"Once More"
[Previous Post: "Lost Souls"]

<< Life is nothing more than circles inter-linking with and into one another. Within the all-encompassing Circle of the Universe, we find and endless number of smaller Circles, each as important as the next.  Within the Circle of Life, we can discover the Circle of our society,  and within that one we find two other Circles, that of Science and Religion. Within those we find smaller Circles that include friends and associates, and within those we find the smallest yet most significant Circles of them all - that of our own individual existence. It is therefore normal for one to find himself traveling the same road again, completing the circle. The second time around having gathered some of the knowledge and wisdom found where other paths crossed and Circles linked. >>
- Oltharian Belief

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 63075.0810

Like some sort of underground archeological site the Engineering section of the USS ANUBIS was a cold, dark and littered with the remnants of a time that some wished had forever been lost in time.  The scattered lights that had been placed throughout the section only added to the eeriness that blanketed the room, an echo of the feeling that permeated each and every deck and areas of the docked ship.

Restoring primary power had been the Chief Engineer's first priority, but the truth had been that right now dealing with the endless waves of memories that came to the Oltharian had made it impossible to do so.  Saddened eyes slowly drifted onto the cold and quiet warp core,  the source of power for the ship and a piece of equipment that most engineers looked upon as being the heart of any ship.

For a brief moment Elan could recall the way the core pulsated, filling the room with a rhythm that the Oltharian had always found most soothing.  He also recalled Amber having one day observed that the heart of a ship's CEO and the warp core of the ship they served on were linked in a way that transcended description.

The Oltharian's white eyes gazed deeply into the darkened warp core as one specific memory took hold of him, a memory that had shaped the person that he would later become.

Stardate: 58360.0945 (4 years ago)
Scene: Gardens around the Planetary Council building

"You wanted to see me?" The towering Oltharian asked as he walked up to his uncle who was sitting in one of the benches that lined the central path of the garden.  The delicate aroma of the flowers in full bloom was heavenly to say the least, and this reminded for a moment why the once Chief Engineer had left Starfleet to return home.

"Have a seat Elan," the head of the Council of Elders replied inviting the imposing man to sit beside him.  Following his nephew's compliance, the once High Priest of the Religious Circle cast his gaze upwards towards the star filled sky.  "I know that you haven't been happy," Bardef stated without undue ceremony, taking Elan by complete surprise.

Knowing that any attempt to counter what the head of the Council of Elders had said would be futile, the Oltharian simply lowered his head in shame.  "Does it show that much?" Elan sighed, trying to think back to the days when he had truly been happy.

"Let's just say that you can cast a shadow that rivals that of our two moons," Bardef returned while caringly patting the Engineer's back.  "You can fool some people but I know you too well," the Elder added as he returned his gaze to the stars.  “You and I have shared too many dreams and too many disappointments together.”

"What should I do?" The Oltharian asked, once again seeking his uncle's guidance and wisdom as he had done so many times before in the days prior to his leaving for EARTH so many years ago.

"Life is a circle," the Elder began, "it is only when we travel the same road again that we truly learn from our mistakes.  You miss this Fleet of the Stars that you had joined and I am sure that somewhere in it there are people who miss you just as much."

"It's Starfleet," the imposing Oltharian said correcting with all due respect the Elder, "and I can't go back.  I resigned my commission as an officer," Elan added sounding truly sorry that he had done such a thing.  At the time it had seemed like the right thing to do as his presence here had been needed, but now months later the decision that had been so clear then had proven to be a source of sadness the likes of which he had never felt before.

"Elan," Bardef began in a sterner voice, "have you learned nothing? There is no shame in starting over.  There is no shame in admitting that you were wrong.  You were the first of our people to truly venture beyond the stars and that is where you belong.  As long as you remain here you will never be happy."

"Starfleet Academy will never accept me back," the Oltharian pointed out certain of his inability to return to the place where he had learned so much.

"You'd be surprise how much influence the Head of the Oltharian Council of Elders has," Bardef said, a teasing smile dancing on his lips.  "A ship will be here to take you back to EARTH in four days, I hope that this will give you enough time to pack your bags."

The Oltharian stared at his uncle with absolute disbelief before shooting to his feet.  "I don't know what to say?"

"Less talk, more walk." Bardef grinned edging the hulking giant towards his home.  Knowing the Engineer, four days would barely be enough for Elan to get all of his things in order and his bags ready.

Stardate: 58364.1145 (4 years ago, but 4 days later)
Scene: Guest Quarters

The Oltharian proverb echoed in the giant's mind as he looked through one of the windows at the streaking stars indicating that the vessel was travelling at warp speed.  The USS ARMSTRONG had been the ship that had brought him to EARTH the first time, and here he was aboard the same ship heading for the same world.

Turning to face inward, Elan headed through the barely lit room in search for one of the items he had brought with him.  Having reached his duffle bag he opened it and searched within producing the item in question in seconds.  As if holding one of the universe's most precious of gifts the gentle giant removed the silk scarf from around the engraved wooden box that he placed on the table before him.  An emotional moment was shared between him and those who were no longer with the Oltharian as he gently ran his massive digits over the wooden case before opening it.

A small silver flute was found inside, securely resting in a perfectly shaped indent in the blue velvet fabric that lined the inside of the box.  With the precision and care of a surgeon performing a lifesaving operation, the Oltharian retrieved the instrument from its resting place and carried it to the window where he had been looking at the stars moment ago.

As the colourful streaks of light filled his soul with a renewed hope for the future, Elan ever so delicately brought the instrument to his lips and began to play it, his large fingers caressing the silver tube with a grace that was only surpassed by the enchanting music that soon filled the room.

The circle was now complete and soon he would be back where he truly belonged, Starfleet.

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 63075.0815

Elan drew in a deep breath as the memory faded and the words of wisdom from his uncle echoed within his mind one last time.  Life had indeed been a circle and the Oltharian had found himself back where he had been, not once but twice before.  Apparently he had failed to learn all that he had needed the first couple of times around leaving the towering Engineering Officer to hope that this time the lessons would be learned properly.

Francois Charette

Lieutenant Elan Talak Fairborn
Chief Engineering Officer


Robotics Engineering Officer


Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer