After the Ball is Over

Posted on Mon Dec 18th, 2023 @ 10:52pm by Karina Tell

596 words; about a 3 minute read

There was a deep sigh that rose from the balls of her feet and lifted upward through each tightened coil of muscles throughout her body. The evening of apparent frivolity was drawing to a close.

A glance at the Captain's retreating form as he wandered after one or other of the crew and KAT took another softer breath, releasing it slowly to truly process that this evening, she might be able to rest. His dogged concerns about her feelings would be focused elsewhere and she might actually manage to unplug her brain.

Possible? Anything was such. Probable? Quite doubtful.

When had she closed her eyes during her walk? Had she really been that preoccupied? Or tired? Or something else altogether different? It was too much to consider, and being jolted awake while standing upright? Just... weird.

Had she been standing in the middle of the corridor outside of her quarters long? KAT thought deeply about what might have happened... did she remember walking? Making a decision to go to her quarters?

How tired was she really? Instead of concerning herself with such things, Karina decided that what had probably happened was a combination of too many things at once. Her brain was doing somersaults every time she awoke, and realized something immediately: in her haste to be a great Yeoman who had everything together, she forgot her own needs, her own allocated time.

Indeed, she had been avoiding her own needs and even her own thoughts because... they had not been wholly coherent. She needed a break, a moment to simply be and figure out things for HER instead of only focusing on the crew, the Horizon, and the Captain.

And this would be a moment of respite, wouldn't it? A moment when life could pause so that Karina could catch up with it all... A moment when she captured her personal log to reflect her concerns, her thoughts, her... she looked down at the flashing light.

When had she recorded the entry? What had she said? Had it been empty, rambling, and incoherent babble, or had she done such a thing without remembering? KAT didn't drink much, and certainly not during an event. She was expected to work while the rest of the Command Staff do... well, do Command Staff things.

Had she uploaded her PADD to the main computer? What else had she done without consciously being aware? Or maybe she was working herself into a tizzy over what could easily be an overactive imagination.

Chuckling to herself, it seemed ridiculous for her to consider such a thing to be anything other than a brief hiccup in the grand scheme of space travel. And the prospect of never seeing a tree or a bird or another living human being outside of everyone aboard the Horizon ever again.

But that didn't seem to bother her as much as this when she realized that she was clean, in her pajamas and in bed. Glancing over at her clock, she noticed that time had been passing... it was just that KAT hadn't been aware of what she had been doing in between.

She was certain that all she needed was sleep and with that, she closed her eyes and drifted off, without being seemingly concerned about anything that had just happened.

Would she even remember? And was this the first time that such a thing had happened to her? Or the first time she had noticed...?

How could she be concerned about something she wasn't even fully aware of?

Perhaps she had unplugged her brain after all.



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