Chakotay's jaw dropped. He put his hand against the shuttle to steady himself. He began to shake, and for a moment he thought that another earthquake was starting. When he realized that he was the only one shaking, he sat immediately.
Then like a sudden shuttle crash the words that his sister had spoken started to sink in. Chakotay looked up at her, took a deep breath, swallowed and spoke.
"How?" It wasn't anything profound, but it was the only thing that he could come up with. All the words in his vocabulary had vanished. Even breathing was a hard thing to do.
"I don't know Chakotay, I heard the doorbell ring, I went to answer it and she was just standing there. I could hardly believe it either. The only thing that she said, was that she was tired. She fell on the couch and then I ran here to get you."
Somehow he got the strength to stand up. The two of them slowly walked to the house together. Just before they both entered, Chakotay took a deep breath. A part of him was uncertain if she would really be there, of if his sister had simply imagined Kathryn.
He slid the door open, and stepped inside. He realized that his eyes were closed, but he was also afraid to open them. He was afraid that she wouldn't be there if he opened his eyes. He closed his eyes tighter, and clenched his fists, and then opened his eyes.
Kathryn was on the couch talking in her sleep. He ran over to her and knelled next to her. Her voice was a tad higher than it normally was. She said his name, while sleeping and he knelled next to her and began to listen.
"Chakotay, Many years ago, before your ancestors lived here, this place was scared. It belonged to a single race, that worshiped the plants in the forest. The trees were gods, and they were never used for anything except to aide in prayers.
Years later a great war occurred and all of the ancestors were thrown into the volcano, by a neighboring tribe. The tribe was brutal, and treated women as slaves for the colony. As the last ancestor was thrown into the volcano, he said a prayer, and covered his forehead with a scared blue leaf. The leaf was considered to have healing properties to anyone who ever found it and touched it.
While on the path, I saw a beautiful blue leaf, the only thing that I remember is how soft it felt against my skin. I was memorized by its extreme beauty.
After I fell over the side of the volcano, I began to loose consciousness. The only thing I remember is a small pool of water that was next to me, and that I was covered with a large blue leaf. I closed my eyes, and fell asleep.
I felt a rumble underneath me, and I stirred. A shaking began, and my eyes, began to open slowly. When I became aware of my surroundings I noticed that I was on the path leading toward the volcano. I was laying just before the bridge, where I had first spotted the unique blue leaf. But when I searched for it with my eyes, I noticed that it was gone. I got up slowly and began walking back to the house."
Slowly Kathryn's eyes began to open.
I turned to my sister. She was in tears.
It was years later, and several children later, that I finally told Kathryn the story that my parents had told me. My parents had always told us that the final ancestor that was tossed into the volcano had made a silent prayer to help those who needed help. As kids we thought the story was a fantasy, something to keep us occupied while mom made dinner.
I had forgotten about that story, until the day Kathryn returned to me. We returned to Dorvan with the kids when they were older, and walked down the same path, toward the volcano.
Kathryn didn't say anything but I knew that she was secretly looking for that leaf she had seen years ago. I smiled at her, and held her close, while the kids ran up the path to the bridge.
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