Log of the Month for May, 2020
Posted on May 12th, 2020 by Ilaihr and Linxi Jude
by Ilaihr and Linxi Jude
Linxi had a feeling something was wrong. As she continued to telepathically reach out to Ilaihr, she stood up and left the hotel without so much as a glance at the crew. She turned towards the city center and idly walked in that direction. “Ilaihr. Where are you? Ilaihr,” she repeated, telepathically.
Linxi idly looked into the windows of the buildings as she walked, “If you need help, it’s Linxi. I’m here.”
Ilaihr sighed to himself. He could hear the young girl’s telepathic calls; and while they helped his mind focus and look passed the cacophony of noises in his head, he chose to ignore it.
He continued walking until he had finally found it; following the path he had walked before, he found himself at the Grand Amphitheatre, the Arch… the transcendence device. The sounds of people’s voices deafening now, he struggled on, reaching the centre.
There was a piercing ring and a white light filled his eyes; bringing him to his knees. His mind could see the symbols, the runes, the ancient writings of the Gencodians littering the pillars and walls, spiralling around the Great Arch; his sight practically zooming in and out on them, burning them into his memory… before blackness fell.
Linxi felt a sudden unconsciousness and cursed out loud. She quickened her pace, running towards the city center. Silence— Linxi paused, and looked around for some sign of life, before continuing to run through the city. To hell what the rest of the crew would say about danger, Ilaihr is out there somewhere, and she needs to find him.
Linxi slowed to a walking pace by the time she passed the city center and began telepathically reaching out to Ilaihr, to no avail. If only she had Kuari at this point to hitch a ride on, but alas. As she approached the Arch, she saw the body of the old Andorian. She rushed up to him and slid on her knees as she stopped before him. “Ilaihr?!” She turned him onto his back and held the back of his head up as she lightly patted his face. “Blue grandpa?”
The old man coughed, his eyes milky white and rolling around in his head, his body shivering. “Hello… child.” He gasped, tears rolling down his cheeks. “It didn’t work did it?” The colour slowly returned to his eyes, with his irises returning to view. “I failed to get us home.” He gazed around and sighed defeatedly. “I failed…”
Linxi looked up at the Arch, then down to Ilaihr. Of course, he must have thought it would do something. “No,” she shook her head, “it’s not your fault. We couldn’t predict what it would do.” She adjusted herself, to sit on the ground more comfortably. “We will figure out how to get to Atlantis, somehow.” Linxi doubted what she was saying; who knows if they would ever return home? But she had to try. “We will all figure it out together,” she paused, drooping her shoulders, “I hope.”
Linxi squeezed the old man’s hand, “But we need you with us.” She tried to shake all the doubt that ran through her mind at the moment, but she slouched over him, and shut her eyes. “But I don’t know how…”
There was a flash in his mind, his body shuddering; he squeezed her hand back tight as he clenched his teeth, clearly in pain. “I cannot go back… must go forward.” He gulped, taking a deep breath, before what seemed like a seizure abated and he eased himself up. “I can’t stay with the other’s anymore.”
He began to laugh, with the surreal effect of it echoing out into the amphitheatre, and bouncing back like a cackling crowd in an audience; before the old man began to sob. “I must leave this place, get away from everyone, must keep them safe… before I have the power to try again. If… if… if…”
The pain returned, and he paused but was able to overcome it quicker this time. “If I live long enough.”
Linxi couldn’t help but feel Ilaihr’s emotions amplify in her, and she too started to cry. She shook her head, telepathically speaking to him, “The others, the crew… they don’t understand the silence, Ilaihr. It’s- I feel alone.” She laid down, next to him, “And you’re the only one I feel comfortable enough to talk to about these things.” There was something about the Andorian she found comforting- where others called him crazy.
She scratched at the ground, whispering out, “I need someone to talk to. Please, try to… stay.”
“You don’t understand.” He rested his hand on her head, and sighed; his eyes going milky again, as he pulled her into his mindscape.
From darkness, came light. Shimmering and phasing into existence. They were on a mountain, overlooking a neverending horizon; a purple and green rainforest, a grassy steppe as far as the eye could see, sun-baked desert and beaches right next to a frozen barren tundra, and a vast ocean in the skies above rippling like reality was bending before them. The old man held out his hand and an image appeared. Children, dozens of children, laughing, playing, doing what children do. Ilaihr smiled as the images flickered before he was rocked by a deep sadness.
Linxi looked at the children running around, and turned to Ilaihr, “Who are they?”
“These are… were my brothers and my sisters.” His head dropped a little. “I haven’t thought about them in a very long time.”
The children began to vanish one by one, a strangely present sound of crying can be heard, growing with each child that vanished, before only one child remained, and the crying stopped, leaving the pair in silence again.
“They were doomed to die, too young… over a hundred of us, and I am all that is left.” The old Aenar shook, and so did the world around them. “I am only alive by chance, cosmic coincidence; I should have died with them centuries ago.”
The child was frozen, time ticking by for an eternity before he awoke again. A primal scream being let out, the visage of shadows and monsters before him. Then the boy became a monk, then a pirate, then a scholar, before finally sitting down in a chair, a literal ethereal glow in his eyes, before confidently saying the word “Engage”.
“I thought I had escaped the fate of my siblings, but time waits for no one.”
There was lightning, the roar of volcanoes erupting around them, as the image cracked like glass. Then something appeared, and Ilaihr turned to cover Jude’s eyes, as sounds unholy could be heard; instinctively raising the hairs on the back of their necks.
“And in my comfort and confidence… my hubris, I challenged gods and demons.”
The image of The Captain Ilaihr had too many spaces like jigsaw pieces had been removed from his very soul. A cane materialises, glowing and pulsating like arcane magic was flowing through it, the Captain taking it tight in his hands. Ice and fire surrounding him like an aura. But then the cane vanishes, and the aura flickers and begins to fail; as the Captain slowly falls to his knees.
“I am dying.” He turned to look at the young girl. “Because of what I am… what I have done. And I have been keeping it a secret for many years, managing it by various means.” He sighed, making the images disappear. “And here without those means, I will deteriorate rapidly.”
Linxi thought in silence. She didn’t know. “Can I help? With anything?”
“In time I will… become a danger to the others, as my control begins to slip.” He removed his hand from her head, and gripped his canestick, slowly attempting to bring himself to his feet. “It’ll be subtle at first, cause minor mood fluctuations, strange dreams, but it will get worse. As a telepath, you’ll be able to shield your mind, but many of the others will not be as fortunate.”
“But eventually even a well-trained telepath, will not be able to fully weather the lashings of a psychic scream; the feeling of a mind tearing itself apart. I could drive them to madness, make them experience pain in every part of their bodies… I could accidentally switch off their autonomic nervous system… ” As he regained his footing, he looked away from the young girl. “I need to get away from the city.”
“Shit. That’s… intense.” Linxi sat up quickly and moved to help Ilaihr up. “Do you… What do you want me to tell the crew?”
“Nothing…” He replied, almost ashamedly, trying not to look at her. “No one must know. They would not understand… they would worry, try to interfere…. get themselves hurt.”
Linxi nodded, then stepped in front of him, then gave him a hug. “I’m sorry this is happening,” she whispered. She stepped back, “But I’ll check on you when I can.”
The old man mustered a laboured smile. “I will need to lock myself deep in meditation; use all of my Vulcan training. I will need to construct myself a simple shelter, somewhere that I can become one with… nature, so to speak.” He tried to hide the sadness in his wrinkled eyes.
“Perhaps…” He sighed, wrapping his arm around Jude to hug her tight. “Perhaps I will have the strength of mind to find us a way home.” He squeezed tighter. “I do not believe this is the past or a computer simulation; I think this is something else, and we are being toyed with… and I will not allow it to go on!”
He stepped back, and raised his hood, casting his face into shadow. “You should forget you saw me, my dear. Better the others think me dead than suffering.” His hand began to tremor, his canestick rattling on the ground before he reached out with his other hand to stop it.
“I won’t forget you, I refuse to. I promise you, I won’t tell the crew anything. I just need to know that you are okay.” Linxi took a deep breath and exhaled, in an attempt to not burst out crying. There are things she doesn’t usually expect with Ilaihr— with her being emotionally wound up being one of them. But since they were all thrown here against their will, any and all expectations had to be thrown out the window.
Ilaihr too took a deep breath, straightening himself up, and patting down his robes. “I am Ilaihr of Andor, the Unborn, the Keeper of Secrets and Lies, the Avatar of Fire and Ice, and the Eduda of Trondheim.” He tapped his cane to the floor, echoing out like the ebb and flow of the ocean; like the confident captain, he was in his legendary youth. “I will be fine. We will survive. And however long it takes, you will see Atlantis again.”
“Good luck, my dear. Take care of the others… take care of each other; for an old man.” He slowly started walking away, praying for them to be safe, hoping that if they should find him dead that they could forgive him. “Goodbye, children.” Then like a monk, he lowered his head and began chanting, with each rap of his cane like the bang of a drum; his pilgrimage already begun, the image of them all strong in his mind.
Linxi stood watching, as Ilaihr walked away. She eventually made her way back to the hotel, where she told the crew she could not locate the Andorian. However, she would make a monthly trek out, to check on Ilaihr and make sure he is alive— and each time she would return, she would appear to be more overwrought than the last trip.
Keeping the old man’s status a secret from the crew would bear on Linxi, but she made a promise, and one she would intend to keep until either his dying breath or their return to Atlantis.
I actually teared up a little. This was really beautiful, stellar job both of you.
This side story twist is surprisingly momentous, in a way that when looked at from one angle, could be a major part of their entire estrangement from Atlantis. It fits right in to the main plot in that it’s an untold story to the crew, an impending death that was reversed, known only now to the two of them. Ilaihr’s visceral imagery is kaleidoscopic, and I could feel Linxi’s pain. This explains so much not only to the reader as if we were watching an episode of Trek, but it also answers much about Ilaihr’s past mysterious nature (and Linxi’s behavior at the end). Thank you for writing!
Lexy is so envious of empaths (and so am I). Great insight into these two characters and their connection! I felt so sad for Ilaihr, being the last of his family, growing old, fearing a loss of control. Nicely done, both of you!
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It’s gratifying to know, at least out-of-character, what happened to Ilaihr! The relationship between these two seemed to develop here, and Ilaihr really did feel larger than life. Linxi shows growth as well in really caring for someone, and the whole situation makes me miss playing a Betazoid. Wonderful log, you two!