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Frontier Town (Tag Thyr)

Posted March 25, 2023, 10:34 p.m. by Civilian Jezem (Upstanding Citizen) (Abigail G)

Posted by Civilian Thyr Th’arialat (Resident) in Frontier Town (Tag Thyr)

Posted by Civilian Jezem (Upstanding Citizen) in Frontier Town (Tag Thyr)

Posted by Civilian Thyr Th’arialat (Resident) in Frontier Town (Tag Thyr)
Posted by… suppressed (9) by the Post Ghost! 👻
<snip>
Jezem stayed close, ready to pin Shivan down should the other find the strength to actually stand. But pulled back enough to keep his weight off the other least he actually seriously injure the other.

Trying to stand proved a mistake. The injury was too irritated. His anger seemed to evaporate into pain as he sat on the floor hunched forward, hands gripping his sides. “I… I know. They’re going to find me and kill me eventually and when they do I’m going to lie my ass off about your involvement.” Shivan was a good liar and if anything could be said it was that he wouldn’t divulge secrets of those he was loyal to, not for anything.

~ Thyr

“Gods curse you,” Jezem said, but his words lacked genuine emotion. The andorian was supposed to be angry at him, not doing. . . well. . . that. Trying to defend him even after everything Jezem said. Once it was apparent Shivan wasn’t about to get up and that he’d finally vented all that rage, Jezem plopped himself down beside the andorian, “Shut up. The Syndicate isn’t going to kill you, not while I’m here.”

“I think they’ve already done that,” Shivan replied jokingly to Jezem’s first comment, voice strained with pain. It was clear he didn’t believe Jezem could pull the miracle that Shivan believed was necessary to save him from the Syndicate.

He was quiet for a moment as he gathered his thoughts. Their relationship from the very start was marked by violence and aggression. Every day brought a new conflict, new injuries yet there was no lasting animosity between them. They’d fight, patch up their injuries and move on. The violence they exchanged worked because waiting for them at the end was catharsis. And now, Jezem stood before a boundary never before crossed in their relationship. An honest talk about their feelings.

“You really wanted to be a Starfleet officer, didn’t you?”

Jezem

Shivan looked over at Jezem, leaning back a little as his pain began to subside. Hesitantly, and biting back a sarcastic remark, he nodded. “Getting into the Academy isn’t an easy feat. You don’t do it for shoots and giggles. I was two years into the Security course.”

~ Thyr

Jezem hummed, “How’d you even get into a fight with that cadet anyways?” Shivan was a hothead but he wasn’t stupid. He didn’t get angry over nothing or without some kind of reason.

Jezem

“He wouldn’t shut up! Kept making fun of me.” Shivan replied, voice rising again. “What does it matter? Why are you asking this now? It doesn’t have to do with anything.”

~ Thyr

“Are you joking right now?” Jezem scowled, “You are obsessed. If getting kicked out of Starfleet didn’t matter to you then you wouldn’t still be angry about it.” Jezem watched Shivan carefully, in case the other decides he wasn’t actually done fighting yet. “Why can’t you let it go and move on? The past is in the past and you are here in the now.”

Jezem

“Of course it matters to me! How could it not?” Shivan asked. He was angry again but he made no move to fight or hit Jezem. He was still hurting from their last scuffle. “Everything I wanted in life was taken away from me. I wasn’t good at anything honest, that’s why I fell in with the Syndicate in the first place. If I could’ve just kept my temper under control… But I couldn’t. Never could do that. Never.”

~ Thyr

“Bullcrap,” Jezem stated bluntly, “If you weren’t capable of being honest you wouldn’t have gotten into Starfleet. And you can control your temper. I’m frankly disgusted that you let yourself believe you can’t. I know I call you an idiot but I didn’t actually think you were one until you started spewing that crap.”

Jezem

“I tried customer service, back on Andoria, after the Starfleet weapon thing. Hit a customer when he called me a name because the store didn’t have something. Tried food service, dumped someone’s meal on the floor because they made a rather… disgusting comment towards me while I was waiting on them. Delivery? Got frustrated with the time constraints and crashed the delivery vehicle. Went hungry, stole food. Got picked up on charges, then no one would hire me.” He looked at Jezem and shrugged, “You know what I was like on Pavlajia, and that it got me in trouble more than once. Did I ever manage to not do it?” They both knew that answer was no. “I don’t know how and don’t say get a hobby because that didn’t work when I was in school.”

~ Thyr

“So what you’re saying is you tried once, got mad, screwed up then moved on to the next thing? Sound like you’re making a bunch of excuses. Tell me Thyr- every time you got mad and things went poorly did you feel relieved? That every time you failed a job and were let go you could tell yourself it wasn’t your fault? Is it that you get so angry you can’t do anything or is it that you are terrified of wanting something so badly and losing it all over again? So much so that you never tried, never let yourself get attached and used your aggression to protect yourself?”

Jezem

Shivan gave Jezem a look of confusion. “Used aggression to protect myself..?” He thought about it a moment and shrugged, “Maybe I used to tell myself it wasn’t my fault. That if he hadn’t made fun of me it wouldn’t have happened. Or if that person hadn’t called me that name, I wouldn’t have hit him. I’m not that delusional anymore.” It had taken there being no one else left to blame for him to get there. “What would I want…? There was nothing else important to me. Pavlajia was important to me, but that’s gone anyway.” What would he be afraid of losing? He didn’t understand.

~ Thyr

Just how dense can one person be. Jezem bit back a groan and leaned back. Time to rethink his strategy. “You don’t know how hard it is to not call you hopeless. Ugh, okay. Why do you care so much when people call your names?” That should be a simple place to start with. He really wasn’t qualified for any kind of emotional talks but at least he was trying. That counted, right?

Jezem

Shivan chuckled and shrugged. “Why do you think I became a criminal? People don’t care who you are or what you do in that world. As long as you pay your dues.” He considered Jezem’s question. “It’s rude. Disrespectful. No one has the right to call me those things.”

~ Thyr

“But they will. People will always call you something either to your face or behind your back. By reacting you give them and their words power. By getting mad you are telling them that they’re right about you.” Jezem leaned forward, “Is it really worth your time to go into a rage every time someone calls you a name? Because people are monsters. They’ll abuse those names if they know they get under your skin.”

Jezem

“If I had control over that, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?!” Snapped Shivan. “You’re right, people are monsters. That’s why I hate them all. Except you.” He leaned back against the wall with a soft, pained sigh. “Did you have to tackle me?”

~ Thyr

“That’s the point of this, idiot.” Jezem returned, just as vicious. Banging his head against the wall was more productive than this conversation. Because then at least he’d have a headache and a sore forehead. This? Did they make any progress what so ever? Jezem sighed. “Jee. . . thanks.” Though, if anyone looked they’d see a small smile on his face. “I got caught up in the moment and forgot I wasn’t actually trying to fight you.” He eyed the scabbed over scratches on Shivan’s sides, “Old habits. Sorry?”

Jezem

“The point of this… is control?” Shivan seemed confused. He shrugged to Jezem’s apology. “It’s fine. You weren’t trying?” And then he thought a moment and nodded. “No, of course you weren’t. You only hit me once.” He rubbed the scabs and then placed a hand over the still healing injuries on his lower chest. “I’m fine. Shouldn’t have been trying to fight you anyway.”

~ Thyr

“You fought me because you lost control. I only had to say one thing to get you swinging.” Maybe this wasn’t a total failure. . . Shivan seems on the verge of understanding something about himself, “But yes, the point is learning some control. If it takes me two sentences to get you swinging then I suppose we’ll know if you’ve made any progress.” He tapped his fingers against the dark marbled floor, “Start thinking about what you’ll do the next time someone calls you a name. Something that’s not punching them,” He added with a pointed look.

Jezem

“You know I don’t talk about the Starfleet stuff. There’s thing I could bring up that you once stabbed me for.” Not that Shivan needed to be stabbed again. He was skewered enough, thanks. “What am I supposed to do then, nothing? I can’t do nothing!”

~ Thyr

Jezem shrugged, “I’ve gotten better. I don’t go into murderous, bloody rampages anymore.” Those were simpler times though. . . When he could stab people just for looking at him wrong. So many people lost an eye or their hand. “It doesn’t have to be nothing it just has to be something other than hitting. Besides, what does it matter what someone says about you? Nothing anyone says changes a damn thing about you.”

Jezem

“No more Jezpages?” Shivan looked truly surprised. “Not even one?” He huffed. “That husband of yours must be some kind of magic.” What did it matter what people said about you? Shivan… Didn’t really know the answer to that. “Guess when you don’t have anything, all that matters is your image.”

~ Thyr

“Say that word again and I’ll show you a Jezpage you’ll never forget.” Of all the idiotic things to call that! Thankfully for Shivan, talking about Argam always put Jezem into a good mood. The orion smirked while taking a moment to preen, “He is the most wonderful man in the universe. And all mine.” He was Argam’s until they breathed their last breath.

Shivam laughed. Really laughed, the first time since arriving on this stupid rock. Jezem wasn’t the only one who could egg someone on. “I thought it didn’t matter what people said about you? I thought Argam was soo perfect the Jezpages were extinct?” He was clearly having fun with this.

“I’ll bring it back once just for you,” Jezem huffed, but he was smiling.

He sobered a bit, serious once again, “You define yourself. People will always have their own image of you but what matters is how you see yourself.” Ugh, this feeling inside him, these corny words coming out of his mouth. Jezem pouted, debating if he really was about to, ugh, open up and. . .Gods what’s become of him? Show. . . vulnerability. . . to another person. “Sisters guide me,” Jezem groaned out before near blurting, “I was born with the wrong body. I let far too many people get under my skin and shape how I saw myself.” No. Nope. He can’t say more. Too much.

Jezem smushed his face into his arms.

Jezem

Shivan, now serious once more, looked uncomfortable. “What does that have to do with anything?” Shivan didn’t understand any of this. But he was trying. He looked at Jezem and Jezem looked… Like he was pouting. “What?” Then he stared for a moment at Jezem with his statement. He knew, of course, but Jezem never spoke about it, and Shivan never dared ask. Now that would have been a Jezpage for the ages. Jezem’s… vulnerability (was this even the same person?) seemed to make Shivan uncomfortable too. “How did you let people shape how you saw yourself?”

~ Thyr

Jezem, also deeply uncomfortable, rubbed his hands up and down his arms in a soothing motion. Sisters, walk with him. “I saw red every time someone thought I was a woman. I shunned anything ‘feminine’ because I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone thinking of me as feminine. I. . . I hated my body. Hated how no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t look the way I wanted. Everything said about my body, every little off-hand comment, made me defensive and angry. I wanted others to see me as a man so badly. . .” That he constantly analyzed every little thing he did from his body language to the way he spoke. Now, looking back, all he could see was a deep insecurity.

Jezem

Shivan was listening. Not grinning, not scoffing like he was going to mock, but closely listening. “You don’t get defensive and angry anymore? Why not? What did you do?”

~ Thyr

“I stopped listening to what others said or worrying about what they would say and I began to live for myself.” He held onto his female body for revenge. He told himself he would kill every person who wrong them in the body they abused. That would be part of his perfect revenge. Except what sounded perfectly poetic in his head was actual hell to live through. He let his mental well-being suffer for his own twisted pride. “The words of others didn’t matter anymore because I decide who I am and no one can ever tell me otherwise.”

Jezem turned his head to look Shivan in the eyes, “When I actually began to feel comfortable with myself and my body, I wasn’t insecure anymore. It was my insecurity that made me angry and lash out.” As cliched as it was. . . When he began to love himself he never felt more free.

Jezem

Shivan averted his gaze, unable to hold eye contact with Jezem. “I’m not insecure with myself. I don’t know why I do it.” He shrugged awkwardly and uncomfortably. Why did it matter? He wasn’t sure anymore. He didn’t want to think about it. He wanted it to be like before, when no one cared and he could just go about his criminal life, get his fill of space travel and adventure, and no one was going to ask these kinds of questions.

~ Thyr

“Then that’s what you need to figure out.” Jezem eased himself into a standing position. He stretched, arching his back and lifting his arms to work out the soreness that had settled there, “I can’t give you an answer. I can’t give you a solution either. This is something you need to solve for yourself. My anger wasn’t something that solved itself immediately. It took time and self-reflection. Until I left the criminal world and my old life I never stopped to consider these kinds of things.”

Shivan shook his head. “I never considered it either. Never wanted to. Figured I’d end up dead somewhere and it wouldn’t matter anyway.”

“Forget about getting a job for a few days. Go think about what really matters to you and what kind of life you want. Because without any kind of motivation. . . well, you’ll always end up at where you are now. Broke, angry and without hope.” Jezem sighed, “I’m too tired to cook tonight. I’m ordering in pizza. And don’t give me shit about eating human food. Pizza from the right place is stupidly good. If humans did one thing right, then that would be their cheese.”

Jezem

Shivan shrugged. He didn’t know what his motivation was supposed to be or what he should do. Finding a job at least gave him a purpose. And if he had to watch another soap opera he’d have to throw himself off the tallest building he could find. He shook his head, “I don’t care you eat human food. It’ll clog your arteries though. That stuff’s so greasy I dunno how they eat it all the time.” He didn’t try to get up. Why couldn’t things be easy and simple like they used to be?

~ Thyr

Jezem rolled his eyes as he walked to a console set into the wall, “Normally I’d agree with you but this place is good. No grease, all the flavor. Unless you want to cook dinner? Because Argam certainly won’t and you wouldn’t want to eat his Ferengi food anyways.” All bugs. So many bugs. Gross bugs.

Jezem

“You don’t want me to cook.” Shivan replied. “Don’t you remember? I’m terrible at it. I’d burn your house down. Or at the very least, serve charcoal. Get the pizza.” He made a face and then asked in a pathetic, almost pleading voice, “Then help me up?”

~ Thyr

True. Shivan even put Argam’s pitiful cooking skills to shame. “And done. They’ll be here in twenty minutes give or take. Just enough time to set up the table and choose a wine to pair with dinner.” Or help sad, weak andorians. “Oh?” Jezem stepped over to Shivan so he may stare down at him with a cruel glint in his eye, “Aw, aren’t you just so pathetically cute. I could help you up, but I do like the thought of watching you crawl along the floor like a dog. Hmm, such a hard choice. . .”

Jezem

Shivan gave Jezem his best pouty look, complete with antenna down in a sad position. A pleading look. “You tackled me right in the stab wound and now it really hurts again.” He was aware of how pathetic this was. A part of him wanted to see if Jezem would help him. The other part just didn’t want to make it hurt more.

~ Thyr

How saccharine. “Aw, I’m sorry,” Jezem cooed, overly sweet, “Did I hurt your little boo-boo? Aw, poor baby. It just be soooo hard to be you,” Gods, Jezem wanted to hurt him more. To inflict greater pain until Shivan begged for real. It would be so easy to kick the andorian while he was down. What could he say? He was a sadist through and through. Jezem dropped the sugary sweet voice to scowl, “Help yourself up. There’s hypos with painkillers in the kitchen if you’re hurting so badly.” He had a table to set up and other preparations to make.

“And while you’re at it go clean up for dinner. You smell.”

Jezem

Shivan dropped the look and scowled. Pulling himself up off the floor was a slow and painful process. Then he headed off towards that ugly bathroom with the sonic shower.

About fifteen minutes later, he was back in the dining room, dressed in another one of the Orion outfits Jezem had given him. He was starting to get the hang of wearing them and putting them on. There was a dark bruise forming around his injury and spreading down slightly, where Jezem’s shoulder had hit him. He found a spot to sit that would be easier to get up from and sat down. “Do you ever miss it? Your old life?”

~ Thyr

In the time Shivan was away, Jezem set the table for three people, set flowers in a vase and prepared a simple dessert of cut fruit, cream and floral-smelling water which he set into the refrigerator to keep fresh and cold while they ate. The question didn’t catch him off guard, but it gave it several moments of thought before answering, “No, I don’t.” He pretended to rearrange the flowers in the vase, “There are certain aspects of that life that I suppose you could say I ‘miss’ and I didn’t hate my life then but I wasn’t enjoying it either.” The few things that did bring him those small moments of joy weren’t unique to that life.

At least, not as the person he was then. “It would be different if I were to go back to that way of life.” He smiled, “I think I would enjoy it.”

Jezem

Shivan was confused. “You don’t miss it but you would enjoy it if you went back? That makes no sense.” He sighed and shook his head. “No way can I see myself doing nothing everyday for the rest of my life. Or some boring office job where everyone secretly hates each other or whatever.”

~ Thyr

Jezem huffed, “It makes sense to me,” He pursed his lips before trying again, “I’m not talking about being a criminal in general, I’m talking about my old life on the Pavlajia. I didn’t like who I was back then. I was miserable all the time. So when I say I don’t miss my old life I mean I don’t miss what my life was like then. That’s why if I were to become a criminal again I would enjoy it more. Because then I’m a criminal because I want to be, and not because I needed to be one.” And Jezem couldn’t fault Shivan for that last part. Even now he keeps himself busy with several side projects.

Jezem

“Hmm…” Shivan said thoughtfully. “You only left because you had something… Someone. Right?” He sighed and then shrugged. “Guess it doesn’t matter, anyway. Shouldn’t the pizza be here soon?”

~ Thyr

“Yeah. . . I suppose I did.” What would he have done had Argam not paid his way out of the Syndicate? Likely gone on as he always had. Angry. Miserable. Insecure. Jezem glanced at the clock on the wall, “Not much longer. I’ll put on a soap while we wait,” They had to stop in the middle of the last episode they watched together so Jezem set that up on the holoscreen mounted on the wall. The episode was not even halfway over and there were three betrays, one double-cross and two sex scenes. “The slave girl is going to betray the preacher trying to help her. She’s still devoted to her master.”

Jezem

“Ugh,” Shivan groaned, “Do the characters in these shows have any common sense or brains? I wouldn’t go double crossing the one person trying to get me out of something like that.” He claimed to hate the soaps, to be sick of them, but when Jezem turned it on, he couldn’t stop watching. Like watching a really entertaining train wreck, with the acting level of a bunch of six year olds. Honestly, did anyone think they sounded convincing? They were awful!

~ Thyr

“Ugh, have you been paying any attention? She’s loyal to him, of course she’s going to betray the person trying to free her.” The stories and characters were so cliched but writing took both of those things so seriously that the soaps were actually entertaining. It wasn’t too long into the episode when their pizza arrive. Jezem, brought the boxes to the table and was so engrossed in watching the next dramatic turn of the story he forgot about the plates and ate straight out of the box. “Watch!” He motioned towards the screen as the slave girl, her master and the preacher finally came together outside his estate.

Jezem

“Ugh! You idiot! Forget about her! She clearly doesn’t want your help!” Shivan shouted at the screen as he took a slice, angrily taking a bite as he gestured at the screen. “Betray him once, she’ll do it again. Her master has too much power over her. I’d almost say she likes it.” He finished the slice quickly and picked up another one. It was like he was trying to put his weight back on, he ate so much. He tried to restrain himself though, not wanting to eat all of Jezem and Argam’s food when they were letting him stay and eat for free.

~ Thyr

“Of course she likes it. Her life is comfortable and free of any hardship. That preacher is too far up his own self-righteous butt to really notice how she feels.” At some point Argam arrived home and took one look at the two men engrossed with the holoscreen and mostly eaten box of pizza between them before deciding it would only end badly to interrupt. He wisely decided it would be better to quietly grab a meal from the kitchen and leave them to their entertainment. But not before taking some of the dessert Jezem prepared with him to his study.

Jezem

Shivan nodded. “How nice would that be… no hardships, no struggling. Just has to deal with her one master. Then again, I guess that’s like you. Lucky you love yours.” Shivan said, not realizing he’d said it all out loud. He finished off the second slice, licking off his fingers. Then he looked back to the screen. “Aaand of course he’s angry about it! He doesn’t understand her at all, does he? Just wants to “save” her.”

~ Thyr

“Is that jealousy I hear?” Jezem said with a smirk. He did notice Argam’s arrival but his love didn’t need him to lovingly welcome him home every day. The pizza was good with a crispy crust, spicy sauce and gooey cheese without any of the grease. “What do you expect? He’s a non-orion who has no understanding of the culture or history. It’s always ‘oh slavery bad!’ Everyone enslaved needs saving!” Which was another thing Jezem liked about these soaps. They oozed Orion culture. Characters of other races who didn’t attempt to understand the culture were religiously mocked and often met embarrassing ends. Much like this preacher who was stabbed by the slave girl.

Jezem

“Jealous? Of you?” Shivan scoffed. “No way.” He laughed when the girl stabbed the preacher. “Ha! Serves you right. Keep your nose where it belongs.” He had spent way too much time around Orions. He understood a lot of their culture and that was why he could keep up with the soaps decently well. If it weren’t for his antennae, sitting there next to Jezem, he could almost be a blue Orion himself. They almost looked like… a very strange set of siblings.

~ Thyr

“Of course you aren’t,” Jezem said with a knowing smirk. Maybe if Shivan asked nicely he could find a lonely rich women desperate for someone to spend time with her while her husband was away at work. The rich people he had befriended so far were the lonely and pathetic sort because they were the easiest to manipulate until he could insert himself into higher society. When they finished off the pizza, Jezem fetched the dessert from the refrigerator and wordlessly passed Shivan a bowl as the final scene of the episode played on the screen.

It turned out the preacher was actually a spy hired by the master’s rival to steal business secrets from his estate. Of course the master was pleased with his slave for stopping a spy and promised her a higher position among his slaves. While the master called for people to clean up the preacher’s body the slave girl reached into the preacher’s pocket and removed a vial. The last shot was of her pocketing the vial before returning to her master’s side. “Oh, she’s plotting someone’s murder.” Jezem stated with confidence. She just have a vendetta against someone, or perhaps she’ll kill and frame her master’s rival?

Jezem


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