"A Time For Rest"

Author: Lieutenant Commander Kira Markos
Date: March 17, 2384
Location: Colorado, Earth

Sitting alone on a mountain peak draped in a sea of gold, Lt. Commander Kira Markos was enjoying the remainder of his sabbatical on Earth in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The aspen trees had changed from their normal green hue to a resplendent yellow-gold that was breathtaking to behold. Perched on a ledge of an old section of highway left from the late twentieth century, Kira could see for miles around him; and all around him the signs of fall were breaking forth, foretelling the coming of winter.

Kira, along with Tyran Nige, Dinara Jin and the feline Torasu, had arrived on Earth about three weeks ago after leaving the service of the USS Knight. After the long shuttle ride to Earth all four passengers were ready for some much needed shore leave. Once they had landed Tyran and Dinara decided to head for New Orleans, while Kira decided to head to Colorado with the hope of finding peace among the familiar landscapes of his youth.

Although his old house had been demolished many years ago, Kira still liked to call Earth his home. It had taken him many years to realize that he missed the Colorado landscape; although he enjoyed the mountains of Bajor on the Southern Continent, there was nothing on that could compare with the site that was displayed before him at this moment.

As he sat on the side of the road Kira slowly took a deep breath, savouring the fragrant smells of the aspen forest around him. He always loved the smell of aspen trees; the light, airy, woody smell that was as distinct as it was pleasant. It was too bad that he couldn't stay here longer. Kira ran his fingers across a PADD that contained a recent communiqué from Starfleet Command. The cold, hard plastic coating covering the PADD was a stark contrast to the warmer, softer scenery surrounding him. Slowly Kira's eyes focused on the words contained in the small instrument. It basically said that Kira's sabbatical could be cut short by reassignment.

Sighing a low, emotionally charged sigh, Kira slowly stood up and moved towards a small clearing off of the side of the road. A small shuttlecraft was waiting for him in the middle of the clearing, prepared to take him back to San Francisco, back to Starfleet Headquarters. There he would patiently wait for reassignment, hoping that his new position would provide him with some stability in his life. An amusing thought crossed his mind as he pictured himself working with Nige and Jin once again. One never knew what Starfleet Command was up to when it was time to dole out the assignments. Perhaps the paths of the three friends would cross again.