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JL Cin Sha'mer & Indi Hawk | "Eve of Destruction" (Part 3)

Posted on 241708.27 @ 9:30am by Rear Admiral Indi Hawk

Mission: Non-Plot Log

With a curt nod, Danya closed the channel. She rubbed her head for a moment before getting to her feet and heading over to Alyn's office. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad thing to move the Admiral up on the good doctor's patient list. "Alyn, do you have a moment?" she asked as she rounded the corridor and stepped into the office of which the door was open. "Did you see the message I forwarded you on the brain bleed patient?"

"Hey Jennor," the Betazoid said, still standing behind her desk. "No, didn't see it yet, I just got here. Hang on a sec, I'll call it up." She slid down in her chair with a toss of her head, to avoid snagging her long hair between the chair's back and her own. "An Admiral, huh," she muttered as her eyes moved across the file, "Human, age… okay… mm-hmm… operated, yes… Okay, you suspect telepathic causes, that's why you've asked me?"

The other doctor shrugged. "I don't see what other causes there could be. This patient has no other reason not to wake up," she paused, briefly considering how to put the rest of it politely. "And she's married to an other Admiral. If we don't go the full length here, Starfleet will be on our case again and I want to avoid that at all cost. The patient's Human, I don't see where or how much of a telepathic cause can do this, but that's your specialty. Right now, I just want to go home to be honest."

Alyn smiled at her collegue. "It shows," she said. "Go home, Jennor. I'll take this over. Is her spouse already aware of the situation?"

"She's..." Jennor paused. "Eager to hear back from you," with that rather cryptic description, she nodded curtly and headed out.

"If she's so damned eager, why the hell isn't she here?" Alyn muttered to herself. Transferring Indi's file to a padd, she rose and went to visit the patient herself.

One room. A single bed. A single patient. Alyn took her in with an experienced glance. Human. No obvious injuries. Physically appeared to be in fair health, something which her file seemed to support. Slightly pale face. Eyes closed.
Alyn came to rest at the foot of the bed, curled both hands around the foot board and concentrated. One deep breath, a second, to empty her mind, a third to initiate the meditative trance. She cleared her own mind of all clutter, stowed it neatly away behind her inner shields. No stray thoughts, no preconceptions. A blank slate.

Only then did she relinquish her shields, slowly, a bit at a time, her mind reached out and touched that of the other.

Nothing. Blank. Empty.

Carefully, Alyn went in deeper – not with her full mind but with a small probe, gentle, a deft touch: a petal carried by the wind would leave more impact. Deeper. Contact. An echo: a small child sitting in front of a closed, steel-enforced mind, spent, exhausted, battered and bruised from throwing herself at that door again and again and again – and behind that door, radiating faintly even from Alyn's perspective – it was dark.

The child didn't acknowledge the new presence, in fact, it didn't move at all. It was sitting in nothingness. It wasn't white, it wasn't black. It wasn't sitting on the floor, it wasn't floating in the air. It was nothing.

There was another door. Carved in wood, no less solid, no less closed, no less impenetrable than the steel-enforced one. More darkness radiated from it. The same and yet so different. Two people, two souls. One person, two souls. One person, one soul. Shredded to pieces and yet preserved. Protected and yet destroyed.

It was unlike anything Alyn had ever seen.

She created a ghost-image of herself, a shadow which was only marginally connected to Alyn's true-self, but which could interact freely with others within this no mans land. Alyn's shadow walked over to the child, crouched down next to her and slowly, to ensure she didn't startle the child, she placed one ghost-hand on her shoulder. "Hi," she said softly. "Can I help you?"

Meanwhile Alyn's true-self studied both doors. Both belonged in the woman's mind, but only one was her own creation. The other one lead to somewhere else. Someone else? How did a human end up being bonded with a telepath?
Something inside the mindscape detected the probing, the questions. It was a presence that didn't belong there. From far away, from nothing, a deep rumble started to rise. It grew steadily more and more loud. More and more vibrant.
The child looked from the woman to the nothing. To the growing vibrations that rattled the core of everyone present. She looked even more fearful, forcefully shaking her head. Whether it was an unspoken answer to the woman's question, or a denial of what was to come, was unknown.

Alyn's shadow picked up the child and cradled it, stroking it gently. With every stroke, cuts and bruises disappeared. But she kept the link to her true-self to a minimum, wanting to cut it at any sign of a true attack.

Alyn's true-self frowned. The rumbling came from deeper inside the human Admiral's mind, from the dark levels, the basements. She made a quick note on her padd. More help would be required here, this was something she could not do without backup.

Again she thought of the other door. Another bond. Alyn nodded to herself and opened her eyes. Still keeping the link to her shadow open, Alyn walked over to the comm panel and opened a channel.

Again with the insistent beeping. Sha'mer rubbed her face, winced as she felt tender, puffy flesh. Another text message?

No, this was someone else calling her. Another doctor, by the looks of it. Something in her eyes… Betazoid? "Sha'mer here," she began.

"This is Doctor Alyn. I believe my colleague informed you of my upcoming examination of your wife?" she asked without preamble. There was no time to be lost. "I'll be frank, Admiral. I need your help."

The child inside began to tremble as Alyn's true-self spoke the words. The cuts and bruises had disappeared, but its hands, shoulders, its entire body began shaking uncontrollably. Alyn's shadow held her, rocked her, comforted her. But the shadow glanced up as she caught a glimp of what her true-self saw. It is her! she she cried. There was no doubt: face outside matched with what she caught from the link-door.

No, you don't, Sha'mer thought, meanwhile. You really, really don't. But she kept that thought were it belonged, behind her shields, not where the Betazoid or any other telepath could sense it. "Your collegue informed me that somebody else would take over, yes," she replied. "What can I do for you?"

Yes, what could this woman do for her? To Alyn it was clear that she was intrinsically linked to the patient laying in the bed next to where she was standing. But how did you make it clear without making it clear? The other woman wasn't a telepath either. How was it possible that her patient had a door in her mind which linked them directly to each other. "I think you know, ma'am," she started, somewhat wearily. Her shadow self was struggling to calm the child. Her patient's heartbeat and breathing were rapidly accelerating. "Your wife needs your help."

Sha'mer closed her eyes and rested her face on her hand – the non-hurting side of her face. For the life of her she couldn't remember why the other side did hurt, but by now Sha'mer had grown so used to those holes in her memory that they barely even noticed them. Some time was missing. Some information was missing. So? Time was a fuzzy thing.

"You must understand," she said slowly, reopening her eyes, "that we haven't seen each other in years. We only reconnected" (when?) "a few days ago. Neither of us has talked about our experiences. But it is clear they have had a deep impact on her." She took a deep breath. "What kind of help did you have in mind?"

How to put it delicately? "I have completed my first examination of your wife's - can I call her Indi? - mind. I've seen some odd things. I think you know more about them," Alyn spoke carefully.

Inside Indi's mind, the child let out a high pitched scream. Her true-self winced and retreated just a bit further while strengthening her shadow self. The pitch kept rising rising rising –

Hush dear… her shadow crooned to the child. She constructed a small play house here in this construct of the mind, placed it around herself and the child. Inside she made it warm and dry, with pretty colours and blankets and pillows. Let outside stay outside for now. This is a safe space. There is always a safe space. I'm here with you. Hush…

"You can call her that, yes. What exactly is it what you wish to know?" Sha'mer had no idea what the other woman had seen so far, and had no intention to pry. Too dangerous…

The child was momentarily pacified. Whether is was because of the playhouse or because it was obvious that Sha'mer wouldn't be prying, was uncertain. Impossible to tell.

How to make a non telepath understand what was going on in somebody's mind? Alyn let out a small sigh. "There are two... doors.. for want of a better word, in Indi's mind. They're both locked. One of them, I think, is her own mind. I'm not sure yet why it's locked. Something has happened though. Something serious. My thoughts are that you are somehow connected to the second door. It's locked. If you're connected to it though, you might be the only one able to unlock it. To unlock her mind."

Sha'mer sighed tiredly. "Her door could have to do with her own experiences. I would advice caution when you open it. Don't do it alone." Her mouth thinned as she came to the next part. "As for that other door, you are correct in your assumption. I told you just now that we haven't seen each other in years. During that time, I, too, have had…" black hole "some bad experiences. Like many others, I suppose, so that's hardly unusual," she added with a smirk. Then she leaned forward, towards the screen. "I love her. I want to help her. But if we… connect, if that door opens, somehow, it will not be first and foremost that love she sees, Her darkness draws to mine. I believe it would be an exceedingly bad idea to have me remotely near her mind just now." And in the forseeable future. And maybe- black hole.

Alyn nodded slowly. She had no idea what was going on between these women, nor could she ever talk about it anyone because of doctor patient confidentiality, but there was something. Something dark. Something they both wanted to avoid. Something they'd failed to avoid. "I understand, Admiral. But I'm not sure what you want me to do if you believe you can't help. If you're aware of the door, you're also aware of the fact that it's highly unlikely anyone else will be able to open it."

"That door – between us – will remain closed up until the moment that Indi wants to open it-" without being drawn to the darkness within. "Not before. As to the other one…" Sha'mer sighed deeply, suppressed a wince as her ribs let her know that there was some bruising or whatever there, too. The thought What happened there? came and went so fast she barely noticed. "Enter at your own peril. I do concur, it must be done. But- I'm sure you have considerable experience in the field." Sha'mer sighed and rubbed her forehead. "I hope you can keep me posted," she said softly.

"Of course I can," Alyn continued to nod. She didn't know what had sparked this reluctance, but she had a feeling she would find out before this whole thing was over.

"Thank you." Sha'mer smiled a tired smile. "I wish there was more I could do…" But there isn't. She felt tired and faint, wondered absentmindedly when the last time was she ate. Sometime yesterday, or the day before, that odd four in the afternoon 'breakfast'? Or the foodstuff in Sabine's office? Those were the meals she could recall. Maybe there had been more. Maybe not. She wasn't hungry, anyway. "Thank you," she said again.


assorted characters by Cin Sha'mer & Indi Hawk


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