[previous "Unexpected Passenger"]


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Skydome Deck
Stardate: 30151.2345

She had told him her name several times by now but Jayson could not remember it.  His mind had been in a place further than the stars that could be seen through the large clear dome over their heads.  It was true that he had not truly known Ya'Han, but to suddenly discover that she was a member of some royal family had been a difficult reality for him to grasp.

At first he could not understand why he had felt anger towards her, but in time he came to see that he had been jealous.  As a daughter to the High Sovereign of NYLA IV the world had been placed at her feet and yet she had ran away because of an arranged marriage.  Jayson felt as if the two of them had been standing of opposite ends of the universe despite serving on the same ship.  His future had been taken away from him and was forced to join Starfleet to rebuilt his life.  Ya'Han had run away in a childish fit and joined Starfleet to seek an escape from the life of luxury she had been born into.

His anger stayed with him for a while until he came to see things a little more from her point of view.  In a way her life would have been taken from her through the arrange marriage and Ya'Han had acted in the only way open to her to safeguard the life that she wanted for herself.  It took a little while but Jayson came to feel sorrow instead of anger for his shipmate, her life having been as unfair as his own in some ways.

"Are you even listening to me or are you just looking at the stars?"

The question took Jayson completely by surprise.  He had not realised as to just how much he had been lost in his own thoughts.

"Sorry, I guess I have something on my mind."

"I will leave you and your thoughts alone.  Maybe I can find someone back at the ball who will be interested in listening to me and spending a night *with* a star instead of just looking and dreaming about one."

Jayson had wanted to say something, to explain and apologise but in the end he just watched the woman leave in a huff.  Some Intel gathering agent he had turned out to be.  Having lost this match, he once again looked up to the stars and sighed.  After a few moments he decided to check up on Ya'Han and try to offer her his understanding and support.  Just as he had been ready to contact the ANUBIS he saw someone from the corner of his eye, someone who appeared very much like their Chief of Security.

As he went towards her, Jayson thought that her dress had been even more charming than he remembered, almost as if she had changed into a new one.  With each step he found it easier to say what he needed to, understanding her motives and reasons a little more.

"What is a star like you doing in a place like this?  Should you not be out there twinkling brighter than the others instead of being here with us mere mortals?

He thought that he would be cute, playing the role of the charmer to not have anyone else question as to why he had approached the woman with the white dress and black hair.

"Well, aren't you the smooth talker.  A girl could get used to being talked to that way, but I have to ask; are you here looking for someone in particular or have you just been shut down and are hoping to salvage the evening with me?"

Jayson swallowed hard. Whoever this lady was, she had not been Ya'Han although she could have easily passed for her sister.  The face and even the way the black hair flowed over her shoulders seemed identical, but he knew that he had made a mistake, one that he would need to find ways to correct.

"It is not every night that a man gets to be in the company of a beautiful star such as yourself, even if only for a few seconds."

It would have certainly been safer for him to keep looking at the stars instead of trying to play Cazanova with a woman who very strongly resembled Ya'Han, but he had gone too far already and after what he had said Jayson knew that there had been no turning back.

"Thank you. You made my day *and* night. If only everyone was a kind as you."

Her last words surprised him as he saw sadness and even a little bit of fear reflect in eyes he would have been ready to swear had belonged to Ya'Han, not that he had even seen her in such a state.  The Chief of Security had always come across as someone with boundless inner strength, but this woman despite her resemblance appeared tired, beaten and on the verge of giving up on life itself.

"Whatever it is that is troubling you, you don't have to face it alone, at least not tonight."

She smiled before falling into his arms, as woman does to a protector or even lover.  Jayson looked up into he stars once again and wondered as to just what kind of trouble he had gotten himself into.

Jayson Sousa

Ensign Jayson Stark
Chief of Operations