####################
"Musical Break"
[Previous Post: "Headaches Are Minor"]
####################

<<Music is more logical than the human mind can comprehend: yet we can recognize it and surrender to it. We cannot comprehend music but music can comprehend us.>>
- Peter Hiett

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 63075.1440

The massive Oltharian gazed silently at the inactive warp core of the ANUBIS, the heart of the ship and an extension of the Chief Engineer's own life essence.  To any other officer, the main power source of the SCARAB-Class vessel had been nothing more than an elaborate piece of equipment, but to Elan is held a significance and importance that could not easily be translated into words.  This ship had become his home in so many different ways and held memories which spanned the full range of emotions from pure ecstasy to soul shattering horrors; and the warp core represented the embodiment of those feelings.

Somehow, each and every Chief Engineering Officer in Starfleet formed a special link with their ship, a connection that transcendent the physical boundaries between man and machine.  It had often been claimed that a CEO could *feel* the pain of their ship, and the Oltharian had always wondered if this symbiotic relationship had not also worked the other way around.  Maybe part of the issues with the ANUBIS current condition had been that it responded to Elan's own pain and emptiness.

With the impulse drive back online and auxiliary power available to key systems, the Chief Engineering Officer had felt no need to force Ensign Thomas through another shift; even more surprising had been that the Oltharian himself had felt the need to take a break.  Being used to 34 hour days, Elan had a well-earned reputation for being a workaholic who never hesitated to put in double and even triple shifts to get a specific task done.  This time though, and following the hardships that the ship and crew had endured, the CEO thought it best to take things easy, at least for the time being.

--==(/\)==--
Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor outside Fairborn's Quarters
Stardate: 63075.1455

The entire ship felt as if it had been plucked from someone's nightmare, the dark and cold corridors stretching out into eerie emptiness.  Every so often Elan would reach for one of the inactive consoles on the wall to feel their icy slumber at the tip of his imposing digits.  Ensign Eve Dalziel, the ship's Counselor, might have offered that the Oltharian had done so to help ease the *pain* the engineer had been under, but again the CEO wondered if the opposite had not been more accurate.  Maybe the gesture had been more meant to ease the pain the ship had *felt*, the Chief Engineering Officer offering a caring, loving touch to silently show his presence and support to the ANUBIS.

With auxiliary power available only to key systems, the door leading to the Oltharian's quarters had not opened by itself as the giant came to stand before it.  Given Elan's physical stature there had not been a real issue with the closed door which promptly relinquished passage with very little effort.

Once inside, Elan closed the door behind him and stood in the near complete darkness of his quarters.  It took a few minutes for the Oltharian's white eyes to adjust but still the CEO's vision of his personal domain had been clouded by memories of days long passed.

As he slowly made his way through the darkness to the couch and the now shattered table that stood before it, Elan felt his foot push something small.  Without even looking down, the Oltharian knew exactly what he had stumbled upon; the small wooden box having been part of his life since a very young age.

With a gentleness that seemed out of place for someone his size, the Chief Engineering Officer kneeled down and fetched the small box as if it had been the most precious item in the universe.  A sigh of relief escaped from the Oltharian as he noted through his touch that the container had been undamaged.

With an almost graceful gesture, Elan swept the couch clear of the debris that had found its way onto it before he placed the box on one of the now cleared cushions.  With the care of a religious man displaying the utmost reverence to a sacred relic, the Oltharian opened the box and retrieved the content with the care and skill of a seasoned surgeon.

The small silver flute that had been therein seemed to vanish in the hands of the imposing Engineer.  The faint amount of light had had pierced the darkness of the quarters through the windows had somehow managed to find the musical instrument in the gentle giant's grasp as if the universe itself had beckoned the man to play.

Elan smiled for a brief moment as he clenched the flute in his hands and gazed back at where the box sat, seeing there the memory of the woman he had played the small musical instrument for the first time so many years ago.  Amber Satori now lay in a comma within the Medical Center of the NEW ALEXANDRIA base, but her presence and spirit had always been here, in this room, never leaving the giant's side.

Carefully, delicately, the Oltharian placed his fingers on the instrument and brought it to his lips and within seconds the entire room was filled with the enchanting melody that only one other living soul had ever heard.  In a mesmerizing ballet of music each note skillfully played by Elan merged with memories to create an atmosphere that anyone would have described as heavenly, had they been permitted to experience this event.

Through closed eyes Elan could see Amber sitting on the couch behind him, her fullest attention directed onto him and the marvelous music that he had been playing.  The Oltharian shifted ever so slightly his posture so that he would have turned away from where Amber would have been, thus insuring that she would not have seen the single tear of sorrow that had come to caress his left cheek.

--==(/\)==--
Francois Charette
Lieutenant Elan Talak Fairborn
Chief Engineering Officer
USS ANUBIS

AND

Robotics Engineering Officer
NEW ALEXANDRIA

Also

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer
USS PARADOX