First Officer’s Log, Stardate: still unknown, est. 2259.20
I have spent close to a week in this universe, and I am still learning more about it. It appears to be a very violent place; random attacks from marauding beasts are not rare, and we have very recently uncovered the ruins of what appears to be burial grounds of antiquity, riddled with magically animated skeletons. Ms. Starshine, a member of the party, has insisted that we investigate them thoroughly, expressing excitement about the contents of these ruins. I quite agree with her sentiments, as they look to promise the most interesting archaeological evidence that will be useful in the analysis of this planet’s inhabitants.
I have also increased my knowledge of magic; Vaarsuvius, who is acting as my instructor, says that I, since I gain experience at the same rate as the far more advanced Order, will soon be ready to learn second level spells. I have chosen to specialize in Conjuration, a most useful school which Vaarsuvius has rather illogically neglected. While it is highly unlikely that I shall advance to the point of performing the necessary spell to return myself home, I have found that simple magic is quite useful in attempting to repair some of my equipment. Hopefully, I shall be able to return to my duties upon the Enterprise before too long.
It had been a long day for the Order. Haley had recognized the ruins of an Ancient Society Inordinately Fond of Gold immediately, and insisted that they raid the whole of it. Unfortunately, her Disable Device checks had not gone quite so well as her Knowledge (Places that might have treasure) check had, and the Order had fought off more hordes of undead than Roy really felt was necessary. He had drawn the line when Haley wanted to head farther into the third structure. Their casters were low on spells, and, as he explained to her, if the gold was still there after all those centuries, it could probably wait until tomorrow. Currently, they were attempting to recover from the last battle; Haley was picking up gold and salvaging as many arrows as possible, while Durkon tended to a nasty cut Elan had gotten, and Roy tried to total up the experience they had gotten, shared out over seven people instead of six for once. The rest were still inside the tomb, though gods only knew what they were up to.
For once, Belkar and Vaarsuvius were engaging in the same activity, cleaning up from the last battle. Their methods could not have been more different, however; while the elf was brushing every minute speck of skeleton dust possible off, Belkar spat on his knives, and wiped the remains of a few mummies on his own cloak.
"So," the halfling said suddenly, bored enough to talk to Vaarsuvius, "how’ve your little 'magic lessons' been going?"
Vaarsuvius was sharp enough to hear the quotes, but ignored them. "Very well, actually. Mr. Spock has proven to be quite adept with the spells he has mastered so far, though he could perhaps stand to practice his summoning more often. It is a fault for which I fear I may be the cause, since I am unable to provide much in the way of actual experience, merely what few notes I have taken –"
"Good gods, elf, do you think I actually care?" A nasty smile spread across Belkar’s face. "Y'know, you and your little boyfriend have gotten awfully close. It’s disgusting, frankly. I mean, all things considered…"
Blackwing paused his preening on Vaarsuvius’ shoulder, suddenly attending to the conversation. "Don’t let him get to you," he hissed into his master’s ear. "Remember the marketplace?" But it was too late – Vaarsuvius had already been sucked into the conversation.
"What things is your puny intellect considering? Surely there cannot be any great number of them."
"Well, let’s see… that imaginary pet you’ve been carrying around for the last few weeks? The fact that, according to Beardy McBeerstein, you’ve been off your rocker since Roy died? Your recent jaunt to the dark side – how did that end, anyways? Xykon too much for your superior, stuck-up ass? Or maybe… Maybe you should mention the fact that you’re married?"
"No, no, no…" whispered the raven but it was too late. A look of rage washed over the elf’s features.
"How dare you," snarled Vaarsuvius. "Do you intend to pass judgment on me, you amoral cretin?"
Belkar smirked, too pleased with himself to notice that the elf had raised a hand threateningly. "I dunno, Ears, who do you think has been more evil around here lately? I’m not the one who’s been alternating between flying around in all black and cheating on my mate."
The hand began to move sharply, glowing as Vaarsuvius formed the arcane pattern of a potent spell. "You have gone too far! Perhaps from now on you will know better than to insult those who could crush you, you miserable little monster! Chain Li-"
A surprisingly strong hand grasped the elf’s arm before the spell could be completed. "That is quite enough. Such violence between members of the same group is completely unacceptable." Vaarsuvius spun around, sharp words dancing on the elf’s lips, which died at the sight of Spock’s perfectly composed expression. Belkar, cackling evilly, ran off; the halfling knew a good diversion when he saw one.
There was a pause, measured stare meeting angry glare. Vaarsuvius, feeling the anger starting to leave, jerked free, shaking the hand to relieve the slight sting of the failed spell.
"Perhaps it was illogical of me to expect proper behavior from Mr. Bitterleaf, as he has long shown himself to be unwilling to restrain himself at all, but I had supposed you were above such a display," Spock remarked drily.
"He insulted me,” muttered Vaarsuvius, not looking at the Vulcan. “His behavior was uncalled for – a violation – it was not within his rights to say the things he did – I am nothing like him…" The words trailed away.
Spock did not seem deterred in the least; to the contrary, Vaarsuvius recognized the expression that suggested an inimitably long lecture. It was one the elf used rather often. "What he said was irrelevant. You should not allow your emotions to master you. If one does not properly control oneself, it can result in some extremely… ill-advised actions. It can be… tempting … to give into rage but if you harm a member of your party, your crew…" The Vulcan paused, momentarily lost in thought, but Vaarsuvius was not attending.
The rage, the anger, the hate, and then, the sweet release of the spell, the rush of a truly epic spell… the death, the destruction, the bits of body everywhere, it had all felt so good, so right. The horror on their faces… the dragon was shocked… and Kyrie, and the children, they were scared, they were disgusted, they were gone… Vaarsuvius felt as if the already cramped tomb was closing in, suffocating them, while words, too many words clustered around them. Disregarding the lecture the elf turned and ran, dashing not towards the entrance but farther into the tomb, into the cool darkness where nobody was watching you. Blackwing fluttered off in surprise. "Vaarsuvius!" he cawed. "Get back here, we haven’t gone that way yet!" There was no response. With a sigh, the bird settled on the shoulder of the Vulcan. "Sorry about that. Little temperamental, huh?" he commented.
"Indeed," Spock replied, not quite attending. He did not know how to respond; as the doctor had pointed out several times, he had very little experience in interpersonal relationships. Nyota had… but of course, that was out of the question. He stood there for a minute, relishing the silence.
It did not last long. From farther into the tomb, there was a quiet thud, followed by a grinding noise, and what was probably an expletive in Elvish. Spock did not pause for a moment, dashing after the noise. This time Blackwing was more aware and avoided being dumped. The bird sighed again. It looked like it was going to be one of those days.