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The Ceremony of Forgiveness

Posted on Sun Sep 8th, 2019 @ 1:07am by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dina Vossiborn

Mission: Shore Leave - An Internal Affair
Location: Holodeck 2
Timeline: During shore leave

Dina had a lot to think about. That had been true eversince her return from Everbright colony, but her visit to the bar and very confrontational discussion with Sonny had only added to that, though she'd be the first to argue that maybe that had been a good thing.

For now though, she was enjoying some old, classical music, lying back with her eyes closed, dozing off. Her thoughts were interrupted though, then her comm badge chirped.

=/\= "Silvaborn to Vossiborn. got a moment for me, little pup?" =/\=

She blinked, then blinked again, sitting up and tapping her badge, wondering if she'd really heard right or if this was a dream. The voice had spoken in Sirran, called himself 'Silvaborn', called her 'little pup', and sounded like a deep rumbling basso profondo.

=/\= "Silvertail Garran?" =/\=

=/\= "Who else would it be, little one. If you have a moment, I'd like to meet you at holodeck 2." =/\=

She furrowed her brows.

=/\= "Uhm, yes, Of course. I'll be there in five minutes." =/\=

=/\= "No rush, little pup." =/\=

That conversation over, she hurried to make herself a bit more presentable. She pulled on a simple dress over the underwear she'd been lounging in, freshened up her face with a damp towel, combed her hair back and tied it into a ponytail, before heading out.

And, as promised, outside Holodeck 2, Garran Silvaborn stood, waiting. The old lupine Sirran still his immense self, taller and broader than Dina, seemingly built purely for power rather than athletics like the younger Sirran. He seemed a bit grayer than she remembered, wearing a classy black suit now, and leaned on his old, intricately carved rosewood walking cane.

"Come here." he smiled as she approached, and pulled her into a tight hug, tail wagging lazily. "I've heard about what happened and came over to see you, before retiring."

"Retiring?" Dina asked, holding the embrace for perhaps a moment longer than appropriate, a moment that Garran was all too happy to give her.

"Yes, retiring. I'm old, little pup. Not just in years, but in mileage. Old and tired. It's about time I found myself a nice moon to settle down on. Buy a small cottage. Live out my twilight years in peace, away from the politics of the universe." he answered.

"I'll come and visit you some time." Dina said, a sad smile on Sirran features.

Garran gave a laugh. "You better." he grinned, though quickly turning serious again. "How are you holding up, little pup? That mission you were on ... That whole carcass - "

" - was rotten, yes." she finished his statement. "I'm - ... I'm ok. holding in there. I'll be fine." she lied.

Garran frowned. "You know I could always tell when you're lying, right."

"Right, right. My apologies, Silvertail Garran." Her shoulders slumped a bit. "It's - ... Rough. Nightmares. Can't sleep. Survivor guilt. Self doubt." she explained, quietly, gaze cast down.

"Hm." was all Garran said, reaching out to rest a powerful hand on her good shoulder. He contemplated her for a moment before turning to the holodeck door, opening it and stepping inside. "Come, little pup." he simply told her.

Dina followed into the space. It was a simple program. Dark blackness, with a gentle floodlight cast on a single area in the middle. There stood a statue, tall and proud, of a Sirran wearing robes, carrying a staff in one hand, and holding a lit torch in the other. In front of the statue, a row of simple braziers, each dark, only illuminated by a feint light. Five of them total.

"I - .. " Dina instantly recognized the setting, the statue. It was the Great Migrator. The Sirran deity. "I'm not a follower of the Migrator. I don't believe in him. You know this, Silvertail."

He gave a nod. "But that doesn't matter, little pup. Not today." he stepped into the illuminated area with a limp, stopping in front of the statue, about half again as tall as the old Sirran himself. "It's just a holographic representation of a statue, carved from stone. But it doesn't matter what it is, more that it means."

"What does it mean?" Dina asked, stepping inside the area as well.

"Well, what it can mean. For you specifically." Garran mused, his rumbling basso profondo resonating in the cavernous space. "You have a lot of guilt in you. And there's nobody left who can forgive you. Or so you feel." he mused. "But that doesn't mean you can't ask for forgiveness."

"I - " Dina started, but Garran silenced her with a simple gesture of his hand.

"I know, little pup. You don't feel that you can." he spoke. "I've been there. Maybe not the exact situation, but similar enough. You know this. You know where I've been. What I've done."

She gave a silent nod.

"And despite this, you've always trusted me. Trusted in the wisdom of my age and experience." he continued.

"Of course. You are Storyteller Garran. Respected elder and Silvertail. Not just among the Sirran, but the Federation too." she offered.

He smiled softly, sympathetically. "Then, trust in me today." he concluded, stepping into the shadows with a limp, gesturing to the five braziers and the statue of the Great Migrator.

She heaved a sigh, hesitating a brief moment before reaching for the lit torch held by the statue. She would humor Garran at least. Even if she didn't think it would help her. Torch in hand she headed to the brazier on the far left. She knelt in front of it, and spoke softly.

"John Granger. I have done you a grave harm. Although I do not deserve the honor and kindness of your forgiveness and do not dare ask for such, know that I grieve, and wish your soul prosperity, at the Migrator's side."

Each word considered, enunciated, remembered. Having said her words, she touched the brazier with the torch, lighting it.

That done, she rose to her feet, and headed to the one on the far right. There once again, she knelt down and spoke the same words - though this time to the soul of Wendy Nicholas. The second of the four civilians she had killed, on Everbright.

After that, the brazier to the left of the center one, where she spoke her words again, to the soul of Greg Livingstone. The third of the four.

The ceremony was somber. The only sounds the crackling of the fire in the braziers, her slow and carefully considered words, and her footsteps as she headed to the brazier on the right of the center one. And here, her words were to Peter Bright. The final of her victims.

Now there was only one brazier left, the center one. With a heavy heart and damp cheeks Dina went to kneel in front of it.

"Great Migrator, ancient and wise. Silvertail, Storyteller, one who gave us all life, and who's all-encompassing soul we carry a fragment of. I beseech you, guide these lost souls. Grant the ones I have wronged the mercy, peace and guidance that I have forsaken to provide. And grant me the wisdom and strength, to carry on my shoulders the burden of their memories, so that I might not repeat the grave injustices I have visited upon them."


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