USS Potemkin NCC-76927-C
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In Enemy Territory

Posted on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 @ 9:49pm by Lieutenant JG Ezrin Ezee & Ensign Anya Bagh
Edited on on Thu Feb 15th, 2024 @ 10:03pm

1,369 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Joint Logs
Location: Unknown
Timeline: Monday, April 10th, 2400, at 0000 hours

In Enemy Territory
(A joint Log and teaser by Ezrin Ezee and Anya Bagh)

The room was big, with hundreds of little cots all in neat rows across the floor. The walls were a boring slate gray, and there was only one door, which was always guarded from outside. The children of the Potemkin had found themselves there abruptly, in the middle of the night, so all of them were in their sleeping clothes, with the exception of the kittens, who did not need clothing. By some unspoken command, the kittens had all chosen a humanoid child to protect.

Lila woke at the strange sounds in her head. She jumped and let out a small hiss before realizing she couldn't feel Mommy's presence. She moved to her sleeping brother, Felix, sitting beside him as she took in the surroundings. She shook a little as her eyes scanned the crowd, looking for any familiar face. Not seeing anyone, she curled back next to Felix, the hair on her neck raised. She was ready to pounce if anyone tried anything funny.

Minutes passed without anything changing, aside from some of the braver Potemkin children approaching those already present to ask cautious questions, most of which had to do with where this was, why they were there, and who had taken them. The answers to these questions were universally “I don't know,” which only made them more frightened.

It was a couple of hours before the doors swished open, and two people entered, carrying a third between them. The third appeared to be injured, and did not resist as they were thrown into the room. They landed with a wet thump; their clothing was soaked, as was their teal hair, looking more like a dark blue with the addition of water. They coughed and shivered, but when they looked around, they found themself surrounded by a few hundred frightened eyes, and they made themself smile at them. “Ezrin gives...fair greetings, small-brings.” They told them, their voice a little weaker than they would have liked.

Lila immediately recognized the scent and ran to Ezrin, yowling loudly. She zoomed to them, gracefully jumping over other kids.

She headbutted Ezrin, not even minding her fur getting wet. She tried projecting again images of Anya, Henry, anything related to home zooming by in her head, this all sounded more like trills and mews to most everyone else.

Ezrin smiled, taking her onto their lap and petting her soothingly, also checking supperitiously for injuries. Finding none, they sighed. “Ezrin says we are knowing happenings are being scary, but Ezrin says is going to be okay, small-fur.”

Lila snuggled into Erin's lap, still shaking slightly.

Shortly, a smaller black cat wandered up to Lila and Ezrin. Felix clawed at Ezrin to be picked up.

Ezrin chuckled and picked him up, too, comforting both with soft touches. Then they looked around at all the other little faces staring at them; all these children needed comfort, too, and Ezrin’s lap was hardly big enough for all of them. They thought for a moment on what to do, and smiled when they remembered nights in the trees, listening to the elder beings telling stories by the lamplight. They balanced Lila on one shoulder, and Felix on the other as they stood up, noting that some of the children backed away, but the Potemkinites knew them, and some of them crowded closer. None of them were yet brave enough to say anything; Ezrin thought they must look very scary, indeed, soaking wet with a bandage on their leg. They noticed that many of the small-beings had small-furs of their own.

They began moving amongst the children, touching a shoulder here, wiping away a tear there, just giving them the comfort that came from a gentle touch, before sitting down on one of the undersized cots, near the approximate center of the room. “Ezrin says to be coming closer, all of you. Ezrin says we are promising we are not being scary,” they grinned at them, well aware that their smile was infectious, and was heartened to see some of the children smiling back hesitantly. “Ezrin says we are going to be saying a story. Come and be sitting.” They kept their tone low and soft, knowing the children would respond to that more than the actual words they said. The Potemkinite children settled around them without hesitation, and the other children hesitantly followed suit. “Ezrin says many year-timings ago, there was a small-being living in the trees of Armellia-planet-home with their family-unit, but they were wanting to be exploring the great surface. Ezrin says the small-being did not think they were too small for this, but all the big-beings told them they were. So, when the suns were being dark, they were climbing down the trees and they were moving off down pathings....” Ezrin went on, describing the wild adventures of the small-being, from fighting carnivorous plants to settling a dispute between animals, each new situation more ridiculous than the last. Before long, the children were laughing, and asking questions, seizing on the normality of having a story told to them. In the end of the story, the small-being had found they really missed their family-unit, and turned to go home, only to find that they did not remember the way back. For the first time, they were scared, and alone. But their family-unit had come to find them, and they were home again before long, all tucked into bed and ready for sleeping.

Ezrin smiled as they found that the small-beings in real life were looking tired, too. “Ezrin says we are knowing is being scary, being away from our family-units and not having knowings of happenings. But Ezrin says beings are looking for us, and is going to be okay.” They told all of them.

Lila and Felix settled into Ezrin’s shoulders as they told the story. Felix purring until he had fallen asleep. Lila listened to the story, relaxing a bit while snuggling next to their neck.

Ezrin let them settle, seeing that most of the kids were settling into their cots--well, those with cots nearby. There were more than a hundred-numberings of children, and many of them had decided to go to sleep on the floor near where Ezrin had been telling their story--or on top of other children, trying to share cots that were not big enough for more than one child. With a gentle shake of their head, they settled the sleeping Felix on a cot, and began picking up children, placing them on empty cots, occasionally taking a kitten with the child. Some time later, they returned with Lila to the cot with Felix, and took her down from their shoulder to settle her next to her brother. They began stroking her back gently to help her sleep.

If big kitten eyes were a thing, Lila had perfected them in her short life. She used them on Ezrin as they set her down. Her claws outstretched to them.

Ezrin smiled at the kitten, reasonably sure that she was seeking reassurance. All of the children here were. “Ezrin knows is being scary, in big places with no beings you are knowing. But we are being here, and we are not going anywhere.” They assured her. Not that there was any place to go, with the only door being guarded, and an entire room full of smalls to be kept safe. No, escape would not be possible without unacceptable risk to the smalls.

Lila moved closer to Ezrin, she was wide awake watching every speck of dust that moved… it was normally her zoomies time, but she didn't dare let Ezrin more than a foot away from her.

Ezrin smiled down at her and stroked her softly, soothingly. The only thing they could do was try to protect the smalls as best they could, until the Potemkin came to get them. And right now, that meant keeping them calm and quiet, and not antagonizing their captors. So they sat down on the little cot next to Felix and Lila, clutching an amber pendant in a green hand, and praying for swift rescue.

~End Log~


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