had taken all attention from Umbri’s reunion party. Why had he to destroy it all? He let out a moan, and grimaced.

“I will have to,” he said. “Thank you, doctor”, he added without knowing why he had called T’Aria doctor. She was a doctor, but he would never call her that? Had he fallen that far into patient mode? Inside, he saw the humour of the situation. If he had been human, he would have chuckled. Freudian slip! But he was not human, but he didn’t quite feel Vulcan right now either. He put himself up, slowly, before standing.

Sega’a stepped back and his expression hardened.

He raked his mind for an iota of knowledge that might explain what afflicted his friend. Fungal infection? Even if he had been exposed, the transporters’ biofilters would eliminate any particulate intruders. Psionic energy? Unless concentrated at the cellular level, they would begin to experience some of his affliction when they stood as close to him as they did now. That didn’t mean it wasn’t psionic in nature… he saved the thought for later. What about radiofrequency EMR weapons? He’d seen them sparingly through the Alpha Quadrant, but never among the Federation or Starfleet. Besides, why would they target Kastarak? It seemed unlikely. Was it biological…

Sega’a stepped closer to Umbri as the fear swelled in his chest. He glanced at them. Were they okay? He couldn’t imagine this was their idea of a friendly reunion. The thought didn’t linger long before he found his gaze glued to Kastarak once more.

— Sega’a

Kastarak met Sega’a’s gaze, and joined him in eye contact for a while. It felt soothing, yet it felt as his stomach would fly out of his body at the same time, and a lightness, yet heavy… Uh-oh, he thought, too many physiological reactions.

He stopped looking at Sega’a, in order to avoid any more awkwardness that he could avoid. He looked around for Umbri.

“I apologise,” he said to them once he saw them. “I will make it up to you.”

He started slowly walking to the door. Why did his feet feel so heavy? Why was his face so wet and sweaty? Why was everything so hot…? And why was breathing so difficult? What kind of illness comes so quickly?

– Kastarak

Umbri sighed, feeling like this was their fault. It had to have been something they said. They turned to Sega’a. “I still feel like this is my fault. Kastarak said something that I interpreted as him wanting to ask me out, and I must have been completely off. I knew Kastarak wasn’t good with this type of stuff, but I didn’t think it would cause this to happen,” they paused, feeling tears form in their eyes. “I just wanted this to be a good night for all of us, and I completely screwed it up,” they said.

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Umbri Hawkins, Acting Weapons Officer


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