Category: Rog



Trev: Driven by unspeakable shame, he inexplicably heads back to see Sal. Rain slashes his face as a vicious wind whips a steel gray sky. He doesn’t notice.

Mairi: Unconscious on the cold floor, her head in a small pool of dark blood. She tried to stop Trev from going. He punched her in the face.

Emy: Her new found sensitivity to sound is driving her insane. She is currently floating her agitated arse in an isolation chamber. She holds her brooch in her hand, realizes she can no longer see her mother and starts to punch the side of the chamber. No one can hear. Blood drips from her knuckles. She starts to smile as salt stings her open wounds.

Cait: Sitting in the study with the Commander and Tom. She has been informed of the circumstances and looks on as the Commander outlines his plan. When the Commander mentions Kyra, Cait stands up and yells, “I will not have that bitch in my house!” Ariel appears in the doorway and all three adults turn in unison toward the small child.

Kyra: On her way to Duckhead. She is the plan. She sits in meditative silence on the private transport oblivious to the multi-hued lights flashing by.

Von: Refused to take no. He is with Kyra. His left hand has a firm grip on his right. It shakes anyway.

Rog and John: Making idle conversation. The Matutinal Mercy has not yet been delivered. The room is ice cold. Neither notice.

Yul: Still in hospital. Too high to wonder why. Too low to care.

Kieran: Closely watching events unfold.

The Unknowns: Closely watching Kieran.

Advertisements

Matutinal Mercy

Steps were heard. Heavy boots, leather and metal slapping and clicking against the silent face of smooth worn stone, the pace methodical, the foot porcine but not clumsy. The rhythm of the stride belied one leg longer than the other and Rog wondered how much abuse his jailer had endured by those more fortunate in birth. Thoughts of home, a place where difference was celebrated, flooded his heart. A child of the shells this man would have been. And Rog wondered how this man’s life would have been different, how his fate would have taken a different course on Hyneria.

The cell door opened, as these doors were wont to do, with a heaviness felt on the skin as much as heard in the ear. One set of dull dark eyes, standing, took account of two sets wide and bright, sitting. The air felt humid, heavy, and each breath felt as fish must feel in labored exchange of effort for life. The soft water seemed to hang in the air as if air and water were easy neighbors long accustomed to cohabitation and conspiring such that the walls sweated reflective beads of cold fear, walls that knew the souls of many men having met once but never again. They say if walls could talk, but these walls chose not, for some things were better not remembered.

No words were uttered as the unbalanced man placed a tray in the center of the cell. He looked again at John and then Rog before backing out of the room and locking the door, the key squealing closure as steps loud became soft until only the sound of labored breathing could be heard.

The tray held two thin octagonal glasses with a crimson hued liquid sitting steady at three quarters mark. John spoke first. “The matutinal drink. Mercy in a glass.”

Rog held his glass up to the dim light. The liquid seemed to glow, to hum, almost as if alive, as if a thousand tiny voices called forth and demanded obedience. Rog put the glass to his lips—”Put that down,” yelled John.

The Mask


Cait stood in John’s study and released a heavy sigh as her eyes moved not so much from object to object but from memory to memory. Ariel was in bed and although it seemed like only minutes, several hours had past since they took John away. Her gaze skipped as pebbles across his desk and followed the warm light of a single lamp to the wooden cove behind his leather chair. Upon the wall, framed by books of varying sizes and colors, a solitary beam of light fell upon “The Mask” as the Discovery men called it. Passed from generation to generation, the mask represented everything noble in the Discovery lineage, and until a few hours ago, John had upheld the honor of the house as no one before him.

“What is it Kyra?” asked Von, somewhat puzzled by her dour demeanor.

“It’s Rog. They’ve taken him away.”

“For what?”

“Crimes against the state. I didn’t have the energy to argue.”

“What crime?”

“Seems they stole a military vessel.”

“What vessel?”

“The one they rescued us in.”

“Oh.”

A tear slipped from Cait’s eye. She wept not for Discovery honor. She wept for her own.

Darkness Rendered

Von, Rog and Em sat without talking, each lost in their own world as they waited for the doctor as children wait to hear their name read from gifts under tree. John had had his bandages removed the day before and his sight was now as it was before. Today was their turn.

The nurse called Von. He entered. Sight restored. Next she called Rog. Again, darkness was left behind. Last was Em. She entered in darkness, and after what seemed to Von and Rog like a awfully long time, she returned still in darkness. Smiles turned south. Laugher vanished quicker than the snap of fingers. Em stood, her arms by her side, her head struggling to maintain posture.

“Frail the doctor. I will regain my sight.”

Von and Rog stood speechless.

Em held out her hands. “Let’s go. These frailing aliens don’t give a shiott about us,” said Em using language Von and Rog had never heard her use.

Von looked at Rog and Rog looked away, his face bloodless. He had his sight back. Em did not.

“Von,” commed Kyra, “how’d it go?”

“Not good.”

“What happened?”

“Em is still blind.”

“Oh my Janus. Is she okay?”

“It’s not Em I’m worried about.”

Curves

Von: Want to talk about it?

Rog: Nope.

Von:(waits a few seconds) You sure?

Rog: Yep.

Von: Okay, if you–

Rog: What was I suppose to do.

Von: Is that a question?

Rog: No, not really.

Von: (few more seconds go by) How’s your snizzle?

Rog: Good.

Von: Good.

Rog: You know what I miss?

Von: What?

Rog: Curves.

Von: (laughs) Curves?

Rog: Yes, curves. (no response from Von) You know. Curves.

Von: What kind of curves?

Rog: Two kinds.

Von: Really?

Rog: Yep.

Von: (says nothing)

Rog: Well?

Von: Well what?

Rog: Aren’t you going to ask?

Von: About what?

Rog: The frailing curves.

Von: Okay. What are the two kinds of curves?

Rog: The kind you see and the kind you feel. Before my Jackassery, I never understood that the two were not one and the same, but when you lose your sight, everything looks different. (laughs at himself) Looks different. Get it. (laughs some more)

Von: Yea. Funny stuff.

Rog: But after awhile, you start thinking and you know what I thought . . .

Von: I have no idea.

Rog: Got any snoot?

Von: (belly laughs and pulls out a bottle) Now render unto me my due.

Rog: What?

Von: Just tell me what you thought.

Rog: Right (takes a sip). Well, when I lost my sight that is when I realized that there were two kinds of curves, not just one. You see, before, I thought a curve was a curve.

Von: Pardon me but what the frail are you talking about?

Rog: A curve Von. You know.

Von: (laughs in a non-laughing manner) Pretend I don’t.

Rog: A woman Von. The curves of a woman. Take Yul for example.

Von: You sure you want to go there?

Rog: (Rog ignores him) There is the curve of her head, so frailing round you just want to roll marbles off the top of it. You can’t look at her head and not see the curve, how her long purplish green hair lies flat, how the light highlights the curve (takes another sip). I’m telling you, you don’t appreciate that curve until it’s gone.

Von: Marbles? Are you frailing kidding me. Marbles.

Rog: Shut the frail up and let me finish. This is my theory. You can talk later.

Von: Please professor Rog, enlightening me more on rolling marbles off the head of women.

Rog: You through?

Von: The floor is all yours.

Rog: Her eyes, they curve like rainbows in the tropics. Her cheeks, curve like mountains rising in the dawn and those mountains Von, are never the same. I swear she can smile a hundred different ways and every time, that curve is slightly different, frailingly intoxicatingly different, almost as if she knows, like she can manipulate the angle of her jaw to communicate the smallest nuance of desire. And then, when you see those cheeks and those dimples, you notice the curve of her nose, that upturned, I will get down and dirty and make you like it nose, that nose that curves in such a way as to fit in places, well, in places, you know, places.

Von: Yes, places. Curves and places. Got it. Continue.

Rog: Her lips Von. Don’t tell me you never noticed the curve of her lips. The upper lip curves intelligently down in a gently sweeping motion but the lower lip, oh my frailing my, Von, that lower lip curves sharply, levels out and curves again. If a curve could pout, that is one frailing pouty curve. Hot damn Von, you know what I’m saying.

Von: Yea. Curves. Intelligent and pouty.

Rog: It gets better.

Von: Oh I’m sure it does.

Rog: Nothing like the curve of her neck and the neck has several curves. The back of the neck, such a short curve compared to the lower back. When she lifts her hair and holds it above her head, both hands, that curve looks regal, almost like a Chatelaine. Can you imagine me with a Chatelaine?

Von: Nope.

Rog: That is a curve for you. See what I’m talking about?

Von: Have some more snoot. On second thought, I’ll have some more.

Rog: Then there is the collarbone. A complex curve and, for curve connoisseurs like–

Von: You?

Rog: Yea, like me. As I was saying, for a curve connoisseur like me, when seen in the right light, at just the right angle, the curve of the collarbone is as sexy as any curve there is. You see, the best curves are the ones you don’t think are curves, the ones she doesn’t think are curves. Call them hidden curves, natural curves, curves without machination.

Von: Machination? Do you even know what that means?

Rog: John loved word games and we had a long seven days on the way to bring your arse back. I got more.

Von: Like what?

Rog: Like, like, like I’ll use them when and where I please.

Von: I see.

Rog: Now the breasts.

Von: The breasts? Since when did you start calling them breasts?

Rog: Since about two days ago. Now listen up (Von laughs, hard). The breasts have two important curves. The upper curve and the lower curve and they have two dimensions, standing and horizontal. From collarbone to nipple is one curve and the one most unappreciated. See, the nipple, especially when hard, erect, distracts from a full appreciation of the upper curve. Now the lower curve, that’s the one every one knows. From rib to nipple, but you know what?

Von: What?

Rog: It is a subtle curve, not a gross curve (Rog paused as if proud of himself for the distinction).

Von: Really?

Rog: And the spot right at the juncture of rib and tit, that is the place.

Von: For what?

Rog: For appreciation to begin.

Von: (shakes head)

Rog: Speaking of appreciation, Yul has the most glorious arse I’ve ever seen. Now the curve there, magnus melodious like twin moons over a placid lake. And this takes me to confluence.

Von: Pray tell what is confluence?

Rog: You know. Where one curve blends into the next curve.

Von: For instance?

Rog: Lower back into the arse. Remember Neraj?

Von: What about it?

Rog: Well, that is where I bought Yul “the tool.” And that first night, we had moonlight so bright, so cool in its bluish shade, it felt like winter at noon, only it wasn’t cold. You remember the huge picture windows we all had in our quarters right?

Von. Of course.

Rog: Well, I showed the tool to Yul and she immediately wanted to try it.

Von: I thought the tool was a solo–

Rog: It was, is. Do you want to hear the story or not?

Von: Go on.

Rog: So we have this incredible moonlight coming into her quarters. She is on the bed and she pulls out the vial.

Von: You knew about the vial then?

Rog: No, no, no. I had no idea. I thought she was rubbing perfume on her wrists. Anyway, she was on the bed, on all fours and, maybe it was the vial–

Von: Wait a minute, what does the vial have to do with you?

Rog: Oh, she rubbed her wrist on my neck.

Von: When?

Rog: Between the–what the hell Von, your confusing me. Just let me tell the story.

Von: So she had the vial and she has intoxicated you with it and herself and you are in a chair and she is on the bed.

Rog: Yep.

Von: And where is the tool?

Rog: In her left hand.

Von: Continue.

Rog: Well, when she dipped her back and rotated her hips with a turn of her head that is when I knew.

Von: Knew what?

Rog: Confluence. Are you listening?

Von: Ahh, right, confluence.

Rog: And you know what else?

Von: What?

Rog: There are static curves, the kind you can appreciate in a photo and then there are curves that can only be appreciated in living motion.

Von: (holds his glass and inhales, lost in the image)

Rog: You know what I’m talking about?

Von: I think I do.

Rog: Von, when she turned her head and I saw that neck muscle catch the light, almost emerging from her collarbone in the bluish glow, and you know how lean and tight Yul is.

Von: I do.

Rog: Well, she looked so frailing feline in that pose, like a hungry predatory cat stalking prey, so lithe, so strong so frailing in control. Just prime Von. Just frailing prime.

Von: (smiles)

Rog: But that’s not what I’m talking about. When she turned her head and parted her lips, she spread and rotated her hips in a single motion, a fluid, effortless move, well, I would call it a dance but that wouldn’t do justice to the art of that move. I just wanted to watch and you know, I’ve never just wanted to watch. That move, if I never see it again in a thousand years, that move Von is as clear in my mind as if it had just happened.

Von: I can imagine.

Rog: Well, that is the first species of curve, the one you see.

Von: And the other?

Rog: (sounds more sober) The ones you touch and the ones that touch you (takes another sip). Well, after my jackassery I started thinking about curves and I realized that I might not ever see those curves again, but I could still feel them, touch them, caress . . .

Von: I get the point.

Rog: At least that’s what I thought. I can’t see but I can touch and if you had to choose–

Von: Touch.

Rog: Yes.

Von: And now?

Rog: Can’t see. Can’t frailing touch. So I ask you. I’m asking. What was I suppose to do?

Von: Depends.

Rog: For crying out loud, what kind of answer is that?

Von: Look. Do you want my opinion?

Rog: No.

Von: Fine. You wouldn’t have like it anyway.

Rog: Well.

Von: Well what?

Rog: At least I can still touch myself (suppresses a laugh)

Von: By Janus, yes you can.

Rog: Pour me another.

Von: With pleasure.

Either/Or


Kyra, in black form-fitting Venusian leather, sat alone in the long white hallway, a solitary sterile way-station, a place neither here nor there. Above the white door was a clock; white face, black hands. With each minute, the long hand snapped forward with the rigid mindlessness of a soldier’s heels clicking to attention, the shrill metallic sound plopping in her mind as drops of water on the forehead, each, seemingly, successively louder, exponentially more urgent, pressing, suffocating.

After what seemed like days, the door opened. Kyra stood. Rog took a step and stopped as if waiting for his minder. Reaching forward, his palms turned upward, Kyra took his hands, her eyes flirting back and forth across his stone-like face. Rog stood stiff, upright, which was not the Rog she knew. A solitary tear slipped form the bandages around his eyes and she quickly moved her thumb to catch it. He tried to smile but his cheeks started a quiver that quickly spread to his lips.

Releasing his hands, she took his head into hers. “You don’t have to say anything.”

Her words brought worth a second tear. “Either/Or.”

“Either/Or what?”

“That’s what she told me, ‘either/or.’”

Commentary

I Know

“Rog, you ready?” asked Kyra, her hands holding his. She looked for a reaction, some sort of expression, which from Rog was almost a given. Maybe it was the blindfold or maybe it was fear that gave forth the blank stare. Either way, she felt it and it felt real, it felt solid, it felt like she could reach out and massage it; and she knew, the only way into that room, to see Yul, was through that fear.

Rog took a heavy breath. “Kyra–” He squeezed her hands and tilted his head slightly as if the words in his mind were leaning the ship as they attempted to escape.

“I’m here Rog and I’m not going anywhere. Would you like me to go in with you or wait outside?”

Rog sighed. “I thought this moment would be a happy moment. She survived. She is going to live–a miracle. Even the doctors said as much. So, it is a happy time. Right?”

Kyra leaned into Rog, wrapping her arms around him and whispered into his ear, “I don’t know what happiness is anymore. But I do know that door is a bridge, one we both must cross. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“I’ve played it out, the decision, in my mind a thousand times. When you lose your sight, your mind just goes into overdrive, relentlessly thinking and it has been driving me crazy. I no longer know what is real and what is pure bullshiott.” Rog paused. Kyra held him tight. Only the sound of their breathing could be heard in the hallway. (camera pans from the back of Kyra’s beautiful black mane–she is dressed in her form fitting black leather–180 degrees as we see her sapphire blue eyes water as rain on glass and look down and to the left). “You know what I fear the most?”

A tear falls from Kyra’s eye and we watch in slow motion it fall toward the white floor. “Tell me Rog.”

Rog rolled his upper lip inside his lower. Kyra could feel his heavy warm breath on her neck and images of a braying horse in the start gate, lathered with uncertainty stuck in her whirling mind (she would later say the smell of fresh turned earth filled her senses as clearly as if she were on that horse). “That the Yul in that room is not our Yul.”

Kyra feels Rog tremble with the words and she hold him tighter. Camera picks up a wetness on his eye mask. She rolls her eyes upward. “I know.”

Commentary and Backstory

Jackassery


Rog: So you have a dream chip?

John: Von, would you tell our friend it might be best if he kept his frailing mouth shut.

Rog: Why?

John: Why! Are you shiotting me?

Rog: What?

John: Von, you want to take this one?

Von: No John, I think you’re doing just fine.

Rog: You’re not still mad are you?

John: Mad? You think I’m mad? Von?

Von: Rog, if I may, I think the fact that there is a small chance we will not regain our sight, and the fact that cause and effect points to your, how do I say it, Jackassery, well, I think that might have something to do with John’s attitude.

John: Jackassery. Thank you Von. You know what Jackassery is Rog?

Rog: (quiet)

John: I’ll tell you what Jackassery is! It’s you pulling out that las pistol. What the frail were you thinking?

Rog: You know what I was thinking . . . .

John: Well?

Rog: (raises voice) I was thinking someone was going to get off his arse and do something! You heard the same cries I did.

John: Yeah, well, did you not think maybe, just maybe, Von knew what he was talking about? Maybe, just a little? (holds out hand and uses fingers to illustrate before realizing no one could see him)

Rog: Look. I did what I did and it is what it is. I’m not going to apologize for making something happen. In fact—

John: Don’t frailing say it.

Rog: Frail you. In fact—

Kyra: Rog. John. Let it go. Intent, by both parties, was pure and I find no fault in either the action or inaction, as the case may be. Von, you were right. Rog, I love you for being yourself. I wouldn’t want to go into harm’s way without you. And John, get use to it. This won’t be the last time you see some Jackassery out of Rog. (slight pause and then she starts laughing, followed by Von, John and Em)

Rog: Kyra?

Kyra: Yes Rog?

Rog: I love you too.

Kyra: You’re welcome Rog. Now I suggest you guys get some rest. We’ll be docking in about twelve hours.

John: Kyra?

Kyra: Yes John?

John: Care to tell us what happened?

Kyra: No, not really.

John: Okay. Just thought I’d ask. You know, since, well . . . .

Kyra: Don’t push it John. Remember, I still have your chip.

Rog: Yeah John, she still has your chip.

John: Frail you.

Rog: You got that half right.

John: What?

Rog: I’m just saying.

Kyra: Hey. Enough. Lights out. See you in eight. (turns out the lights and leaves)

Rog: Nice job Disco.

John: You’re welcome, Jackassary.

Listen


“Papa, the children of the shells, they—“

Papa continued to walk, gifting Kyra space and silence.

“They seem lonely.”

Still Papa walked along the beach, a steady pace neither rushed nor purposeful, just walking to walk as he would say. He offered no opinion.

“Well?”

“Well what?”

“What do you think?”

“I think you think too much.”

Kyra kicked a shell into the surf. Papa bowed his head, placed his hands behind his back and continue to walk, his white tunic flapping in the ocean breeze. No footprints.

“I’m serious Papa.”

“I’m not.”

“What does that mean?”

“Listen to the ocean. Is it lonely? Is it serious?”

“Papa? Papa!”

Kyra gasped for breath. Her abs contracting, painfully, involuntarily as another volume of viscous blue liquid expelled itself from her bowels. Sucking for air, her throat burned. Her eyes watered such to make everything seem blurry, faded, out of focus. Pain, fear, the unknown, however, have there own way of rendering sight blind, of thought single minded. Grabbing the sides of her bed, her nails as claws, her chest heaved upward, her heart jumping as if it could escape. Her plaintive wail, both of child and adult, brought glass to tears of flickering shards as so much confetti.

“Papa!”

Papa was more distant now. His head still bowed and he walked without turning, without acknowledgment.

Kyra’s lithe body hardened, her muscles straining, against what she did not know. Her teeth ached with pains sharp and dull. Each joint, from elbow to ankle screamed as if on fire. Papa slipped from sight as if consumed by the shimmering waves of despair. Her hands slackened. The room fell quiet.

Rog looked at John, who looked at Von. “I can’t take this anymore. Back away from the door.” Before anyone could stop Rog, six rounds from his las pistol burned into the door and from six holes came light so brilliant, so blinding . . .


The concern over Kyra notwithstanding, the crew had much to celebrate. After all, prayers had been answered, how had not been discussed, but six days became seven and seven eight and everyone was just a little too overjoyed to tempt fate with questions.

John poured four glasses of amsec and handed one to Rog, one to Von and the last to Em. Lifting his crystal flute to the center, the others followed suit, the four golden glasses shinning like a chandelier as eyes looked upward for words to be spoken. A toast, he said as his voice trailed off.

What started as a slight vibration, a disturbing ripple across nectar held high, held firm, grew, exponentially; and in an instant, amsec rained down with shards of crystal and their small vessel rocked as if the hand of a giant had slapped the hull. As the four struggled to get to their feet, a second concussive wave knocked them down again as a young boy might shake a box of toy soldiers. Lights blinked and klaxons wailed and as quickly as the vessel was hit, stillness returned.

Rog yelled, although he didn’t need to, “I thought you said we had shields?”

John yelled back. “We do!” Picking himself up, his sea-legs betrayed him and only his strong arms kept his head from banging the control panel. “Our systems must be down?”

“What?” asked Rog.

“I said our systems must be down. Not a threat within a parsec, the screen is blank.”

“Blank?” said Von.

“Nada.”

Rog took the pilot’s seat. Then a low vibration, almost a moan wafted over the comms followed by a sickly gurgling sound. “What the—“

The hair on the back of Von’s neck stood up. Before anyone could react, a blood curtling scream, unmistakable in tone, permeated the room.

“My Janus,” cried Von. “Its Kyra.”

Unknown #1: We put her at great risk.

Unknown #2: We have no choice.

Unknown #1: Are you prepared to lose her?

Unknown #2: (with hesitation) Yes.

“Open the frailing door!” screamed Rog, his nerves frayed by the unworldly cries from within Kyra’s room, his hands bloodied from effort.

“It won’t budge,” screamed John back.

“Move!”

“Won’t do any good,” interjected Von.

“What?”

“The door will open when it is ready to open. You’d just as soon change the fabric of reality as to pry it apart.”

“Are you suggesting we just sit here?”

“I’m not suggesting anything. I’m telling you the matters at hand are beyond our ability to influence. Take that as you will.”

“So what do we do?”

“Bow our heads and pray we see our girl again.”