"From Fools to Fascinating"
[previous "From Factoids to Fools"]

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Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Promenade Deck
Stardate: 30152.1630

After Shar'El's escape and recapture, and with Doctor Doyanne heading to join Sonja and Ya'Han, Jayson had been left to his own device, to wander the cruise ship in search of clues as to who had been behind the bombing attempt.

He had not made any efforts to hide his feelings about people who used terror to draw attention or even sympathy for a cause. To him these people were nothing more than cowards who did not deserve to live, let alone hurt the innocent who all too often knew nothing of why there had been a battle.

Leena had done nothing to deserve her fate, and their unborn child had deserved this even less.  The explosion that destroyed the medical facility had destroyed the lives of countless, many of whom had not even been there at the time, like him.  Everything he knew, everyone he loved was taken from him in a single bang, one that the local authorities decided to file as having been an accident.

The cover story had been a good one, and had served to help many put the entire event behind them. Jayson though was not so easily convinced and the few clues he managed to stumble upon made him doubt that the explosion had been a simple accident.

It had taken many years for him to be able to put that life changing event behind him, and it had taken even more work for him to stop looking back to the life that he had been deprived of.  He did not blame Eve or anyone else for having made him fall back onto the memories he had so desperately tried to distance himself from.  What he needed to do now was to regain control of his thoughts so that he could once again be a useful member of the team.

He sighed as he stopped walking and closed his eyes. The task had been one far easier said than done.

"Are you alright?"

The question had been sweety asked, her voice had been almost angelic, and for a very brief moment he could have sworn that it had been Leena who had spoken to him.  Jayson opened his eyes expecting to see someone from the staff of the cruise liner, someone doing their duty in ensuring that all passengers were having a great time.  To his surprise he saw another passenger looking back at him with concern in her eyes and hair as black as night.

"Are you alright?"

She repeated the question only making Jayson feel that she actually cared about what he felt.  Maybe he had appeared far more lost than he had expected himself to be.  Whatever the reason had been, in the end she had come to check up on him, whoever she was.

"I'm fine, thank you."

Jayson kept his reply short and to the point.  He wanted to say so much more and the woman's smile made him instantly at ease.  Although she looked nothing like Ya'Han, the way her lips curled when she smiled reminded the OPS officer of the way the Chief of Security also smiled.

"Your words say one thing, but your eyes tell an entirely different story.  It's alright, I am not here to pry. I just wanted to offer you my help if you needed it.  Sometimes the best thing that can happen to any one of us is to be made aware that we are not alone in this universe."

Jayson just listened.  The woman's voice was enchanting and again reminded him of someone else.  There had been no doubt that the two women had been completely different in countless ways, but the odd similarities drew him even more into her charms.

"Words are something all we have."

He was not sure what to say, or even of the thoughts behind the words. All he wanted was to hear her voice once again.

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.  I believe that this was said by someone from your world."

Smart and charming, whoever this lady was, she had it all and Jayson found himself unable and unwilling to end this little conversation of theirs.

"My name is Jayson, and I would very much like for us to continue this discussion. Maybe tonight for dinner we could share a table?"

Like a kid in high school he felt his heart beating out of his chest.  How wonderful would it be if she said yes. How devastating for him if she said no.

"I would like that very much. Lets say at 1900 in the main dining room?"

"It sounds perfect, but you have not told me your name."

She smiled a smile that could have brought an entire army to a dead stop.

"Just call me Shae."

For a moment Jayson suspected that the name she had given him had not been hers, but he truly didn't care.  Whatever name she chose to give him would be the one that would echo in him mind until dinner later that evening.  Until then he would just enjoy the thoughts and ideas of her, and how they could so easily change the world.

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Jayson Sousa

Ensign Jayson Stark
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501