Author: Vesper (Regina)
Keywords: Pavel Chekov
Summary: Chekov tells stories; some are true, some are not. 690 words.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: Ficlet #2 for Zarz, who asked for action/adventure with Chekov, an unexpected skill and/or a wolf.
Chekov tells stories, like his aunt told him stories. Sometimes they are true, sometimes they are not. He tells stories because they pass the time on the bridge, because he likes how they draw his friends in, because stories always have meaning.
He stares up from where he lies. Even through the many layers of clothing he wears, the cold is violent in calm fury, insidious in its slow creep. The sky is light gray; flat in color, with no depth. Time passes.
Once upon a time, a man on a journey fell, weary and hungry. His companion, a wolf, nudged the man's foot with his nose, trying to wake him. He spoke to the man, "Wake, Ivan. We must go on."
Chekov unfastens the tent's door, looking out into a white, blinding world. "A good day," he says and steps out, dragging a large backpack. He swings it onto his shoulders, and steps out into the snow.
Ivan stirred, awakening. "Volk?"
"I am here, my friend. We must go."
"No, go on without me. You must, for the sake of all."
Chekov walks on the snow, crunching his way across the landscape. As he walks, he speaks into the recorder threaded into the collar of his coat.
"Day fifteen. I hope to bring the tally to ten. We'll see. I'm checking on the northeast quadrant. Should find pack thirty-one there."
"I will not leave you," said Volk.
Ivan waved weakly, signaling that Volk should go on. A moment of heavy breathing, breath misting in the cold air, and then he spoke. "Our sister expects you. I will be fine, brother."
The wolf again nudged Ivan, this time on his shoulder. "You are a foolish boy, brother."
Ivan brought a hand up, resting it briefly on the neck of Volk. He said, "You will succeed and I will be here when you come back. Now, go."
Pack thirty-one is there, sleeping. Chekov counts three new pups. He stuns the pack before going in. He checks the tagged wolves, their physical health and their tags, and then tags the pups. All looks good. He speaks into the recorder, "All healthy and strong. Will check on pack thirty-two now."
He almost doesn't see the poacher, until movement catches his eyes, a shadow on the horizon.
Ivan watched the sky. Even through the many layers of clothing he wore, the cold reached through, numbing him slowly. Hours passed.
"Hey!" Chekov shouts, and the poacher turns, a stunner just like Chekov's in his hand. A second of indecision, and then the poacher points it at Chekov.
Chekov drops the backpack and dives to the ground. The shot passes over his head and he looks up to see the man turning and fleeing.
"Not so fast!" Chekov yells, and runs after him.
The poacher disappears over the rise of a hill. It isn't until Chekov reaches the crest that he realizes it drops off sharply. The poacher is skidding down the slope in a semi-controlled slide, but Chekov's sudden attempt to avoid falling down the slope actually accomplishes the opposite. He remembers to tuck in to minimize the damage as he falls.
When he reaches the bottom, the poacher is nowhere to be seen. Chekov groans. "Bozhe moi, I'll be covered in bruises tomorrow," he mutters.
He stares up at the sky. No sense in getting up just yet. He activates the recorder. "There's a poacher," he says, "wearing white. About 177 centimeters in height. He escaped."
He takes a deep breath, and sits up. He looks up at the ridge and sees a wolf there. He freezes, holding as still as he can, but the wolf doesn't attack. It turns away.
Ivan awoke to the sky above a dark gray, shading to black near the horizon. Volk was at his side, and Liuba was behind him. She looked down at him. "Oh, Ivan," she said and knelt beside him.
"Let us go home," said Volk.
Chekov tells many stories. Some of them are true, some are not. All of them reveal something.