"Vacuum"

Jude Murphy laughs. A sound that is almost evil. Certainly dark. But that would be perception. "I put her on the Motherland *myself*." he assures. Then he suddenly stops and looks over Souleymane's shoulder. The smile on his horribly scarred face, a preditory thing, vanishes as if it had never been there. "Fleet Captain Toolcool." he greets her ... recognises her. "Souleymane, I will see you when you return. Stay well hidden." and he turns, and quickly vanishes into the forest.

Poison Toocool having landed her shuttle some distance from the town... not easily due to the effects of the nebula, Poison had left her security officer aboard, over his protests. She agreed to wear a combadge but otherwise she is dressed in a civilian outfit. Unsure of herself, she wanders some paths, trying to remember which way they took last time she was here. Finally she comes along a cobblestone path, and starts to descend some stairs, seeing some figures in the distance, perhaps she can ask directions. As she comes closer, someone she doesn't know, says hello. Behind him, is Souley.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 turns after Jude speaks and vanishes as if he was never there. That man can move when he wants to. He sees Poison and shock registers in his face for an instant and then is covered. He steps forward. "I know I'm late, but you didn't have to come to beat me for it." he teases, coming straight up to her and, if allowed taking her into his arms and kissing her as deeply as if he hadn't seen her in a weekand missed her ... which he has.

Poison Toocool is pleased to see the moment of shock on Souley's face. She allows him to embrace her, but turns her face slightly, feeling oddly shy again.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 chuckles as his kiss lands on her cheek. Well, he tried. He backs off only slightly, his hands running to hers and holding them. "I'm sorry. They are only now getting the last supplies on the Motherland." he tells her. "SO ...." he suddenly stops. "It takes a day and a half to get here if you're careful." he murmurs. "WHich means you left for here before I was even overdue." he grins ... his self-satisfied smirk. "You missed me, Poison." he announces. "I'm flattered."

Poison Toocool smiles softly, touching his cheek. 'Funny how I had a million things to tell you, and now that you're here, I can't think of a thing to say." His smirk is both charming and irritating.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 laughs and the smirk stays firmly in place. "Your showing up here says ... an awful lot without your saying a word, Poison." he tells her. It *is* a telling move on her part, even if she doesn't realize it. "Well, we can go home, or we can go for a drink in Vacuum." he motions behind him. "Then you can relax and tell me whatever your heart desires." his smirk widens. "And I can give you a little present ...." he coaxes.

Poison Toocool nods, one part wanting company so she isn't alone with him, the other wishing for a long talk. "What's Vaccuum?" She says. "A bar, I guess. I don't drink much... if they have fruit that would be nice. Do they have much... agriculture here?" she looks around. "It seems a bit.. barren and rocky."

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 nods, slowly. "The local bar, yes. If you want class, there is a lovely restaurant on the Hill. If you want slease, there is the Blue Door." he turns, not releasing her hand and beginning to lead her to the building ... the graffiti is ... interesting .... no question. "They have mostly ground fruits .. grows beneath the trees. A melon or two. Plus greenhouses." he stops at the door and opens it, leading her inside. It's dead quiet, even with people inthere ... all looking at the civillian clothes everyone associates with the Federation. "Jasmine ... a couple of ground berry juices upstairs, please." and he leads her up to the second floor, if allowed.

Poison Toocool allows herself to be pulled into a non-descript building and follows Souley up the stairs. "The fire is nice," she says, looking around. "I've been in worse places," she whispers to Souley, taking a seat opposite to him in front of the fire.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 grins. "I love this place." he tells her. "Most of the local food is from the waters. Fish, shellfish. Like that. There is a bird that runs wild and reproduces like crazy. They call it a Rainbow Hen. Good eating, if you eat meat." he stops as a native comes up in a scanity sort of silver outfit ... tray in hand. "Two berry juices for you." her stony voice says, setting the drinks down. "Welcome to Gati, Miss." her stony face gives a smile then she turns and clumps away. Souley nods after her. "One of the natives. They run most of the businesses here. Keeps the other residents honest. This side of the island is sort of the rough side of town, if you didn't guess that last visit. Well ... you didnt see much of the island last time." he remembers, reaching for his drink.

Poison Toocool settles in the chair, listening politely as Souley tells her about the fish and game they eat here, trying not to grimace. She watches the... native, serve the drinks, thinking how curious they are. She reaches for the drink and takes sip, "Nice," she says, looking into the fire, finding it quiet, "Nice to be away from work," she adds.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 nods and smiles. "Well, this is a strangely peaceful place, usually." he tells her. "Feel free to come here to get away from things anytime you want." he looks over at her. "My home is your home." he sips and nods. "They can sweeten it. I know you're a vegan .. no animal products. So you wouldn't be interested in their honey." he muses. "They do have a leaf here they powder .. its very sweet. Sweeter than sugar." he makes withthe small talk a bit longer.

Poison Toocool shakes her head slightly, "I can't get away for so long most of the time," she says, "we had a bit of a lag because of a celebration this weekend, so I left it to my Vice and came here. Probably not the best thing in terms of appearing to be in charge, but after the... recent events, I needed time to myself. I had a lot to think about," she takes another drink, with a small sigh.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 keeps the soft smile. "I see ....." he rubles, softly. "Well, I got some thinking of my own done." he shrugs. "No changes." he tells her. "As a matter of fect ...." he lifts up the lower part of his dashiki and pulls out something that looks like a thicker than normal PADD. He preses a round part at the side and a narrow rod pops out. "This is for you. It's a secure PADD ... Tremenan in design. The rod is a security override ... so you can encrypt or decrypt communications from me. I have one like it, of course." he sets it on the table between them.

Poison Toocool looks to it, and looks to him. "Thanks," she says. "I'm... not used to... long distance relationships. I... used to be able to talk to Hars whenever I was free... I guess I was selfish, in that I always just expected him to be there, and he always was. We were... comfortable. Now," she looks away, hands clasped, "I have no one to talk to," she says in a small voice. She picks up the device, "Maybe this will help."

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 arches his brow. "His time will be more divided now, sure." he watchs her hands and clears his throat. "I wouldn't say *that*, Poison. You have *me* to talk to." he watches her holding the device. "When I am not near the colony planet, I will make sure to regularly leave the nebula to pick up any subspace messages from you. Mine to you will be encrypted. A triple encryption system I developed. One layer Treman, one Dozi and one from a friend of mne that knows a good deal about security and encryption. But ... just insert that rod and it will automatically decrypt for you." he offers and sighs softly, biting his lower lip, then putting his face back to neutral.

Poison Toocool looks to him, "I suppose my anger at him over Driss has put a wedge between us. It's my fault. It's not fair to be... unkind. Driss is a lovely girl and why shouldn't he love her? I'm not usually so conflicted," she sighs again, "I wish I didn't care so much about everyone, I'm always trying to keep the peace, and do the right thing, and be the strong one. It's my job. Underneath, I'm just someone trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their life." She looks again at the device, "I wish you didn't dislike Starfleet so much. How can I do a job properly when the person... closest to me, doesn't want me doing it?"

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 shrugs. "Driss is the sunshine." he says siply. "You got stuck with the darkness." he quips and straightens upt his legs. "Tellyou what. You don't have to be strong for me. Let *me* be strong for you." he offers. "We *are* in the same boat, you know. Driss won't need me so much with a man in her life." he holds up his hand. "Hold on, Poison." he protests. "It's not that. It's ... my family has been doing illegal activities..." he thinks back on his conversation with Jude and chuckles.

"SInce my own people were selling their own into slavery in America." he parrots Judes words. "So, naturally I've been raised to distrust the Federation. You are the second Starfleet I have come to care about. The other ... was Starfleet. Isn't now, and probably doesn't help by telling me to always watch my back around them." he sighs. "So I can love you and still not trust any Starfleet *but* you completely. And you *do* realize how much I care about you, Poison. I'll stick by you. Starfleet or no Starfleet. Time will prove my words true. Just wait."

Poison Toocool tilts her head, listening. "How illegal," she breathes, looking worried. "I can only do so much. I don't want you... not to be yourself. But if you say, were honest with me and said you broke some Federation law... well, I think honesty is extremely important.. and yet what would I do? I'm not in a position to... let a lawbreaker go free." She finishes her drink, reaching for one of his hands... wanting to feel his warmth, "I *am* Starfleet here. There is noone of higher position here than me. I report directly to the top of the chain..." leaning in closer, "Don't ever make me have to choose, okay? Cause," softly, "I couldn't bear it."

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 sighs. "Up until just before you and I met, I transported little things. Romulan Ale, low level narcotics and occassionally sentient beings ... usually escaped slaves, for the most part. Taking them places where they could get away from their owners." he shrugs. "Since meeting you ... Poison ... there isn't a single illegal thing on my ship now and ....he takes her hand. "I'd rather be legit now ... for you and for Fukujuso." he rubs ather hand and looks at it. "I don't want to be the kind of man my father was." he growls softly. he leans in with her. "The gods must be bored .. but they'll have to deal with it. I won't make you arrest me." he leans in a little closer and tries to kiss her softly, quickly and hopefully reassuringly.

Poison Toocool continues to listen with worried eyes, this concern has built up while he was gone and she had time to think. She kisses him back. "It's easy to be bowled over by emotions," she says. "I'm not accusing you of anything, more a... thing eating away at me in the middle of the night. I'm glad you are motivated to... be legit, as I... don't know how to be anything but. I worked hard to become what you see now. But I have done things... that I'm ashamed of, and that included... hurting others, I am sometimes frustrated and I get... tough when I need to be." Her voice fades, "Why I am I always so mixed up when I'm talking to you," she complains. "I write long reports and give longer speeches, I consider myself pretty good at telling a story or being detailed in logs, but I can barely put a sentence together for you!"

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 nods. "The night has found more light ...." he licks his lips. "My sister says I need light. I didn't realize she was right for a long time and now ... she isn't enough light to keep the darkness from consuming me." he chuckles. "I think I mix you up because I represent about eighty percent of what Starfleet is against." he suggests. "Yet you love me. And if I wasn't willing to give up the life ... it could get very uncomfortable for you." he kisses the hand he still holds. "I feel you when I fluster you. Maybe I got that from Driss. Maybe our father was right and I am more feeling like a woman because of sharing a womb with my sister." he shrugs. "It will get better once you stop fighting and gets uset to loving a scoundrel." he winks at her, teasing.

Poison Toocool grins at him, then adds, "There is more, you know. I'm not... Betazed or anything but, I have a certain.. sensitivity around humanoids. It's not reading thoughts." She leans in again, as what she is about to say is highly personal and secret. "I can.. feel energies. I sense what many people feel. It doesn't work with everyone," she nods towards the barmaid, "it doesn't work all the time. But I can often tell by what I feel if someone is inherently 'light' or 'dark'. It's not always... people. Once, I went with a friend into this old building, where there was a store, supposedly selling meditation items. I felt such a sense of blackness there, I literally had to leave. I wondered later if someone had been killed there... or some great evil done. I never did find out. It was long ago, and very strange." She looks down, hoping he realizes how much she is revealing.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 leans in with her and listens. "Interesting." he murmurs. "A sixth sense." he considers and lifts his hand to stroke her cheek. "And yet, you haven't turned on me." he grins slightly, thinking he does understand a great deal about that this reveals. "So ... maybe Driss was right ... maybe Kattell was right ... maybe I am not this evil animal that needs to be put down to benifit the universe as a whole." he whispering now, his tone ... filled with a disbelieving wonder. "I already told you, Poison. I am in love with *you*. Not your body. Your spirit .. maybe the true you. I don't know how to explain it, but ..." he breaks off, unsure how to finish the sentence. "You'll keep me honest. You, Fukujuso and Driss." he gets a slight smirk. "And I will probably love you all the stronger for it." he whispers even lower.

Poison Toocool reaches her hand to perhaps take his as his fingers touch her cheek. "I bet all the dogs and cats like you, wherever you go. That's always a good sign. And Shenshi, too, she trusted you right away. They feel.. something deeper. Beneath the language of words, there is a knowing. I don't know who else has it. I noticed all my... life," she falters on this word, "at least the life that became... structured by time and language, that no humans really speak of this... kind of awareness, although there are a few species that have something similar, like Betazed." She breathes deeply, looking to him, "It's okay that you can't explain it," she says earnestly, "the fact that you can't, at least to me, makes it... more real and more true than if you could. Words are easy. Feelings, senses, aliveness... that's beyond words. And that's one reason why," she grows animated, "I love Starfleet because without it, I never would have met so many other beings, discovered so much about sentient and biological life in our galaxy... it's all so mysterious and profound when you look at it from far away, but when you get close... it's often just mundane and... loses some of its gloss when you have to deal with ... slavers and murderers and..." she just stops, shaking her head.

Souleymane.Senghor @hypergrid.org:8002 nods with her, almost eagerly. When she gets to the end, he chuckles. "The kind I deal with all the time. Sure animals and children like me. But there is that shadow too." he shrugs. "I deal with those people. Slavers, murdurers .. and worse. They also like me. Trust me. But my father used that once I became a man and he started taking me out with him and my brothers." he shrugs.

"I've even played the diplomat. I told the Syarks about the Welks .. thats one of the nicer things the Syarks call them ... not mentioning them to Starfleet. But they aren't going to .. do anything ... rash." he tells her. He pauses and the native returns. "Souleymane Senghor. Your ship is loaded. You may depart at your liesure." she rasps. SOuley looks at Poison .. knowing she was bound to have her own transportation. "Race ya home?"

Poison Toocool: "I'll win," she says, leaping up and flying down the stairs, then stopping with a giggle outside the door. "I don't know which way to go!"

=^=