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Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.


STARDATE 57632.58
APRIL 9, 2381
2000 HRS

[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @stardust

The procedure had taken just under twelve-hours.

A monumental task, that was one of the most taxing and difficult that the newly minted Chief Surgeon had ever undertaken. When she’d left from Deep Space K-7, under order from everyone’s favorite mutual benefactor, Admiral Anderson, Kate hadn’t been aware of the extent of injuries that her half-brother had experienced during the Theurgy’s escape from Jupiter Station a year earlier. In fact, she hadn’t even been aware of the fact that he was injured at all; as far as she knew, Stellan was a walking, talking part of the crew; no doubt annoying others in a commensurate manner that she had more than grown accustomed to. If anything, the second most likely revelation that she’d had in mind, was that he had been killed at some point, and she’d need to come to terms with the fact that the only semi-loved part of her life, was now gone from it. But she certainly hadn’t expected to arrive and discover that Stellan was mired in an emergency medical stasis unit. Having been left there for the better part of a year, due to the inaction or inability of the Medical staff prior to her arrival. Lieutenant Kobol  had tried to explain that Stellan’s limbo-like condition was rendered as such, due to a lack of skilled personnel, but more importantly due to a lack of the time needed to undergo such a lengthy surgery.

It made sense, as Kate had soon discovered the extent of her half-brother’s injuries. An explosion having caused a micro-particle to lacerate the interior lining of his aorta, just a few centimeters north of where it fed into his heart. That laceration had allowed an aneurysm to rather hastily develop over the course of a few days, until it reached the point of near rupture. Aortic dissection was a difficult medical condition to cope with, even by 24th-century medical standards. Granted, the survival rates of such an ailment were far higher than they were three-hundred years earlier, but it was still a delicate procedure. One that demanded preparation, and most of all, a steady and skilled hand. Kate had the latter in spades, as she’d more than honed her deftness as a surgeon over the course of her career. An old colleague of hers even having remarked once, that the manner in which she conducted herself during surgery was among the most impressive he’d ever experienced. So it was, that after Kobol  had given Kate the go-ahead to attempt the procedure, that she’d spent the entirety of the previous day carefully selecting her assistant staff, and going through the procedure in a series of accelerated dry-runs on one of the holo-decks.

Once confident enough, she had allowed her staff to rest for the night, with the understanding that at 0800 the next day, they would convene and go through it for real. Though, Kate had spent a good part of her night trying in futility to conceive of the right words to impart upon her brother after he awoke.

What followed in the morning, was a delicate and prolonged surgical procedure, that gradually wore down the energy levels of Kate, and her selected staff of her primary assistant, Ensign Miles Courtland, and Nurses Duncan and Valryk. After having carefully brought the patient out of his stasis, and into a state which allowed for the procedure to begin, they had split him open like a sturgeon at the midline of his chest. His insides exposed, the surprisingly large distended aortic aneurysm which had threatened his life revealed, Kate found it to be something of a fascinating sight to behold; though she remained painfully aware of the fact that the man whom she’d cut open, thus revealing the interior of his chest cavity and vital organs held within, was her sibling. Their relationship was rocky at even the best of times, but there was still a glimmer of love that she held for him, in spite of all that other negativity. She had tried desperately to just abjectly hate him and treat him with the same disdain that he seemed to only offer her in turn, but to no such avail, as she could never wholly commit to it. She of course treated all of her patients with the due care and attentiveness that demanded it, but in this case, she found herself rather shamefully affording an even higher level of importance.

A realization that bothered her so much so, that during the mid-point of applying a pressure-sleeve to the aneurysm, she’d blurted out an entirely unrelated "FUCK!" which had rather promptly sent her staff into a momentary panic, before she reassured them that everything was fine. From that point on, aside from the standard instructions that were expected as part of the surgical repair, Kate kept her commentary to an internal monologue, with something of an aggressive and rage-like quality no doubt.

Eventually, and painstakingly slowly, Kate and her staff had managed to compress the aneurysm down to the point where it no longer threatened to rupture and they could begin the grueling process of mending the damaged blood vessel with a series of vascular regenerators. All the while, they monitored and steadied the unconscious Counseling Officer’s condition, until finally at around the ten-hour mark, they had completed the repair, and closed him back up. There was in fact a moment, when Kate had considered being a little sloppy in her application of dermal and subdermal regeneration, leaving Stellan with a rather noticeable ‘Y’ scar down the center of his sculpted chest, but her ethics as a healer intervened on his behalf, and with delicate grace she restored him into a condition which was nigh-undetectable from outside eyes. Only through a deep tissue-scan could anyone uncover the tell-tale remnants of micro-cellular repair that Kate and her tools had rendered unto Stellan.

Given all of her years of exemplary service as a surgeon, Kate both knew, and hated the fact that this was likely her finest achievement. An achievement that would go unappreciated by the man whose life it had saved. Still, Kate knew she could at least take pride in the fact that her skill, knowledge, and talent as a healer were still near the very top of the game. That despite his passive and active attempts at derailing her professional life, she had made it to where she was now, and had rather ironically been the one to bring him back from the brink of death. If anything, she knew it was something petty that she could hold over him the next time they invariably fought, which was as close to a guaranteed occurrence you could count on, especially if judging by their previous attempts at living within proximity were to be any hint in the matter.

Volatility was something that was seemingly supplied in end some between the two Fosters.

“Alright, Courtland. Let’s bring him out of it.” Kate instructed softly, as after having moved Stellan out of the surgical suite and into the ICU via a hover-gurney, she’d extended one of her delicate hands to her assistant, accepting a hypospray which contained the resuscitative agent, morathial. Pressing that hypospray to her brother’s carotid artery, Kate hesitated a moment as she caught glimpse of one of the tattoos at the base of her right wrist; the name of their deceased sister, Sierra, that had drowned due to Kate’s narcotic-induced inaction some thirteen-years earlier. The realization that she’d both directly caused the death of a sibling and saved the life of another wasn’t lost on her. It caused something of an odd sense of catharsis in the moment, as unwelcome and unwanted as it was, because Kate knew she could never, and would never come to the point where she could forgive herself for that particular failure. No matter how much she pretended to be comfortable with herself externally, internally she was a boiling cauldron of deep-seated regret, disdain, and contentiousness.

“Dr. Foster? Is something wrong?” asked Courtland, as he came around to stand beside Stellan’s ICU bed, directly opposite of Kate.

Regarding Miles with a somewhat forced yet also sweet smile, Kate shook her head and exhaled deeply as she turned her tangerine-hued eyes to focus on her brother’s face, and with her thumb she actuated the hypospray, injecting a preset amount of the resuscitative agent into Stellan’s body. Waiting a moment, Kate casually monitored the vital readouts on the console monitor situated above the bed, watching as blood-pressure steadily climbed to within normal conscious parameters.

He was coming to, and as Kate felt a surprisingly genuine happiness within her cause something of a little taunting smile to beam across her face, the right words she had spent the night searching for, suddenly came to mind.

“Time to wake up, Doctor Douchebag.”

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #1
[ Lt. Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

“His condition is too severe … put him into stasis …” the man had said, his mind going a hundred miles an hour, as he tried to wrap his conscience around the tragedy that had unfolded. Dozens dead, as the ship had been rocked with the reaper’s might. “But Sir.” A woman intervened, her aura kind and warming, a sentiment one would’ve gladly indulged in, if only for a minute, before the cold, factual flintstone cut through the tranquil calm. “Make it so, Ensign!” Words as distinct and as concise as the man’s demeanour, as he moved on, his intellect already contemplating another procedure. A young diplomat, who had come in with third degree burns and concussive trauma, he reiterated in his mind, formulating a medical approach as he went, his thoughts and motivations slowly fading away into a sea of pain, confusion and fear. Then there she was again, the angel of salvation, with her warm, caring aura, feeling a sense of remorse, as she administered ten cc’s of Tetrovaline, something that didn’t sound familiar. He wanted to tell her to not feel bad, but his voice did not reach beyond the sphere of images and emotions, swirling in and out of focus around him, before it faded to black.

Then, suddenly he heard a thousand voices at once, a thousand thoughts thinking the same thing, cold and calculated, directed … “Resistance is futile.” If he wasn’t already trapped in a cave made of ice, he’d have felt a cold shiver down his spine. The ordered and streamlined sentiments were soon replaced by panic, confusion and desperation. A set of emotions that would come back to haunt him periodically, like a rollercoaster, on a steady ride from ecstatic highs to existential lows. The voice of a woman, with conflicted thoughts, a Vulcan, he could sense, like a single, individual mind, among the sea of homogenous motivation. Her plan, to turn everyone into the same thing she was, in some sort of twisted sentiment of gratification, assuming to elevate their existence. But the wall of defiant thought remained, it ebbed and flowed, like a cresting wave. Pushing forth and falling back, as the battle of the minds ensued. Countless lights going out in a nebula of stars, as the desperation culminated into a selfless act. The definition of the sentient species, that fought for their individuality and survival. Eventually, it all fell dark once more, but a spark of hope remained.

Forth came a flickering ember, virile and hot to the touch, that infested the fabric of thought and self-restraint, as its sparks spread like wildfire. One mind after the other succumbed to the void of inhibition, pulling a piece of him with them, each and every time. Until Stellan was in the midst of the kind of Sodom and Gomorrah that felt more like a biblical facsimile than a potential reality. And as time and space faded in and out of existence, like a clock winding forward and backward at the same time. It has hard for the man to keep track of any sense of order, in the way his mind picked up the breadcrumbs of the world around him, throughout the entire journey, he was sealed away for. No sense of how long he had been a prisoner to his own mind, how many times he’d lived through the thoughts and emotions of the same moment, the same people, until everything became an endless waterfall of stimuli, pouring down on him, as she huddled into a ball, at the bottom of his mind. Waiting, biding time, wallowing in the same repeating mantra of self-preservation. Treating his mind like a space capsule, that just had to hold out until he’d be rescued.

Sierra … not her spoken name or memory, but rather the image of letters, written out across pale skin, manifesting in the dark around Stellan, which was saturated with the numbed-out voices of about a thousand officers and civilians. More muffled sensations beyond. Klingons, Aldeans … others. The sense of guilt, pushing him down like a gust of water, at the bottom of an ocean. Only to be compounded with the equilibrium of a world in balance, if only reluctantly so, as one dark, obsidian pearl on the scales, was balanced out by a pale, ivory one. But something kept tucking at the side where the flintstone orb circled in its bowl, attempting to keep the fate off center, while he, for some reason, desperately tried to pull at the other, conveying a sense of reassurance, unbeknownst to his desperate intention. A sense of sympathy and worry, injected at an angle, a man who thought himself to be a caring soul … and a generous lover, for whatever reason that image prevailed, among his more professional, current sentiments. It painted the half Betazoid somewhat weary, of this soul, that so nonchalantly entertained untoward thoughts.

Then, the most peculiar thing happened: He got an impression of himself as if hovering next to a bio-bed, appraising his pale, unthawed form. His own hand reaching out to push a hypospray into his neck, an unusual feeling of remorse and doubt, playing on his mind. But it wasn’t really his mind, was it. He could instantly feel a tug, pulling at his conscience, as an unfamiliar sentiment of pain broke through the dark orb of telepathic perception. Some sort of reverberated vibrations, echoing from the walls which slowly broke away. Yes, sound! A sensation he had almost forgotten. The gentle thump, thump, thump, of a vital organ in the midst of his chest. Soon to be joined by a lyrical ping, ping, ping, dancing along in perfect unison. The slowly revealing sharp pain at his neck, willingly gave way almost instantly, to the sentiment of happiness and relief, as he found his thoughts and mental perceptions spring into technicolor. A familiar connection being lifted from the noir fog, coming into focus before his conscience even asserted itself. Goddammit … Kate. Why of all people.

Feeling his facial muscles tensioning into a disgruntled grimace, every fiber aching under skin that felt stiff as cardboard, the man let out a subtle groan. The automatism of breath and heartbeat, becoming a more conscious sentiment with every beat and every breath. Eyelids fluttered for a moment, a glistening ray of sharp white light burning away his internal perceptions. A dark veil falling, in favor of a slowly shaping reality, outside his body. Squinting his eyes at the photonic invasion, optical nerves slowly regaining their ability to attenuate, alongside his onyx irises, as the world came back into existence. He could sense she thought herself to be exceptionally funny and witty, even before the words trickled through the intricate system of his auditory system. “Shut up …” he mumbled, his voice raspy, barely more than two bricks of sandstone, grinding against one another. Yet his reply had come almost simultaneously to her prompt, since it had been sparked by her conception of the words, rather than the delayed manifestation of them, across her vocal cords.

A cough followed, as Stellan felt like his own were crumbling into a cloud of dust, inhaled into his pulmonary alveoli, by two meager words. Feeling his chest constrict in pain from freshly healed wounds, the man convulsed for a second, before returning to a steady, slightly forced, measure of breathing. “Would it kill you to get me some water?” he attempted to manifest in his sister’s mind almost habitually. A sentiment which he had never been entirely certain did or didn’t work. Sometimes in the past she had acted on his telepathic prompts, but maybe by mere circumstance. Other times she didn’t, potentially ignoring them. Feeling his arm ultimately stronger than his ability to wet his whistle, the man made a haphazard chugging notion towards his mouth, arching his fingers in a C-shape. Still blinking aimlessly, he slowly tensioned his abdominals, using an elbow to support his frame up a little. He felt dizzy, as his blood seemed to drain from his head as soon as it had left the horizontal, his heartbeat intensifying, as the cardiac muscle reignited its newfound vigor.

Scooting back slightly, Stellan soon found support against the plush pillow, letting his muscles ease with another content groan. He could momentarily sense the man’s conscience, by his side, how his attention had shifted to the individual on the bio-bed. And so had the focus of his untoward, yet private, thoughts. A sentiment of carnal appreciation of the Betazoid's physique that made his skin crawl. Appraising him with slotted eyes first, taking in the sculpted facial features and thick brows, what little was visible of his obsidian orbs conveyed all the disdain the other man would potentially not be able to derive from the telepathic transmission. Ultimately though, his gaze shifted over to the other side, where his sister had positioned herself. White cloth hanging down both sides of her body, obscuring her Starfleet uniform. So, they got him back to Starfleet medical, Theurgy must’ve been able to deter the parasite threat. But then why did everyone still feel so god damn on edge?! “Are we … ugh, did we get back to earth?”

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #2
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @stardust

Perking a sharp eyebrow up a little higher than its adjacent neighbor, Kate felt a supreme sense of smug satisfaction surge up within her. As if all of the fair judgments that had been cast upon her by Stellan during her court-martial, were suddenly and with finality proven unfair. An assertion made only possible by the reality of her brother gradually stirring back to life before her tangerine eyes; his existence having escaped the clutches of the reaper in no small part due to her dutiful and skilled work. Sure, there were other surgeons who could have performed such a procedure, but as far as Kate knew, none of them were aboard Theurgy at the moment. Had she so refused to seek out the rogue starship, Stellan would have likely remained in cryogenic stasis indefinitely, resigned to whatever fate would befall him and the rest of the crew as they carried on the mission without his input. Now, he’d at least have a chance to make a difference in that fate, and perhaps even influencing the mission in a meaningful and positive manner.

“You’re welcome, Stellan.” She hastily retorted, as their temporarily stalled sibling dynamic resumed in earnest.

To say it was a contentious dynamic would have been one of the grandest understatements in the history of existence, and poor Courtland would be in attendance to witness just how unpleasant the atmosphere around these two siblings was whenever they were within close proximity. Because within thirty-seconds of his restored consciousness, Stellan had yet again crossed a line that she’d repeatedly drawn in the sand; he was telepathic, she wasn’t, and she absolutely hated the way he would invade her thoughts at will. A habit that started off when they were much younger, and that he had purposefully embraced due to how effectively it would get under her skin and elicit what he’d described as an emotional overreaction. An emotional overreaction that she repressed in this particular moment, not only out of consideration of the young Ensign standing opposite her, but also to spite her brother’s obvious attempt at gaining the upper-hand so soon. Though her heart still beat a little more aggressively, as that instinctive surge of fight-fueled adrenaline began to pump throughout her slender form.

“Ensign, would you mind retrieving our patient something to drink. I’m sure he’s parched.”

With a simple nod, Courtland appraised both Kate, and her newly revived brother for just a moment before he stepped away to fulfill that very modest request, leaving the two of them alone for a brief moment. Once he was out of an earshot, Kate’s semi-annoyed gaze returned to Stellan’s punchably handsome face, and she cleared her throat audibly. “Nice try.” She remarked dryly, so as to drive the point home that she wasn’t going to fall victim to one of his traps. Not today at least. She needed to remain on even footing with him on day one, especially in the company of her peers in Medical. The last thing she wanted was for them to start questioning her level of stability at such an early juncture in her newest posting, though she knew that in time they would likely all come to hate her, and that Stellan would more than do his part in ensuring such an outcome. His penchant to torment and observe her reactions like some kind of a lab rat having been well-established during their lives together. Though she wasn’t entirely aware of how far his passive willingness to sit by and watch her destroy herself had gone in the past.

A moment later, Courtland returned with a small plastic pitcher of water, and a cup of ice-chips to which he set on a nearby table just beside Stellan.

“No. Earth is still off limits.” Kate began to explain, her gaze trailing away from her brother, back to the Ensign once more. Realizing that there was a fair bit of history that he’d have to catch up on, but that she wasn’t exactly the best person to do so, Kate decided to leave any further explanation unspecified. Instead, she turned her attention to his vital signs as they were displayed on the console at the head of his bio-bed. His readings were all within normal, healthy parameters, especially given the traumatic experience that his body had just gone through. Reaching out with one of her delicate hands, she touched at the console a few times before accepting what her eyes were telling her. “Not that it needs explaining, your chest will be aching a little over the course of the next week, due to it having been split wide open during surgery.” Retrieving a hypospray from her coat, Kate pressed it against her brother’s bicep without warning, and administered an analgesic which would lessen his level of discomfort. She could have, and normally would have administered said drug prior to waking a patient, sparing them said discomfort entirely, but then this wasn’t just any patient, it was her asshole of a brother.

“I’m giving you a mild dosage of Morphenolog to help with that ache. I’ll also write you a prescription for a week’s worth of additional self-dosages.” She held up the hypospray in front of him, before setting it down on the table next to his pitcher of water and cup of ice. “Normally, I would also prescribe a visit to one of the ship’s Counselors, in order to deal with the personal ramifications of having been an ice-cube for so long, but well...” she let her point trail off, as the rest of it didn’t need saying. Besides, she didn’t dare ignite any immediate arguments with him, by trying to delve into his field of expertise. There had been far too many instances of that already, and for the moment, she didn’t feel like rekindling that particular tradition of theirs. “The next thing I’m supposed to ask, is if you’re feeling anything... unusual... regarding your surgery, or if there are any latent effects of your stasis?” The rhetorical nature of her tone of voice spoke to the irritation that was starting to well up within her. They’d barely said two-words to each other, and already she felt a need to create more distance between them.

All of the memories of their past weighed heavily within her subconscious, reminding her of just how much she genuinely didn’t like him as a person, even if she did love him as a sibling.

Such was her side of their relationship.

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #3
[ Lt. Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

There was a lot of conflict, Stellan could pick up on, wafting across the moory landscape he was wading through, on his journey to full telepathic and sensory recovery. Like the soggy stench of wet, invading his mind and festering in the farthest corners, potentially to grow into something bigger, more dangerous. It was these moments of mental vulnerability, when ill thoughts and dark emotions, could invade his mind like a virus would, passing through a weakened immune system, to take advantage of the vulnerable state. The conflict within his sister’s contemplations, whether to feel glad for her ability to save him, or her regret over the very fact. Between being glad he was obviously and entirely back to being himself – albeit not master of his entire wit yet – and dreading to not having added some procedures to quench his mental and vocal abilities to communicate. It was the kind of conflict that had been an innate part of her psyche, for as long as he could remember, and not only in reference to him, but everything in her life. And it felt incredibly homey and relieving, to sense this notion once more, so close, so vivid.

A self-indulging smile crossed his thin lips, features lined with sparse black scruff against pale skin. He’d never been able to thoroughly grow a beard, but mostly just a few patches of scattered hairs around his chin and upper lip, fading into almost nothing, further back across his defined jawline. It was his one regret in life, though not really anything in the realm of his control. Which probably said a lot about the mundane quarrels the man had, that obnoxiously at-peace son of a bitch. Kate’s thoughts, not his. It was the sole source of his current amusement, really, her defiance towards his natural ability to peek beyond the vail of pretense and outward sensibilities. It was his innate gift of perception, like the eyes she was contemptuously looking at him through right now, tainted by the tangerine hue of the devil’s vices. She too did not bestow upon her abilities the sense of modesty to hold back and only look if granted permission. So why should he adhere to a different set of rules, just because everyone considered their thoughts to be more private, than their superficial flaws.

Nodding decisively, as Kate beckoned the ensign to fulfill a query, he could not fully voice, a sentiment of gratitude could’ve settled in. But that was not really the dynamic these two siblings indulged in. They never granted either of them anything. Even the tiniest concession, a sign of weakness, at the danger of being exploited and put in a disadvantageous position. All from two separate lives of growing up in worlds that held little to no sympathy for the weak and downtrodden. Living up to expectations, either external or internal, that were not achievable … even to this day. Ruled by a king of a dark empire, far away yet never really gone. A part of their lives in the far recesses of their minds and souls, where the shadows became indistinguishable from nothingness. There his voice persisted, his actions, his influence … an invisible hold that did fade, but never falter. It manifested even in the crease between Stellan’s dark brows, as they drew together lightly, like caterpillars in coy infatuation. Luckily, between the two of them, telepathy was a one-way street.

It had been what, months, since the incident at Jupiter station? Years, since he’d seen his father last, yet he was the second thing that sprung to live this side of reality. Not the thought of his lovely mother, or Kate’s, or their sister Sierra. He was almost certain that if the orange-eyed gnome wasn’t by his bedside, that she wouldn’t have been the first thing on his mind. Because she was, sadly or not, not the first thing that had left a mark in his life. By the time her dewy eyed mug had entered the scene, there was already so much damage done, so many shadows on his soul. In the grander scheme of things it wasn’t her fault really, though her penchant for confrontation certainly had compounded the hardship, but the groundwork was laid by a daemon they shared equal resentment for, even though that was subjectively debatable, for sure. But unlike Kate, Stellan had a pretty good understanding about the extent of her scorn, so he could weigh it easily against his. Something he could not convey in return. So, he would have to remain content with being considered wrong in his assumption, that they both had been broken equally.

“Whatever you are talking about.” he retorted, dryly, but not only by the emotion lining his words, but the raspy tone too. Moving a little, his body ached like every bone had been crushed and put back together, coaxing forth a reluctant moan, through gritted teeth, that was exactly the sign of weakness he could not afford. “Did you drop me off the operating table by any chance?” A sarcastic quip, delivered with all the seriousness of a heart attack. Stopping in his motions, but not only because of the pain, but the information being relayed, black eyes met hers, slightly squinted at the bright light, but still as effortlessly mirroring her tangerine hues as they always had. One more thing to drive her crazy about him, surely. Not even her elaboration of a different subject, though the pain was pretty bad, did much to divert his probing stare. So, they were still on the run, anchored at Aldea for resupply and repairs, things looking worse than ever. Thank god he didn’t have to talk about it, using her mind like a self-service buffet of information, instead.

“Now that’s just great. I am asleep for months and we’ve barely moved along.” he grunted, diverting his probing stare from her finally, though his telepathic exploration was a different story. He understood that she was worried he’d be continuing on the same tangent they’d parted with. Him seeing her unfit for duty. For him, not that much time had passed since then and not a shred of evidence had presented itself, to convince him of the contrary … until just then. Her worry was a change. She hadn’t been worried back then, not really. The felicium had destroyed all of that, he had assumed forever. But unlike her eyes, something seemed to have returned since then. Being almost startled by the sentiment of pain, against his biceps, dark eyes snapped back at hers, this time viciously constricted. Her flightiness was still eluding him, thoughts that sprung to her mind so quickly, there was no interpreting them as precursors of action, before it actually happened. He hated that!

But she was not the only one who could play that game. The pain still fresh in his mind, the notion like a ball of fire that he skillfully kept alive, was tossed back into her conscience with ease, so she too could experience the sharp ping, just for fun. And also, because it would alleviate his own discomfort, if only by the joy of seeing her jerk from the telepathic ‘stab’. Reveling in a moment of self-indulgence and satisfaction, probing the pouch of his cheek with the tip of his tongue, the odds quickly shifted back in her favor, at the behest of another snide remark. “Your compassion is appreciated.” he replied curtly, with the uncomfortable cold of an Anchorage summer. Then she asked a question, that supposedly was deemed ‘professional’, though the distinct sentiment of insecurity, that the denomination sparked from in order to not appear too caring, did of course not elude the cunning telepath. A small glimmer of warmth to wallow in, for a moment, before the eventual necessity of an answer sunk in. “Nope … I just hope I’ll be dreaming of that redhead gymnast again. Certainly the highlight of my time being an ice-cube.” he reiterated the phrasing to her with utter comedic resentment. Throwing her off the scent of actual emotional lesions. He still wasn’t sure what to make of all the memories he shouldn’t have, from the time under stasis. Memories of incidents that now made sense that Kate had involuntarily confirmed all the happenings of the past months. He’d have to figure that out on his own first, without someone gleefully watching over his shoulder while he sifted through his trauma.

“So, how long will I have to stay here then … and who will be giving me the sponge baths?”

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #4
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @stardust

Kate found herself in an oddly familiar place, stuck between the rock of personal distaste that she held for the man that was her brother; a genuine dislike for nearly everything about him. His mannerisms. His unwarranted use of telepathy. The way he seemed to make calculations of every move that she made, as she was making them. It was like he was keeping note of his favorite lab-rat as it scurried about, feeling a smug and superior sense as it’s puppeteer. And at the opposite end of what penned her in, the proverbial hard-place that was her innate inability to completely write off that deeper bond of family that somehow managed to prevail through all the tumultuous aspects of their past. No matter how hard she had tried to convince herself that she didn’t, she couldn’t deny that some part of her had truly cared for Stellan’s well-being as her brother, even if she was certain that he was devoid of the same consideration for her. It had stung at her pride that his position aboard Theurgy had played such a pivotal role in getting her here, but it was the truth. She’d never felt truly at peace over the parting words that she’d left him with three-years ago.

‘Fuck-off and die!’

Not exactly the kind of literary prose you’d expect one sibling to spit with such absolute vehemence and veracity as she had. At first, she’d felt righteous in having made such a powerful denouncement of him. She’d felt vindicated that her career had been spared, regardless of his protestation that it should have ended. But while she had been permitted to retain her commission, she had been demoted in rank, and remanded into a Starfleet rehabilitation program, which was far more stringent in its procedures. It was there, that she’d discovered the ultimate regret of her scornful remarks, and unfortunately not at some annoying Counselor’s direction. No, if that were the case, then she could have dismissed how she had felt as nothing more than a fault of their making. The truth of the matter was, that Kate found her way to regretting what she’d said on her own, without outside provocation, and internally she knew that the way things had been left unresolved with her mother, had played heavily against her subconscious in the matter with Stellan. It was one of many self-actualizations that had come to her during her third rehab stint, and one of the more prominent.

As such, she’d been haunted by the idea that her relationship with him, would likewise remain unresolved.

But as all of this had crossed her mind, she soon remembered that it was likely just as evident for that smug face which smiled self-indulgently at her now, and she instantly wiped her mind clean as best she could. She felt the desperate need to take her inner most turmoil and confide them within her big-brother, as any younger sister might. She desired that guardianship that she had never been privy to. It was just that she absolutely despised the way he would go about getting to that part of her. If he would just use his voice, and speak it, then maybe she wouldn’t be so apprehensive when sharing the aspects of her life with him. But instead, he had this deeply-seated sense of self-righteous superiority that drove him to probe into her mind without a care for how she didn’t like it, or how it felt like a violation of her privacy. She’d often wondered if he was as brazenly intrusive with others but had a suspicion that he’d reserved such behavior with her, as he knew he would get away with it. Kate had always been far too self-conscious to make a bigger deal of the matter; she was worried that everyone would dismiss her ravings as nothing more than her insecurities presenting themselves. She was driven to silence by the memories of how no one had ever seemed to take her word over his in the past, though perhaps with good reason as she had well enough tarnished the worth of said word.

No, she was resigned to soak up his torment, just as she was resigned to listen to his whining over the ache present in his chest. She knew he held no sense of gratitude for the fact that she’d just spent the better half of a day performing an incredibly dangerous and difficult operation to literally save his life. To him, it was probably summed simply as ‘her job’ to do exactly that. Of course, if he would have had any say in the matter, she knew he would have flat-out refused her as the surgeon to perform the operation, not only out of his disregard and contempt for the skill which she professed, but more so because she knew how he hated the idea of being ever so slightly at the disadvantage when it came to the game that was their contentious sibling dynamic. In fact, she was damn certain that he probably figured her to have performed the life-saving measure, out of personal spite, rather than the genuine consideration for him that had actually driven her. Though, she was just as unlikely to admit it herself, as it would have meant a screwed-up capitulation in his favor.

Little victories, however vain they were, were something of a hallmark when it came to these siblings. For Kate, the surprising sting of an administered analgesic to his bicep. For him, a telepathically induced reciprocation of that sting within her own arm, only to a degree which was far more unpleasant, as it didn’t immediately fade from her consciousness thanks to said administered relief agent. Instead it elicited a rather noticeable twinge in her arm, and a wincing of her tangerine-hued eyes as she tried not to acknowledge it more than she had instinctively. Others might have been confused by such a random occurrence of pain within them, but Kate had known immediately where this particular sting had originated. It was an old annoying skill which he had honed many years earlier when they lived together in Anchorage, when he’d experimented with telepathic pain transference. Though the sting of a hypospray paled in comparison to the psycho-somatic burn of a candle flame held beneath one of his fingers, as she had so discovered one evening at the provocation of his then gang of teenage friends.

There were more than a few sleepovers spent tormenting his ‘annoying brat of a sister’.

The vividity of the details for those memories which had surged to her recollection were intense, prompting Kate to stifle it immediately out of a necessity to not only forget them now, but hopefully forever. “Something wrong, Kate?” Courtland asked, a genuine mixture of confusion and concern transfixed on the handsome features of his face as he appraised her, his mannerisms having been set to introspection by the lingering silence which had overtly pervaded her.

“Umm... yes sorry, I’m fine, Miles. Thanks.” The sudden realization that she’d been internalizing her thoughts for an extended period of time, thus playing right into Stellan’s hands, bothered her immeasurably. It had even caused her to completely miss his sarcastic rebuke of ‘appreciation’, and the subsequent musing of a redhead gymnast. All while she’d been left to stare blankly at the vital readout above his head, not really absorbing any of the numbers as they bounced around within healthy parameters. Yet as she had been pulled back to reality, she had also found herself instantly embarrassed at having lost her train of thought so easily in the midst of what was essentially a conversation. Stellan had only been out of stasis for three minutes, and already she was making a fool of herself in front of her peers and colleagues. Worried about that facet, Kate turned to offer a tenderly sweet smile to the Ensign in an attempt to disarm the awkwardness of the situation that had manifested itself. “Would you mind updating the Medical database, to reflect Lieutenant Foster’s condition.” The request was clearly one meant to afford the two siblings a measure of aloneness, which Courtland was more than happy to provide.

“You know I fucking hate it when you do that.” Kate exclaimed in pointed fashion at Stellan once Courtland was out of an earshot. Taking a deep breath to contain the anger that had welled up in her, she aggressively snatched at a nearby PADD to write the prescription that she’d promised Stellan a moment earlier, her delicate fingers audibly pounded against the poor computer as she entered it into his Medical log.

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #5
[ Lt. Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

Stellan had been subject to the revelation a long time ago, that he had a rather different picture from their relationship, than Kate did, and a big part of it was surely his ability to see behind the veneer of rivalry and outright animosity. He could see the gentle sparks of light, breaking through the dark, like rays of sunlight on a dreary day. The speckles of consideration and care, she held for him, here and there, like coveted little nuggets of gold, hidden away from prying eyes and unsavory glances, the thieves of the world, in the depth of her mind. That was not how she outwardly conducted herself, either way. But where he was able to glance beyond that initial conception and touch upon the ethereal truth of their relationship, he also could see the pretty brunette didn’t heed such insight, or even hope. She hadn’t seen the ambers of compassion and sympathy, when he’d sat with her during the initial stages of her addiction. Something that had translated into him studying her for his own gain, when only the act was true, not the intention. She also hadn’t seen the protectiveness and care, when he’d proposed her dismissal from Starfleet, to get her the calm and steadiness she’d needed. Which had coined her now infamous and iconic term of endearment towards him.

But why had he not let her in on this little secret then, decades ago, when it probably could’ve saved their relationship still. That was a loaded question, one that couldn’t be answered so easily. Part of it surely was the he himself didn’t, at times, know for sure that his conception of their chemistry was the right one. Even a half Betazoid could delude themselves into false readings and a fabricated reality, that followed wishful intent more than common sense. It was actually something that, through his studies, he was painfully aware and eternally afraid of. Going crazy himself, that was. So, he hadn’t wanted to open this can of worms, bringing a reality into this world only to realize it was a delusion, actually. On top of that, he felt like protecting her, from developing any more compassionate feelings, than connecting her foot with his ass. For he was his father’s son, more so than nature had intended him to be, so there was no telling what delights that still held in store. It was simply safer that way.

And for over a decade now, they had settled into this dynamic, that had also become sort of synonymous for their sibling interactions. It was a comfortable coat of mementos and sentimental feelings that, despite its often vile and abrasive nature, provided a semblance of normality. He hadn’t ever felt as home on Theurgy as he did once he’d been able to dive back into her convoluted, slightly aimless mess of a mind, to find the resentment and ire she held for him. For there was one unwavering absolute he could always count on, a pinnacle of obsidian in the center of her conscience, relentless against the storm still raging around it, which was her strive for resolution. Much like him, in a way, she too was endlessly irked by matters unresolved. Which was the mutual driving force of the entire Foster pedigree. One of the more pleasant heirlooms they’d been blessed with by their father. And even when Kate couldn’t read his mind, over the years, she had still developed a way of understanding his inner workings, if only by the law of probability. Calculations fueled by experiences and memories.

So, she was right to assume he held no special gratitude for her saving his life, feeling as if the sheer act of succeeding, had been gratification enough. Certainly, projecting a good bit of his motivations and convictions on to her, if even telepathically though, by years and years of rubbing off on the then impressionable girl. People had their duties, not only as officers but as people of a civilized society, and he’d not been raised to pat anyone on the back for the bare minimum, of being a decent motherfucking person. But that was not really all of it, he realized. There was a certain level of consideration and even remorse, that caught him off guard and let his outward expression freeze over for a moment. A spark of care, for him, that extinguished as quickly as it had sparked up, but leaving an imprint, like staring into the sun. A gentle huff of air left his nostrils flaring ever so slightly, a tuck on his thin, scruff lined lips, barely noticeable. One that was so fleeting, before it grew into a sly, mean spirited smirk of glee, as the pain struck her equally. A sentiment that too felt warm and comfortable, like the times he pinched her arm or slipped a frog down the back of her shirt. There was almost a perverse pleasure, in feeling pain and disgust remotely, through someone else, rather than in your own mind.

Brushing his lips together, Stellan crossed his legs at the ankles, intertwining long fingers over his abdomen, while leaning back in smug relaxation, as Courtland picked up on Kate’s discomfort. He didn’t even have to say anything, to carry that small comedic play further, as the lead actress knew her part so well. Her mind temporarily washed over with the non-descript musings of professionalism and academic consideration, that bored him endlessly. Something she could not pick up on, luckily, else it would’ve been a ready rebuke towards his flights of joyful inception. Letting his dark eyes flash towards the Ensign, with a glimmer of mischievousness, as he nodded dutifully towards his superior’s orders, the Betazoid put on a pleasant smile, not only because he could read the man’s confusion and irritation just as well. It was like the smell of fresh citrus on a warm summer breeze. “Don’t mind using terms like ‘strapping’ and ‘virile’, if you do that.” he called after him, only cringing slightly at the gentle ping of overexertion, at the raised tone. But he didn’t even have to be a telepath, to alleviate that with the delight of seeing the outward confusion and unease, as he departed, stealing glance after glance, from the handsome pate, until he vanished beyond a dividing wall.

“You know, you should tell him …” the raspy baritone mused, the man’s pate slowly rolling back to beckon Kate’s attention, ignorant of her rebellious contestations. “… that you feel incredibly smitten by his zestful appearance.” he told her, with a thin smile, caught somewhere between Alaskan tundra and Rigelian summer days. Deliberately incepting the concept, that he’d been able to deduct as much from her more concealed thoughts, even obscured from her own conscience, when in reality, it was just yet another measure to screw with her sanity. Letting his eyes subsequently linger on the poor PADD, clutched tightly, yet vibrating with each hefty impact of angry paws, he irked a brow slightly, lips having returned to a relaxed state of horizontal lines. “If you break that, you’ll have to start all over. And I’d rather get out of here sooner than later. I am just one slip of the robe away from sending the entire station into a syncope.” A cautious look around, surely Kate had not been eluded by the fact that, for whatever reason, their corner of sickbay had become center stage to the attention of officers and patients, milling about.

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #6
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @stardust

There was a chorus of chaos at play within Kate’s own subconscious, which threatened to invade the foremost arena of her conscious thinking, and though she knew Stellan could peer deeply into both realms of her mind, she knew it was easier for him to find focus on her active thoughts than those which were decidedly inactive. But it wasn’t an easy game to play, because she was a turbulent ball of anxiety whenever she was within any proximity that allowed him to pierce the veil. The discomfort that she so often felt around him was too familiar and reminded her of just how pleasant it had been to be free of him and his prodding for the previous three years. Though such a realization brought an implicit guilt from out of that subconscious pool and tugged at her with a full-on sense of regret which manifested itself in the form of physical unrest at the pit of her stomach. Logically, she knew that her vicious rebuke after he had testified against her, hadn’t played into any reality which had befallen him, despite how poignant and prophetic it nearly was, but a part of her still couldn’t escape the insanity of the idea that she had somehow caused his near death.

Sensing how she was transfixed on something so ludicrous, and knowing that Stellan would pick up on it, Kate clenched her eyelids shut to hide her troubled tangerine-hued orbs from view, while she sought to contain the tempest of unease attacking her.

The commonality of this interaction between them was modestly painful for her to endure, as it brought back so many memories that she so desperately wanted to keep buried. Not because those memories reminded her of a fond past, or even an unpleasant one; but because they reminded her of who she was, and what she had allowed herself to become. She could cope with the manner in which their sibling relationship lacked most if not all of the requisite pleasantries that demarcated so many others. She could cope with coming from a broken family, a sometimes-negligent mother and abusive father, and an older-brother who regarded her more as an annoyance than anything else. What she couldn’t cope with, was the knowledge how all of it seemed to invade and replace the confidence with which she had come to exist as a different person than who she had been. All of the progress that she had strive toward seemed to fade away whenever she was faced with her past, and she found herself slipping into old patterns of insecurity. It was that insecurity which had led her down the path of addiction in the first place, and which had caused her to act in such impulsive and dangerous ways.

For an instant, she hated herself for having sought out the Theurgy. For having found her brother. Why couldn’t she have just let him, and his presence in her life go by the wayside for the rest of her existence?

Opening her eyes, she looked to her brother’s face as he settled back comfortably against the bed. If she could’ve gotten away with it, she would have slugged him in his smug smiling content jaw right then and there, simply for the fact that he lacked any kind of regard for how he affected her. She even felt her free hand clench up into a fist, knuckles popping as for a moment she actually considered giving into such an urge. Instead, she eased off the tension and rolled her eyes in abject dismissal of his added attention toward Courtland. An attention which soon transitioned back to her, clearly meant to elicit a reaction, and which certainly would if he pushed her too far. “How about you stay the f--” catching her use of profanity, as it wasn’t overly professional of her, given the setting, Kate took a deep breath so as to quell some of the considerable anger as it was boiling up. “--stay out of my personal thoughts. Hmm?” The way he described Courtland immediately began to lessen the level of attraction he had represented to her, as if she subconsciously felt revulsed by anyone that her brother tried to goad her into liking or admit to liking. “Besides. He’s my subordinate.” She qualified her refusal, regretting having fallen for her brother’s trap and admitting what he had detected from her.

She needed to focus on work, rather than the personal conflict which threatened her steadiness.

“True. But by breaking this thing, I’m hopefully stopping myself from breaking your nose.” She glared at her brother with an aggressively annoyed smile across her face, so as to emphasize the implicit threat that her statement carried with it. Indeed she had been unaware that her colleagues were casting wayward glances in their direction, which she only noticed at her brother’s prompt, and confirmed by looking back over her shoulder in their direction. It irked at her that she had likely been observed in the midst of a mild breakdown by them, and though it was very likely her colleagues wouldn’t think anything of it, Kate’s tenuous grasp of self-confidence meant she could only focus on the worst possible outcome. That to them, she was behaving erratically, and would in turn elicit temperance, suspicion, and concern over her abilities as a surgeon, and as their Chief. It dawned on her of immediately in the form of a conspiracy, that Stellan had probably been more than aware of their audience and had deliberately goaded her into appearing foolish and impulsive. Her worries that he would destroy her reputation upon being restored validated during the very onset of their renewed co-existence.

“You unbelievable son-of-a-bitch!” she let slip from her lips, a little more audibly discernable than she had intended, yet overcome with embarrassment as she tossed the PADD haphazardly at the nearby bedside table, sending it with a loud clatter to the carpeted deck-plating.

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #7
[ Lt. Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

Stellan could understand the anxiety he was inducing into his sister’s mind as aptly as he could pick it up with his alien senses. And while it was usually fun for a while, peeling back that citrus layer of the mind gingerly, soaking in the etheric oils evaporating into his own conscience, it was also a sentiment that could grow old, quick. Despite it being reignited like ambers in an autumn storm every time anew, fueling an eternal ancient fire, that was their sibling dynamic. Pulling back from her thoughts as such, leaving a sentiment of relief behind, if only because he may have subconsciously incepted it, there was no real telling if – on some level beyond human sensitivity – Kate could even discern an intrusion, or the cessation thereof. It was usually the man’s gleeful demeanor and knowing glimmer over obsidian eyes, that gave him away. Alongside more straightforward gestures extended, like sour candy drops, words dripping of twisted insights. Just like hers were with venom, at her defiance towards his intrusions.

Very much warranted.

Honestly, she had almost had him there, eliciting the faintest sense of remorse, the son of his father could muster. But it wouldn’t have been Kate, if she wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to ruin everything she’d built, just seconds later. Irking a brow ironically, acting as if to double take her words, the dark-haired man let out a chuckle, reverberating from pained ribs. But it was worth it. “Everyone’s either your subordinate or your superior … so unless you intend on dating the one-eyed fem-bot. I suggest you ease up on your inept morality.” he told her, sitting up a little more, now that his sides were aching anyway, from a temporary excitement. It didn’t preclude the subconscious notion to wince a little, though, despite vigorous trying. “When did you become so ‘by-the-rules’ anyways?” her brother inquired, potentially a little more faithfully curious so than he had intended. It was a side of her he hadn’t expected. One that he hadn’t even gleamed from the superficial precipice of her mind.

“Though I have heard she is very tender ... and eager.” Stellan added, a laconic smirk lingering on thin lips. However, as the sentiment proposed, sank in, it made him shiver to the marrow of his aching bones. Intended as just another way of poking fun at his sister, making her uncomfortable, he had indeed achieved a similar sentiment for himself. So, for even just the slightest moment, there was a sense of mutuality between the antagonistic relatives, soothing like an autumn fog that numbed all sound and peril. But the event was so fleeting, he wasn’t even sure if she’d noticed. Clearly he had coaxed her to hate him, in this very instance. Not a hard sentiment to reciprocate, in the grander scheme of their dynamic. And then there was also the subtle agreement, slowly reverberating through the man’s brilliant mind, as he perused the mementos of sentiments gleamed, from her troubled mind. Neither her tone, nor her thoughts, had lent the statement any kind of credibility. But prodding too hard into his sister’s romantic proclivities, could’ve potentially unearthed something he wasn’t sure he was ready for.

Shaking his scruffy pate lightly, spiritually, the young man started to feel on top of his game once more, even just in such short time since his awakening. His mind was incredibly resilient like that, likely due to the subtle genetic tempering before his birth. Yet, of course, it was only due to his particular character, that he chose to use such spiritual superiority to mercilessly tease his little sister, rather than using it for the grander good. Altruism, certainly, wasn’t something held in high regard, throughout the Foster pedigree. “By all means, don’t hold back on my account … I am sure the ‘audience’ will value any kind of entertainment around here.” His smile growing far more superior than what was to be considered healthy, the Half-Betazoid pushed his elbows into the hard mattress, erecting his torso slightly, so to be able to slide his legs over the edge of the bio-bed and sit up on its brink. A muffled grunt, hissing through gritted teeth, as he braved through the momentary discomfort … a slight dizziness making him sway, if only for a second, as his mind went into a gray haze. But he collected himself quickly, the whole notion having been preferable to being punched in the nose, while being vulnerable.

“You know, I really have to talk to someone about your bedside manners.” Stellan mused, stretching every muscle in his face from where it had frozen in gentle anguish, going through a series of ridiculous expressions. Hands clasping to the precipice of the mattress, fingertips touching the cold metal frame beneath, the man gathered his wits quickly, before he would even think about making any attempts to slide down onto his feet. Wiggling his toes, he watched them dance across the edge of his feet like stubby tentacles. “Is it still Lucan? The guy in charge here?” he asked casually, not having any intent on snitching to the Chief Medical about her. He was a dick, but he was always fair. He never blamed her for anything he’d instigated himself. Well, not in his skewed memory, at least. Surely that entire notion was totally subjective. “We used to play Tonga at Spearhead … sucker always cheats like a Ferengi.” he chortled, letting out an almost pathetic huff. It was a slightly ironic sentiment, considering that Stellan himself had never made any attempts of not reading the guy’s mind, while he was doing it.

“Listen … I get the pleasure in seeing me fall to the floor and hit my head multiple times on the way down … but unless ‘Dimples’ is coming back anytime soon, would you mind giving me a hand?” he grumbled, letting his own black orbs twinkle over his broad shoulder, framed by a somewhat tired sentiment, that could’ve just been due to some of the blood fading from his head in the upright, by the laws of gravity.

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #8
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @stardust

There had of course been a plethora of occasions in their shared past when Kate had been on the receiving end of an ‘education’ from her brother, and though there had even been a time when she might have actually heeded the guidance of her elder sibling, that time had long since come and gone. It didn’t matter how poignant or wise his opinions could have been, whenever Stellan began in on any of his diatribes meant to enlighten her, Kate heard only white noise, and she felt only annoyance and belittlement. To say she doubted the better intentions of her brother when it came to how he could have affected her place in life, would have been a gross underestimation of what he represented to her beyond that of mere living relative. As far as she was concerned, Stellan cared only to see her squirm, and scurry about as a lab rat might have. A toy to be futzed with until it broke, and then discarded; and at her court-martial he had finally completed the latter half of that arrangement.

In a way It was strange, how prior to seeing him once more upright and breathing that she had felt some semblance of love for the man that was her sibling. That to an extent she even missed him and longed for some kind of a reconciliation that would bring them back to a better place or a mutual understanding. But now, as he was animate before her again, the same disconnected sense of evaluation at play in his eyes, just as there had been before, she suddenly remembered why she had so rebuked him from her life in the first place. Because as far as she knew, he didn’t truthfully care for her in the same way that she did for him. He annoyed her to her very core. She hated the smug attitude he permeated. She couldn’t stand to be in his presence for more than a few minutes at a time. But there had always been that sense that he was her brother, and that she loved him all the same. But then, she had always struggled to make such a thing known overtly, as her deeper thoughts were often so guarded out of a need to protect herself from him.

Shaking her head, Kate dismissed the idea that she had done anything wrong in the matter, doubling down on the deep-seated dislike she had for Stellan, and embracing the indignant anger that had sat untapped inside for so very long.

“I’m not doing this.” She said flatly, bending over to pick up the PADD that she had so carelessly thrown a moment earlier.

“I’m not getting into another one these arguments with you.” She spat the word ‘you’ at him with clear vehemence in her tone, as she tucked the PADD under her arm and cast a death glare back at the members of her staff that had gathered round for a good old show. Immediately the crowd dispersed, their gazes averting from the situation, as they understood how much of a mistake it would have been to linger any longer. The sting of him mocking her attempt at being more formal and by the books, embracing an ‘inept’ morality as he put it, wasn’t lessened by the swirling torrent of anger that was assailing her foreconscious. It would have taken a far more confident, and complete person than Kate to have let such taunts bounce off of them. Instead, every last insult he had ever hurled at her; every criticism of her character and the mocking of mistakes she had made struck deeply, further wounding the already damaged person hiding in recluse that she dared never to expose to anyone ever again. Outwardly she would put on a grand display of anger and rage, but inwardly she felt weighted down and defeated whenever they fought.

What made it worse, was that she suspected he knew this thanks to his extra-sensory abilities, and yet cruelly continued to harangue her anyway.

“Bedside manners... shove it up--” catching herself as Stellan poked and prodded a little more, Kate took a deep breath as she tried to hide her tangerine-eyes from him by turning away and cleaning up some of the tools that had been disturbed from their place when she threw the PADD. “...Commander Nicander is no longer the Chief of Medicine. Lieutenant Kobol  is.” She knew there was likely a myriad of questions and concerns running through the mind of someone who just came out of a prolonged period of stasis, and normally Kate would have spent a lengthy bit of time at the bedside of such a patient, tending to their emotional needs just as she would their physical; but this was no ordinary patient. And as her brother began to lurch out of bed, clearly in need of some kind of physical support, Kate became painfully aware of how much she truthfully didn’t want to be the one to alleviate that bit of worry he had voiced. How her instincts as a healer were compromised by how much disdain she held for him, and how she wanted so badly to see him pratfall to the floor, and writhe in physical pain the way she would emotionally the rest of the night.

The vindictiveness of it ate at her stomach, and she could only take a step away from Stellan in disgust of herself.

“Umm...” Kate felt panicked as she looked about for any member of her staff within an earshot, spotting Nurse Ellison not far away. “Kathy!” she called out to the young blonde nurse. “Can you... umm, take care of my broth-- I mean, tend to Lieutenant Foster. I... I need to take care of something.” Her words were flustered and jumbled as she reached out to grab the edge of the adjacent bio-bed while Ellison approached.

“Sure, Doctor Foster. I’ll take care of it.”

“T-thanks... Kathy.”

“It’s... Kitty, but no worries.”

Kate clenched her eyes shut out of embarrassment for having mistaken the Nurse’s name, and how overtly strange she was acting suddenly. She could feel her heart race in her chest, and that sinking feeling in her stomach intensifying tenfold. It was so bad that she pressed a hand against her abdomen as she found her brother’s black-eyed gaze and struggled to breathe. “His... his orders are in the system... he’s okay to be cleared!” Explaining as she stammered away from them, Kate turned away and didn’t look back as she brought her other hand to her mouth to cover the quivering of her lips as she fought the urge to begin sobbing right then and there. Passing by other members of the staff on her way, paying them or their concerned looks no mind, she picked up her pace to a trot as she went for the nearest turbolift. “D-deck... d-deck eight. Vector... umm... umm... Thea, please... take me to my quarters.” In her emotional state, she’d forgotten the exact section her personal quarters were located in. She could only focus on wiping away the first few tears which were starting to well up in the corners of her eyes.

When the cabin stopped a minute or so later, Kate exploded through the parted doors, rather rudely bumping into a pair of enlisted personnel as she scurried down the short corridor that led to her quarters. Once inside she dove for her bed, throwing the covers over her head as she tried to block out the world entire, and more specifically the thoughts of her brother, and her own thoughts with regard to him.

Re: Day 30 [2000 hrs.] – A prophesied apology.

Reply #9
[ Lt. Foster | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Swift

Back and forth, back and forth, like the pistons on the choo-choo-train that Kate used to lug around when she was just able to walk. Such was the nature of her inner tribulations and the essence of her relationship with Stellan as a whole. Relentless, defiant the cold and the heat of the seasons, she would always teeter on the seesaw of her emotions and convictions. These, the telltale signs of psychosis, were what intrigued the man the most, if he were to pick a sentiment, that went beyond what was expected of him via biological relations and societal norms, in reference to his sister. And as much as he wanted to study her, like an infected little mouse, he also wanted to remedy her condition. He could not have been at fault for that. At the way with which he went around to achieving it, however, there was potentially a different way. But in all his studies, far and wide, inside classrooms and behind the trenches of the war, he had never been taught how to combine these two worlds: That of a detached healer, who would see through the pain that had to flare up before healing would set in, abstracting a patient into a psychological condition … and that of a devoted brother, holding a little girl tight where comfort could’ve been all that was needed, against all scientific guidelines.

This was the seesaw he found himself on, time of his life, since the inception of the fiery spirit, that singed the fringes of his existence like an eternal frame. To the point where is continuous intent of healing - and how futile it had been - had turned into the very alcohol, that rubbed one another’s age-old wounds with tormenting sting. A sentiment which they had both grown almost addicted to, as it offered the only sense of steadiness and comfort in a galaxy ravaged by turmoil, no matter how self-hurting it was. So, in a sense, by studying and abstracting Kate, Stellan was studying and abstracting himself, and his influence on the world around him. Where the strive to be as different from their father as could be, had created some sort of despicable hybrid, that couldn’t escape its heritage either. So, he let her slip through his grip, with a defiant wiggle, like a little fish, too young to be kept. Her defiance a token to how deteriorated the bridges in their kingdom really were. Trying to find new ways to reach each other, touch upon the other’s very soul, impeded by a rift growing bigger, as continental plates drifted apart, in an ever-changing world, that was their sibling relationship. But at least, they still shared the same reality, as skewed and bent it might be.

At this point, the man had virtually shut himself off from the goings on in his sister’s head. Growing disillusioned and weak by extension, a herald of his half Betazoid heritage and their incorrigible predisposition for syphoning not only knowledge and insight, but adopting patterns of emotions just the same. Sometimes more than they should. He certainly had fallen victim to that scheme times before. “Kobol , huh?” he stated, clinging to the sentiment like a life preserver in stormy seas. The on token of connection between them that was not as deeply personal as a blade being twisted in the most vulnerable of spots. But as he contemplated on the ramifications of such a revelation, he had entirely lost track of Kate’s emotional state, her essence slipping through his fingers like a slippery eel. As the cold of internal disregard greeted him first, he soon met the jumble of words she stumbled over, as she staggered away. Leaving behind a gut-churning flurry of scents and sentiments, on the spiritual ether, that could not be broken between them.

Taking a deep breath, carefully and dainty, as if the mere notion hurt, the tall man gave into the ensuing ministrations of the nurse, Kitty, who proposed not only a soft touch, but an equally relieving and sense of weightless spirit and warm ambition, that soothed his soul like warm milk and honey, as he let his mind take a bath in the nurse’s mundane thoughts. Like a warrior easing his muscles and bounds after a long battle.

Maybe it wasn’t fair, that he was able to dive into the mind of the unburdened, to escape his own reality. But the notion of dreaming for better days, was not exclusive to the Betazoid people. Humans experienced the self-healing powers of escapism too, in their novels and movies, music and holograms. And he hoped, that over the years, Kate had found her save haven too. A place that was so devoid of sense and meaning, that she could float away into the soothing dark that was relieving slumber.

Yet if not, maybe he could make an effort to show her, now that his power over her was not only physicality, and seniority … but also his duty as a ship’s counselor, that preceded her stubborn nature to take any of his advices serious. Maybe there was such a notion as destiny … and maybe it had thrown them into this constellation for that very reason. So they could heal.

On a rogue starship in the middle of a conflict that would define the fate of the galaxy, no less. No added pressure or anything.


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