PHD #023: One Bright Spark
One Bright Spark
Summary: In the dead of night, Demos is visited by Robin's ghost.
Date: 21 Mar 2041 AE
Related Logs: None that I am aware of.
Demos Merrell 

The slow crawl of day to night is measured on a ship by a gradual dimming of lights until the illumination is at the level deemed 'restful' by scientists on now dead worlds. During the hours before the day shift takes over, the ship is quiet and it is possible to find empty places for contemplation. Tonight, unable to sleep, Demos spent some time working at her terminal in the security hub, but when she started thinking in circles, she shut things down, locked everything up, and began walking the corridors to wind down. Now, an hour or so later with midnight past and one am fast approaching, she has found a small cubbyhole at the top of a flight of stairs. The stairs lead to the Deck above, but this is a midpoint platform. A chair and small table have been placed her by some other solitude seeker and when Demos makes it up to the platform, she wanders over to the chair and sinks into it. After a moment, she scoots the chair up to the table, leans her elbows onto its surface and rests her chin in her palms. From there it is easy to watch both the stairs up and those going down in case her solitude is interrupted.

There's no sound. No telltale thunk of boots on steel to indicate the approach of someone. Just a shadow in the stair well that descends slowly. It starts as a slight discoloration of the light against the walls and by the time the form has reached the small platform, they're cast a shadow and looking quite real. Even if it’s impossible. The woman stops beside the table and kneels down to look up at Demos. Those eyes.. They look happy. Robin genuinely looks happy, the compassion nearly overflowing from them. "Phaedra," she whispers quietly. "How are you doing?" The question is barely spoken, almost as if it’s a little strained.

No sound. No thunk of boots. No creek of metal. No hiss of vapor. Demos is utterly unprepared for the woman looking up at her. So much so that it takes a moment to realize that the face she is looking at is here and now rather than in her thoughts. The voice might be what convinces her, for when she thinks of Robin, the other woman is not speaking. She blinks, tears sparking almost instantly to her eyes. "Robin?" Her whisper is soft, broken, hesitant. Sitting up slowly, she drops her hands into her lap, leaving the table open. "I… Gods, they told me you were dead!"

Robin's hands lift from her lap and rest on the table, though there's no sound from the motion either. That smile in her eyes fades a little, her head tilting to the side a bit. The ponytail falls across the shoulder of her clean coveralls. She wets her lips before speaking. "I, ah…I am, Phaedra. I've found a way back, though. A way I can still see you. And a few others. People I can look after, you know?" It’s obvious she's making some sort of concerted effort to do this, just by the way her body is tensed. But she's also trying really hard to put her friend at ease. "I wanted to see if I get could notice from a few others before I spoke to you, though." She overbites her lower lip.

Demos swallows, her eyes growing wider. Slowly, she moistens her own lips in an unconscious echo of the others gesture. "Wait. You…" The tears that shimmer in her gaze begin to coalesce, one slipping from her eye to slip down her cheek. "Okay. You are dead." Another tear follows the first; the glittering trails clear in the low light. Swallowing, she just stares at the specter… ghost… apparition… hallucination… in front of her for a long time, before she nods, "Okay. I am glad to see you." Both hands lift to brush the tears from her skin, "You look… Well… You look happy, Robin. That is a good thing. Are you? Happy?"

There's a simple, more sad nod to confirm that she's died. "Yeah. I know." There's the soft sound of a sigh from her. Her own eyes well at seeing the tears from her friend. A hand lifts from the table to reach out to wipe those tears away but she hesitates. It’s not going to work. And Demos is already wiping them. It hurts to see the Marine like this. The response takes a moment to formulate in her head but it comes slowly. "I am. I mean, it could be worse. But it’s not like I'm back here with you all. I wish I were. But I'm going to try to be here for you more. I miss you all too much to let this slip away." Robin's voice cracks a bit with the last, her own tears slipping past her lids to moisten her cheeks. A hard swallow and she almost looks like she might fade away for a moment. "Look, hon. The Sister saw me earlier. I wanted to make sure it would work. I think a pilot saw me, too. Her name is Tisiphone. Let them know I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to them. But I will. Can you do that?" Robin's during her best to hold her concentration and composure. It’s a losing battle.

Seeing the tears, Phaedra turns a hand in a gesture of sympathy and friendship. The touch hesitates about half way to the other woman and the Marine pulls her hand slowly back to her lap, a quirked ghost of a sad smile beginning. "Guess I cannot touch you, can I?" There is almost a hopeful lilt to the query, though she is certain of the futility of it. Drawing in a slow breath, the smile warms a bit, "Thank you. For talking to me. It makes it easier. Feels as though my best friend is not entirely gone." Straightening a little, she nods, "Of course, Robin. I will do that for you. Is there anything that you need? Anything that I can do for you? I mean… Other than that…?"

That first question makes Robins jaw tremble a bit while she fights to stay with her friend. A jerky shake of her head and a whispered 'No' confirm it. "Not yet, Phaed. I hope I can hug you again once more, though soon." A hand lifts to tuck a flyaway strand of hair behind an ear, giving the impression that wherever she is, there's a light breeze. The air in the room is still. "But no, nothing else." She closes her eyes, clinched them a bit to fight it. "Be strong, Demos. I miss you so much it hurts." her eyes finally lift to her friend once more as the apparition of Robin begins to fade quickly away. "Love you." Her hand reaches out for Phaedra's as the woman fades completely away to nothing, the gesture never quite reaching the Marine who is left alone on the platform.

The answer is as expected. No hugs. "Okay. I miss you, Robin." Demos nods, the smile trembling, "Okay. Don't hesitate, though?" She watches as the woman begins to fade, "Oh! Don't go! I…" Whispered then, "Love you too, Robin." But, by then the woman is alone once more, the platform emptier, the ship sadder, the universe dimmer without her friend's bright spark.

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