Irish Kegbomb of the Soul
by Henry Wyckoff
A Crossover between Highlander and Star Trek: Voyager

Standard Disclaimers Apply


This is a continuation of "Goedel, Escher, and Bach... I Remember You", and takes place a few weeks after. Once again, our main characters are the Nightman (aka Pancho Villa) and Lendaxa Valois, but the mood of this is totally different, with some shift of characters.

Chapter 1

I think that the first sensation I felt was cold. Yes... sharp cold. The type you feel after you start to warm up by the fire after you've been naked in the snow for hours. The type of cold that tells you that permanent damage has been done. The only problem is that while frostbite can be treated by a medic, the type of cold I felt was not physical, and couldn't be cured by the medic. It was the type of cold that you couldn't even let people know about.

Maybe if I hadn't ever talked to Lendaxa on more than a professional level, I'd have never felt the pain, but now, it's too late. Lendaxa was the warmth that I allude to, the Betazoid who talked to me and said nice things to me, and got me to open up. Why? Not out of any humanitarian reason, but rather because I didn't know that I was broadcasting all of my feelings to her, and was giving her such headaches that she thought killing me was a really good idea.

It might seem that having a wonderful person such as Lendaxa open the doors to my soul would be the perfect thing in the world, but then again, the person who might sincerely think that doesn't have a dark soul.

Think about it. What is a dark soul? What creates a dark soul? What perpetuates a dark soul? The adjective itself says it all: dark. Darkness is created by an absence of light. We all know what can cause darkness in the physical world, don't we? Now, all we have to do is take those same physical means and translate them into symbols, and there you have it.

I remember one mortal girlfriend, who on glimpsing my gravity, told me to -- No. I'd rather not repeat what she said, because the pain still grips me. Let's just say that those who don't walk in the dark look at my own soul and aren't supportive. I expect them to ridicule me, and so I keep myself evermore hidden, building up more walls and running away even more.

So can you see why it is that the genuine kindness of Lendaxa is killing me? On one level, it's everything I would ever need and ask for, and yet on another level, her kindness is tearing my soul apart because I don't know what to do or to say. How can I respond when all I know is war, torture, hatred and pain? All I can look forward to is immortality until another one of my kind takes my head. See? Even my future is planned, and it isn't rosy.

I'm by myself today in the lounge, drinking an Irish Kegbomb, thinking of nothing at all. I have some headphones in my ear, playing music from a long past time. Not a better time, but at least one that I relatively enjoyed. Plus, it's just good music. There has to be something divine about Iron Maiden.

I take another sip of my drink. It's as black as a Guinness, but if anything, it tastes more like a Scottish ale than anything else -- so smooth that I've sent many an engineer sliding under the table -- and it surprises me because it's the vodka that changes a Guinness and Bass into this wonderful mixture.

"I see you're drinking alone."

It's the Spanish Klingon, as I have always called her, even among the Maquis, but only in the third person. When things are serious, I call her 'Torres'. She looked the same, but only in a short-term sort of way. I could see her changes in the long-term, ever since we were taken to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. I daresay that she even looks more human than when we started. Even her speech has the smoother human tones, and none of the gutturals of a Klingon tongue.

"Nobody else drinks my kind of drinks. They either go for the fake drinks, or go for those wimpy light beers."

"Because they like it?" she suggested.

I shrugged.

Torres smiled, "May I sit?"

"Manners, from a Klingon?" I teased.

"Fine!" she growled in a more Klingon tone, sitting down.

Both of us laughed at that. Then we sat in silence for a while. "You're disturbed."

"And why should I be?" Even I could tell that my tone became more bitter as I swiftly downed a good portion of my drink.

She stared at me. "You're acting childish, you know."

I only downed some more drink, closing off my soul then. I didn't give a damn what she said afterwards, and I don't even think I listened. The way I saw it, she didn't know a drop of what's going on inside, or any of my situation, and so she had no damned business making personal judgments of the sort.

Maybe some time passed, and when I looked again, she was gone. Good. I wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone.

* * * *

From the doorway, Torres met Chakotay, who looked just as concerned. "Something's eating him up, but he won't say what it is." She made a face. "He's all human, but I'd say that he's been raised by Klingons: they're only less closed than he is."

He nodded. "I'm worried. What about Lendaxa? Maybe she can help him?"

She shook her head, "I think she's part of the problem. He doesn't hate her... but I think she's the last person he wants to see right now. In fact, she's the one who tuned me onto the problem."

"All right. Then I'll do it."

"And what will you say?"

He smiled, "Who says I'll say anything?"

* * * *

I had served myself another round, and was about to start on it, when I sensed someone else approach. I looked and saw that it was Chakotay, but apparently he was here to kill time and not talk to me. So, I tuned out once more.

It was the smell of pipe tobacco that brought me back to the real world. Chakotay was smoking from a ceramic pipe, and it was enough to take me back...

"Care for a pipe?" His voice startled me. It somehow seemed too... sharp. Not sharp as in cutting, but rather sharp as in clear. Yes. It was clear and distinct.

I nodded, "I'd like that. I haven't had a genuine smoke in a long time..."

And so he passed it over. The bowl hadn't blown out. That meant that it wasn't just good tobacco, but also that he knew how to pack it. I puffed it, and instantly I felt the resin kick hit me, and my body instantly relax. Ahh....

"Maybe it might help if you tried this," came his suggestion. He handed over a flat metal pad. "Put your hand here."

And so I did, while I was taking another puff.

As the smoke filled the room, I noticed a subtle shift.

The smoke cleared, and I was no longer on the ship, but rather back on Earth.

* * * *

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