Episode 0: History Speaks
Location: Treetop Village -- Murphy/Salannis Home
Daniel was busy doing what he always did; subspace equations. He took after his mother's disciplined mind. He did not understand Cassandra at all, she was always a mystery to him. How she could just accept living here.
Cassandra was at the lathe not far away from Daniel, working the pedal to turn it as she moved the turning tools to carve away excess wood from what she would soon be crafting into an arrow. As it turned out, making things with her hands was a propensity she got from her father. But one thing she got from her mother was the telepathy, and she swiveled to give Daniel a dirty look. "You know, if you thought about other girls even half as much as you did about me, Daniel, you might actually end up losing your cherry to one."
"Must you always disappoint, Cassandra? You've learned to be too human... their unrestrained emotions..." He explained. "The crash lives for everyone who survived it, and it is not easy for them to just ignore and pretend it never happened." Daniel began to do what he always did, more theories on trying to get out of the planet's atmosphere, or sending a message to Starfleet.
"Oh, really. Ya think so?" Cass mocked sarcastically. "Thing is, little bro, what happens if what you're doing over there succeeds and we're rescued? Well, if it's Starfleet that rescues us, they have two choices -- Put us on lockdown until the Elysium crashes again, or save the Elysium and create a few thousand walking temporal paradoxes. And keep in mind that, at this point in the timeline, the Elysium's in the Andromeda Galaxy. Maybe Starfleet's spooks will take the, what, four year predictive advantage they have over other powers in the Alpha Quadrant and do something terrible?"
"Anything is better than being trapped here with you, waiting for you to do some foolish thing. Like leading the Lalors onto the roofs." Daniel noted. "I've grown accustomed to this from you, Cassandra. The narrow minded tribal mindset of someone who wants to live like a savage. I however want to know what Starfleet Academy looks like, I want to live the stories mother once told us, and I do not want to hunt around like Tarzan until a thousand years later when we finally go mad from this immortality, or get eaten. Maybe when that time has passed, you'll have a quaint little tribe with Liam and be worshiping a frog as your god."
Cassandra reached inside the neckline of her tunic with a feral grin, pulling out a silver pendant shaped like a toilet seat. "I forgot, you didn't see these yet. And it's called having fun, Dan-o. You should try it sometime, before we're expected to become adults and work for the rest of forever. Hey..." She cackled wickedly. "Would you like to know what Liselle and Yaanalla look like naked? I can show it to you. I can even show you how it feels to kiss them."
"You are truly a savage." Daniel turned to leave the room in order to be cut off by Ian. "Father." He said respectfully as he attempted to leave.
"Daniel." Ian said, folding his arms across his chest and remaining in the doorway. "Bratzilla." He said, looking at Cassandra. "I hear there was an incident at school again today. Something about you and Liselle falling through a rooftop and almost getting yourselves and the rest of your class killed in the process?"
Cass threw her hands in the air, turning away from her father and brother.
Daniel shook his head. "I wash my hands of her, Father. Do what you need to do with her, she listens to no-one. Learns nothing."
"That's a tad dramatic there, me auld segotia." Ian said, using an ancient Irish term of friendly affection. "And a bit reductive towards her aptitudes and abilities."
"And what am I supposed to do, to believe.. she despises the woman who taught me. She's ungrateful. She..." Daniel started to wince in pain as a thousand voices began entering his mind all at once. Cassandra knew what it was; it was the awakening. The moment an Alindari's telepathy surfaced. He'd go insane if he couldn't focus.
Cass ran towards the two men and shouted, "Dad, get Mom! Quickly!" She said, putting her hands on the man's chest to give him a shove in the right direction. "Danny's telepathy's awakening. Go!" Then she turned to look at Daniel, capturing her brother's face between her hands while her father ran off. "Danny, your telepathy's awakening. Look at my face, bro. Concentrate on me. Tune out the voices and just concentrate on me."
Daniel grabbed his head. "It's overwhelming."
Arri suddenly entered and stared into Daniel's eyes. ~Daniel.. Look into my eyes. Focus solely on my eyes. Cassi, Assist me, make sure he isn't distracted.~
Whatever her personal grudge against her mother, Cassi immediately set it aside, ducking around behind her brother and placing her hands on either side of his head. Blanking her thoughts, she focused her mind on Danny's, helping him by blocking out the other voices intruding on his consciousness.
He began to focus. The voices began to quiet down somewhat, but he could still feel the presence of everyone around him. ~Will I always feel them like this~
~Yes... and you must discipline your mind, Daniel. If you push too hard on one of their minds. You will push past the surface. You must never penetrate another's mind.~ It took several hours, and Daniel began to focus his mind enough to filter the background noise. Arri then stood and went outside. "Cassandra, come with me."
Cass hugged her little brother tightly, breathing a deep sigh of relief -- Her own awakening had been much easier or so it had seemed. But then, she wasn't in the heart of the village when it happened. She kissed his temple a little too hard, then headed for the door. "Go to bed, Daniel-san." She said, glancing back. Despite all appearances, she actually did love her brother, even if she didn't particularly like him much. Then she muttered, "Stupid dick can't win an argument so his brain throttles itself..." She said, letting herself out and looking at her mother expectantly. "You're not going to blame me for this, too, are you?"
"Cassandra, you will help him now..." Arri noted.
Cass blinked a few times. "Wait, what?" And then, in a befuddled and exasperated tone that only teenage girls could master so perfectly, "Why?"
"Because I cannot..." Arri sighed. "I fail both of you too often." Daniel began to better focus his mind. "I love all of you, but I fail you. I've failed our crew, I've failed Phoenix, and I nearly failed Daniel. Now I will go!"
"What?! Cass asked, shaking her head and gaping at her mother. "Jesus. And I mean literally. I swear, you keep talking like this, I'm going to ask Matias or Ephraim to help me make a big wooden cross for you to nail yourself to. We can put it up in the living room, make it our own, um... Shit, what's the word? Golgotha!" Cass had a certain gothy vibe. She'd probably be an actual goth if they had a Hot Topic in the village. "Right! In! The den!"
Arrianna sighed. "You are really happy here?." She entered the room. "This place? You're happy surviving Cassandra here in this nightmarish jungle? I might as well be tarzan... or is he male? Maybe I should stop trying to escape from this place. What do you think Cassandra?"
Cassandra grit her teeth, her face beginning to turn red. "I think this is the reason Daddy spends so much time in the smithy." She said, her fingers itching to slap her mother across the face. "No, I'm not happy. Don't you think I'd love it on a nice, safe starship, where I could go to the academy on the sort of career course I actually want to follow and wear clothes that don't itch, and shampoo with something that doesn't leave me with the frizziest hair imaginable? But we are all stuck here. Great heavenly toilet seat, I just had this argument with Danny. I'm being a realist. I love Liam, Liselle and Yaanalla and yes, even Danny. Especially Danny, despite him trying to wear a hole in his PADD with his greasy nose and working on his first ulcer before he's twenty. What were we doing on the roof? Having fun." She sighed. "Before we all have to grow up and be productive members of society who never have any fun ever and hate their lives."
Arri nodded. "Because we've all rode the shame of the crash. I think I understand what you're trying to say. Cassi." She mentioned. "You were raised as a human, I raised Daniel as an Alindari. I should have been involved in both your lives more. For that I apologize. I've seen the life drain from Gary each year since Aurelia died, and I feel life drain from me since... Phoenix..." She shed a tear. "I'm sorry daughter... I should have found the joy even in all this sorrow."
Cass sighed again. "I was raised as the daughter of Ian and Arrianna. I chose to live like a human because it made the most sense to me. Danny made his choice as well." She said, reaching up to brush away her mother's tears. "It doesn't mean I love you any less than Dad, no matter how much I trash-talk you to my friends. Look, it's like I told Danny. We can't be rescued until after the Elysium crashes. Our best chance for rescue will come after the Elysium goes overdue for its rendezvous with the Starling. Then we can be rescued. You just have to hold out until then."
She smiled. "I've done everything I could to prepare you for the Academy here. Everything. You are going to have a chance at the life you always wanted, my dear Cassandra." She noted. "If that is your choice. Know that you have my support in whatever you do."
"Well, when we get rescued, Liam and I are going to Risa to learn to give Jamaharon, and then we're going to spread the word of the great and powerful toilet seat to all who will listen." Cass said blithely, grabbing one of the swinglines tied to the railing "In the meantime, I'm going to go give him a debriefing about his performance on today's test." She said, hopping the railing and swinging away. "Don't wait up!"
Arrianna Salannis an Vantar