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 Can't leave Cait

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sarahmertz
Ensign, Science and Medical
Ensign, Science and Medical
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Female
Number of posts : 51
Age : 33
Location : Lancaster, Pa
Operating System : win2k
Registration date : 2009-09-17

Character Biography
Character Name: R'sera Neith
Character Age: 21(25 Cait yrs)

20091101
PostCan't leave Cait

"R'sera of the clan Nieth, Please step forward." the professor said. The young caitian nurse student stood up and came to the stage, gown and hat adorned.
"You have excelled at your studies both acedemic and extra-cirricular, worthy of your graduate title of the highest degree of nursing attainable through this institution. You will serve the Clans well."
She nodded and accepted the degree with a smile that hid her disagreement with the last part of the statement. She learned to be skilled at hiding her true feelings due to her opinions differing from that of the masses of her community. The thirteen year old made her way home after the ceremony, still wearing the gown but holding the hat. Her province of Cait was mostly rural and walking was generally accepted for most transport as caitians are a physically fit race.
"Congratulations, 'Ser!" Several townsfolk said as she walked by. The shy girl would smile and thank them as she went, slightly embarassed at the attention. The town had earned a respect of her and her family's medical Practice, so her path seemed pretty well predicted.
When she arrived and closed the door of her father's office, she let out a sigh of relief. He was sitting at his desk filling out some forms when she sat down on the other side of the desk.
He looked over his computer monitor and smiled the gleam of a father to a daughter and stood up.
"Well done, my dear. Another doctor in the Clan."
She looked down humbly. "Thank you, Father."
"No need to look down, R'sera." He lifted her chin. "You are the highest ranking nurse graduate the institute has had in a decade. Be proud! You have earned it." R'sera sighed a little and relaxed some. "Now, go have some fun at home. You have a busy day tomorrow Head Nurse. I will see you at dinner."
"Yes, Father." She stood up after a while and looked around the room with a different perspective. Now it was her business not her hang-out. It felt weird to finally have crossed the line.
Their house was directly adjacent to the Practice, so it was a short trip. Al'nera, her little brother was home when she walked in. He looked indifferent to the gown and symbolism of it. Used to being the second even though he was the male child, he dismissed it as just another shining achievement for his big sister that he would not accomplish.
"Hi, Al' " She greeted.
"Ser." He grunted in return, barely looking up from his project.
"Whatcha working on?" She asked as she looked over the table at it. It seemed to be an electronic device of sorts, but not at all her expertise.
"If you must know, it's a matter-phase discriminator modulator for electronics class. If it works I will be the first to do it".
"You do that." She affirmed, getting a drink from the replicator.
"I hope you get that reward. I would be so proud of you. An engineer from Nieth Clan would be so neat." She patted Al on his shoulder.
"Uncle G'ralla was an engineer from here."
"Yeah but he went Off-world. You know how they all feel about off-worlding. I always wonder what it's like out there though, ya know?"
"Don't go there, sis." He said flatly. "You can't do that. Father would never forgive that. Your path is determined already for you."
"Don't remind me." She rolled her eyes. "I hear it everytime I walk through town. For once I would like to be different or a nobody who has to work for recognition."
"Been there, ain't so hot, Kit." He reassured.
"I'll find out someday. Somehow I will."

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Can't leave Cait :: Comments

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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Mon 2 Nov - 7:38 by sarahmertz
The next couple days were interesting but she felt lost inside. There was a certain sense that she was doing what she was supposed to, but in her heart she had a nagging feeling that there was more.
Trying to ignore it, she continued on with her work assisting her father. Some of the other nurses reported to her some were still above. It felt awkward at first to have nurses who she grew up with reporting to her.
"R.N. R'sera" one of the older nurses approached, carrying a stack of sheets. She sat them on a bed and leaned on them while looking at the new graduate.
"Yes, Ms. N'rali?" She responded almost saluting out of habit. The older nurse smiled and placed a hand on the younger's shoulder.
"Kit, you can call me N'rali. You are a nurse now."
R'sera nodded shyly.
"It just feels wierd to be a peer now. I've spent all my life looking up to you."
"I understand. It felt wierd at first when I got my credentials. You'll get used to it though." She handed one end of a sheet to her to help put on a bed.
"Thanks." R'sera smiled politely, knowing there was more to it.
They continued with their rounds and made small talk along the way. The day went quickly and was over before she knew it. As she took off her apron and hat and placed them on a hook in her father's office, he walked in.
"Hey, Kit." he greeted as he sat down at his desk. "How was your first week?"
"Good, I guess." He tilted his head at her response.
"You guess? Is something wrong, dear?" He made eye contact, which always made her nervous.
"Mostly." she paused and looked out the windown before continuing. "I just have a lot on my mind right now."
"I can accept that answer. If you want to talk it out, I'm all ears."
"Not yet, Father." She went toward the door and turned back and asked,
"Anyone here from Uncle G'ralla recently?"
He looked shocked to hear the name. He sat back in his chair and put his hands together.
"I haven't spoken to him since he went off-world. His skills would have served the clan well, but he had to deprive us of it. He made his choice and I don't know that he could be permitted to come back. Clan leadership is strict that way." He replied sternly. She wasn't so sure it was the clan or the family that made that ruling.
"Alright. I was just wondering."
"Can you pick up some supplies at the store on the way home?"
"Sure." She said and took the list from him.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Mon 2 Nov - 12:13 by sarahmertz
When she arrived home, her brother was working on his project as before. He had mostly completed it and was sitting beside it with a classmate.
"Hi" she said as she walked by with her arm load of supplies and placed them on the kitchen counter.
The pair of engineering students said hi in unison and went back to thier project. She raised an eyebrow and hesitated to herself. Her brother was not known to have many friends, let alone a female freind. She smiled and walked over to the replicator for a drink from the replicator. When she walked back, his friend looked up and said,
"Hey, I didn't know you were related to R'sera. When were you going to tell me, Al?" He rolled his eyes when she said that.
"I thought you knew. Seems like everyone does in this town."
"Well I'm not from this town, Al. I'm here for school. I'm Talia, by the way."
"Pleased to meet you, Talia. Nice to see Al'nera finally has some 'taste in friends." R'sera continued on with her to-do list and left them to their project.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Tue 3 Nov - 19:02 by sarahmertz
After Talia left, Al'nera came over to the porch where R'sera was sitting on the bench swing. R'sera looked up and smiled subtly.
"Mind if I join you, Kit?" He asked.
"Whatever." She responded in a sibling way, looking up from her PADD.
"You don't seem yourself lately. What's wrong?" he sat down at the other end of the bench.
"I don't know." She said evasively.
"That doesn't sound like R'sera the determined doctor."
"Al, I'm a nurse not a doctor."
"You know what I mean. You always had a force and direction. What happened?"
"It just feels wrong. Like I don't know how but I just feel like I should be somewhere else than here. Is that so weird?"
"Actually not really. For a Nieth yes, but for a person not so much."
She smiled when he said that. He continued,
"Tali's of the M'ress clan. They have several members in Starfleet. For them it is quite acceptible to be off-world."
"Really?" She perked her ears up in a cat way.
"Don't let father know that. You do know G'ralla is in Starfleet?"
"How do you know that?"
"Tali's father met him. They were on a ship together. That was why Tali knew about you. She is a classmate on the project, but she was told to get the message to us."
"Interesting. Too bad I can't find out about this 'Starfleet'. Besides, how would they need a little 13 year old nurse?"
"Tali said to come over to her house after work sometime if you want to know more because she thought you would like to know."
"Well, this Tali is quite the little oracle isn't she?"
"Not the word I had in mind but I guess that could fit." He got up and turned to face her. "If you do go, let me know. Father won't worry about us going over for a dinner or something like that."
"Thanks. Maybe we can tomorrow. My shift is off early."
"Alright, Kit. I think Father's coming home now." He walked back into the house and R'sera resumed her notes. The news of her uncle strengthened her curiousity. Now she had to find out what there was off-world in this 'Starfleet'.
The next day flew by with a stride as she anticipated the evening.
"Father?" She leaned in the office door, he was sitting at his desk as usual.
"Yes, Kit?"
"I'm going to a friend's house for dinner. Al is coming along too."
"Alright. I might be working late on this anyway. Don't be too late."
"Thank you father."
The siblings walked out of town toward the M'ress clan's town. Talia was walking along the road when they met, around halfway. In caitian culture walking was preferable to vehicular transport when possible, so this was normal enough.
"Hey guys. Glad you could come." She greeted and stood between them as they walked. R'sera found the younger girl's energy refreshing. It reminded her of her earilier years. After a while they arrived at Talia's house and they went up the front porch where her family was sitting outside. They smiled when they saw the trio.
"Al'nera and R'sera Nieth." Talia's mother greeted. "G'ralla will be glad to hear from you."
"He will?" R'sera responded in suprise. "How?"
"He can recive messages from his terminal on the Odysee. Later on we will have to open a channel to him."
"Cool." Al'nera blurted in a technical fascination way, being an engineering student.
"Well," Talia's father said as he stood up, "Let's all go inside and have some dinner."
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Fri 6 Nov - 18:11 by sarahmertz
When they went inside, Al and Talia went straight for her android who had come out to greet them. R'sera smiled at thier technological interest and continued looking at the surroundings. She was observing the plaques and pictures on the walls. There were a couple marks of achievement for a few family members. Being the M'ress family line, there were a few generations of ship members so far with differing capacities.
Talia's father came over and started talking to R'sera. He smiled when they looked at one in particular.
"That's one of my favorites. You might not notice, but that is G'ralla in there next to me. We just completed our first tour on the USS Odysee. He was a good man to serve with. He told me when you graduated nursing to try to reach you. He thought you would have the curious spark but knew the clan would limit your development."
"Really?" She said in reply.
"Yes. M'ress clan leadership is much more open to exploration than the Nieth clan. It is a shame really. I will tell you as much as you want to know on it, and help you in exploring if you want."
"Thank you. I apreciate that, sir." she smiled shyly.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Mon 9 Nov - 20:47 by sarahmertz
The question of whether or not she was willing to go was easy. Her sense of family duty was another matter. There were so many questions that she had and asked the hosting family, sometimes making Talia smirk. R'sera could tell some of these questions were obvious to them but they were not to someone of her clan's isolation.
The time spent there seemed like it was nothing and forever at the same time. She felt at peace and relaxed there.
"Is everything alright, dear?" Talia's mother asked when she and R'sera were walking toward the door. They sat down on some rocking chairs on the porch.
"It's just so much to think about, ya know?" R'sera responded with a little strain in her voice. The older caitian nodded.
"Yes, I do." She paused, "You have the decision of what is best for you or best for your clan. That is not easy. Ultimately you will have to find out what you can look at yourself and be at peace with."
"Well," R'sera responded,"yeah. It sounds so clear and simple like that. I just know that if my father hears.."
"This will sound rude at first," She interrupted R'sera, "But you are you and you only. Your father is important, but he will ultimately align with what makes YOU happy. That and that alone is what you need to decide. That is what I had to decide and it led me to this..." She motioned to the house and family."...If I had stayed rooted here I would have missed out on so much, even my husband and child."
"So what are you doing back if you are offwor...er...Star fleet?"
"We kept the house here for when we have to treat Talia's medical issues. It just makes things easier that way."
"Issues?" R'sera moved an ear with a medical interest.
"Alas, she has had some genetic degenerative conditions along the way which we have mostly corrected by now. Starfleet's doctors are good but Cait still knows Caitians the best." She grinned.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Tue 10 Nov - 18:40 by sarahmertz
Eventually they decided to call it a night and make the trip home. It was dark, but that is not a limitation for a caitian's eyesight. The pair were silent but smiling as they walked, feeling as if a window had been opened. The stars held a different significance when they looked up, particularly bright without the lights of civilization.
When they returned home, her father was sitting in his chair in the living room reading a book. He closed his book and sat it on the table next to him.
"Kit." He said directly but softly. She stopped, Al continued upstairs.
"Yes, Father?" She responded with uncertainty.
"How was your evening?"
"Good. We had a good time."
"Glad to hear." he motioned for R'sera to come over, she did. He motioned for her to sit on the ottoman in front of him.
"So, Kit, what is it that you wanted to talk to me about earlier?"
She was silent for a moment in response. He waited.
"I don't know..." She said in her shy way. He raised an eyebrow.
"You can say it. I will not be offended."
"I'm just not sure where I fit in yet, Father." She replied. "I don't know if I'm supposed to be doing this, here, right now." She stated and inwardly cringed for the response. He nodded and motioned for a hug, which she accepted and held him tightly.
"That's alright, dear. That's alright. You have had a very ambitious training life, so I am not suprised. In fact I have noted that recently of you. You will find your way soon enough, I just hope it is with me in the Practice. I always wanted the Practice to be a family tradition but I would be wrong to force you into it."
"Really?" She blurted and looked him in the eyes.
"Yes, you have a talent for what you set to, and that has been medical. I know for a fact that you will make an excellent doctor in time and I would be heartbroken if you were not here by my side to see you progress."
"Thank you". She replied, trying to stabilize the emotion. She was suprised at how accepting he was, but at the same time he confirmed her fear of what would happen if she left. That made her decision even harder.
"Go on, Kit." he patted her on the back. "Go on to bed, it's late."
She nodded and went to her room, although she did not sleep well. She thought about the message she read and sent to her uncle and the information she learned about the rest of the picture outside the clan. All these million directions and thoughts circled in her mind until she finally found some rest for a little while before sunrise.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Tue 10 Nov - 21:29 by sarahmertz
When sunrise came, her resolve was renewed. The decision was to remain private for the moment however. Her coworkers and father noticed a difference but attributed it to her gaining her charachteristic focus back. She completed her work day and went to the town diner for dinner. Talia's mother was there waiting as she had said she would be. R'sera smiled and looked around a little as she sat down.
"Glad you could make it, R'sera. Do you prefer that I call you that?"
"My close friends call me Kit." She responded as she read the menu. A waitress approached.
"Can I take your orders?" She asked, holding a PADD.
"I'll have the river fish and a drink of root cider." R'sera responded.
"Me too." The other woman responded and the waitress darted away.
"If I were to accept this off-world plan," R'sera started,"What kind of time are we looking at?"
"Honestly, maybe 4 months until the next semester. You will need to take the acceptance exam, which should be nothing to a star student like you. I can get the recruiter to video conference when you can do it. Sooner the better."
"Agreed."
The pair ate thier food in silence for the most part and continued when they were done. The younger woman leaned back in the booth before continuing.
"So, I would have 4 months to break the news?"
"That's what it looks like. Try not to make too big a deal of it. From what you told me already, it sounds like he might be more open than you might think."
"Still, offworld is a term of derision in his vocabulary."
"I'll let you in on a secret." The older woman leaned over the table a little and smiled. "I knew your father in high school. I used to be a member of the Nieth clan before I was married into the M'ress clan. That choice I said last night of choosing what is best for you only, was refering to what I had to choose with him and me."
"Really?" R'sera said in suprise.
"Yes, we were dating but I had a more expansive perspective and decided to wander to the M'ress clan and the rest is history on that."
"And your family? Did they approve?"
"Not at first. They still submit to the clan leadership's decision but they themselves are alright with it."
"I see. Thank you for your time." R'sera stood up. "Let me know when you can get that test set up."
"You can count on it, Kit"
R'sera smiled and nodded, turned and went on her way.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Wed 11 Nov - 21:31 by sarahmertz
When she walked in the door of their house, Al was inside working on his project as was seemingly the norm.
"You look particularly perky, Kit" He greeted. "What have you been up to?"
She stopped and looked over her shoulder.
"I had lunch with Talia's mom."
"And..."
"I am going to try the Starfleet Academy entrance exam soon."
"So you decided?"
"Yeah. Haven't decided how to break it to Father, but yeah." She hung her coat on the coat rack next to the stairwell, and came over to sit on the opposite chair from him.
"You know this isn't going to go over well, Kit."
"Yeah, yeah." She rolled her eyes. "This is what I have been looking for. This is my calling. I know it for certain."
"Good. I am happy for you then." He pointed at his project, "what do you think of this interface? I don't think the biometrics are correct, but that's more of your thing."
She looked it over and placed a hand on the panel to operate it. Then she frowned.
"The primary function controls are set for a grown male's hand. This would be quite a bother for a female's hand to work with."
"I see now. I'll just have to reprogram the key spacing. No big. Thanks."
She laid back in the chair to relax and remarked,
"Anytime, bro. Anytime."
She watched him for a moment but ended up falling asleep on the couch, deep in a dream. The dream was set in the not so distant future. The weather was rainy and cold as she stood at the entryway to the transportation station. The cold air blew through her fur and chilled deeply.
"Well, this is it, Kit" Al'nera said. He was the only other person there. "I hope you strike it good and make a life for yourself. Father and Mother will come around eventually."
"Yeah." R'sera tried to smile and hold back the emotion of the departure. This was largely unsuccessful. Her brother put his arms out and they hugged. He rubbed his hand on her back and she leaned on the taller caitian's shoulder in the sense that it was probably her last time.
"It's ok, Kit. It's ok."
"I know. I will miss you, Al. Keep in touch." She said as the transport came to position with a loud hiss.
"Of course. Tell G'ralla I said hi."
"I will. Farewell brother."
"Farewell, Kit." He affirmed as she walked away.
Then the dream was broken by her father leaning over her holding her shoulder.
"Kit?" he asked, "What is wrong?"
"Wha..." she stammered, a little residual emotion showing. "I... had a big dream. That's all." she tried to cover.
"You always did have a big dream." He commented as he stood back up. "I like that about you, dear. Now go help your mother with dinner, please."
She nodded and went on her way to the kitchen where her mother was already at work.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Thu 12 Nov - 20:31 by sarahmertz
After dinner, she wandered her way out to her bench swing on the porch to read a book. A couple chapters in, the Padd flashed about a message. She selected it and it read:
"Report to the M'ress house at 1500 hrs tomorrow for Starfleet Academy entrance exam. This exam is live and has oral components, so be on time."
-end message.

She quickly deleted it and switched it back to the story before anyone saw it. At the same time she found herself smiling in a nervous way. Her heartbeat sped up a little in anticipation.
The next day flew by in a blur, and she was almost skipping over to the testing point. She knocked on the door and Talia's mom was at the door almost instantly with a smile. She motioned for R'sera to enter.
"Right on time, Kit. Well done."
"I wouldn't miss it."
She was directed to a small room upstairs where there was a medium sized panel and screen on the wall. R'sera sat down facing it and the elder caitian left the room and closed the door.
After a couple seconds the screen lit up with a starfleet insignia, then a video feed of a vulcan officer at a desk.
"So, You are R'sera?" He greeted, looking at a list in front of him. "Are you of acceptable age?" He commented about her young appearance.
"Y-Yes, I am." She replied nervously.
"You need not be nervous. It will only hinder you later on. I am Commander Ranok, I am merely establishing whether or not you posess the basic requirements in this stage. Do you have a last name?"
"No. Not really." She thought for a moment.
"Ah, yes. Caitian. You would use your clan name. What is your clan name?"
"Oh." She stated. "Nieth." She smiled a small smile.
"Very well." He entered the data and continued. "What is your interest in joining Starfleet?"
She thought for a moment before replying.
"Because life is more than just what is here on this little planet. I want to see other civilizations and learn new cultures and experience new things. To be more than just another clan member fulfilling traditions."
He nodded as he finished typing it in.
"An insightful answer." He responded.
They continued with oral interview questions for a long while, some were easy some were hard. The second stage was a bit easier for her to do. Written questions would pop on the screen and she would touch the right answers. This was certainly longer but more of her territory. It seemed like hours until it was all done, and she was worn out when the last question was answered.
He appeared back on the screen.
"Well done Ms Nieth. You will be pleased to know that you are accepted. Your grade on the oral section was 99 percent, Written was 90 percent. For someone with limited off-world knowledge you are a sharp thinker. Our next semester opening is in 2 months. Let me know your answer tomorrow. Close channel". The screen went black again.
She sighed and leaned back for a moment before getting up.
"So how did it go, dear?" The elder caitan asked as they walked down the stairs.
"I was accepted."
"That is good. I knew you could do it." She patted R'sera on the back. Then she stopped. "You do plan on going, right?"
"Yeah. I think. I just have to figure out how to break the news."
"It will be alright, kit."
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Fri 13 Nov - 21:11 by sarahmertz
The next day, after she completed her shift, R'sera leaned into her father's office. As normal he was at his desk entering data into a padd. He looked up and smiled at his daughter.
"Come in, Kit. Sit down." He motioned. "What's on your mind. Judging by your demeanor you have something important."
"Yes I do." She said as she sat down, but remained tense and looked around the room. It was a long pause before she continued.
"I am going back to school". She said and waited. He smiled and nodded.
"Good. I was hoping you would go for your doctorate."
"No, I am not. Well, not specifically." She said nervously.
"What does that mean, Kit?" His tone changed.
"Well...I am going to Starfleet Academy. I will be a doctor in the fleet."
He looked her in the eyes for a moment and then turned his chair away. The silence was unnerving and intense. She knew how much he was disappointed by the news but knew it was what needed to happen.
"Kit." He broke the silence. "You know what this will mean, right? You will be throwing away everything you have here. How can you do this?"
"I know it isn't what you want to hear Daddy, but this is what I was meant to do. I know it clearer than anything I have ever known. This is my calling. So the clan disapproves of it? That does not change my mind. I have lived to the standard and letter of the clan's counsel for my whole life. Never once have I rebelled against you or the clan, but this time I will put my foot down. There is no changing my mind on this. I will serve a ship's crew and become a meaningful member of a medical staff, exploring new things and other species and really make a life."
"Make a life?" He blurted reactively.
"Sorry." She apologized. "I mean MY life. This life may be fine for any number of other caitians, but this is not ME. I hope you understand that father. Semester starts in 2 months. I will be at home when you get home." She stood up and left the room.
He put his head in his hands and leaned on the desk, looking down. She chose not to see it but she knew he was hurting.
When he came home, she was sitting on her bed looking at some pictures. They were of various childhood moments, mostly with the two of them together smiling.
This time he was the one leaning in the door. She looked up and pulled her legs up so she could lean her head on her knees.
"Yes, daddy." She said in a soft cautious tone. He came in and sat down beside her.
"I love you, Kit." He started and put an arm around her back. "That took a lot of nerve to say earlier."
"I love you too Daddy." She smiled shyly.
"Where did you get this idea? Was it that M'ress girl?"
"What if it was? I was dissatisfied before that though. All they did was give me the answer I was looking for. Don't blame them, this is my decision."
"I see." He replied. "Well. Your mother and I will miss you a lot. You have that special spark and I will miss seeing that grow. You have grown so much in the last couple years and you have made me proud to have raised you."
R'sera was overcome by her emotion and a few tears came out. She leaned over and hugged him, leaning her head on his chest.
"Aw, Kit. I wish I could dissuade you."
"Daddy, I'm becoming a Starfleet officer not dying."
"I know, but by the time the clan hears of this there won't be much left for you."
"What right do they have to do this to us?" She picked her head up. "This is the 24th century and we still don't acknowledge the fact that there is life off-world? Where is the sense in that?" R'sera stated.
"It is not my place to counter the clan council. For what it's worth I could never disown my Kit. In order to maintain my position in the town I will have to keep this quiet though. It is likely they will not allow you to return."
"I understand that. Thank you for letting me do it."
He stood up and walked to the door then turned.
"I guess we have two months then, my dear." He winked. "Let's make it memorable."
She smiled as he closed the door and she laid back on the bed.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Mon 16 Nov - 9:36 by sarahmertz
The next few weeks went by pleasantly and calmly. The family enjoyed time together and took as many chances for vacations as they could.
This, however was brought to an abrupt end. A young woman in a dark suit came up to them as R'sera and her father sat in front of their house one afternoon.
"Are you B'rall and R'sera of the Nieth clan?" She greeted.
"Who wants to know?" He responded and stood up. His expression changed quickly.
"The Council of the Clan Nieth summons you and your daughter to a hearing in two days."
"Why?" he asked.
"I beleive you are aware of the reason." She looked over at R'sera with a stern expression. "Your Daughter's plan to depart is not acceptable and should be dealt with accordingly. Good day."
After she left, the pair looked at eachother and rolled thier eyes.
"Here it goes." He said as they walked in the house.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Mon 16 Nov - 16:38 by sarahmertz
He closed the door behind them and they sat down in the living room. He sighed before saying what was on his mind.
"Kit, this is what I had feared would happen. Somehow they found out. You will be required to answer to the council as will I. The decision will be final so it has to count. Answer honestly and firmly because if they sense uncertainty they will change their response."
R'sera nodded.
"How do you know this so well, father?"
"I watched my brother go through this many years ago. Part of me has always hoped the council would change perspective an modernize the tolerances, but I doubt it. Nieth clan is very old order and will likely be for some time to come." he sipped a drink that he had been carrying.
"Sorry" She said, looking down.
"Don't be, my dear. I respect you for finding your way."
"It's just, I thought you would have reacted differently. You have been so accepting."
"You are my Kit. How could I be mad at you." He said and hugged her. "The council will probably force me to make a statement against you or your plans, but understand it is not what I feel inside. Now, how bout that river fish we were planning on?" He smiled and patted her back as they got up.

When the day arrived for the hearing, the pair wore their formal business clothing. A rare sight for the doctor and nurse to wear black. In human terms his outfit was a tuxedo and hers was a full length propper black dress. The building was ominously plain and large compared to most of the clan's architecture, devoid of windows and constructed of brick. They entered and were met by a security guard who escorted them to the courtroom where the hearing was to be held.
The council was already there and talking amongst themselves. The room fell silent when they entered. It was unnerving how silent the stone room was. They took their seats and the head of the council stood up.
"R'sera and B'rall of the Clan Nieth. You have been summoned to appear before this court to answer for a blatant violation of the clan code of conduct as laid out in the constitution subpart 20.2. How do you plea, R'sera?" He stated. She stood up to answer.
"I plan to depart to pursue a medical career in Starfleet."
"You are aware of the violation of this?"
"I am." She said and took a deep breath before continuing. "And I am not ashamed of it. With all due respect, I have spent my whole life in service to the Clan's rulings and graduated with honors from the Clan's schooling system. What has that gotten me? Confused and uncertain of my future. Now I have a plan and a purpose and yes it means I have to leave this quaint little clan but I am ready and this is where I am supposed to go. I know that with every fiber of my being."
"Noted", The councilman responded, then turned "B'rall."
"Yes."
"Have you done your utmost to dissuade your daughter of this decision?"
"I have."
"As a respected member of this community, where do you stand on this?"
"I disapprove." she looked at him when he said that, but knew he didn't mean it.
"R'sera." The councilman continued.
"Yes."
"You are in rebellion to the constitution and to your own father. Therefore it is the decision of this panel that you shall recive the punishment of banishment to preserve the purity of this community. When were you planning on leaving?"
"August 12"
"Two weeks." The councilman paused. "You will be granted until that time and then depart. Once departed you will not be allowed to return under any circumstances. This decision cannot be appealed or overturned. Do you understand?"
"I do."
"Very well. Ms R'sera, from this day forward you are no longer a member of this clan. Please exit this facility. Your father will be retained for some more questions."
"Understood." She said and turned to exit the room, hugging her father on the way out. She had a hard time retaining the emotion and he was worse off than she was.
She sat outside on a bench for seemingly an eternity before he came out. His look was that of one who was holding back and trying to maintain a face. They looked in eachother's eyes and said nothing as they walked home.


Last edited by sarahmertz on Tue 17 Nov - 11:21; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Tue 17 Nov - 8:03 by sarahmertz
"How did it go?" R'sera's mother asked when they walked in. Her father looked at her and shook his head.
"That bad?" She replied.
"It couldn't go well. It's just one of those things." He said. "They gave her til the 12th."
"Well, let's make the most of it then." She looked and turned to go to the kitchen where she had lunch ready. R'sera grabbed her father's hand and held him back, looking him in the eyes.
"I'm sorry Daddy. I never meant to hurt you." She leaned on him and hugged him, a few tears coming out.
"I'll be alright Kit." He consoled, "I just want you to be happy and successful in whatever you do."
"Thanks." She paused. "What did they talk to you about in there?"
"I just had to agree to a few things like you can't come back and if I am caught communicating with you after the 12th I could lose my doctorate. Those councilmen are so stuck on themselves. I wish they would just grow up."
"You and me both, Dad. I'll find a way someday." They continued walking, "I think the council will change someday."
"Just understand that unless I contact you first, you will jepordize things here if you try. Sadly, your lovely brown hair and overall popularity in school makes you pretty well known in this town, so I doubt you could just sneak in."
"Darn popularity." She said sarcastically smiling.
After dinner, she went to her swing out front with a book to read. Al'nera came out a few moments later and sat at the other end after she pulled her feet over.
"Big day." He said, breaking the silence.
"You could say that." she said in a slightly tired tone.
"For what it's worth, Kit, I admire you more for this than you being the top of the class. This takes more than knowledge, it takes strength. Maybe someday I'll follow you."
She stood up with a snap.
"NO." She blurted. "Don't talk that way, Al. This town has ears and eyes in places nobody knows. You are still too young to be deciding something like that. It would hurt the family for both of us to go."
"So miss popular gets to go but the little brother doesn't? That's real fair, sis."
"Sorry, Al." She apologized "But you have always lived here more willingly than I have."
"More willingly? I get in trouble all the time!"
"No, that's not what I mean. I have kept appearances but this has been nagging at me for years. If I didn't do it now I would get depressed or go insane." She said and sat back down. "All I'm saying is try to let things settle a while before you rustle them up with this. Keep in touch with Talia's family if you can. I will try to contact them from time to time if I can."
"Alright. I will try."
"So what is that thing you are working on with Tali anyway?"
"It's an ultrasonic analysis unit for analyzing material consistency."
She nodded, a little lost but smiled. He smirked.
"Simply put, it tells if there are impurities in metals and such. It should be worth a few points on the engineering course, perhaps a patent."
"I hope so, Al. You always had a sharp mind for that. I think you have the skills to be a prominent designer in the clan, perhaps rich even."
"Thanks, Kit." He smiled.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Tue 17 Nov - 16:59 by sarahmertz
R'sera decided to stay home the next day, so she was sitting in her swing reading most of the morning. The warm sunlight felt good on her head. The relaxation was cut by Talia arriving.
"R'sera, what are you doing home?" She said, rerouting from the door to the swing. R'sera sat up to make space for the younger girl.
"The council found out." she said flatly. Talia rolled her eyes.
"How?" Talia blurted incredulously. "What did they do?"
"I don't know how, but they have their ways." She paused, "I've been banished."
"Why do they think they have to do that? It is so crazy for them to think in such a backward way. It's the 24th century for crying out loud. Gahh!"
R'sera raised an eyebrow and smiled slightly at her friend's ferocity.
"It's alright, Tali." R'sera said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "It is just the way of the clan.
"The way of the clan" She said in a huff. "The way of the clan is so Stupid! They should be promoting you going to Starfleet not banishing you for it! Without people going to starfleet we could get attacked by borg and klingons and Xinti and who knows who. You would think they would get a clue."
R'sera shrugged, holding back a little.
"I agree, but it is not going to change on account of me. They have it set up to 'preserve' the way of life in their own little order. It's foolish to me too, but it is what it is. Someday it will change, but not soon enough for me. No need to get all worked up about it."
"So that's it? You just let it go?" Talia was still tense. There were only about 2 years between them but R'sera felt like Talia was so much younger and wilder. The energy was contagious, but R'sera managed to maintain her cool anyway.
"Yup, I have come to terms with it. Just count your blessings for being in the clan that you are. The hardest thing will be not sharing my life with my family. I was always raised that family was important above all, but now that very thing is not possible. I am alone and yet I feel empowered and clarified."
"You still have us, Kit."
"I appreciate that, Tali. Hopefully we can keep in contact."
"You can count on me going to the academy when I get old enough. You are not alone as long as the M'ress clan has anything to do with it."
R'sera smiled in an emotional way. Then she hugged Talia. The younger one recieved the hug awkwardly but smiled.
"Thank you." R'sera said softly. "That means a lot to me right now."
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Tue 17 Nov - 22:40 by sarahmertz
A couple moments later, R'sera's father came home. He saw his daughter on the swing and turned to come over with a smile, then saw Talia. His gaze became a bit less pleasant. R'sera saw this.
"Don't blame her, Daddy. She and her family are still friends. I know you think she was the reason I am leaving but don't. I want you to be friends. Can you try?"
He paused before responding.
"I will try, for you, Kit." He turned to her "Talia, that's your name, right?"
"Yes, sir." She said, standing up.
"As you were. I don't bite, usually." He tried to joke, still a little tense.
"Thank you." Talia said to him.
"Kit," he said "Tomorrow, I would like us to go to the capitol for a trip. We always meant to do that as a family."
"Sure. Sounds good Dad." R'sera replied. He nodded to the two of them and went into the house. Talia looked at her and asked,
"Is he always that quiet?"
"Generally. I have learned more about his personality in the last two months than I have in years. It has been kinda strange to get used to."
"Good strange, but sad also."
"Indeed, Tali. Indeed."
The pair went upstairs to her room. Talia sat on the bed and R'sera walked around, picking up things to pack.
"What kind of stuff do I need? I have never left the Clan before. Not even a day trip and look at me, now I won't even be coming back!"
"Ironic isn't it?" Talia responded. "You don't want a lot. You can replicate most things when you get there."
"Like what?" She asked, "We are restricted on what we can replicate here. They think its better for us to avoid them."
Talia shook her head in disbelief.
"How do you live this way and you aren't even eight kilometers from us?"
"I really don't know. It won't last. Eventually they will have to change."
"Take your photographs and jewelry and things like that. Clothing is pointless to bring since they will issue it to you. Once you are there, the money aspect will be useless also. Starfleet takes care of that for you."
R'sera raised an eyebrow and rotated an ear slightly.
"No money? Interesting."
"You have so much to learn, Kit." Talia replied. "How did you get that name anyway?"
R'sera sat on the end of the bed and leaned back on her arms.
"Kitria of Tirala was favorite story charachter, who also happened to look like me when I was younger."
"Oh yeah, those mystery novels. I forgot about that."
"So, since I was forever acting them out as a child, Dad called me Kit and it stuck."
"Cute. I do see it now." She chuckled.
"Come to think of it, she ended up leaving her clan too."
"I don't remember that story." Talia stated. "When was that?"
"The last novel of the series." R'sera replied. "She met an off-worlder and fell in love. He convinced her to leave with him but it didn't mean she got banished. I always wondered what happened after that but they stopped the series."
"Spooky coincidence indeed." Talia responded. "I should probably be going, mom gets worried if I'm too late. I hope your trip goes well tomorrow." she got up and went toward the door.
"Thanks."
"For what" Talia asked.
"For everything." R'sera responded with a smile. Talia left the room and closed the door partway. R'sera held a picture of the family and laid back in the bed, against the back of it. The picture was when the four of them were having a fish roast and she was only nine yrs old. Everyone smiled and the memory flooded in. The day was hot but the evening was just right. The crickets were loud in her sensitive ears. She was still a little wet in the picture because they had been swimming in the creek by the house right before. Al'nera had a slightly evil smile because he was about to pull her tail right after the shot. The air smelled of grilled fish, which was one of her favorite smells and foods.
She turned the lights out and kept looking at the picture through the moon light that came in the windows.
"The simple days." She commented to herself as she repositioned on her side and placed it on her nightstand to try to sleep.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Wed 18 Nov - 20:54 by sarahmertz
The morning came slowly for her, as the young caitian was up most of the night with many memories flooding through her mind. This was becoming the trend for her the closer the departure date drew. Around sunrise, she gave up and got dressed. When her family woke up, her father found her sitting in the large sill seat of her open window in the beam of sunlight. It felt warm and the birds were chirping energetically. Her ears turned to track him but her gaze did not change. He came over and sat down on the other end of it, alternating between looking out and at her.
“Sunrise is always pretty this time of year. The yellow glow is so relaxing.”
She looked up at him, smiled faintly and nodded.
“Long night, Kit?” He asked.
“Yeah.” She responded. “It's just all hitting me that I only have a matter of days left here. I will miss this a lot.”
“I bet you will.” He patted her back and pulled her in for a hug.”I bet you will.”
She hugged back tightly and laid her head on his shoulder.
“Let's go get some breakfast. I hear the diner in town is good for Saturday morning fish.” He suggested, pulling her up gently. She smiled.
“Sounds good to me. Is Al coming along today?” She asked as they walked down the stairs.
“He can if you want him to. This is your day, Kit.”
“I want him and mom to come along, but breakfast is just us.”
“Very well. They can fend for themselves then.” He replied.
R'sera set to putting on her jacket and tied her hair back while he told her mother what they were doing. It felt odd but pleasant to be walking to the diner on a clear Saturday morning so early. Normally this would be sleep in time or head to work time. He opened the diner door and she walked in. They took their seats in a corner booth near an open window. The waitress came and took their orders and left.
Then her gaze became more serious. He noticed and asked.
“What's wrong?” He said in a concerned tone.
“I just realized something, Dad.” She said quietly and pulled close to whisper. “The waitress.”
“What about her?”
“She was the one who took our orders when I was here with Talia's mom. We discussed the Starfleet exam here.” Now it was his turn for a serious look.
“You discussed that here?” He sounded shocked, then whispered back. “She is only the town's ears and mouth. I went to school with her. You think you have ears, she is twice as good. Twice the gossip too. That's who ratted us out to the council.”
R'sera rolled her eyes and shook her head. He reached over the table to hold her shoulder.
“You didn't know, Kit. What's done is done. Let's move on and just keep that on the notes shall we.”
“Alright, Daddy.” She smiled with effort.
“We never went to the capitol have we?”
“Not in my lifetime. I've almost never even left the town.”
“Wow.” He commented. “We really don't get out much do we?” he joked.
“So what's it like? I mean I've read about it but that's all.”
“For one thing we will want to bring some sandals along, I know you hate them. As far as I know you have never walked on a paved road. The pavement gets hot this time of year. The buildings are large, real large. The ocean breeze has a different smell than anything else. We will have to take a bus to get there since it's farther than we have time for.”
“Sounds interesting enough.”
The food arrived and they ate it savoringly but quickly to get on with the day's agenda. They headed back to the house and the other two were sitting outside, ready to go. Her mother had even gotten their sandals out. They each picked up a small back pack of snacks and walked to the bus station at the other end of town. The bus was rough and loud but it was fast in her eyes, not having spent much time on such machines. The trip was short enough with the aid of said, not much more than a half an hour.
R'sera remained glued to the window for most of the trip, drawing in as many scenic details as was possible. As they came closer, the distances between buildings became closer and the sizes of the buildings grew in an incredible rate. They walked off the bus when it arrived into a large terminal of much newer vehicles. Some had hovering technology some still used wheels. People were flowing around them. Noises were happening everywhere.
The four followed father's lead and went outside to the open of a sidewalk. She found out quickly about pavement. They put on their sandals before going much farther.
“Stay close. I don't want to lose you in the crowds.” He said, facing all of them. This did not fall on deaf ears.
First stop was the shore, which was right at the end of the main road. They put their packs on the ledge in front of them and leaned on the wall to look at the view. R'sera lifted herself on and sat on the ledge.
“It has been so long since I have seen this view, M'renn.” He said to R'sera's mother. She smiled back.
“Yeah, not since we were married. Even longer actually.” She replied.
“When we were here, this was so different.” He continued.”The row of buildings was not there and this pathway was a beach.”
R'sera tried to visualize the changes. Either way she was impressed. Al'nera was looking at the buildings in the sense of analyzing them.
“I understand now what you meant about the air.” R'sera stated. “It is so sweet a smell. I like it.”
“I knew you would, Kit.”
“Let's go to a museum.” M'renn suggested. Everybody nodded and smiled. R'sera hopped off the wall onto her father's much larger shoulders for a little while. She giggled and he smiled.
“Okay, Kit, that's all my old shoulders can take.” She hopped off and held his shoulders, massaging a little.
“Aw, don't stop.” He joked.
“We're here anyway.” Her mother stated.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Thu 19 Nov - 21:12 by sarahmertz
Once inside, the foursome split into their usual pairs. Al'nera and M'renn went to the industrial history wing and R'sera and her father went to the natural history wing. Being doctors, they were almost continuously commenting on the various displays and exhibits. Occasionally either would make a wise crack or a joke and the curator would look over with a “Shh.” Making them snicker all the more.
The museum was interesting, as were all the sites they visited that day. What stood out more than anything to her was the interactions with her parents. The fact that he referred to her mother's first was unusual, but also that they were all happy and laughing. This warmer positive side was getting harder and harder to leave behind. R'sera only wished it had come out sooner. She was sad to leave the museum, but it was inevitable.
Since it was almost sunset, they walked a while to find a restaurant. They found one several blocks away, passing several of the more 'normal' ones in favor of the unique.
“Seafood?” Al'nera said when they got there.
“Yes, Son.” Her father said, holding the door open. “They don't have this stuff over in the clan territory. Trust me you'll like it.”
M'renn and R'sera nodded and smiled.
“Welcome” the waitress greeted and escorted to their seats in the fancier restaurant. “I would recommend the special of the day. Deep water Tunari with seasoning.”
Father looked around at the other three and they all nodded.
“Make it four of them and root ciders” He stated. She nodded and walked away.
“So, Kit” M'renn started. “How was the museum?”
“It was fun. I wish we could keep doing this.” She replied but then got a more somber tone. “But I know that can't happen.”
“Now, lets not go there right now, shall we.” Her father replied, trying to smile.
“Why didn't we come here before?” she asked.
“I guess we just got too busy. Life gets busy, Kit. When you get our age you will understand.” Her mother replied gently.
“I suppose. At least we are now.” R'sera said and leaned back in the booth.
The fish came and it was different than any of them had seen. It was thick and blue and really tender.
“That is odd looking.” Al'nera stated.
“Just try it, Al.” R'sera poked him and took a fork full. “This is so good!” she commented. The group smiled and joined in. They all liked it. When it was all done, which did not take long, they all sat back and smiled.
“That was possibly the best fish I have ever eaten.” Her father said. They all agreed.
“And you didn't want to try it, Al.” R'sera ribbed as they walked back to the bus depot “ Where's your sense of adventure?”
By now it was dark and the breeze was starting to chill off a little. The tide was in apparently because the sound was more noticeable than before. People were walking around in their own ways. Some personal vehicles were driving by but not many.
“I think you took over that department, Kit.” Al responded.
“Yes, my dear you have shown enough of that for all of us lately.” Her mom added, patting her daughter's back.
R'sera smirked and shrugged.
“I never thought of it that way, really.” She stopped walking temporarily with a suddenly serious look.
“It's alright, Kit.” Her father said, taking her hand.
“Me, adventurous? No way. Not me.” R'sera stammered.
“Yes, Kit. I meant that.” Her father reaffirmed. “It's alright. You have the good adventurous side. Go with it. You will do well and you will make the family name proud with it” .
That made her smile as they walked into the depot. She remained mostly quiet the rest of the trip home. The rest of the family had their conversations along the way, but she sat there in thought, occasionally interjecting or responding.
When they arrived home, mother and brother went along upstairs to their respective routines since it was late but daughter and father stayed at the bottom of the stairs. She silently hugged him tightly. He looked down and smiled, returning after a while. After a few moments, she lifted her head and looked him right in the eyes.
“Yes, Kit?” He asked softly.
“I love you Daddy.” She replied. “Thanks. For everything.”
“I” He said slowly. “Love you too.” He was not used to that level of emotion in their relationship.
The pair walked upstairs together, his hand on her back. He patted her back once before she went into her room and he to his.
She packed some more of her belongings before turning the light out for sleep. She leaned back on her headboard with her hands behind her head, smiling. Eventually she settled into the kind of deep sleep that comes from a meaningful, happily tiring day.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Fri 20 Nov - 19:35 by sarahmertz
The house was empty when she woke up. Her sleep must have been deep, since she overslept her clock by a fair margin. Realizing that she was not required to be on duty anymore, she smiled and relaxed a little. Nevertheless, she was planning on visiting the Practice again today to say goodbye to her coworkers. She put on her blue nurse dress for the routine of it, realizing it was probably the last time she could do so legitimately. She also packed her small camera just in case.
As she walked down the road to the office, the townsfolk muttered things amongst themselves. Unfortunately her hearing was very acute so she could tell they were making remarks about her. She sighed and kept walking. It was a relief when she arrived and closed the door by leaning on it with her back. She swallowed and straightened her dress and hair bow.
“You look like you just saw a mob, Kit.” Her father said as he walked by with a chart.
“Sorry.” She stood up. “This town has ears in many places but it also has a gossip's voice.” She followed him into his office.
“I see you have your uniform on.” He said, picking up another chart from his desk. “You don't have to work anymore. Besides, you only have until tomorrow to have fun.”
“I want to spend it here here. Here is safe and it's with you. I like nursing, you know that.”
“Very well, R.N. R'sera.” He motioned for them to leave the room. He shut the door. “Go make your rounds then. N'ralli will be glad to have you one last day.”
“Thank you, Doctor.” She smiled.
The other nurse was cleaning in the operating room when R'sera found her. She looked up and smiled when she saw the younger nurse.
“I was hoping I would get to see you before you left R'sera.” She said as she leaned on her mop handle. R'sera smiled.
“I couldn't go without one last day of work here. Can't let you have all the fun, N'ralli.” R'sera said, taking another mop.
“You always did have that ethic about you. Whoever gets that will be lucky.” She went back to her mopping.
“This will always be home to me. You will always be family no matter what.”
“Thanks, Kit. You always were the daughter I never had.” She put her mop away.
Moving over to the surgical tools, the younger nurse followed and took the other cart. There were plenty of tools to clean as this was a fairly active Practice.
“What was it like in the council hearing?” N'ralli asked after a while.
“It was the scariest thing I have ever done, frankly.” R'sera said flatly.
“I'd imagine. I know I wouldn't have had the nerve.”
“Really? You always seemed so strong to me.” R'sera responded.
“When I am here I could take on anyone. Put me in a place like that and I'll just faint. Go figure, huh?” N'ralli shrugged.
“Yeah. I just did what felt right.” The younger nurse stated.
“You do that. You keep doing that and don't stop. Ever. You're a good kid, er a good woman.”
“It's alright, N'ralli.” R'sera affirmed. “I still feel like a kid in all this. Not even 3 months ago I was a nurse major in high school. This has all just happened so fast.”
“Life is fast. I have heard of off-worlders that live for two or three hundred years.” The senior nurse started. “Compare that to our seventies and we seem so small, don't we?”
“Truly.”
When the pair completed their rounds, they walked over to the lunch room. The building seemed empty, strangely so. They kept going, then N'ralli opened the door to the room. It was dark. R'sera reached for the light and jumped back in reaction when the staff blurted at once,
“SUPRISE” .
“She put her hands on her mouth and smiled. Then she started crying a little. The whole staff was there, her father was in the front. N'ralli moved to the rest of them, who were all around the table that had a cake on it. The cake was her favorite type, white with icing flowers and a message that read “We will miss you Kit”
She struggled to regain her composure before saying anything.
“Th-an-k you.” She stated. Her father came over and held her around her back.
“It's alright, Kit. You didn't think you'd get out of here without a special lunch did you?” He said.
“It's just so nice. Everyone is just so nice about this. It's overwhelming. I thought you all would hate me for it.”
“No, dear.” one of the other nurses replied. “We could never hate you for following your path. Some just lead one away from here.”
“Well said.” Her father replied. “So let's make the most of it. You cut the cake, my dear.”
She wiped a tear off and smiled.
“I want a picture to remember this first.” She said, pulling her camera out and setting it up.
The group was all laughter and fun, mostly about R'sera as a child helping them Everyone had a good thing to add to the stories. She sometimes felt embarrassed but complimented at the same time. Some of the nurses who said good things were even ones she didn't think liked her.
After the party was finished, she walked out taking pictures of the building for memory sake. This place held even more meaning now than it ever had. She walked home at the end of the day beside her father, proudly. The pair smiled, regardless of the townsfolk now. They mattered nothing to her anymore.
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Re: Can't leave Cait
Post on Sat 21 Nov - 9:51 by sarahmertz
The next day came, departure day. R'sera put on her favorite white dress and tied her hair back in a pony tail. Then she took her shoulder bag of personal effects and went downstairs. The family was waiting in the living room like they had been up a while before. Her mother looked like it was starting to show on her face. She came over to her daughter and took her hair out of the pony tail.
“Mom, what are you doing?” R'sera asked between getting jerked slightly by the hair.
“This” She paused, proceeding to braid the hair, “ Was my mother's hair clip. I want you to have it. It is made of pure latinum and diamond. She wanted you to have it when you were old enough to appreciate it.” She finished and sniffed a small sniff. She stood back and looked it over, then smiled.
“That really looks good with your hair color.”
“Thanks.” R'sera said and hugged her.
“Let's get a picture before we go.” Her father said and set up the camera.
When that was done, they ate a quick breakfast in order to make it to the depot on time. Talia and family were waiting on the outskirts of town when they got there. They were uncertain what R'sera's family would say but smiled and greeted anyway.
R'sera's parents were quiet at first. Then her father put a hand out for a shake. Talia's father returned the favor.
“Take care of her.” He said, “I wish I could.” He added firmly, then let the handshake go.
“Your daughter is in good hands.” The other father replied. The two families continued to walk. Then Her father looked over to Talia's mother.
“Do I know you?” He asked.
“Yes, you do.” She replied. “We dated in high school. I used to be in Nieth Clan.”
“Oh wow. Time does change things doesn't it?” He joked in a surprised tone.
“Yes it does, B'rall.” She smiled.
“At least G'ralla has good taste in friends.”
R'sera smiled at their banter. It was reassuring to her that the families could get along. When they got to the station, the platform was uncrowded. Talia's father set about the tickets and R'sera's father pulled her aside with her family. He knelt down in front of his daughter and put his hands on her shoulders. It was clear this was a strain for him to say. It felt like an eternity before he broke the silence. The other family members were beside him watching and trying to smile.
“Kit.” He started. “In the last few years I have seen you develop and mature into a sharp, intelligent and determined young woman.“ he paused. “You have a determined nerve about you. There are different kinds of nerve. Yours is the strong kind that will make a good leader. We are all proud of you.”
“Dad.” She tried to stop him so she didn't start crying. He continued anyway.
“No matter what anyone says, I consider you my hero for what you have done. You stood up to me, you stood up to the council like few have before you. That takes true bravery, which can be leadership. You could have been rebellious, but you did it the right way. I am so proud of you beyond what I could ever tell you.”
“Really, Daddy? Proud? Leadership? Me?”. She stammered thoughtfully.
She had never entertained the thought of being brave, let alone a leader in the true sense of the word. Sure she had pictured being a head nurse or a doctor all her life but that wasn't all that amazing to her. That was what was expected of her profession.
“That was why I was all tense in the courtroom. They made me angry, but you made me so proud. Now go do our family the justice we deserve. It only shames me that I cannot take part in your success. I will try to see if I can change things here, but it is unlikely that it will change in my lifetime. Just know that we are with you in spirit.” They took turns hugging each other as the bus came.
“Thank you for understanding me, Father.” She said as she took her bag on her shoulder. She looked at Al'nera and said “Take care of them, Al. Make that big invention to make the family rich now.” She smiled.
“I will, Kit.” He replied with a little emotion hitting his voice. “You take care too.”
They were interrupted by the intercom of the station announcing the bus departure.
“Go, get on.” Al said. Uncharacteristic of him, he hugged her tightly. She returned it awkwardly at first but then received it.
“We love you, Kit.” Her mother said as she got on. The noise drowned it out but she still knew to mouth it back and wave.
Talia's father was waiting on the bus when she walked in. He smiled when she came and sat down next to him. He let her take the window seat facing her family who was waving. She smiled as much as she could and waved back. Then the bus moved away. When they were out of view, she settled back into her seat and looked forward. A moment later, Talia's father broke the silence.
“I can't imagine how hard that was for you.” He said, putting his hand on hers.
“Actually, it was harder than I had thought it would be” She said as she looked back.
“It's all forward from here, R'sera. Keep moving forward.” He affirmed.
“I will.” She said, “It's all I can do.”

(The end)
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