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Lost Lighthouse
Posted on August 17th, 2008 by T'Kirr and Ian Blackthorne

Ian Blackthorne and T’Kirr

“Commander Harper seems quite eager for the position. Your meeting must have gone well.”

Ian nodded as they walked up the dirt road, rising above the ocean and flanked by long grass rippling in the constant wind. “Yes, and she’s creative in the cockpit as well. It doesn’t mean I don’t envy her the job, though.”

“Of course,” T’Kirr agreed, fully understanding. “Although it’s not too late to have eye surgery and demote yourself.”

Few would have recognized that wry comment for the joke it was, but Ian smirked, years of companionship lending their understanding. “Such a short time as XO and she’s already gunning for my chair.”

T’Kirr’s response was to take Ian’s arm and inch closer as they walked, a humored twinkle in her eye. The wind was whipping briskly at her dress, and she could only imagine what it would be like had she been wearing a full skirt. Ahead of them stood a towering grey stone cylinder which grew taller as they moved towards it, suffering elongated cracks around its surface. T’Kirr wondered idly if the lighthouse was lit after sunset.

“Would you look at that,” Ian remarked appreciatively. “Just when I was feeling old, I see something that’s endured the test of time far longer than me.”

“Does it help you to know that I’m older?”

“Than me or the lighthouse?” he quipped.

Without missing a beat, T’Kirr caught Ian in a reproving stare. “The lighthouse, of course. I look young for my age.”

Ian laughed, feeling light-hearted. No counselor could have ever predicted that his melancholia would have been lifted by a Vulcan’s humor. He’d needed this.

The door at the distant base of the lighthouse suddenly burst open and a man darted out, searching stacks of crates and piles of wood and metal junk in a frenzy, but clearly not finding what he was looking for. It was hard to tell from such a distance, but the man appeared to be old and frazzled, but quick on his feet despite a slight hunch.

Watching the man before they’d been spotted, Ian remarked, “He’s lost something… maybe his marbles.”

It was all they could do to keep trudging up the hill, closer and closer as the man kept searching, until he noticed them and squinted, calling out, “Eh? Who are you two, then?”

Ian and T’Kirr looked at each other, and then back at him. “My name’s Ian, and this is T’- Kir – Kirsten.”

Although making an attempt to be pleasant, it was clear the old man was distressed. “Ah, well, Ian and Kirsten–unusual name, by the way–pleased to meet you, quite, but I’m afraid… I’m rather busy right now. If you’ve come for the view, you’ll have to come back another night.”

As the view seemed as good of a reason as any to be up there, T’Kirr frowned. “Why, what’s wrong? Mister…”

“Ah, Albert. My name is Albert Dunham.” His apologetic tone turned to sudden fury. “It’s those two boys! At it again, they are! Tommy and Jerry, they’ll never let me rest! I must have this beacon working by sunset!”

“What did they break, Mr. Dunham?” Ian asked, wondering if he could lend a hand, even on the antiquated technology.

Albert threw his hands up and began again, half pacing, half searching through the crates of junk. “I’m not sure yet, and whatever they did caused me to blow a fuse – and I can’t even find those!”

“Maybe we can help, we’re pretty handy. If, of course, you’ll let us see the view from the top when it’s all fixed.”

“That so, flyboy?” Albert smirked, appraising the two. Ian was obviously a pilot given the bomber jacket and scarf, but the woman – Kirsten was it? – was strange-looking. Maybe she was from Wales.

“Sure,” Ian nodded, “I’ll bet we can help.”

“Well, then! Get to it!” The man was motioning frantically towards the looming structure behind him. His eyes were on Ian, clearly assuming he was the handier of the two. “I’ll take any help I can get right now. If I don’t get this thing to turn on soon…”

Ian’s eyes darted to T’Kirr. “You two find a fuse and I’ll head inside?”

T’Kirr nodded and met Albert’s watery gaze before he again set upon his search. Ian was no Percy Busard, but he could certainly tackle a crude electrical malfunction. As Ian disappeared into the lighthouse, T’Kirr approached the mass of ‘supplies’ and began to help look through the crates of various things–different lengths of steel beams, what looked like canvas, heavy rope, something round and fuzzy T’Kirr could only guess at its use, and some pieces of glass or plastic that appeared to have optical properties.

After a minute or so of silent rummaging, Albert cleared his throat, feeling that they should be talking about something – anything at all. “So then, you’re from Wales then, I’d wager?”

The following hesitation was less about trying to think of a lie and more about why this fictional character would assume such about her birthplace. Instead of confirming or denying his assumption, she supplied, “A small town called Surkanar.”

“Ah,” Albert said, the syllable indicating neither understanding nor comprehension. “That’s in Wales then, is it?”

T’Kirr changed the subject. “How long have you lived here? Were you born in another town?”

Figuring this Surbaklar place must be in Wales to have such a strange name, he ignored the subject change and answered her. “Oh about twenty years I imagine, came over during the Great War. I’m from Guildford, originally.”

Nodding once in acknowledgment, having no recognition as to the location of Guildford, T’Kirr became aware of just how little she had in common with a holographic lighthouse tender from a fictional town called Lost Harbor. Still, maybe it wasn’t about that. Why should she occupy herself so much about the details? It was, after all, just a holodeck. The program was designed to entertain.

“What’s this box of fuses look like?”

Albert scratched his head and thought a moment. “Black top, grey bottom, I think…”

His description not much help, T’Kirr continued searching, but they were running out of places to look. She changed tactics by stepping back and scanning the ground, seeing if it had been set apart from the pile or had been misplaced in a corner. She thought about the cause of his plight.

“You mentioned two boys. They’ve done something like this before?”

“Damnable ruffians they are! They must think it the height of hilarity to endanger our shipping traffic!” Albert shook his fist in the air.

“You know them by name. Do you know their parents?”

“Yes, I know everyone that lives here.” Albert stopped a moment to stretch, then resumed his tirade. “And after this – this is the last straw, I’m going to have them give their boys a stern talking-to!”

After a while, T’Kirr had stopped searching altogether. She had apparently done well at distracting Albert enough for him to stop looking, too, despite his hurry to beat the sun to the horizon. The conversation had turned several more times, and T’Kirr had just managed to approach the topic of the aforementioned fuzzy round thing’s exact nature when Ian emerged from the lighthouse, carrying a roll of wire and a small box, one that had remarkable similarities to Albert’s description of the missing fuse box.

“She’s all ready to go, Mr. Dunham,” Ian said with a jaunty smile.

Alfred’s eyes bugged, and he pointed a bony finger. “Oh, oh! Where did you find that!?”

With a chuckle, he answered, “It had been swept under the stairs.”

He made a start, as if he were about to begin grumbling, but seemed to put it aside immediately. “And the wire? What did you do to fix it? And so quick!”

“Some crossed wires here, a frayed wire there, and a short leads to one broken lighthouse.”

There were no more words as the lighthouse keeper rushed past and through the door. Ian and T’Kirr followed slowly, milling about the base of the winding staircase just inside as Albert made an awful racket in his hasty ascent of the lighthouse. A singular metallic clang followed by the unique sound of a magnetic charge signaled the beacon had been powered up. There was a gleeful cry from high above.

“Let there be light!”

With a smirk at the horrible cliche, Ian clasped T’Kirr’s hand and began to lead her up the stairs. “Come on, Kirsten, let’s take in that view.”

The scenery from the top was breathtaking. One could see the harbor below, lights beginning to twinkle in the windows of long-shadowed houses as the setting sun bathed in the ocean’s horizon. The wind blew much more briskly way up here with nothing but this tiny tower to break it up. T’Kirr’s short-cropped hair was whipped mercilessly about by the strong gale, and she clearly didn’t care whether it concealed the points of her ears anymore. Although her dress didn’t have much give, Ian could feel it fluttering against his legs.

T’Kirr turned from the view then to look up at him, and when Ian met her gaze, he froze. She was squinting slightly, and at first glance, he could have sworn something had flashed across her eyes–something he had just missed that was gone now. It hadn’t been color so much as movement–and then he realized what it must have been. Vulcans have secondary eyelids. It must’ve been the wind. It had only been a spark of something reflective. Something…


She immediately turned back to the golds and reds of the magnificent atmospheric display, clearly having mistaken the object of his comment. He rested a hand on her shoulder and leaned down to whisper in her ear, “I wasn’t referring to the sunset.”

T’Kirr’s attention was inevitably drawn back, her confusion marked only by the softened crease between her brows and her seeking eyes. His look must have clarified things rather quickly, for her confusion dissolved into admiration. A slim hand rose to his chest, slipping between the folds of his bomber jacket. She snuggled into his side, his arm defaulting around her shoulders as he hugged her back.

“Shall we go to the party?”

Ian grinned. “Wouldn’t miss it.”

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