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Topic: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones (Read 1208 times) previous topic - next topic

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Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
HIC SUNT LEONES
STARDATE 57595.08
MARCH 25, 2381
2100 HRS.

[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office, Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Fife

Had the circumstances been any different, Hathev would have preferred it had their appointment been scheduled for the morning. An early start would have had the benefit of allowing a greater mental clarity, primarily in the patient but also to some extent in herself, and it would have avoided the trepidation she now felt stalking the back of her mind. It was not fear, of course; such a thing was beyond and beneath her. Instead it was merely a twinge of professional concern, properly regulated, regarding the risks of the action she was to undertake.

These risks were, of course, the reason she had not arranged to meet with Mr Cross until after the end of both of their shifts. Truly such limitations held little meaning for her, with her low requirement for sleep and lack of other business to pursue, and yet nevertheless it was a prudent allowance. Should any side-effects be felt by either herself or the commander, they would have a space of ten hours to purge themselves before next they were on duty. Her logic was sound in this.

She did not expect complications. She had calculated the potential for failure, for side-effect, and for complication, running simulations of each permutation in her mind; had she considered the risks too great, she would have been forced to find another course of action. Yet she knew now better than ever the necessity of taking precautions, and with her previous miscalculations regarding the commander she considered it prudent to err on the side of caution. Her past short-sightedness could not be allowed to re-emerge here.

His request to her loomed large in her mind. Of course, she maintained her original stance on the matter: her safety was her own concern, and she would thank Mr Cross to attribute to her the intelligence to judge such things for herself. Nevertheless, she had little desire to repeat any experience even adjacent to the one she had endured when last they met. Her presence and expertise were necessary upon this ship and she could hardly perform her duty if she sustained an injury as a result of an oversight on her part -- nor should she, if she ever made so great a misstep as to cause such harm to herself or another.

Thus she found herself disquieted, unfathomably so. She trusted her simulations, of course, but there remained an element of the unknown within the commander that she found herself unable to truly account for. This was the reason for the current undertaking, after all: she did not have enough data to properly judge the man's emotional and psychological state. That the man required treatment was certain, and also that he required it urgently lest he prove himself dangerous to others, but with her current lack of information she could neither treat him correctly nor confidently advise the First Officer. This was the safest and most efficient route to such a verdict, and one which she herself had suggested -- nay, requested. She would do well to remember that.

Nevertheless, that very unknown element posed a risk she could not properly integrate into her simulations, and thus she found a high likelihood of an 8% deviance in her predictions. A not insignificant amount, especially considering the delicacy of the procedure. All she could hope was to be prepared with this foreknowledge: where before she had been certain in her judgement, now at least she was aware of its potential fault. This, and a trust of her own abilities, would have to suffice. Certainly, she had subsisted on less when last they met. It was hubris, not ignorance, that had been her fault; she would be certain to exercise proper caution on this occasion.

Despite that fault, however, any truly negative outcome had been avoided. Mr Cross seemed extremely receptive to even the most superficial of telepathy; thus she could extrapolate that he would be even more suggestive and malleable when in a full meld. Her presence in his mind would, she hoped, afford her the power necessary to prevent his slippage beneath the fear and anger once more, should such a thing be triggered. Of course, she would prefer its avoidance altogether, but considering the state she expected to find the man's psyche in, that might not be possible.

Mr Cross' mind would hardly be the well-kept archive of a traditional Vulcan, the beautifully-organised minutiae of data neutralised, classified, and stored correctly. Rather, she expected to find something more akin to an overgrown jungle, where thoughts, memories, and emotions snaked around one another in a tangled confusion, where tugging upon one thread could lead to the unravelling of feelings seemingly unconnected. It would be her duty to tease out the necessary details, ignoring the irrelevant data points retained for no other reason than because the commander lacked the mental training to discard them. It  would be an arduous task, made all the more difficult by the risk of discovering whatever triggers lay hidden beneath the foliage, traps and tripwires laid ready to spark his ire.

She could not be within his mind if he flew into a rage. That, at least, was certain. The extent of the potential damage to her own psyche, let alone to her physical form, was almost impossible to predict. Enough that she knew it would be incurred. But there was little purpose to baseless prediction and ill-informed concern, and thus she ruminated upon these thoughts only briefly. Better to prepare herself correctly for any eventuality.

Standing from her desk, Hathev unfurled the meditation mat she kept tucked neatly away in her office. She seated herself in her customary position, one in which she could remain perfectly still for hours without any discomfort. She would use this time to iron our her concerns, steeling her mind for the difficulties that lay ahead.

She completed her meditations precisely ten minutes before the commander's arrival was expected, her mind correctly calm with placid professionalism. Having performed a number of stretches to relieve any lingering tensions, she replicated a Vulcan infusion promoting clarity and telepathic fortitude. Briefly, she considered offering Cross a Vulcan brew to assist in his emotional easement, for certainly she understood from his reaction to this suggestion that it was one he was not entirely comfortable with. It was likely, therefore, that he had experienced much the same trepidation as she herself; yet of course he was ill-equipped to deal with such a thing, and thus his emotional state would likely be unbalanced even before he crossed her threshold. If she could offer anything in assistance for that it would be prudent.

However just as she considered the most relevant brew, she recalled his earlier displeasure with such teas, so strong it had resonated with him even while in the depths of his rage. Perhaps coffee, then; the recalled him enjoying the beverage at their initial meeting. Thus she replicated a cup and placed it upon the low table for his delectation, arranging it neatly in concordance with her own. Finally, she retired to the couch to await Mr Cross' arrival.
  • Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 09:20:59 PM by fiendfall
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Personal Quarters > Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 10 > Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Cross paced nervously in his quarters, hands clasped behind his back and shoulder hunched forward as he went over things in his mind for the umpteenth time.

Following the disaster of a test that Hathev had devised, where Cross had not only started killing holograms on the holodeck but had later almost killed Hathev herself, Cross was questioning the wisdom of this whole endeavour. Seren had been the one who initially suggested having a Vulcan coach him in gaining better control of his emotions. Seren, that self-righteous Vulcan shitscale. Of course he would assume that Vulcans could fix Cross. Typical Vulcan, believing in Vulcan superiority. And Hathev, again likely feeling infallible, had nearly gotten herself killed and Cross thrown in the brig for murder after having waltzed in on his little rampage.

Cross sighed and stopped in his pacing, turning his gaze to look out the viewport of his quarters, hands still clasped behind his back. His pale eyes cast their stare out at the view beyond as Cross wondered silently what would possess someone to walk into a room where someone was going berserk. What had Hathev expected to happen? That he'd settle down instantly, and they'd sit and have some of that vile Vulcan tea and everything would be quite logical, thank you very much?

That's probably exactly what she'd thought would happen... Cross thought to himself, rolling his eyes and turning away from the view outside the ship.

"Vulcans..." Cross muttered to himself as he made his was out of the door and into the corridors beyond his quarters, heading off to the Chief Counsellor's office for their next session. At least this time she would be poking around in his head as opposed to more testing on the holodeck. Much less risk of him losing his mind and going into a rage.

He hoped...

Striding along the corridors, Cross was thankful for the fact that Main Sickbay and with it the Hathev's officer, were on the same Vector as his quarters. It saved him the hassle of heading to the transporter room, beaming to another vector, then heading from that transporter room to the office. There had been a great deal of that over the last few days, jumping from one vector to another during the course of his duties, and he was happy to not be taken apart particle by particle and reassembled for the hundredth time today. His thoughts of transporters changed suddenly as he exited the turbolift and the doors to main sickbay came into sight.

I wonder if they could site-to-site me right into her office... Cross mused for a moment, the idea of avoiding entering Sickbay proper being quite appealing. Knowing full well that he was being ridiculous, and that he would have to enter Sickbay. With a sigh and a squaring of his shoulders, Cross stepped forward through the doors ahead. He passed through Sickbay at a fast pace, eyes fixed forward like he was back on parade during his days as a Security Officer fresh out of the Academy. He ignored the puzzled greeting from the Duty Nurse and strode purposefully up to Hathev's office, his thumb pressing perhaps a bit too hard against the buzzer as if desperately pleading to be let in, lest the looming shadow that lurked somewhere within Sickbay find him first.

Thankfully, the doors before him hissed their way open before any such darkness could descend upon him, and his nodded a greeting to Hathev.

"Counsellor," Cross greet Hathev, hands still clasped behind his back so as to avoid both a fresh embarrassing attempt at the Vulcan salute as well as the risk of a handshake, and with it physical contact. The Theurgy's Chief Counsellor had been quite firm on the subject of contact following the holodeck incident, and Cross had little interest in pushing Hathev's patience. He nodded his thanks as she invited him in, and waited for the doors to close before glancing at Hathev and speaking again. "How are you feeling? I hope you neck isn't still painful..." Cross hesitated, still feeling awash with the shake of nearly killing the ship's diminutive Chief Counsellor. "If you need more time before  we perform the meld..." Cross trailed off, knowing it was a weak attempt to delay the inevitable. He had little choice but to go through with the mind meld, and supposed the Humans would call what he was doing "grasping at straws". Another stupid Human expression. What fucking good would a straw do him right now?

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #2
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office, Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Fife

The commander arrived with a punctuality that befitted him, and Hathev stood and  received him into her office graciously. He seemed on-edge as he entered, hands kept behind his back likely in an attempt to exercise a semblance of control over his being, his movements awkward in their mechanical jerkiness. Hathev ushered him to the couch; they would begin by relieving some of that tension, the nerves the man no doubt felt.

'Please, be seated,' she said, delaying answer of his question until they were both situated comfortably. 'I am quite well, you need not concern yourself,' she said. The reminder of her failure in judgement was unwelcome, and she had little desire to linger upon the subject.

Cross' own attempt at delay she paid no attention to; she understood it for what it was. Instead, she sipped her tea, the brew bitter and leafy upon her tongue, and simply observed Cross. The man's earlier agitation had eased somewhat, but the tension remained, the awkwardness prevalent in his countenance and posture just as it was in his manner of speech.

'What of yourself?'
she asked, placing her mug carefully back upon the glass table. 'You have suffered no lasting effects?' Such a thing would throw her predictions even further away from accuracy if he had indeed experienced any psychological change or mutation since their last meeting, whether as a result or as a coincidence. Additionally, she did not like to consider the possibility of having caused further mental disturbance, unintentional though it may have been; her purpose here was to assist, not hinder, and Mr Cross' own efforts in self-control had been remarkable even before he came under her tutelage. If she had worsened his state in any way, she would have committed a much worse failure than a simple error in judgement.

There were a number of other matters of business to attend to before the procedure could commence, and Hathev turned to them now: 'Have you any experience with mind melds, Mr Cross?' An inefficient way of asking if he knew what he was doing, yet she deemed it necessary to prioritise the man's comfort over her own desire for efficiency. In any case, it was an important question that she posed. Melds were never one-sided, and although stronger telepaths could effectively navigate through someone else's mind, showing or viewing as they desired without much input or assistance from the partner, Hathev herself required more of an equal balance. She was more practiced at projection than acquisition, and thus the latter would necessitate more contribution from the other participant. In short, if Cross did not show her something, she would have difficulty arranging its viewing by herself.

She explained this. 'You will have the greater part of the control; it will be at your discretion what you wish to show me. I will take an active role in seeking out data; yet if you do not wish a thing to be seen, you need only block the viewing of it. I will respect your boundaries in this, as I endeavour to do in all things.' She fixed him with her gaze seriously. 'This means the usefulness of this procedure is entirely in your hands. I would urge you to show me anything and everything which you deem to be of relevance, and allow the viewing of as much as you are able. It would be most unfortunate if we were to fail at this juncture over something so simple as an ineffective meld.'

She left the consequences for a useless meld unsaid; in truth, this was their last recourse. Should this fail, for any reason, she did not know what her next move would be. A report to the Executive Officer, most likely; and yet her earlier reluctance to do such a thing remained.

No matter. Such concerns were irrelevant for the current time; she could only hope they would remain so indefinitely.

Finishing her tea, she rose from the couch and crossed to the bookshelf; here, she extracted a traditional diffuser, administering a few drops of an oil chosen for its ability to promote tranquility and clearheadedness. She placed it upon the desk that it might mist the room with the fresh scent. Next, she dimmed the lights slightly, that the brightness did not prove detrimental to the initial establishing of the meld. Combined with Cross' nervousness, such things might prove distracting to him, and she wished to control the environment as much as was in her capacity.

The final preparations made, she returned to the couch, sitting sideways that she might meet Cross' eyes squarely.

'Before we begin, have you any questions?' Better to air and answer any such uncertainties now than to have them surface during the meld, when she would be far less able to deal with them. Once she was within his mind, she could not afford either of them to be thrown off-balance by simple misunderstanding; her estimated 8% deviation was enough risk in itself.

'Well, then,' she said, indulging in a few filler words that Cross might have time to finish his mental preparations, 'shall we begin?'
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Cross sat at Hathev's invitation and nodded as the other Vulcan informed him that she was well, and that he need no be concerned. The assurances were all well and good, but given that Cross had had his hand wrapped around Hathev's throat only 48 hours previous, his sense of guilty was hardly assuaged.

That sense of guilt was replaced with surprise as Hathev inquired as to how he was, and whether he had experienced any last effects. Cross was surprised by the question, himself having been more concerned with the damage he might have done to Hathev rather than the fact that he had lost control. He had certainly never considered that there might be last effects beyond the potential repercussions of being removed from duty. "I'm alright," Cross finally said as he looked at Hathev with a level expression. "I haven't experienced any lasting effects that I've noticed. Though to be honest, I haven't been thinking about that. I've been more preoccupied with the fact that I nearly killed you."

Hathev steered the conversation to matter more related to the business at hand, and Cross' mouth twitched slightly as one corner curved up into the ghost of a lop-sided smile. "I've had a bit of experience with meld, yes." Cross leaned back on the couch, hands resting on his knees as he considered the question. "I was subjected to several mind melds during my rehabilitation after the camps, though I don't remember a great deal about those. More recently, I performed a meld aboard the Versant, though I'd never done it before. It... didn't go so well." Cross shrugged, not feeling the need to go into great detail about the meld with Khorin in the simulated USS Enterprise aboard the Versant. "Seren performed a meld a little over a week ago in order to confirm that my first attempt at performing one hadn't damaged my katra. He found no evidence of damage while he was poking around in my head." Cross sighed, raising his organic hand and running it over the shaved skin at the top of his head. "I'll be honest, I never had any sort of telepathic ability before the Savi went and scrambled my genetic makeup. I have no idea of my level of ability, or of how strong those abilities might be."

Cross let his hand drop then and looked over at Hathev with a calm uncertainty as she explained that he would have a great deal of control over the meld, and that he would be able to choose what to show her and what to conceal. She also explained that it put control of the effectiveness of the meld squarely on him, and that they would be more successful in their endeavour if he were more forthcoming in the upcoming meld. Cross nodded, his expression serious as he did so. He had never been very forthcoming about his past, only telling people bits and pieces, never much in the way of detail. In his experience, some of the finer details of his early life were better left out of civilised conversation.

Cross watched as Hathev rose and moved to a bookshelf in the room, extracting something and placing it on the desk. It must have been a diffuser of some sort, because as Hathev moved to dim the lights Cross got the first hint of a scent drifting about the room, the aroma subtle and soothing. Cross watched as Hathev crossed the room back to the couch, the diminutive Vulcan's movements efficient and precise, yet still feminine. Cross quickly glanced away as Hathev situated herself on the couch, pushing such thoughts from his mind. It wouldn't do for the counsellor to pick up on such things during the meld.

Turning to him, Hathev asked if he had any questions before they began, the counsellor's hazel eyes meeting his with a look of level calm and efficiency. Cross wondered for a moment if Vulcans ever got tired of being so precise, so efficient all the time, and if they ever just relaxed and let themselves be less than perfect.

Bloody Vulcans...

"No, no questions that I can think of." Cross admitted, pushing the mental criticism from his mind. "I'm just a bit... apprehensive... about this. I've... never really let anyone see too much about myself." Cross sighed, then sat up and squared his shoulders. "I'll be fine. I'll need to get over it if we're going to get my instability under control."

Cross gave Hathev a nod as she asked if they ought to begin, his pale eyes never leaving hers. "Ready when you are, counsellor." He took a slow, deep breath as Hathev reached up to place her hands on his face, letting it out slowly and he focused his mind, calming it to allow for the meld to proceed as smoothly as possible.

Here goes nothing... was his last thought before Hathev's fingers made contact, the tips of the digits cold and sending little pricks of sensation through Cross' skin.

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #4
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office, Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Fife

In all, Hathev was content with Mr Cross' answers. To her questioning as to his mental state, he had no immediate answer and thus betrayed the lack of obvious effects; a good sign, of course. Furthermore he took the proper time to conduct an internal inventory, considering the question correctly before answering and thus affording his response a level of legitimacy and foresight that Hathev appreciated. From the man's investigations, then, it would seem that the rage he had flown into only two days before had wrought minimal lasting damage upon his psyche, at least to his perceptions; this was truly good to hear, alleviating a concern the weight of which Hathev had severely underestimated until it was removed from her.

Of course, his comment regarding the closeness of their proximity to her own expiration at that time was unwelcome and thus disregarded. Such dramatics were unnecessary and distinctly unreasonable. There was little purpose in lingering on endless conditionals and possibilities, other than to mitigate the potential of their reoccurring. Duly, she believed she had performed such mitigation to the best of her current abilities given the situation, and remained content to proceed in that knowledge.

His answer to her second question was also encouraging. Had Cross been completely inexperienced with mind melds it would have put a considerable amount of strain upon Hathev's mental faculties; not that she was entirely incapable, yet it was certainly far preferable that he knew enough to presumably be capable of directing them within the meld. Of course, that the strength and extent of the man's telepathic capabilities were unknown to both parties was hardly ideal, but it was hardly an insurmountable issue. What was more concerning, however, was the suggestion that Seren had believed the man's katra to be potentially damaged; to say she was relieved to hear her erstwhile orensu had confirmed no such damage had occurred would be an understatement. Should Cross have been harbouring such damage it would have posed so large an issue as to render her calculations void; furthermore should he have concealed such a thing from her, the results could have been dire indeed.

But she had just espoused the inefficiency of lingering upon such possibilities, had she not? Thus she put them from her mind, focusing instead on making her final preparations of the room. She felt the commander's eyes following her as she did so; did he look upon her in interest or in trepidation, she wondered? Was it curiosity for her actions or fear for what was to occur next that compelled him to watch her movements?

When she turned back to her seat it was to find his gaze averted. No matter.

Seated once more, she allowed Mr Cross the opportunity to voice any final concerns. That he felt some apprehension was natural; she asked much of him in this, of that she was aware. Trust, openness, honesty, strength... All were troubling for beings whose psychology was yet bound up with the uncontrollable, the wild, the emotional. Hathev could compel herself to trust, to strength. Those without her training could no more cause their heart to change rhythm than they could truly affect their feelings. Whatever the actuality of Cross' biology, he lacked that training just as surely as would a human.

Had Cross been any other patient, she might have assuaged his fears by reiterating that he need not show her anything which he did not wish to be seen. Yet he was not: neither her patient, not like any other.

'Your determination does you credit,' she said instead. It was entirely accurate, after all. Then: 'There is no judgement in me, and never shall be.' Would that it was enough.

He gave his consent to begin, and she complied. She took the barest moment to position herself correctly, side-saddle on the couch, a mere arm's length from the man before her. Then, she raised her hands to his face, bringing them up on either side of his head in a chiral reflection of the way she had done so only days before, her thumb millimetres away from where it had brushed his cheekbone as she exhorted him to return to reality. It settled there once more, her fingers finding the qui'lari with practiced ease.

The initial contact was warm. Surprisingly so: Hathev had prepared herself for emotional leakages but thermal bleeding she had not even considered. Yet it was not entirely unpleasant.

'Close your eyes,' she instructed. She could feel his trepidation fluttering beneath the surface of his skin, tingling against her fingertips. Such things were distracting, and thus she sent him a wave of her calm once more, endeavouring to placate him that she could direct the proper focus to her task.

Her own eyes fell shut, and she directed her mind towards his. The link was difficult to establish, more so than she was used to; the chaotic nature of Cross' mind, no doubt, although perhaps his own detachment also contributed to the difficulty. Where usually she would find a strand of mental matter that she could follow, allowing their minds to join in a gentle confluence, here she found nothing behind her eyelids, only darkness and-- warmth. A heat that radiated through the dark, drawing her closer.

It was light, most often, that characterised a mind. A fractal kaleidoscope of a psyche, a lighthouse on the shore, a sunbeam falling through leaves; these she had seen. She had never found one that defined itself by temperature over light, such a well of warmth as this.

She drew closer, following the heat, feeling it increase as she approached until it grew radiant, burning bright and hot like a star; here you are. A mere flurry of anxious flames, now, stoked by the embers of fear; yet it did not take much to imagine how intense it might flare at the height of his rage.


She knew then, with a dark certainty, that should she remain within his mind during his anger she would likely not survive it. He would rip her psyche apart, burn through her in a moment, leave her so much ash.

An outcome to be avoided, then.

Such a thing did not, perhaps, give her the pause it should have. Her mind was resolute; she had understood the danger long before initiating this meeting. A greater understanding of a potential outcome was hardly a reason to turn away now. Little logic in pursuing endless possibilities, after all.

Instead, she reached out with her mind, reaching towards the burning star-matter that was Lieutenant Commander Cross, reaching to see, to touch.

Their minds made contact.

There were no sparks, was no sensation of flame licking at her mind. There was only the sudden force acting upon her, and she was pulled into him like a comet into orbit, dragged beneath the waves of his thoughts by strength of a thousand tides, to find herself in a chaotic world of sound and light and head, bright and loud and colourful, more than she could parse, more than she could even comprehend. A thousand billowing clouds of emotion diffused amongst the waters, muddying them, contaminating and even enveloping one another as they shifted and changed, some vibrant and glittering, some dark and muted, some merely hot, scalding, with only the barest attempts at a rib cage built to held them in check, bars of iron soldered together with fear and hatred but full to overflowing, every movement threatening to burst the dam.

For the first time she could remember, Hathev floundered. Where could she even begin? How could she begin, when Cross' mind was made of glass stained a thousand colours but each as fragile as the next, each as overwhelming as the last?

But she had come this far. Cross had trusted her enough to open his mind to her; she would not fail him now.

Somewhere easy, then, somewhere safe: that is where she would begin. Casting around for some such locale, she lit upon something that felt warm without being fiery, that was colourful without being bright. A thought, a feeling, an emotion, a memory... She knew not what it was, for Cross' mind lacked the clear organisation and identification of the trained Vulcan psyche. She drew close, the image fractal in the ever-shifting primordial mass that was Cross' mind.

Show this to me, she requested, reaching out to touch. It shifted, as if sensing her presence. May I?
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #5
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Hathev spoke of his determination, the words sounding as close to a compliment or approval as he was likely to get from a Vulcan. She went on to inform him that there would be no judgement on her part, nor would there ever be. The sentiment, while appreciated by the former hybrid, did nothing to change the knowledge that he still was at risk of being removed from duty following his loss of control on the holodeck. Hathev might not judge him for his actions, or for whatever she would see inside his mind, but that did not change the reason they were here.

Cross took a deep breath and push such thoughts from his mind, not wanting the meld to be tainted by his doubts. Cross turned his thoughts to happier thoughts for a moment as Hathev positioned herself on the couch in preparation for the meld, allowing himself only a moment before going through a quick mental exercise to clear his thoughts. A moment later Hathev reached up and placed her fingers against his face, her touch eliciting the familiar tingling feeling that he had experienced on the holodeck. The sensation was unusual, though not unpleasant, the tips of her fingers feeling slightly cold against his skin. He closed his eyes at Hathev's direction, taking another deep breath and working to clear his thoughts to make initiating the meld easier. Despite his efforts, some apprehension remained. He was already aware of her, the cool serenity of the diminutive counsellor blooming in his mind, the feel of her having returned the moment she had touched him, just as it had in the holodeck.

He felt her mind reach out toward his, and he tried to resist the urge to reach out towards it with his own. He wasn't sure if it was the proper thing to do, his experience with mind melds being admittedly limited, and so waited for her to make the connection. And then she was there, her presence so much stronger than he had previously experienced. Whereas the touch telepathy provided an awareness, distant but noticeable, this brought her awareness, her mind, so much closer. She was there, inside his mind, and this time he couldn't stop his own mind reaching out to meet hers. She was like a serenely calm presence in a sea of turbulent and roiling thoughts. The image briefly flashed in his mind of wave crashing against a coastal rock, the stone unyielding and causing the waves to break against it, throwing up spray and foam as they shattered against the unforgiving and immovable calm.

He felt her mind waver a moment, as though the counsellor was uncertain how to proceed, or perhaps just unsure of where to start in the jumble of thoughts, emotions and memories which surged in his mind like the ebb and flow of the tide. He sensed a thought from her then, a uncertainty. Perhaps of where to begin? The sense of uncertainty was coupled with the brief notion that his mind was cluttered and chaotic, unlike the strict organization which would typically be found in a Vulcan mind. Finally, she seemed to settle on a place to begin, her mind reaching out and brushing a memory.

Show this to me. As she neared the memory, the awareness of the moment in time seemed to bloom in his mind, his focus being drawn to it. May I?

Of course. Cross thought, his mental dialogue being easily understood by the counsellor despite the fact that the thoughts were in Kardasi. Without further comment, Cross concentrated on the memory which was bubbling to the surface of his thoughts, brought forth my Hathev's attention. As he centered his focus on it, the memory took form in his head.

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As the memory took shape, Cross recognized the familiar walls and furnishings of his own quarters, though the state was not as it usually was. The orchids sat in their places on the shelves, and his meditation lamp on it's table in the corner. On his table...

...was a chaotic mess of food, plates, energy drinks, and twinkie wrappers.

Blue The thought, had he not been within his own mind, would have been accompanied with a grin and a rolling of the eyes, though as it was the mention of his friend's name brought aa sense of warmth and peace to the former hybrid.

The memory was from about two weeks ago, when Blue had come to his quarters to fit him for his new prosthetic. Cross remembered the encounter fondly. Incidentally, it was the same day that Cross had first met Hathev. That would not take place for some hours, however, and at the moment Cross and Blue had finished fitting the hand, and had moved on to a less official yet equally important aspect of the meeting.

They were getting fucked up.

It had begun with Blue forcing him to try one of her favourite... delicacies...

Blue had mentioned that he would acquire a taste for the twinkies. As he forced down the rest of the fluffy yellow abomination, his head beginning to swim for some reason, Cross reflected that her prediction was not likely to come true. Blue had told him to just eat it, and that it wasn't poison, though the sensation that was coming over him made him question that statement as well.

What the fuck was he eating?

Blue described it as God's gift to the Human race. Cross wondered what the fuck the Humans had done to piss this God of theirs off.

Cross turned his head to look at Blue as she began to tell him about eating twinkies as a child, though he found the turning of his head felt sluggish, and the room seeming to move strangely as he shifted his gaze. Even so, he was able to focus easily on what Blue was saying, leaning back against the couch cushion as he took him what she was saying. He found himself surprised when she mentioned her brother, Arthur, which was something she'd never done around him before. She interrupted her own story to tell him to fucking eat the twinkies, and that yes, he had to eat it all. She added the words "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" for good measure, though Cross wasn't all that certain that the twinkies wouldn't kill him.

Fuck.

Blue was grinning at him, and he couldn't help but smile back as he resigned himself to his fate, removing the second twinkie from the packaging. As he took a bite of the second twinkie, Cross was surprised to find it didn't taste quite as revolting as the first had. Either Blue had been right, and he might actually be acquiring a taste for the fucking awful little yellow turds, or perhaps...

Realization dawned on Cross, the Vulcan coming to several conclusions all at once. The first of these realizations was the fact that he really wasn't a very good Vulcan, and that he needed to get into the mindset of no longer being a hybrid. That realization had stemmed from a more immediately relevant one; the twinkies were getting him fucked up. Cross grumbled inwardly as he chewed on the fluffy mix of yellow sponge, the flavour of which was being mingled with that of the cream filling.

"You little Kuef..." Cross blurted as he came to the realization of what was going on. He cast a mock-angry glance at Blue, though it didn't last long as he laughed. "You knew what these were going to do, didn't you?" Cross shook his head, the whole room seeming to shift as he did so. "Mother hajari..." Cross muttered as he rose to his feet, his legs not feeling entirely steady. "Oh this is war, Blue." Cross began to head for the replicator, murmuring "Hajari war...". He stumbled as he shinned himself on the corner of the coffee table, but managed to keep his footing as he continued on towards the replicator. A dark grin had spread over his features as he went, the pain in his shin ignored in favour of thoughts of retribution.

A grim thought caused Cross' grin to broaden as he tapped his order into the replicator, though admittedly it took longer than it normally would have as he strained to focus on the screen.

"Ok, Tiran." Cross chuckled as he turned and made his way back to the table. He carried a pair of shot glasses and a regular glass, the latter full of a sugar-laden alcohol that was sure to rot the teeth, and as such was one Blue would likely enjoy. The memory seemed to become hazy then, the details indistinct. Blue spoke, telling him that he was like a brother to her. The words had shocked him, which was likely why they seemed more clear than the rest of the memory at that point, the shock of them cutting through the drunken haze. Cross had never had a family, and had been deeply touched by them, confessing that Blue was likely the closest thing to family that he had ever had.

As the afternoon went on, the two continued to exchange drunken banter until, after some time, Blue became sleepy. Cross realized this when he suddenly found himself sitting with Blue dozing in her now customary position leaning against his shoulder, looking down at her with eyes bleary with intoxication for a long moment before he chuckled and leaned his head back against the couch. This was good. Blue was safe and sleeping comfortably, though she might be in a foul mood when she woke, depending on how hung over she found herself.

Cross found himself humming a tune as he sat with his head angled backwards and his eyes fixed on the ceiling, one that he had heard while spending time with Kai. It was apparently an old country song form Earth, and while Cross generally didn't appreciate that sort of music, this song had somehow wormed it's way into his head. Before he knew it, the humming had been replaced by soft singing.

"Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country rooo...."


The final words dragged and faded as Cross, too, slipped into a drunken slumber, a faint smile on his features as he drifted off to sleep.

The memory faded away as Cross drifted off to sleep in it, though the events drew a Cross' mind to a similar event, albeit one that took place under very different circumstances. The moment Cross made this connection, his mind cast out to that memory, drawing it forth.

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As the memory took form, Cross recognized the surroundings all too well. The walls, the design, the scent of the injured, scared and tired abductees. It was the Versant. They were in the unused maintenance bays, where Blue had taken refuge and brought the other abductees once they had been freed by the combined efforts of Tiran and Ectand.

Cross froze as he felt something come to rest against him shoulder, slowly turning his head and rolling his eyes to investigate with the least possible movement. He found himself looking at the top of a head which was covered in black hair with streaks of blue in it. He could see hands clutching a PADD, holding is against her body. The deep, regular rhythm of breathing told Cross what had happened.

Blue Tiran had fallen asleep.

Cross raised his gaze and gave R'Rori a wide-eyed look, as though silently asking the counselor what he should do. He knew there was little either fo them could do short of waking the slumbering Human up, and Cross felt that Blue deserved the rest after what she had been through. That still left him unable to move, trapped as he was under the slightest pressure form the engineer's head.

As Cross watched her doze, her head resting against his shoulder, Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran seemed oddly small. The word surprised the Vulcan as it came to him, arising not from her gaunt appearance, but rather due to the fact that Cross had never seen her cry before, nor had he seen her act so vulnerable. Here, leaning gently against him, was the Endeavour's tempestuous Chief Engineer, and yet Cross saw something different about her. She seemed somehow... fragile. Cross though he knew why.

Ducote.

They had all lost friends aboard the Endeavour, people they were close to.

Kai. Annika. Both dead. The thought brought a bitter taste to his mouth, the realization of the loss of his friends finally settling in now that they had a moment to breath. They had lost more in the days following the Endeavour's destruction as well, those who had been recycled like Ensign Julbi, killed to feed the very aliens who held them.

Cross had no doubt Blue was suffering the loss of Commander Ducote, though he couldn't imagine the depth of the loss she obviously felt so keenly. The Vulcan's experience with romantic feelings and loss was extremely limited, leaving him at a loss for what to do.

Several strands of black and blue hair had fallen over Blue's face, and were being moved with each deep, slumbering breath the Human took. Cross reached out and gently tucked the hairs back behind one of Blue's ears. He hesitated for a moment, his hand lingering in the air by Blue's head, before gently laying his hand on the top of Blue's head. It was not an intimate gesture, but rather a protective one, as though the Vulcan were attempting to protect the Human, to shield the sleeping woman from the world around them, and all the horrors is contained. Cross slowly leaned his head back, letting it rest against the bulkhead behind him, his movements slow so as not to wake the exhausted engineer.

Cross' mind was filled with a sense of amusement as the memory unfolded, the circumstances, and his relationship with Tiran, being very different in the two memories. It had, in fact, been that instance of Blue falling sleep against him that had set them on the path to the bond they now shared. It was a bond closer than friendship, and Cross wouldn't trade it for the world. The end of the memory, the wanting to protect Blue and shield her from the world, brought another memory forward. One that was much darker, more intense. This time, Cross fought it and pushed the memory back, attempting to stop himself from flitting from thought to thought lest he overload the poor counsellor who was presently sharing his mind. He managed to keep the memory from taking form, though the presence of the memory drifted about at the outskirts of his consciousness, as though lurking and biding it's time.

Uh... sorry... Cross thought for Hathev's benefit, knowing he had let his mind wander. What now? Cross thought, wanting to allow the counsellor to guide her examination of his mind. He wasn't entirely sure what she was looking for, after all, and wanted to allow her to choose the direction they proceeded.
  • Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 08:26:55 PM by Fife

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #6
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | A Memory of a Memory | Between Spaces | Cross' Psychological Latticework ] attn: @Fife

Show this to me, she had asked, unable to truly access it herself, unwilling to pry open Cross' mind by force. Show this to me, she had asked, hovering, questioning, and Cross had reached out to meet her, of course, smoothly and without resistance, her partner in this, her mind's guide; he let her in as easily as falling asleep.

The world tipped, falling backwards into the light, myriad images shimmering half-formed around them, shifting in and out of focus as Cross concentrated upon their aim, teasing it out from amongst his other thoughts, until finally, slowly, it bled into shape.

It was a memory she had chosen, and one from the man's recent history if their current environs were any indication. She found herself in a room the geometry of which she recognised: it was as her own, only differing in terms of furniture layout and choice of decor. An officer's quarters, aboard the Theurgy no less; a memory from the past fortnight, then. Hathev cast a cursory glance around the setting in an attempt to determine the owner, yet the data she found told a conflicting tale: the meditation lamp spoke of a Vulcan occupant, as would the general lack of accoutrements; however there was one major discrepancy. Upon the coffee table lay strewn a mass of plastic detritus along with the half-consumed remains of some synthetic refuse masquerading as sustenance, both of which spoke to another individual entirely, and one with whose penchant for the infernal inventions known as 'Twinkies' Hathev was all too familiar.

Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran sat by the table, gaily consuming one of aforementioned cream cakes. The expression on her face was unexpectedly peaceful, something Hathev was not accustomed to seeing upon the young woman's features, and something glad rose within her being in response; she smoothed it out quickly lest it interfere with the meld, and moved vantage that she was more focused upon Cross, the purpose of her presence here. He too was seated by the table, burdened with a 'Twinkie', and-- he too bore an expression of peace and contentment the like of which she had never seen grace his features.

She studied him for a moment, the relaxation inherent in his position, the amusement in his features, the surprise blossoming over them as he bit into the treat, quickly followed (correctly) by disgust and disbelief. As he chewed in bemusement, Tiran began to speak, her voice quiet, almost muffled in Cross' memory, the sharp edges of the scene beginning to soften as Cross' own movement became lethargic. The early stages of sucrose poisoning, no doubt; it was perhaps surprising that a single Twinkie could have such a profound effect so quickly, but the signs were clear. The loss of accuracy and completeness was a result of the poisoning impairing the amygdala's ability to store memory, an impairment that would only grow worse as time went on, especially as Tiran seemed adamant that Cross continue his sugary education.

A shame. She would have liked to hear the entirety of Miss Tiran's speech; it seemed to pertain to the woman's childhood, as one word which had been retained clearly was 'Arthur', a name Hathev recognised as the only one listed by 'Family' in Tiran's file. Curiosity abounded. And yet perhaps it was for the best; the ethical ramifications for discovering private information about a patient through telepathy with a third party were grey at best, and Hathev percieved a line there that she did not wish to cross. Despite her knowledge of the relationship between Cross and Tiran, she had not in truth expected the latter to feature in Cross' memories so prevalently; should she find herself to have a conflict of interest, she would have to re-evaluate her treatment of one or both parties.

But the moment passed, shifting from Tiran's quiet sharing to a more rambunctious back and forth between the two, Cross clearly entering the middle stages of sucrose poisoning as he wobbled unsteadily on his feet. The next moments were impressions rather than full scenes, no doubt due to the substance Cross himself deemed fit to replicate and share with the Chief Engineer. Nevertheless, they were impressions of comfort and familiarity, of amusement and enjoyment, of care and love, until finally the boistrous laughter and conversation mellowed to quietitude, to a vision of Tiran asleep upon Cross' shoulder, and he singing a gentle tune as she slept until he too succumbed to rest.

The scene fell away slowly, peacefully, quietly melting back into the dark; yet before it had fully dissipated another was already being built, the walls of the officer's quarters morphing into other walls entirely, architecture alien to Hathev's experience, the scene more populated than before, filled with the wretched, the pained, the exhausted, and the fearful.

It was not until she recognised several of the faces from the list of 'high risk individuals' which she had compiled weeks before that Hathev realised this memory was from the Versant.

Looking over the scene once more with new understanding, Hathev lit upon Cross-- and Tiran, once more leant upon him asleep, in a mirror of the position the witnessing of which had only just concluded, yet to see such peace in these circumstances was almost perverse, to compare the pure exhaustion of this moment to the gentle comfort of the previous felt inappropriate. Here, Cross did not slip into song and then into slumber; rather, buffeted by thoughts and emotions too strong to allow such a thing to overcome him, he merely sat, starkly alone in a sea of misery.

It was only in the final moments of the memory that a shade of their later friendship manifested; a premonition, a ghost of things future, signified by the gentle resting of a hand upon Tiran's head. A vow of protection, a swearing of fealty, a mark of blessing, with the only flesh hand the man now retained, the other that would be built by the frail woman asleep under his touch.

There was an ache within her.

Carefully, Hathev gathered the feelings swirling around the memory, swirling through her, and dispelled them from her being carefully. She could not allow herself to become caught up in the pain that filled these thoughts, this mind, the echoes of which threatened to take up residence in her own being. She could not allow herself to become compromised by such a thing.

Yet even as the memory faded once more, the ache remained. And then, as darkness returned, something kindred tugged at the edge of her consciousness.

She knew that thread, that umbillical cord. No. She severed the connection neatly and completely.

Momentarily distracted as she was, she had not realised another memory pressed at the bounds of Cross' mind until he apologised for its presence.

Let it come, she said in answer to Cross' question. If she was shaken, it was by her own doing, not his; anything he had to show her would only provide a proper focus for her to return to. And indeed, she was not shaken. Show me what you will. She would direct their search more pointedly in time; for now, she was content to view whatever Cross saw fit to reveal, as their minds grew more attuned to one another, more comfortable with the connection, and less prone to outside interference.
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

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Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #7
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Let it come, came the thought from Hathev like a second voice in his mind, Show me what you will. It was strange how quickly he was becoming accustomed to Hathev's presence, to the joining of their minds. He found there to be something comforting about the stalwart calm of the other Vulcan, the seemingly unshakable serenity of her consciousness. At her direction, he stopped pushing back the memory that had been vying for a place at the forefront of his thoughts, the natural continuation of the last memory.

He had, as Blue Tiran lay sleeping against him, wished to shield her from the horrors of the world around them, the horrors of the Versant. He had wished to protect Blue and keep her from harm. Even before he let the memory flood forth, he knew what it would be. As the memory slipped into the forefront of his mind, the scene before them began to take shape, the architecture of the room similar to the previous memory, though the surroundings different, both in the fact that they were in some sort of mechanics lab, and for the fact that there were streaks of light all over as the Savi Antes and the team of Starfleeters exchanged fire, the latter having launched their assault on the Machine Intelligence Labs with the aim of freeing Thea and Albert the fucking Tin Pigeon.

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Cross uttered a stream of curses as he dove to the right, narrowly dodging another shot from the Ante's weapons. As he pushed himself up into a crouch, and twisted as he brought his weapon to bear once again, firing another shot while struck the Ante in the chest and sent him crumpling to the deck. It was then that Cross saw the third Savi taking aim, his weapon aimed at Commander Tiran. Cross' eyes widened as he saw what was about to happen. The Vulcan moved before he even had time to think about what he was doing.

"Blue!" The Vulcan roared, letting go of his rifle's foregrip as he reached out to her with his left hand. "Get down!"

He felt his hand make contact with the Endeavour's Chief Engineer, shoving her roughly to the side. Green light streaked across his vision less than a second later, immediately accompanied by a searing flash of pain in his arm. Cross staggered forward and to the side, passing behind Blue before dropping to his knees. The pain in his left arm hadn't subsided, and a quick glance told him what had happened. As his eyes moved to investigate the cause of the pain Cross found himself looking at the stump which now occupied the end of his left forearm, the limb having been severed two inches above where his wrist had previously been. Green blood flowed from the wound, dripping down onto the deck below at a rate which Cross knew would mean death if he didn't control the bleeding. Cross threw himself forward, taking cover behind one of the workstations that lined the walls, his right hand keeping a firm grip on his phaser rifle. Once in the temporary cover, Cross awkwardly cradled the rifle in his lap and used his remaining hand to adjust the settings. That done, the Vulcan aimed his phaser at the bulkhead beside him and fired a long, continuous shot into the plating of the wall to heat the surface. Cross gritted his teeth as he let the phaser fall silent, steeling himself for what was to come, then thrust his bleeding appendage against the metal.

A roar of pain tore it's way out of the Vulcan's throat as the heated surface of the bulkhead seared the flesh of the stump, staunching the flow of the green blood and filling Cross' nose with the scent of his own burning flesh. He panted as he pulled the cauterized limb away from the wall, his head swimming as he desperately fought to maintain consciousness. Not yet... Cross told himself, ordering himself to stay awake, The others...

Cross' head swam from the pain, the shock threatening to plunge him into unconsciousness. Through the haze, he heard Blue's voice scream, then felt hands grab him, cradling him as he teetered on the verge of toppling to the deck. He heard Blue's voice whisper, calling him and idiot as she cradled his unsteady form, the both of them seated on the floor as the chaos raged around them. His vision began to focus, and his pale eyes rolled to meet her as she whispered again.

"Th.. Thank you."

The pain echoed in Cross' mind, seeming to sear through him until it began to fade along with the memory. As the pain faded it was replaced with a sense of relief and gratitude. The knowledge that Blue was alive, safe aboard the Theurgy, was a comfort to him. The former hybrid regretted nothing about his actions that day, lamenting neither the loss of his hand nor the various issues he'd had with his temporary prosthetic. He and Blue had only grown closer in the days since the nightmarish events on the Versant, the Human woman becoming the closest thing Cross had ever had to a family. Cross would give his other hand in a heartbeat if it meant keeping his family safe.

Of course not everything aboard the Versant had left Cross feeling as relieved as saving Blue had. He had been in control then, of both himself and his actions. He had known what he was doing.

There had been moments where that was not the case, such as immediately following his correction.

His correction...

He allowed the memory to come forth on its own this time, not resisting it. Hathev had instructed him to let the memories come, to show her. And so, he allowed the memory to form in his mind, the images taking shape around their combined consciousness.

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Cross saw one of the bulbous heads loom into his field of vision, the being seeming to inspect his face. Cross watched, wide eyed and fighting the terror he still felt as the head withdrew, and Cross watched out of his peripheral as the creature moved away from his head and leaned over once again, inspecting his crotch.

The ridges... Cross realized as he watched the bug-eyed head loom closer to his manhood, the Vulcan-Bajoran hybrid finally getting the fear under control enough to allow for coherent thought. It's inspecting the ridges.

Cross flinched as the being that was inspecting him reached it's hand forth, extended one of it's overly long fingers, and lightly prodded his phallus, presumably curious about the Bajoran ridges it bore.

"Get your <fucking> hands off me!" Cross snarled, twisting his hips away form the curious creature. Cross heard more unrecognizable speech form the side, and saw the dick-poking bulb-head retreat from view even as the other two beings seemed to be readying for what was to come.

He heard the bulbous-headed fuckers talking in a language that was alien to him, and saw one raise a device not unlike the PADDs used by Starfleet, tapping several commands into the device. Some sort of mechanical arm manoeuvred above him, positioning itself to aim at his chest.

Then it fired, and everything went black.

That was all he remembered of the moments leading up to his correction, the Savi having sedated him for the procedure. When he had regained consciousness, he had been in some sort of holding cell with Gideon Drake, his subordinate in the Tactical department aboard Endeavour, and Mickayla MacGregor, one of the Endeavour's Security officers. Both had been corrected as well, as had all the hybrids brought aboard the Versant, the Savi violating them, altering their genetic makeup. Drake had been corrected to Human, MacGregor to Klingon. He had not known MacGregor more than seeing her in passing aboard the Endeavour, but had interacted with Drake frequently, the insufferable man having had the annoying habit of calling him "Boss" and making idiotic comments. He had been the same following their correction, though in Cross' extremely unstable state following his correction to a full-blooded Vulcan, the Human's annoying comments had proven to have passed well beyond the realm of annoying. The memory took hold without Cross noticing, the four blank walls of the containment cell taking shape around them.

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Drake was speaking again, trying to empathize with Cross. He made a tiny slip in his wording, however, when he stated that he knew how Cross felt. How could Drake possibly know how he felt? How could he possibly understand the hurricane of emotions that coursed through the Vulcan, threatening to destroy him? Why did he insist on talking? Cross' jaw clenched, his teeth grinding as the muscles ached. The veins in Cross' temples bulged like pulsing green worms beneath his skin. How could he possibly know? How could he stand there so fucking calmly and say something so fucking stupid!?!

Before Cross knew what he was doing, he had lunged at the now-Human Drake, his hands finding purchase on the man's shoulder and neck. "<How could you possibly know?>" Cross growled, unaware that he was speaking in Cardassian, his primary language. "<What is it you think you know?>" He snarled, his eyes bulging in anger as each word grew more menacing, "<STOP TELLING ME TO RELAX!!>" As Cross roared the final words, he turned and heaved Gideon Drake, the strength he displayed following his correction surprising even him. Drake was sent soaring across the cell, striking the wall with a dull fleshy thud before crashing to the floor. Cross surged forward again, seeing red and well beyond rational thought at this point, his hands seeking Drake's throat.

Drake was saved only by the timely initiation of the Savi's transporter system. The shimmering light of the transport beam enveloped the Vulcan mid-lunge, his fingers mere inches from Drake's throat as he disappeared from the containment cell.

Cross pushed the memory away, the walls around them fading as he forced the place and events from his mind. The remnants of the rage rattled around in his mind, not taking over his present state but still there, still felt. The hatred, the murderous intent. The urge to kill the Human, to rip out his throat so the man's incessant nattering would final be silent. Drake was dead now, not by Cross' hand but killed during the escape from the Versant just as so many had been.

Then there were others who had survived. Others who Cross had tried to kill as well. As if summoned by that thought, a loud guffawing laugh echoed in Cross' mind, an obnoxious laugh which, had he had physical form within the mind meld, would have caused Cross to roll his eyes.

No... Cross thought instinctively, his mind enveloped by an overwhelming sense of exasperation. Not that asshole...

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #8
[ Lt Cmdr Hathev | A Memory of a Memory | Between Spaces | Cross' Psychological Latticework ] attn: @Fife

The dam removed, Cross' memory flowed in unfiltered, building itself around them until Hathev found herself in a world of chaos, of light and noise and fear so strong she could almost taste it upon the air, adrenaline thrumming along every frequency. The scene was one of action, a firefight between the half-dead escapees and an alien race the likes of which Hathev had never seen, tall and pale humanoids with bulbous craniums, dark insectoid eyes, and long pale fingers.

The Savi, she presumed, if the fear and anger Cross felt towards them were any indication.

Turning from them, she struggled to find him in the scene for a moment, the ruckus too great; and then a shout rose above the general clamour and she drew her gaze to him, a blur of movement as he launched himself at--

It happened too quickly for Hathev's mind to parse. All she knew was pain.

It-- hurt. Cross hurt, in a way Hathev had not known in her whole life: blindingly so, cripplingly so, fire and ice streaking up his -- her -- their arm, a bright, sharp agony that knocked the air from their lungs, lighting up receptors all over their body, lightning to the pain centre of their brain. She had not felt pain since she was a child, and not like this, never like this, never so pure in its intensity, cutting through her with a mercilessness that left her struggling to breathe through let alone think-- It was a solid wall straight through her mind, and she lying at its base unable to move for the torment.

The memory blurred with it, or was that her own mind's blurring, her phantom vision unable to make sense of the light before her while the pain ravaged her being, pain that could become no worse until she realised her folly as a newfound, white-hot agony clawed its way through her, forcing a cry from her in concordance with Cross' own, the memory pitching and tipping with the intensity of it. She-- she had to purge it from herself, she could not continue to-- But it was everywhere, it was far too strong, she could not even begin to collect her mind enough to--

She did not realise the memory was over until the pain began to fade and she found herself surrounded by blackness once more. Weakened, it took her longer than necessary to regain her senses, struggling for a moment to expunge the unwelcome sensation from her being; by the time she had done so, Cross was feeling something entirely different: relief, and even comfort. Safety. Gratitude.

He had lost his hand to save Tiran, Hathev remembered. A trade the man appeared to accept, to be glad of, even. Of course, the exchange was both logically and morally sound; but it was not such motivations that drove Cross, she knew. It was emotionality alone that ruled his mind.

The inky black that enveloped them, Hathev now realised, was not black at all, but rather a deep, velveteen blue.

There was little time, however. No longer holding his thoughts at bay, Cross allowed the next memory to form around them, the pain from the last now only a memory. Yet there was more to come: this time, of fear. The connection now fully established, it rose in Hathev just as surely as it did in Cross, coming to rest in the back of their throat where it fluttered in barely-contained terror, their vision filled with the large unblinking eyes of the Savi as they inspected them, poked them, touched clinically the most intimate of places, sending both Cross and Hathev shuddering in revulsion, in fear, in embarrassment, emotions so strong she could barely name them, could only do so by studying them in Cross; for she knew not how to categorise anything of the leakage in herself, unused to experiencing such things as she was. She knew only that they were strong and unpleasant, and she wished for them to remove themselves just as surely as Cross wished for the Savi to do the same in this moment.

And then it ended abruptly, like a plug pulled, and the sudden void was almost shocking in its emptiness, with nothing there to fill the space.

That is, until the next memory began, rushing into the vacuum and building itself all the faster for it, and bringing with it a presiding sense of anger that was evident in every line of Cross' face even as it throbbed within Hathev's own being, an anger that tightened the muscles and sent Cross flying at the offender, a human Hathev could not recognise through the emotions filling her mind, the thoughtless rage she had felt beneath the surface of Cross' mind once before as it threatened her own expiry, only now it was multiplied tenfold, the filter between them removed, and she experiencing all he did with an intensity that was shocking to her, emotions her brain was no longer equipped to feel at all let alone with this strength, wracking through her being and leaving her tossed to their whims; was this what Cross felt, then, when he flew to anger? Was this the all-encompassing rage that drove him from his mind? It was all Hathev could do to keep her higher brain functions active, and this with only a reflection of his emotions; even with the greatest control in the galaxy, would one be able to do the same while in the throes proper?

The memory ended even more suddenly than the last, forcefully dismantled as Cross turned his back upon it; and yet even as it destroyed itself, the echoes of that anger remained, and though they were weak enough that Hathev could remove them from herself with relative ease it was clear Cross had no such recourse; his mind remained haunted by it.

Hathev took the moment of pause to recentre herself; Cross' mind was strong, and his emotions stronger, and while some emotional crossover was inevitable the extent to which she was experiencing his feelings was unacceptable, wearing down her own mental acuity and strength. She was here with a purpose, to seek answers, not to be merely buffeted along on the winds of pain and fear of anger that swirled within him.

And besides, there was something that prowled the edges of her own mind that she must keep at bay. Interference of that kind would be unacceptable, both for Cross and for herself.

Yet there was no time; she had only begun the process of self-purgation when the darkness around them began to take shape once more. What did Cross wish to show her now?
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
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  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #9
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross & Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Monster Joint Post Between Fiendfall And Fife

A memory came to Cross unbidden, the echoing laugh of the oversized idiot which had resounded in his mind pulling forth the last memory he had of the Klingon despite his attempts not to think of the loudmouthed oaf.

It came upon them quickly, echoing around the darkness ever-closer, approaching like thunder, twisting in a Doppler effect made flesh as it materialised around them. Hathev tried to focus on finishing her internal purge, in the few moments she had before the memory initiated; there was little time, however, and she found herself unable to complete the task, instead remaining in an emotional lacuna, a space between spaces, hanging in limbo as the residue within her refused to shift, unable to fully flush it from her system and yet aware of its presence, a taught fullness between her rib bones.

She would keep it contained, at least, until she could fully excise it from herself. But that was a matter for another time, as for now she found herself aboard a strange vessel manned by faces she recognised even if the topography she did not.

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At the command of Captain Ives, Cross had initiated the firing sequence of the Versant's main weapons. The Versant? The strange design matched what Hathev had seen of the ship before, but those had only been cargo rooms, corridors; to view what she could only assume was the main bridge was another matter entirely. It had taken him some time to grow used to the setup of the Savi tactical console, and more still to grow accustomed to operating the console with only one hand. Now he sat grim faced and watched as the three aquamarine beams lanced forward, easily carving swathes out of the Borg cube. The cube. The sight sent something skittering in her phantom chest, the viewing of it new to her.The sight was more than satisfying after the horrific attack they had suffered aboard the Endeavour not long ago, though the magnitude of the Savi weapons, and the damage they wrought upon the Borg, was unbelievable.

Cross thought back to the Borg attack on the Endeavour, the worried commands called across the bridge, the skillful manoeuvring of Ensign Okhala, his own frantic firing of the Endeavour's weapons. He had accomplished little, some small damage on the first volley before they had adapted. Remodulations had yielded some small hits scored, but even with those small strikes from the Nebula-class starship had proved vastly insufficient. The engagement had been decidedly one-sided, the loss of life on their own side horrific. The last Cross had seen of Captain Amasov, the man had been seated in the Captain's chair, the last one alive aboard the bridge, staring defiantly at the Borg vessel displayed on the viewscreen. He had ordered them from the bridge, calling for them to abandon ship. He alone had remained, hoping to buy them some time, knowing he was doomed. Now, as Cross watched the aquamarine beams tear through the cube with ease, Cross' thoughts turn to his fallen Captain.

Rest easy, Amasov, Cross thought as he watched the weapons lay destruction to the hated shape of the cube, we lost many, but now we make them pay.

A fitting tribute to a dead captain. There had been no such thing for those who had died aboard the Bellerophon; the thought sent something sharp resounding within her, the hollowness of her carved into light crosshatches.
She recognised this. It belonged in the box she kept secret, but to open the lid would be to free all within, and she Pandora. She could only hope to contain it within herself, desperately drawing the spools of herself tighter around the feeling; it could not escape to fill this their common mind.


As the Versant's massive weapons fell silent, Cross dropped his gaze from the viewscreen and looked over the readouts, his right hand moving over the controls as quickly as he could work it. "The Versant's weapon recharge sequence in initiated, Sir," Cross informed Captain Ives, "sensors are showing massive damage to the cube." The Vulcan's eyes darted back and forth, taking in the readouts on the unfamiliar display. "The Allegiant and the fighters are moving for an attack run on the cube, sir. They'll have more than enough time to get clear before the weapons are charged and ready to fire again."

It was then that Cross heard it. Indeed, the obnoxious boom of the idiot Klingon's voice ensured that all present on the bridge would hear. "HEY!!! CROSS!!!" The words caused the dour Vulcan to tense, suspecting the Klingon would soon follow them with some stupid remark or another. As Cross turned his head from the console, his pale eyes falling on Khorin, his suspicion was proved correct. "That fucking thing is three kilometers wide and you still almost missed!!!" The Klingon's booming laughter resounded throughout the bridge module -- the thunder approaches -- as Cross glared at the man and sighed softly. "Idiot Klingon..." Cross muttered to himself as he continued to glare at the oaf.

Cross' glare turned to a raised eyebrow as, while Khorin had turned to direct a shit-eating grin in Cross' direction, a hand had reached up and grasped his ankle, pulling the Klingon into the hole that had opened in the bridge deck. Cross heard the massive man bark out the word "Backtag" before he disappeared down the hole. Cross stared at the opening Khorin had disappeared though for a moment with a mixture of amusement and disbelief painted across his face before finally letting out his own barking laugh. Echoed with a blink of her own, the -- something -- within her momentarily quietened. Was this... Amusement? The impulse to mark the sensation with a physical response announcing the feeling was unexpectedly profound. Was this what was meant when emotional beings declared such things to be uncontrollable?

She would endeavour to control it.


Amusement flooded Cross' mind as the memory faded, the former hybrid reflecting that that instance had hardly been the first time that Khorin's mouth had gotten him into trouble.

Idiot Klingon... Cross thought with a strange mixture of amusement and annoyance, the two feelings often being linked to the boastful and obnoxious Klingon in Cross' mind. The Klingon had forced Cross to attempt a meld aboard the Versant, the results being... less than optimal. Unless you were to consider the two trying to tear each other apart to be a positive result.

The respite was unexpected, the intensity of the previous emotions felt by Cross -- or had they been merely her own? -- fading away to be replaced with a more gentle feeling, tickling the edges of her mind without attempting to overtake it. It was almost pleasant, akin to the quiet lapping of water on an undisturbed beach. The tangled nest of shards within her chest felt looser now, unravelling gently and floating on the breeze.

Nevertheless, she should purge it from her.

Or...

No. She would.

The delay cost her the opportunity, however; as she came to her conclusion, so too did the next memory construct itself to prevent her.

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"Try to empty your mind, Klingon." Cross growled at Khorin, cracking open one eye to look at him as he added, "That shouldn't be hard for you, should it?"

What locale was this? Little time to study the environs, however; the anger that Cross felt filled the room more fully than any furnishings could ever have attempted.

"You dishonour yourself and me with you, Pahtak!"] Khorin barked, louder than necessary as Cross stood immediately before him. Not that Cross expected any else form the obnoxious pilot.

"I can't concentrate with you braying like a hajari mule!" Cross snarled at the larger man, directing all his anger into his grip on the ridged head he currently held. "If you'd shut up for even a second, I might be able to..." Everything around him seemed to lurch as Cross had finally succeeded in initiating the meld.

A mind within a mind within a mind, and then--



Cross jolted back to reality, mentally recoiling and severing the telepathic link between himself and the enraged Klingon. Out of it once more, spat out, thrown out, displaced, disorientated, where, when--?

Staggering away from Khorin, who was still seated at the bar in Ten Forward, Cross' mind was assailed by anger like never before. Somewhere in the back of Cross' mind, he realized that he had been foolish to allow his mind to come into contact with the Klingon's, especially with his self control balancing on a knife's edge. The voice that screamed the realization from the back of his mind was silenced however, drowned out by the roaring torrent of anger and aggression that coursed through him like fire in his veins, threatening to tear him apart from the inside.

Anger once more. Was it sharpness or heaviness now? Or merely heat, thrumming through Cross -- through them both, coursing through their veins, gouging out space within them and demanding attention be paid, demanding blood be paid, demanding its call be answered. It filled them.

Khorin had had more than enough of all  that mess. His attempt to impress the crowd not only had not gone as he wished, but had brought to the surface memories he didn't want to remember. And others that he simply wanted to keep for himself. With his hands cramped in two tight fists, the veins of his arms and neck prominently beating at the same tempo of his rage -- rage -- and his jaw clenched, the Klingon stood up, moving so slowly. For a moment he stayed where he was, standing, staring at Cross and shaking with barely contained fury. "I'M GONNA KILL YOU!" he howled, throwing himself forward against the Vulcan like a wrecking ball, and crashing with him with his hands in front of him. Barely a man, barely awake, sensible only to the anger, to the call. He grabbed Cross from the collar of his uniform, lifted him off the floor and headbutted him in the most Klingon style.

Cross' nose seemed to burst as the Klingon's ridged forehead slammed into it, sending a spray of blood fountaining forth. With a feral sounding snarl Cross lashed out, his left hand grasping the Klingon's head, fingers gripping the ear and thumb squirming, seeking the eye socket. Demanding. At the same time Cross' right hand balled into a fist and landed a blow on the Klingon's left temple before rearing back to launch another blow. Call answered. It begins anew. The Vulcan was only vaguely aware of the situation, his opponent, or indeed anyone else in the room. The blinding rage had taken hold of him, coursing into them and through them and spurring them to action, to movement, to violence and he lashed out with little regard for protecting himself, intent only on killing the focus of his anger. Yes.

The call answered, echoing deep within, finding the call of another, another wildling, one who stalked the darkness around them, around her, within her, creeping the edges and just waiting for the wall to fall.

It did.

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The scene shatters, or does it tear, it rips, it falls, rubble around them, destroyed by another, and now they are elsewhere -- no building of memory this time, no slow creation, this is instantaneous. Or it's not -- the rubble remains, a layer of dust covering everything, lying filagree upon the kitchen table, fallen gossamer over plates laid out for supper. Only two, tonight -- or rather three, but the third not upon the table, this one lying shattered where it fell; only three pieces, the damage salvageable, plate spit neatly down the middle save for a smaller piece chipped out at the top, now broken upon the hard floor and left -- a victim? a witness?

Kireil's shouts destroy more than crockery.

The fight is over, now, only the aftermath remains, in the ringing of her ears where his words once were. In the muffled sound of Triss' sobs. And Hathev alone -- Kireil long gone, out into the night, a great show made of leaving, poison hurled in his wake -- Hathev alone at the table, set for only two now, seating only one.

She feels-- She felt nothing. Of course. Of course.

(What would there be to feel, even if she could?)

Anger hangs in the room, the shadow of an unwelcome guest, but it is not hers, never hers. She could never claim emotions as her own.

She merely sits, and does not feel.

Cross' mind felt still, a strange development for the former hybrid, as he observed the unfamiliar scene. He recognized Hathev alone in the images which flowed forth from somewhere other than himself, the others seeming strangers but for a sense of familiarity he felt seeping forth from the memory's owner. The face of the male, the one who threw the plate, the one who hurled cutting words about as he stormed off, he looked familiar, at least somewhat. The structure of his face reminded Cross of someone else, someone aboard the Theurgy.

Cross quickly dismissed the thought in the hope of avoiding drawing any of the memories involving the insufferable counsellor to the surface. He needn't have worried, however, as the alien memory he had just witnessed seemed to have calmed his mind, the flow of memories staunched for the moment as an unfamiliar sense of calm settled over Cross' mind for a time. He waited, silent, as another unfamiliar scene began to unfold in their collective minds.

The box fell open, and out came memory after memory -- snapshots, snippets, moments she had carefully retained, cut from the fabric of time and experience, smoothed and saved, categorised for safekeeping and tucked away into the deepest recesses of her heart -- out they came, bright and bounding and raw.

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Kireil, a face full of sunshine as he turned to look at her -- 'Look Mother!' -- knees bare on his new bicycle, riding it without assistance for the first time, Triss stepping back (but never too far, always ready to catch, to cajole, to encourage). The giddy look of delight as he wobbled around without training wheels, prompting something large and unnamed to swell in Hathev. Triss glancing over with a knowing smile, a loving smile, Triss--

Backwards in time, then, back to meeting her, a terrace café on Starbase 313, and a counter filled with cakes of the most ostentatious kind, unnecessary frankly, but the flavour could hardly be argued with -- and neither could the baker, sweet as her wares, a sparkle in her eyes and flour on her cheeks.

Lurching forward now, faster, a restaurant in Sicily, the soft glow of evening light across the water; wine in hand, Triss laughing, softness, softness...

A surge of something -- of anger, to her surprise, and now Kireil bursting through, sending tables scattering as he surged through the memory, tearing it in two and leaving another in his wake, one of confusion and harsh words, Triss ever the mediator between a rock and a hard place, an unstoppable force, an immovable object, as if that would ever result in anything but her getting torn to shreds in between, until finally something in her broke, or maybe it merely disappeared, evaporated, turned to dust -- and she with it. Three days of silence, then, as if Kireil was too afraid to speak, the consequences of his actions weighing heavy; and Hathev silent too, what could she have said? What was there to say? A quiet house and a quiet heart.

But Triss did return, and things calmed for a time. But only for a time, so forward now, forward -- the shrapnel in her lungs came from here, from this place, the echo within herself from here, this bright San Francisco day, of all the days to hurt the most, and Kireil leaving in triumph, pride bright in his eyes and in his mothers' too as they waved him goodbye, Triss kissing his cheek dewy-eyed, Hathev offering a quick embrace, and Kireil jittery with excitement and happiness, his life finally about to begin, barely able to stand still long enough for the transporter beam to lock on, a tiny wave back to them, and then-- No. No more!

Cross' mind reeled, the images which had unfolded in his mind seeming alien not only in their origin, but in their context as well.

Mother...

The word had a familiar ring to it, the sense of normality it held stemming from the mind which had provided the memory rather than his own. It certainly wasn't one which Cross held in familiarity, the former hybrid unsure if he had ever even uttered the word.

Mother.

Hathev. Her family. The joy and love which was on display in the events which had played out, along with the pain; all were as alien to him as the people those emotions had flowed from. The last image though, the transporter beam, coupled with the images of childhood, brought forth another memory in Cross' mind, the distant shadow of long-past events taking form in his mind as if to fill the gap left by Hathev's own mind resisting the flow of her own thoughts.

And resisting she was. She had no desire to see -- to show -- any more than had already slipped from her, and the reminder of Cross's presence here in her mind -- his mind? -- was enough to prompt her to slam those doors shut once more, push this from her, from them -- no more -- and slide almost with relief into the oblivious distraction of someone else's thoughts.

That feeling would not remain for long.

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The glow of transporter beams lit the dim interior of the room, a room with architecture vastly different from that of the previous memory. Where those events had unfolded in a setting of warmth and family, this was a colder place, darker and sterile. All around him, lights flickered intermittently, causing dark shadows to rise and died over the rubble and dust which was scattered all around, the ceiling in the corner having caved in with one of the explosions which had rocked the building moments before..

As the transporter beams faded, a group of people in strange uniforms stood before him, their torsos clad in a yellow fabric. The group was armed, hefting rifles of some sort, much larger than the disruptor he held in his hand.

Cross, no... he wasn't called Cross yet. He hadn't been given any name yet. He was simply A17338961. A subject number.

A17338961 stood over three bodies, the scorch marks of the disruptor fire still smouldering where the Cardassians had been struck. Cross held the disruptor at his side, though the people who had just transported into the room couldn't know what had just happened. One of them noticed him, quickly levelling his phaser rifle in A17338961's direction.

"<Drop the weapon!>" The man yelled, his language strange to A17338961, though somehow a voice translated it for him to understand. A17338961 complied, letting the disruptor fall from his hand to land on the still form of one of the Cardassians at his feet. "<Hold on.>" A tall man wearing blue rather than yellow said, stepping forward and holding up a hand to halt the others. He looked directly at A17338961, a cautious look on his features. "<Who are you? What's your name?>" The men asked, stepping forward with his rifle canted, not aiming it directly at A17338961.

"I... don't have a name." A17338961 replied, his words prompting one of the yellow-clad men to heft his rifle and level it's muzzle in the hybrid's direction.

"<He's speaking fucking spoonhead!>" The one hefting the rifle snarled. The one who had asked the hybrid's name reached out, grabbing the muzzle of the rifle which was trained on A17338961's chest.

"<Does he look like a fucking Cardassian to you, Rourke?>" The one who seemed to be the leader of the group shoved the one called Rourke back, forcing the rifle's aim to the side. "<Stand down. That's an order.>" The man turned, taking another step towards the hybrid. A17338961 had not been able to make out his face before, though he recognized it now. Cross' present mind put a name to the face, a sense of familiarity and warmth attached to the name.

MacDonald...

Cross' mind let the memory fade, the sight of his old friend and teacher's face bringing a sense of calm to the former hybrid's thoughts. His life had changed that day, the camp liberated, Cross himself freed. The camp had been in chaos when Starfleet had begun their attack to liberate the prison camp, the noise and confusion allowing him to get a hold of the disruptor. He had murdered the three scientists, killed them in cold blood, though the away team that had come across him that day had neglected to mention that part.

For Hathev's part, the memory proved not to be the distraction which she had hoped. Where Cross felt calm as it melted around them -- and dimly she was aware of his feelings, just as she had been aware of his presence during the playing of her own memories -- instead she felt... everything. Too many things to name, the attempt only sending her spinning: she felt the boy -- the nameless boy! -- and his fear, his adrenaline, but so too did she feel the fear of the Starfleet officers in the scene, fear saturating the air, soaking into her; she felt anger, too, but whether that belonged to Cross-as-was or Cross-as-is, or neither, or both-- who could tell. The pain was his. But it was also hers. Barbed wire wrapping them both.

Others, too fleeting or complex to dissect, flowing through to churn together in a turbulent mass of unspooled emotion, over and under and through one another and her. She shook with it all.

It would not be contained. It spilled out of her, too fast and too much for her to even form words from it, unable to catch it long enough to shape it into anything but what it was, sending a river of-- of everything, she was drowning in it, thrown in deep, and so it was that she sent a torrent outwards to Cross, a torrent of feeling, of rage and pain and disbelief, at what he had shown her, at what had been done, at what had been taken and lost.

Out of it all, she managed one word.

How?
  • Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 01:31:49 AM by Fife

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #10
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev & Lt. Cmdr. Cross | A mind within a mind | Memories of memories of memories | Through your eyes or mine? ] Joint post between Fiendfall and Fife

How?

A single word, but a hundred questions behind it. A hundred possible meanings. How had this happened, how could this happen -- although what exactly 'this' was, she could not say. Nor could she entirely put to words, or even to thoughts, what her intended question had been.

How had he survived? Yes, perhaps that had been it, perhaps that was the most pertinent of the myriad questions jostling for her attention, for his answering. How had he come to be as she now saw him when such-- such things had shaped his existence, his childhood, his coming of age? She had known so, so many others who had struggled more with less cause -- measuring cause and desert was hardly possible, of course, and yet it could never be said that Cross did not have cause.

But as Hathev remained a whirlpool of emotions, all caught up amongst themselves and tangled between each other, feeding a streaming ouroboros of feeling and sensation, she found another question forcing itself to the forefront of her meaning. How could he survive this? How could he experience all of this, all this uncertainty, all this writhing mass, how could he function when she, faced with the same, could barely even ask a simple question of him? How did he hold himself back from the brink, and once over, how did he return to himself?

All this, and more, in a single word. She could only hope he understood her meaning better than even she.

Cross on the other hand, had a sense of the myriad of thoughts which Hathev invested in the question but unable to discern anything to singularly focus on. He was still aware of her, of the presence of her mind, though his runaway thoughts continued to distract him, especially peppered as they had become with scenes from Hathev's own mind. And so, as the scene in the camp faded and Hathev uttered the mental question, Cross found himself unsure of how to respond.

How? Cross thought back, the tone of his repetition implying that he sought clarification. For a Vulcan, Hathev had not been very clear in her question, nor in the torrent of meaning that had carried with it.

He... had not understood. A surge of frustration -- why had he not understood? They shared a single mind! Surely he could feel her thoughts as much as she felt his, surely he could parse her meaning, surely he should understand! He must understand!

How? she thought again, more forcefully, a push of anger behind it this time. She couldn't put more words to it, she couldn't force meaning out of it, it had taken all of her efforts to bring a single point of sense from the mess that surrounded her, running through her and away with her. 'How' was all she could ask, was all she could vocalise, and it had not been enough. It had not been enough!

Her anger unfurled, striking out with phantom limbs, tearing the thin darkness that surrounded them. How? she repeated, infuriated, wrathful -- incandescent.

As Hathev repeated the question, unaltered from its original form, Cross could sense the growing level of anger and frustration which had been imbued in the words, both emotions seeming very alien when coming from the typically serene mind of Hathev. This was not the tone of the mind he had touched on the holodeck, utterly calm in the face of danger, displaying nothing but serenity when others would have been gripped by sheer panic.

Hathev, calm yourself, Cross thought, wondering both at his own sense of calm as well as her growing level of irritation. What's happened to you? In the holodeck, it was you who... Cross' thought was never finished, the former hybrid finding his mind being dragged into a new thought, the movement turbulent within his consciousness.

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The holodeck. It formed around them in an instant, the black void crosshatched with yellow, her mind seizing upon the memory the moment it was mentioned and drawing it from their combined psyches, the speed fuelled by anger and frustration and a need to understand, a need to find-- something, there was something here, and she needed it.

The memory snapped into focus around them like coming up for air, and when Hathev blinked it was not with her own eyes. The rage was not hers -- or it was, or it wasn't, or perhaps it could be both, hers and not hers, all at once -- it belonged to Cross, it was his, and these were his eyes she stared out of, it was his blood rushing in his ears that she heard, his heart pounding in his chest that she felt, his fury that tightened his muscles-- But it was also hers.

She struggled against him, or did he struggle against her? Cross couldn't tell, couldn't make sense of what he was seeing. Above him was... him...

The holodeck...

He could feel the hand of the Cross from the memory on his throat, or rather Hathev's throat. He could feel as she attempted to pry his fingers away from her neck, all the while pushing, beating upon his chest in the hopes of bringing him to himself or somehow fending him off.

'Cease this!' He ordered in Hathev's voice, a note of something creeping into her... their voice, the desperation in her chest his or hers he did not know. 'Commander!' Their hands, where moments ago they had scrabbled against him, now came to grasp his shoulders, balling in his shirt, exhorting him to return to himself before it was too late. 'Cross, you are not yourself!' Her hands gripped his shirt, fingers twisted in the material like it might save her while he watched on from Hathev's eyes.

The emotions were overwhelming, and leading them all: the fear. But it was not just her own, nor was it just that of the Cross here, in the memory, surrounding her, the Cross she was. She felt a new fear from without, coupled with its own anger, a fear that seemed to resonate with their own. This new influx of emotion was different from the torrent that coursed through them, however. Restrained. Held at bay by a sense of calm, a sense of stability that also held with it an aspect of desperation. She felt her own emotions reflected back along with these new one. These foreign emotions were like a pond, one that moments ago might have been serene, calm, and without a ripple, though now they were buffeted by a wind. Her own, by comparison, were like a tempest. Hathev herself had little notion of any of this, lost to her anger -- to Cross' anger -- as she was.

And yet while the flood of new emotion gave her pause, her metallic left hand began to rise in preparation to strike. She heard words being uttered, but paid them no heed. She felt hands prying at her own, attempting to break her grip and, failing in that, beating at her shoulders and chest before grasping at her shirt. The sense of desperation seemed to intensify, and she felt hands gripping the fabric of her tunic, twisting the material as if they were hoping to somehow wring the strength from her and free themselves.

She blinked, and then-- She knew them, she knew the face before her, it was-- it was her own, and shimmering behind it was another, someone else, someone--

She missed a step in her mind, and for a moment hung in space, the inexorable pull of gravity swooping in her stomach as she slipped, falling backwards through the mental architecture, pulled downwards until she landed--

Quote
She stared out at her own face through eyes not her own once more, surrounded by the turbulence of emotions running wild once more, anger and frustration and hatred burning her lungs with its vehemence, hatred at the world but more than that, hatred for the one before them, hatred for her.

Get out! Kireil bellowed, his mind rattling with the volume, thoughts and feelings sent skittering into the shadows away from him. She fell back from his eyes, her own face melting away from her vision as she turned-- and there he was, looming over her, lent strength from his anger, an anger she felt thrumming beneath her own skin, syncopating her own heart's rhythm.

Listen, she had implored, desperation propelling her forwards, forcing her to stand fast. Obey! And she had bent her psyche upon his, compelling obedience, compelling compliance, requiring her son's respect. This was only logical, he was defective after all, he needed this if he was ever to become a true Vulcan, if he was ever to walk amongst their people, and if he could not achieve such things by his own merit then she would have to instil them within him from without. It was her duty as mother and Vulcan, a duty forced upon her by his refusal to listen. It was logical, and she had not the luxury of giddy and thoughtless irrationality. If Kireil would not consider his own future, his own life, then she would do so for him.

Listen! she ordered once more, her mental capabilities straining in an attempt to enforce themselves upon his, pinning his mind down, shaping it to her will, fashioning it in her image, and then--

No! he roared, and she was expelled from his mind in an instant, the connection broken, returned to her body with only a phantom ache to mark where his psyche used to be joined to her own.

Cross' mind reeled as the memory faded, his thoughts awash with confusion at what he had seen. Hathev had been trying to forcibly shape her sons mind, thinking of him as defective.

Defective...

The term resonated in Cross' mind, both the violent rebellion of the child and Hathev's reaction to it striking something within the former hybrid. Kireil had obviously been emotional, a trait not favoured among Vulcans as Cross well knew. But to see the woman who was helping him to gain control of his emotions reacting in such a manner, with such disdain, gave Cross pause.

As did the fact that even now he could feel the very same emotions boiling inside of her consciousness, coming to pressure as though they would soon boil over.

Or explode...

Hathev... Cross thought, pushing his mind towards hers. What happened to him? The question was asked less out of curiosity for the child than for the similarity in their plight. A Vulcan unable to control themselves, seeking help from her. Cross found himself wanting to know what had become of the boy.

She couldn't-- think, she couldn't-- She still felt it, she still felt her son's mind, the echo of him beside her, within her, her child, her child-- She had only ever wanted-- All she had wanted was his happiness -- her son! -- all she had wanted was for him to be safe, and content, for him to be able to see their home, to walk amongst their people, for him to have a long life unmolested by emotions and the complications they wrought, for him to be happy, for him to be-- normal.

Her son, her baby boy.

Quote
It was dark in the ward, Triss long ago fallen asleep in her chair, too exhausted to keep her eyes open any longer. But Vulcans required little sleep; Hathev could sit like this for hours yet.

Like this. Her son cradled to her chest, so tiny, barely nine years since he had entered the world and still so small. His tiny frame shivering against her, wracked by coughs that came and went, his breathing rattling in his chest.

She held him, softly, and he slept.

He would live, and he would be healthy once more; the doctors assured her of that. But tonight, he felt so small and frail. She encircled him in her arms, the blanked wrapped around them both securing them close, a protection against the world. His head on her breast, face serene in the dark, expression smoothed, the emotions of the day melted away with the night.

An illogicality overcame her. She wanted to keep him here, in her arms, for ever. Somewhere she could protect him. Somewhere she could watch over him. She would leave with the Damascus once more in a week, and leave him here -- how could she leave him here? Her son?

Her hand found its way to his head, stroking his hair away from his face. The touch of skin brought a wave of dream-calm to her, and her lips twitched upwards minutely in response.

He would be well in a few days. But before, when he had cried and cried until he struggled for breath, until his face went ashen and his lungs refused to work-- she had known fear, then, however briefly. For the first time since her own childhood, she had known white terror.

She could not lose him. When this was done, she would request a transfer. She would not leave him behind on this planet again. He needed her, and she-- She loved him with a fierceness that put all else to shame.

Cross felt Hathev's mind pull away, or was it his mind? It was hard to tell at this point, the two minds seeming to blur, distorted and blended together somewhat. Regardless of the source, the memory was forced away, the imagery it held fading from thought as Hathev, he was certain it was Hathev, cast about for a new memory, anything to replace the visions which had just moments before filled their thoughts. Cross could have fought her, could have pressed for more of the memory, indeed had been tempted to. He had always been inwardly fascinated by family dynamics, something that had been notably absent from his own life, yet he allowed Hathev to force the memory away. When a new memory was pulled forth to replace it, he quickly recognized it as one of his own.

Quote
The sterile looking scene of a medical lab surrounded them, the consoles displaying their data, the medical bed with it's readouts, the instruments and tools neatly arrayed in their various places. The lighting was dimmed, the room vacant. Night, then. The scientists would have retired to their quarters for the day. Judging by the way Cross' childhood manifestation was running through the area, it was a memory of a time when they had not confined him for the night. They had often left him loose in the labs, not bothering to deal with him unless he made a nuisance of himself during the day or, had he been the subject of the day's experiments, if they hadn't gotten then results they had hoped for.

The setting was so similar that, for a moment, Hathev did not realise they had left her own; she could still feel the weight of her son in her arms, still hear Triss' breathing across the room, and yet-- it was not her memory, her family was not here, only a child, another child, one whose features she recognised as--

On days like this, however, Cross, who at the time was only known as Subject A17338961, had had the run of the place. His only company on such nights had been the guard, a Cardassian who's name Cross couldn't remember. Or perhaps he'd never learned it. Regardless, the child Cross made his way there now, to where the guard would be perched on his chair near the entrance of the lab. As the boy in the memory rounded the corner the guard came into view, a middle-aged Cardassian who looked overly worn for his years, with a slump in his shoulders and a disinterested expression ever-present in his features. As young Cross rounded the corner and ran towards him, the guard looked at him and gave the mongrel child a sad grin, seeing the flecks of dried blood which still clung under the child hybrid's nose. It hurt, she hurt.

"Well, you're eager. Went easy on you today, did they?" The Cardassian asked with a humorless chuckle (no humour in this! He was a child!), the hint of a smile playing over his features as he glanced towards the door, then stooped to rummage through the bag which sat on the floor beside the chair. He extracted a bottle from the bag, removed the stopper, and took a swig of the thick liquid held within, closing his eyes and smacking his lips appreciatively afterwards. When he opened them again, he looked at Cross with a serious expression. "Ok, kid. Do you remember what I taught you yesterday?"

The child Cross nodded silently, his expression serious for the moment.

"Alright then. Let's have it. What was the first one I taught you last night?"

"Hesnúrak" Mini-Cross said, his features splitting into a smile as he looked ever-so-pleased with himself. The word was foreign to her, and she uncertain of its meaning, but the smile... No matter properity, no matter correctness, it suited his face far more surely than did the blood drying there.

"Good!" The guard exclaimed, laughing hoarsely and taking another swig before passing the bottle to the child. The child Cross took the bottle carefully in both hands and took a sip of the contents, the number of ridges on his nose seeming to multiply for a moment as he grimaced and handed the bottle back. "Come on now, don't make that face. This is the good stuff!" The guard teased, taking another generous swig from the bottle. "What was the next one?"

"Kuevdasi!"

The guard nearly doubled over with laughter as he handed the bottle back to the young Cross, the laughter turning into a brief coughing fit as he struggled to regain himself. Cross took a longer swig this time, grimacing less as he handed the bottle back. She felt the child Cross' affection for this man and marvelled at it, her earlier question returning -- how?

"Ok, I'm going to give you a longer one tonight." The guard told him, chuckling as the child before him stared up with intent concentration. This little game had been going on for several months, and the child's vocabulary was quickly expanding, becoming ever-more colourful.

It was important to learn new things every day.

"Ok, kid. Here we go." The guard proceeded to say several words, speaking slowly and pausing between each of them. The pauses served to both allow his student to absorb the information, and allowed him the time to take a quick swig. They repeated the process several times over the next few minutes, until finally the guard had drained the bottle. Reaching into his bag, he withdraw another, popped the top, and looked at Cross with slightly murky eyes. "Ok, little cross-breed. For the first sip! Give it a go!"

"Adeŧa sumir'vadektiŧ izař" Child Cross said, his face screwed up with intense concentration as he carefully made each word out form memory. The child's face lit up at the appreciative guffaw of the guard, he held out the bottle for him to take as he let out a roar of laughter. Cross carefully took the bottle and took a long, greedy sip of the thick liquid.

"Oh, getting a taste for it, are you?" The guard asked with another laugh, nodding at the child. "Go on then, crossy!' Her mind stuttered, the meaning of his name suddenly thrown into sharp relief, and the anger that spiked through her was coloured with something painful. 'Have another sip! I'll be sure to leave some for you later. The usual deal, eh?" Child Cross nodded, taking another pull form the bottle before handing it back and turning to pad off down the corridor to leave the guard in peace.

Hathev's mind spun, the scene melting before them, and yet-- and yet! She had no idea where to start, where to look, feelings flying through her mind. A child, he'd been a child, and this-- His name! Her mind shook with it all, unable to even begin to comprehend what she had seen, what he had shown her, let alone how he had felt then, or how she felt now. Angry, yes, certainly, she knew that much, could feel it pulsing through her in waves, but also-- it hurt, it hurt, he was a child and he had been alone and unnamed and--

Something within her came loose and toppled, falling to the ground, shattering into a hundred silver pieces where they lay, sharp and glittering. For a moment she simply stared, blank, and then-- it all came rushing in at once.
Cross, a child, alone save for a man who was neither friend nor parent; Cross, adult, angry and bitter and out of his mind, ready to kill her, and she-- She, angry; she, resolute; she, determined and forceful and out of her mind, in that of another, ready to rip him apart from the inside in the name of her own logic, ready to-- She, unthinking, unknowing, driving away what she had only sought to protect.

He was gone, he was gone, he had left her, she had--

Quote
Rushing forwards now, end over end over end to that day, the very end, or had it been the beginning, too late now, too late to tell, too late to stop-- the day they received the news. Hathev arriving home from teaching, Triss reading in the garden, a gentle greeting thrown between and caught them; remembering, now, Hathev moving like in a dream, watching herself walk to her study, wanting to call out to herself, tell herself no, wait, go speak to your wife, delay this, delay this-- but she could not, could only watch in mounting horror, watch the message blinking upon her display, demanding attention, demanding to be read--

Wait! she wanted to cry, even as she heard herself -- dimly, as if from afar -- speaking to Triss, telling her they had a message from their son, finally, after months of waiting to hear from him -- no excitement in her voice of course but something there, something that called Triss to her side, something Hathev remembering could recognise as beating in her chest. She had been so oblivious, so unknowing, opening the message with haste, as if it would not end everything, as if--

The message open now, and Hathev unable to look even in the remembrance, watching herself instead, watching the subtle movements she made that she knew, she knew were results of her compelling her heart to beat, her hands to still, even as Triss appeared in the doorway, hope still in her eyes, hope that dimmed as she saw Hathev stand, saw the effort it took her, and she willing her voice to remain steady that she could relay the news to her wife, that she could move to her side and hold her as she cried without breaking herself -- outwardly, at least, for inwardly it was far too late, the pieces strewn, shattered and shining--

Eventually, she would find a box, and she would sweep those glittering pieces inside and lock it tight, purge herself of all that broke that day; Triss had no such recourse. And then, in some cruel cycle, it would be Triss who shouted, who screamed, who roamed hurricane-like through the house, while Hathev -- her heart in a box, the key far away -- remained still and cold and impassive in the face of their grief, their pain, their unending, yawning loss.

But no longer. Now the box lay open, and Hathev? She felt it all.

For his part, Cross' mind processed everything with a sense of serene observation unlike anything he had ever felt. He had watched the scene unfold in calm contemplative silence, taking in what was happening and very much aware of the emotional turmoil that Hathev's mind was consumed by, though he himself remained unphased. Indeed, Hathev's reaction to her own memory was, as many Vulcans would put it, illogical.

Hathev... Cross thought, trying to get her attention. He felt at ease, despite being faced with the roiling havoc of Hathev's current state, and wondered for a moment if this was what she generally felt like, indeed if this was how she had felt when the roles were reversed on the holodeck? Hathev, are you...

She was lost upon the waves, drowning in the flood, pulled ever downwards in the whirlpool, spinning round and down and under and through with no concept of time or direction or feeling or thought or-- Her name, her name called from somewhere far above, muffled and distant, and yet--

Cross, the name ripped from her instinctively, and then-- he was here, she realised, she could feel his presence, his quietitude stony in the face of her turmoil-- he had seen her memories, he had seen this, her, these feelings, he--

No! How could-- How dare-- No! Get out! She pushed against him, forcing him away, lashing out with hands made of pain and anger and feeling, and then--

She felt the rush of his mind draining away from hers, the sudden overwhelming silence as the other consciousness left her, the meld straining and shattering, buckling under the pressure of her feeling until the two minds were forced apart.


Kardasi Translation:
hesnúrak - Rotten Molt
Kuevdasi - Shitscale
adeŧa sumir'vadektiŧ izař - I liked it when you weren't here yet
  • Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 06:16:01 PM by fiendfall
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #11
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Cross reeled back as the meld broke, his body thrust away from Hathev's just as his mind had been. Cross's awkward twisted position throughout the meld now caused him to slide off the couch, the former hybrid managing to catch himself with his left hand against the couch as he dropped to the floor on his knees, his right hand resting on the deck to help support him unsteady weight.

Cross gasped, his eyes wide and staring at the floor as he fought to control himself, to regain his composure. He wasn't assailed by the usual onslaught of emotional turmoil he was accustomed to, indeed he was remarkably calm considering, but his mind raced with an overload of information. The uncontrolled, rapid-fire succession of emotions and memories, both his own and Hathev's, had been overwhelming, and Cross fought to process it all. He was tense all over, the muscles in his limbs, back and neck all taught with the strain of keeping himself in check, of fighting to make sense of all that he had seen.

Cross let out a long, shuddering breath through gritted teeth and sucked in another lungful of air, feeling his heart racing in his chest as he fought to calm himself. He ran though a quick mental exercise, one he often used when his emotions were getting out of check. The process helped to calm him, though he could still feel his limbs shaking, every nerve in his being seeming to be on edge.

The meld had certainly not gone as planned.

Something had happened, the lines between minds seeming to weaken. Emotions had bled from one of them to the others, Cross thought, himself having taken on aspects of Hathev's calm, while she...

Hathev...

Cross closed his eyes and shook his head, trying to dispel the scenes from her past which still lingered in his head, of her wife, her child.

Triss. Kiriel.

A sense of affection was attached to those names, along with pain. And sadness. The emotions were not his, but rather Hathev's, some of the many which had bled across the meld between their minds.

Opening his eyes, Cross looked at his hand bracing him against the couch and saw that he had balled it into a fist, the metallic fingers having torn long, deep rents into the couch's fabric to expose the stuffing beneath. That stuffing now bulged out of the torn cushion, reminding Cross of a friend who had been gutted by the Jem Hadar during the dominion war, the man's guts having bulged out of the wound in much the same way.

Pushing the grim thought from his mind, Cross raised his gaze, his pale eyes seeking out Hathev with a look of concern. If he taken on the other Vulcan's sense of calm, her feelings towards her family, then had she taken on his instability? His volatility?

As those pale blue eyes fell on the form of the diminutive woman, Cross got his answer.

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #12
[ Hathev ] Attn: @Fife

She--

She couldn't move, she couldn't see, she couldn't think -- but feel? That was all she could do. She was awash with it, drowning in it all as it broiled within her, around her, through her, filling her with all of it, everything that could be felt and more, every emotion known to the galaxy, to sentient life, to emotional possibility, it was hers, it was all hers, and she belonged to it.

She was shaking, why was she shaking?

Movement beside her, registered only dimly; the light burnt her eyes as sight returned, slowly, and she blinked to clear it only to find her cheeks already wet. Her arms still raised before her, reaching out-- to what? She let them fall.

She felt sick.

She felt sad. Was this how it felt, to be bone-shakingly, earth-shatteringly filled with grief? To feel it as a lump in the stomach, making you ill, making you shake and sweat, breath coming fast, breath coming-- too fast, too fast. But it wasn't just grief she felt, of course, stupid, of course, it was everything, she was angry-sad-bitter-frustrated-guilty-lost-lonelywrathfulnostalgicpaineddisgustedsickenedguiltyguiltyguilty-- unable to breathe, gasping for air, her lungs full of hatred and anger, bitter blackness, and she, she could feel them collapsing, folding inwards on themselves, receding like a backwards scream, a tide drawn out, a black hole born--

Air came to her. She sobbed it out.

Hands raised, shaking, to cover her mouth, but they did nothing, they changed nothing, there was an ache in her and it was never going away, it lived there, its name was Hathev, and it yearned to be felt, it demanded feeling, and all she could do was let it breathe, in sips of air traded for tears, running down her face, her body wracked, shaking, dry kindling ready for the fire, letting it rip through her in waves, through and out, mouth wide against her fingers, silent save for the cracking of her throat, the beat of her blood, her chest empty and yawning, falling ever inwards, and she curling around its collapse, trying to hold herself together, what little of herself she had, what little of herself she allowed--

Somewhere, somehow, a movement beside her, and when she looked-- Cross. And then it was all too easy. To take her pain and turn it into something else.

'You,' she said, spitting out the poison within her on the word, springing from her seat and away, back to him so he would not see-- so he would not see. 'We're done here,' she said, her voice shaking with anger, with shame, with the thing inside her that demanded feeling. 'Get out of my office.'

She leant against her desk, breathing coming fast and uneven-- he wasn't leaving, why wasn't he-- He'd seen this, he'd seen this, and more, he'd seen inside her mind, he'd seen-- her son, he'd seen her life, he'd seen--

No! She swept an arm over her desk, dashing the items atop to the floor, and turned, wrathful, to Cross.

'Get out!' she shouted, and threw -- something -- watched as it punched through the glass coffee table, shattering the pane and sending shrapnel flying, shards falling like rain. 'Get out!'
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #13
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Hathev had remained where she had been sitting on the couch, visibly shaking and with tears running down her cheeks, leaving shining trails over her skin to mark their path. She was breathing fast, rapid and shallow, with the odd sobbing noise audible as she fought whatever internal battle she was currently engaged in.

This was not the Hathev he was accustomed to seeing, all semblance of the cool serenity which she wore like a second skin having vanished in the aftermath of the meld. The meld, with it's chaos and it's confusion, it's total loss of control. Cross still felt that sense of calm within him, unlike anything he had felt before. Did that mean...

"You."

The word ripped form her, each vowel dripping with malice, with utter hatred. The tiny Vulcan sprang to her feet, turning away from him so that he saw only her back. She spoke again, telling him that they were done there in a shaking voice. She told him to get out. That voice, shaking with emotion, held more than just malice. More than just anger. It held shame. Vulnerability. Cross' suspicions were proven correct. He was calm, reasoning, shaken but not out of control.

Hathev was on the verge of...

His thoughts were cut off as she shouted at him to get out and, a moment later, the glass coffee table next to where he knelt exploded in a shower of glittering shards. He felt a sharp sting on his right cheek and the back of his hand as Hathev shouted again for his to get out, the words practically a scream then.

Cross paid no heed to the stinging of his face and hand, and just as well. He glanced at Hathev just in time to see her take up another object, hurling it at him. Her aim was better this time, though perhaps it might have just been dumb luck. In either case, Cross twisted his head and held up his left hand to guard his face just in time to have whatever the thing was - a glass tumbler perhaps? - shatter against the back of his metallic hand.

"Hathev, stop this!" Cross ordered, pushing himself to his feet. He could feel something wet and sticky on both his cheek and his right hand, and knew the glass form the erupting coffee table must have scored some hits. "You need to get a hold of yourself! This isn't you, it's the meld!" Cross took a careful step forward, pieces of glass grinding beneath his booted foot as he slowly advanced, hands held up in front of him in an unthreatening gesture. "You are not yourself, Hathev. I can't leave you alone like this."

The coffee table makes that clear. Cross thought to himself, not daring to take his eyes off the volatile Vulcan who stood before him. "You need to fight it, Hathev. Trust me, of anyone aboard, I understand how overpowering the emotions can be. But you need to fight it!" He stepped closer again, hands still cautiously held out at waist height, unsure of how the emotional Hathev would react.

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #14
[ Hathev ] Attn: @Fife

Her fury burned with a brightness she'd never felt before, slicing her from the inside out, closing her throat, tightening of her muscles, present in the pressure of teeth in a jaw clenched tight, the sharp crescents of nails dug into palms. How dare he, how could he, how could she-- She needed him out, this was hers, this belonged to her and her alone, how dare he!

She found something else to throw, launching it across the room at him; he deflected it, and she felt a surge of impotent rage rise within her -- how dare he!

'This is mine!' she shouted at him, voice torn ragged from a dry throat but lent strength by fury. 'None of this was meant for you, leave!'

His words were useless, belittling -- as if she cared what he thought! As if she wanted anything but to be alone, but to scream and cry and remember what she had forced herself to forget-- she wanted to cry until she suffocated, until the thing within her clawed its way from her throat leaving her shivering and bloody, the way Kireil had left her-- Kireil!

She clutched her middle, fingers clawing at her side. Cross knew nothing, how could he possibly pretend to understand, how dare he say anything to her, as if he had any right to be here, any right to any of this--

'Ponfo mirann,' she spat at him, the words acid on her tongue. 'You know nothing of what is or isn't myself,' she scoffed, bitter, cruel. 'You don't know anything! I don't need you and your ignorant judgement! Get out of my office!'

He refused. She could have screamed. Her fingers dug into her side, she wanted, she wanted-- There was nothing left to throw; in a fit of rage, she spun and brought down both fists upon her metal desk, leaving it dented. She wanted to rip it up, she wanted to tear it to pieces, to shred it to ribbons, she wanted destruction, she needed it, raze it all to the ground, burn it all to ashes, and her with it, let the chaos take her, let it break her--

Cross approached, the fool, the idiot, as if she hadn't made her wishes clear, as if she hadn't ordered him to leave, but instead coming closer, trying to calm her-- ha! As if she even wanted to be calm! This demanded to be felt, it demanded attention, it was within her always, it was her, and no amount of pretending would ever change that, would ever take it away, it was branded onto her katra, it was part of herself, it lived beneath her skin-- there was no calming down!

If he would not leave, she would make him. She would make him! She stepped up to him, undaunted by his height, lent power by her anger, pushing him away, balling her hands in his shirt and shaking him -- 'I told you to leave!' -- wanting to do much more than that, much more, wanting to hurt, fists beating on his chest as she tried to force him to move, fingers clawing at him, at his arms, at his neck, at anything she could reach-- get out, get out, getoutgetoutgetoutgetoutoutoutout--

She was shouting it without realising, howling it at him, at the world, at the thing within her, at herself -- get it out, get it all out!


Ponfo mirann -> untranslated expletive
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #15
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]"This is mine!" She shouted, her voice strained from the force and emotion of the outburst. "None of this was meant for you, leave!"

But he didn't leave, instead inching closer as she continued her tirade, screaming what he could only guess was an expletive he wasn't familiar with and berating him further for his intrusion before telling him, once again, to get out of her office.

He couldn't do that. Not with her in this condition.

This belief was only strengthened as Hathev stopped hugging herself and slammed both fists down on her desk, the impact denting the metal surface. He continued his approach, hands held low and spread wide so as to be an unthreatening as possible. As the diminutive Vulcan whirled about to face him once more, her eyes burning with fury and hatred Cross stopped his advance. Hathev's mouth screaming another demand for him to get out even as she lunged at him, and Cross realized he had made a mistake in keep his hands so low, Hathev managing to get a hold of his tunic before he could move them up to block her path. She held his tunic and shook him, the force of it causing Cross to take a step back to keep his balance, one hand seeking the surface of the desk for support as she began striking his chest, the other reaching forward and grasping a handful of the fabric of her tunic to try and control the smaller Vulcan's movements. Her strikes were fast, fuelled by pure anger. Cross knew all too well the intensity with which it could burn, the depths of rage which infused Hathevs movements with strength and speed.

Cross merely grunted as he felt Hathev's fingers rake over his arms, shoulders and then his neck. He felt the fabric of his left sleeve part, her nails biting deep even as her other hand clawed as his face, a sharp pain blossoming across his right cheek and jaw, quickly accompanied by the wet, sticky feeling of his green blood seeping down the left side of his neck. A similar sensation was felt in his arm, the fabric of his tunic sticking to his arm as he bled from the wounds.

He had to restrain her...

His left hand still gripped her tunic, his metallic fingers gripping it hard enough to tear the fabric slightly as he yanks at it, throwing the shorter woman off balance and causing her to stop clawing at him just long enough for what he intended. Taking the brief opportunity, Cross pushed himself forward, wrapping both arms around her. He held her tight, organic hand grasping his metallic wrist with a vice-like grip as he twisted, moving her away from the desk lest she hurt herself while flailing and lashing out.

"Hathev, stop this!" Cross growled as he fought to restrain the raging counsellor, the former hybrid thankful that he was stronger than the smaller Vulcan. "I'm not hajari going to leave you while you're like this!" Her foot kicked at his shin, causing him to grunt at the impact. A second kick ended with her leg becoming tangled with his, causing him to lose his balance and fall to his knees with a growl of pain, his weight and grip bringing her downwards with him so that they were both kneeling.

At least she can't kick me now...

"Hathev, STOP!" Cross cast his mind about, trying to think of something to bring the situation to and end. He knew she likely didn't hear his words, let alone actually register them.

His mind...

Cross thought back to the holodeck, where the situation had been very much in the reverse. Hathev had gotten through to him not with her words, but with her mind.

Touch telepathy...

Using his hand was out of the question, his one hand which would be of use for touch telepathy currently restraining Hathev by holding his other wrist in a death-grip. Cross really only had once option, and while Hathev had told him never to touch her without her permission, he was already violating that command by restraining her.

His mind made up, Cross held Hathev tightly and craned his neck forward to that his right cheek, the one not currently covered in his own blood, pressed against hers, the myriad chaos of Hathev's internal raging blasting into his awareness like a hurricane in his mind.

"Hathev... Haja" Cross cursed as Hathev headbutted him. Undeterred, Cross pressed the side of his face against her cheek, trying to tap into the strange calm he felt even as he struggled to hold her at bay. "Hathev, you must control yourself. This is not you. I am not your enemy."


Kardasi Translation:
Hajari - Fucking
Haja - Fuck

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #16
[ Hathev ] Attn: @Fife

Get it out, get it out, get it all out, the razorblades between her ribs, the fire in her belly, the acid in her throat, take it from her, bleed it from her, get it out-- Nails raking across skin, slippery with blood, hands tearing, pushing, striking, ears ringing with her own voice, with her own pulse, beating an insistent tattoo of rage and war and pain, all of it, all of it, take it, feel it, get it out!

And then there were arms around her, pinning her still; she struggled -- Get off! Let her be! Free her! -- to no avail, pinioned like a bird, caught, captured, held; she fought, she kicked, she spat, a wildcat caught in a trap but still proud, still vicious, still furious-- come and take her, if you dare.

'Let me go!' she ordered, voice high with anger, brittle, indignant, fighting the arms encircling her with all her strength-- but they had more, they held strong, unyielding, forceful, restraining--

She lashed out, kicking, connected; again. Something buckled beneath the blow but the grip on her held firm, and they fell, she dragged down even as she struggled, pulled to the ground, still held prisoner-- One hand nearly free, her fingers reaching out to claw at his side, but he caught her before she could, shifting position to hold her still; she gave voice to her inarticulate rage with a shout of frustration.

Something touched her cheek, something cool and soft-- She recoiled, drew the momentum forwards to strike with her own forehead, the resounding crack signifying her success even as her head swam, vision blurring momentarily with pain, physical pain, as alien as the anger overwhelming her, sharp and bright; she sagged, tears coming to her eyes -- from the hurt? The surprise? -- and felt Cross' cheek return to her own, cool against her flushed skin. She struggled only weakly now, her protests mewling, muted, like a child, the arms around her turning gentle, the skin against her own soft and kind, the connection--

She crumpled. It was over, it was over, the anger bleeding from her, draining into the ground, except what it left was worse, what it left was nothing, just that ache, that sharpness in her chest, that nail driven deep into her breast, paining every breath, shrapnel in her lungs, barbed wire round her ribs, wound tight enough to cut, to bleed, over and over, and that ache, that gap, the lacuna, the empty space where once there grew a garden, but now only barren wasteland, now only void, echoes of the star that once burned there, shadows of the supernova it created, gravity given form, bending light and time and space around it, pulling her bones inwards, sucking the breath from her lungs, from her throat, ever inwards, towards the endless nothingness that lived there, the great expanse, the antithesis of life or love, the emptiness that hated all else, that hated her--

She cried, and cried, and cried. She cried for everything, all of it, as if she could fill that void with her tears, as if she could mend her lungs with saltwater, as if she, too, could bend light and space and time and return to a moment when her tears might have meant something, anything, when they might have prevented this, when she might have done something, as if they were anything more than wasted water, moisture vented from her system for no other reason than petulant self-indulgence.

She cried for her lost family, for the son she would never see again, for the wife who thought her dead, for the life they might have had, the years they could have spent, the memories they could have shared, for the ending they should have had; she cried. She cried for Cross, for every child without a name, for every lost soul, for all the weight of the universe and all the wrongs within it, for every atrocity across every planet in the galaxy; she cried. And she cried for herself, for her own stupidity, her own failure, her thoughtlessness, her broken words, broken logic, broken heart, for her selfish flight across the quadrant, for the lives she had already seen lost and those that were no doubt yet to come; she cried, and cried, and cried.

And when there were no tears left within her, when she had spent every last drop, she simply sat and let them dry upon her face, upon her shirt -- and Cross', her face pressed to his shoulder, her tears soaking him as surely as they did herself, her hands grasping at him no less desperate but gentle, now, grip loosening as she calmed, as it began to recede, slowly. Oh, it still lived in her chest, large and heavy, but she held it kindly now, and it was kind in return. Her tears soothed it, like a child rocked to sleep.

She breathed, and it came easier, the tightness loosened, the sharpness smoothed. Eyes dry.

And Cross above her, an expression of concern marred by bloodied scratches clawed over his face and neck. She shifted slightly, enough to bring up a single hand, hover it over his injured cheek as though she could mend his wounds herself, pads of her fingers lightly brushing his skin almost by accident.

'You are hurt,' she said, quiet, her voice scratchy from tears.

She struggled to sit up, moving so she could look at him properly, her other hand raising to cup his jaw that she could see better. The scratches were not deep but they were angry, blood seeping from the wounds. She wiped away a droplet with her thumb.

Her brow furrowed. 'I hurt you.' Spoken as a realisation. She met his eyes. 'My deepest apologies. I cannot believe--' she broke off, shaking her head as if to clear it. 'I have acted... I...'
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #17
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]As Cross' cheek had pressed to her following the headbutt his vision was filled with black spots from the impact, though his hold on Hathev remained firm and unwavering. The emotions which flooded forth from the awareness of her through the skin on skin contact were chaotic, a churning mass of anger and sadness, mixed with desperation, fury, despair, regret, hatred, love and a kaleidoscope of feelings too rapid and jumbled to make sense of. He held her there, his cheek pressed to hers, trying to push as much of the calm he felt to her as he could, hoping it would be enough.

It appeared it was as Hathev eventually ceased to struggle, her body growing still in his arms and at the same time the tempest of emotion bleeding out of the awareness of her in his head. Some emotions remained, broadcast strongly within his mind as Hathev began to shake. Cross was so surprised by the overwhelming sense of loss and despair that seeped from the woman he held in a vice-like hug that it took him a moment to realize that she was crying.

Cross held her tight, no longer as a means of restraint but rather as a support, a comfort as she continued her shaking sobs. Cross released his grip on his wrist and brought his right hand up to cradle the back of her neck, both as a means of comfort as well as to maintain the contact with her skin as she buried her face in his shoulder, sobbing uncontrollably. He felt the fabric on his shoulder grow wet with her tears, felt every sob of the woman he held, each desperate, sorrowful noise resonating down to his core. He wanted to comfort her, to say something, but no words came to mind. And so he remained silent, holding the inconsolable counsellor as she continued to cry, giving her time to cry herself out.

Her crying went on for some time, Cross closing his eyes and simply holding the sobbing woman and remaining still, concentrating on the awareness of Hathev in his head, feeling the sorrow and pain in his awareness of her grow dimmer and dimmer as her sobs slowly began to dwindle in strength and regularity.

He felt her arms against him, her hands holding fast to the handfuls of fabric they'd taken hold of, as though clinging to a lifeline in stormy seas. She was still now, but made no attempt to move or pull away, and so he continued to cradle her slight form, holding her against him with a protectiveness not unlike that he had felt for Blue when she had fallen asleep against him aboard the Versant, though this was different. He felt responsible for all that had transpired, his own instability being the cause of Hathev's torment. That knowledge ate at him, driving a dagger of guilt deep into his heart, though he pushed those thoughts from his mind for the moment. He had to make sure Hathev was alright first.

At the same time, he felt an affinity with Hathev, a connection. An understanding that went beyond that of anyone he had ever known; another by-product of the meld. Her awareness in his head felt comfortable, familiar. He reached out to it, cradling it with his mind as just as his body cradled hers.

He felt her breathing as it became more steady, felt the tension leave her form as she began to relax. He opened his eyes, turning his head slightly to gaze at her with concern. She shifted in his arms, raising her head from his shoulder to look at him with tearstains upon her cheeks. Her eyes were red from crying, the pinkish tinge of her sclera making those hazel orbs stand out in stark contrast. She shifted again, this time to allow room for her hand to make it's way towards his face. Where before she had clawed at him, now that same hand hovered over his face, the tips of her fingers making the faintest contact with his skin.

"You are hurt." Her voice was quiet and hoarse from sobbing, her expression one of concern. She moved then, adjusting her position to inspect the damage done to him. Her left hand cupped his jaw, and Cross found himself savouring the physical contact, leaning his head into her hand slightly. With the other hand she gently used her thumb to wipe blood away from his cheek, and Cross brought his prosthetic hand up, the metallic fingers resting lightly on her wrist.

"I hurt you." She sounded almost surprised at the realization, her eyes meeting his as she apologized, her words trailing off as she spoke. She began to speak again, her words cutting off, though this time because Cross interrupted her.

"You have done nothing I can't understand." Cross said, speaking softly, his eyes never leaving hers. "You were no more in control of your actions when you did this than I was in control of mine in the holodeck." Cross reached up with his organic hand, gently brushing long strands of jet black hair out of Hathev's face, her hair having become somewhat dishevelled during the struggle. That done, Cross gently wiped away the trails left by falling tears from her left cheek. His mouth curved in a soft smile. "If anyone can understand that, it would be me, Hathev." Cross left his hand to gently linger against her cheek, glad that the blood from the cut on that hand had remained on the back of the hand and run down the arm, rather than onto the palm.

All throughout, he felt that awareness of her in his mind. The tempestuous emotional chaos was fading from her, some semblance of her usual calm beginning to return. So too was the calm ebbing within him, his emotion stirring once more, though not with their usual intensity, the aftereffects of the meld having not having fully righted themselves just yet.

Even as his calm faded, that feeling of wishing to protect Hathev, to keep her safe, remained. Concern crossed the former hybrid's features as he gently ran his thumb over her cheek again, clearing away the last remnants of the tears from the smooth skin of her face. He wanted to say something, to apologize for it all; for the intrusion into her memories, for his loss of control on the holodeck, for causing her to go through a similar episode here in her office, the evidence of that loss of control painted in every dent on the desk, every shard of glass and piece of scattered equipment throughout the room, and in ever drop of blood which slowly slicked it's way over Cross' body. The wound on the back of his hand had stopped bleeding at that point, thought the scratches on his arm and face still let forth a trickle of green, staining the sleeve and collar of his torn uniform. Cross paid them no mind at he continued to stare into Hathev's eyes.

"Hathev, I..." Cross' words trailed off, his attempt at an apology falling silent as the words failed to come to him. The emotions continued to grow within him as he hesitated. Anger at himself for allowing this to happen. Shame at his shortcomings, and the results that had stemmed from them. Fear that Hathev was hurt, and that she would hate him for causing this. And...

Concern. But no, beyond the concern was something else. Something Cross had not felt in a long time...

Cross still stared into Hathev's bloodshot eyes, his gaze probing. Beneath his growing worry, however, was an expression of something else, a tenderness. A warmth. And a sense of... affection.

"Hathev, I..." Again the words would not come to him. Cross closed his mouth, swallowing hard, and spoke again. "I... Are you hurt?"
  • Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 07:20:34 AM by Fife

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #18
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Fife

He held her gently, and she in return; only softness now, where before... But now she floated, as if all the heaviness had been vented out with her tears, her movements free, her touch light.

Her touch...

She had done terrible things, in the depths of her emotion. She had hurt Cross, and now saw it writ large upon his face. And yet he returned the hurt with gentleness, with concern and care, with... something, something warm and delicate, butterfly-like beneath the tips of her fingers she felt it. He had seen... everything, everything, her ribs cracked open, and yet he met it all without judgement or anger, with only... this. Gentle hands, gentle mind, gentle eyes.

His metal fingers cold on her wrist, but not unkind.

His words...

She made a little, wet noise of amusement. 'I think there is guilt enough for us both, Cross,' she said. 'I--' her voice hitched slightly, 'I should have been stronger, I let...' She had asked for the meld, she had decided upon it, and Cross had trusted her, against all his fears and trepidation he had trusted her, and now... Now all he had to show for it was his own blood where she had injured him, her own tears where she had cried upon him.

Her duty had been to assist him, and all she had done was harm.

'I am so sorry,' she said, looking away in shame. She had done this. He had come to her for help, and she had done this.

He brushed the hair from her face with such gentleness it almost hurt.

How... ?

The same question once more. It seemed she could never quite articulate the remainder.

She raised her eyes to his once more, his hand coming to rest upon her cheek, drying her tears with feather-light touches, touch warm and full of acceptance. She leant into it like a flower to the sun.

He began to say something, trailing off after only her name; she didn't need to analyse the emotion in his touch to know what his intentions had likely been.

'Do not apologise,' she said with an attempt at sternness. 'I take full responsibility for this. This is... This was my mistake.' The weakness of that word was not lost on her: 'mistake', as if this was something as simple as an accidental keystroke, a mislaid item, a minor inconvenience. As if the stakes were not so much higher here.

And yet in return, all Cross had for her was kindness, tenderness, softness. Care, bleeding through his touch to her, evident in his expression, his eyes, the gentleness with which he held her, the concern in his words.

'I am...' she could hardly say she was well, but at the very least: 'I am unhurt.'

She paused, as if to say something else, to give voice to the -- something -- but... She barely even understood it herself. She could feel Cross' emotions, muted but present; she could even name the majority of them. But her own? They were tamed, certainly, when compared to the maelstrom they had been moments ago, though they yet moved within her, calmed but not stilled. She felt guilt at her actions, of course, and confusion, and the lingerings of sorrow, but more than that, she felt... She felt that gentleness in herself, not merely mirrored back but originating within her, too, she felt a warmth, a glow, a...

It was quite illogical.

But in this moment, she found so too was she.

If she could not name the feeling, then at least she could answer its call, give it shape. It called her closer, beckoning her in, closing the space between them until the air grew short, until she could almost feel his breath, count the ridges on his nose, until--

She kissed him.

Tentatively, gently, uncertain, barely a brushing of lips. Two ships in the night, hesitant, questioning. The same butterflies beneath her skin. The same glow beneath his. She answered its call. She kissed him.
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #19
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]"I am..."

Hesitation. That was unlike her, though given the ordeal she had just been through, Cross could hardly fault her a moment's hesitation.

"I am unhurt."

Cross felt his chest relax, a tension he hadn't known had been building within him having eased with her words. She had already told him not to apologize, claiming that she took full responsibility for what had transpired, though Cross cared little for the words. In his mind, this would never be anything other than his doing. His fault.

His defect.

Hathev paused then, mouth open slightly as though about to say more, though no words came. Cross waited a moment longer, anticipating some rebuke for his lack of control, or for again touching her without her permission, or any number of sins he felt he had likely committed against her this day.

His awareness of her in his mind told him she was still full of emotion, though at this point it was more like flowing water, the swirling of strong currents rather than the torrential onslaught she had previously succumbed to. He knew the sensation, knew the various feelings which ebbed and flowed within her. Guilt, shame, confusion, sorrow... and something else beneath it all, bubbling slowly to the surface. He wasn't sure it was really there, thinking it perhaps to be a mirror of his own foolish feelings. She was a Vulcan after all, and such feelings would likely be considered highly illogical. She would hardly allow herself to...

Cross lost his train of thought and felt himself tense ever so slightly as Hathev drew closer, as though for just a moment he feared that she would lash out, perhaps to headbutt him once more. The worry was groundless, of course, as he felt no anger within her, no rage or ill will towards him. Just that strange mirroring of his own...

The soft brushing of her lips on his was the last thing he had expected from the Vulcan woman who not long before had raged and lashed out, tearing at him and screaming venomous hatred.

Cross' eyes widened for a moment, the former hybrid's gaze filled with shock, though it lasted only a moment before those pale eyes closed, the hand that yet lingered against Hathev's cheek gently stroking the soft skin as Cross returned the light, brushing kiss. He was hesitant at first, fearing that this might be some holdover from the uncontrolled emotions she had shown earlier, yet as his lips briefly met hers he felt the truth in that awareness in his mind, that little bundle of Hathev in his head who's thoughts seemed to blend with his own once again, not a mirroring of his emotions, but an echo of them in her own.

Cross' touch brushed lightly over Hathev's cheek once again as their lips hovered a hairs breadth apart, though this time his fingers sliding gently back into her yet disordered black locks. Cross let out an unsteady breath as he opened his eyes, his gaze finding hers in a point blank meeting of deep hazel and pale blue. His gaze searched hers, the uncertainty in his expression mirroring that of the kiss for a moment before his metallic hand fell away from her wrist, his arm moving to gently wrap around her back and pull her to him. His head tilted to the side slightly, his hand caressing her head and gently drawing her to him.

Where that first brushing of their lips had held an uncertain, almost timid question to it, that wavering question was now met with a decisive answer. Cross felt his heart pounding in his chest as his lips once again met Hathev's, firmer this time yet still gentle, affectionate. Cross' eyes closed once more and he breathed deeply as the kiss lingered, the scent of Hathev filling his head and making his mind swim. He pulled her to him, feeling the press of her against his chest, oblivious all the while to the pain in his arm and neck as his mind continued to brush against hers. The meeting of their combined consciousness seeming to mentally emulate the tender embrace of their bodies, their minds swirling about like two distinct currents of water meeting and rolling about, each having their own force yet lost in the combined eddy.

Cross wasn't sure how long the kiss lasted, time seeming lost both in Hathev's mind as well as upon her lips, though as the kiss finally broke he let out a shuddering breath as though he were trying to regain the function of his lungs. He eased his hold on her, though he still cradled her with his arm. His fingers remained entangled in her hair, though now he gently brushed her cheek with his thumb as he stared at her with a gaze which carried in it both tenderness and surprise in equal parts, as well as an almost nervous longing.

"Hathev... I..."

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #20
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Fife

It was light, searching, and yet even that brief touch was enough to have her wanting more, like a taste of water in the desert, leaving her yearning, every atom magnetised; he pulled back, and through his touch she felt concern, uncertainty, even as their eyes met and she could read such things upon his face. No words, then; none necessary, still anchored as they were, yet a question still forming in his mind, in his expression.

The warmth within her grew, breaking what bonds she had placed upon it, whether now or in the past, precautionary measures lest her heart ever attempt such an unruly beat; it shrugged off those bindings as if they were made of paper. It demanded to be felt, tingling in the tips of her fingers, in his touch upon her skin. His question answered, he moved to embrace her, and she acquiesced, pressing herself closer.

He kissed her, and she became a lightning rod of feeling, all hers and his coalesced into a single point of contact, a single moment, flowing together in the touch of their lips. She could feel everything at once, overwhelming yet not daunting; she let it pass through her, let herself be carried along with their movement, hers and his, the same waters, the same currents, a lightness, a warmth, a colour...

He kissed her, and she returned it to him, meeting him breath for breath, push and pull, tides of emotion and sensation catching them both. Where her feelings ended and his began, she could not say; they swirled together, sometimes lounging, sometimes tumbling, always tender, always equal, always together. His arm around her back, her fingers at his jaw, his tangled in her hair, her heart--

She melted in his hold.

Eventually, slowly, they parted, eyes fluttering open to see one another once more, his touch still holding her close, her own arm wrapping him in an embrace, tangled together on a floor strewn with glass.

On a floor strewn with glass.

What was she thinking?

Her control returned to her with the crushing weight of the void, and she clamped it down upon that traitorous warmth she felt spreading through her, retracting it by force. She pulled away from Cross' touch, ripping his hand from her hair -- Cross! He who had come to her seeking assistance! Her patient in all but name! -- and endeavoured to smooth her uniform where it had been rumpled in the ruckus. She could barely believe her own unprofessional, incompetent foolishness, that she had allowed herself to become so overtaken with emotion, an emotion surely not her own but merely those of Cross as they had been transmitted to her, in much the same way as his anger had been, and she too weak and undisciplined to control either one.

No more. She would purge the illogical emotion she yet felt within her, return her heart beat to an acceptable pace, and request a leave of absence for a day while she meditated until she could be confident in her own abilities -- and in the fact that such a display would never reoccur. Cross, she would... She would decide how to proceed with his case once she had re-established her mental equilibrium. She could hardly trust any judgement she made while in her current state. Of course, she would have to pass his case on to another Vulcan on board; a shame, as none were so qualified as she, yet she had clearly proven herself deficient in this matter, her own control dangerously lacking when it came to the Chief Tactical Officer.

An officer who currently sat upon her floor, confused and bloodied.

She stood smoothly, endeavouring to maintain her usual professional placidity.

'Forgive me, Commander,' she said stiffly. 'I was quite overcome; it shall not happen again. Nevertheless, should you wish to make a complaint against my behaviour I will be neither surprised nor offended.' She met his eye, and for a moment something -- wrong -- rose within her throat, until she found her control once more and stifled it. No. This was not her, she did not feel such things. This was an echo, a shadow, an after-effect she had been too weak to properly recognise. It did not originate in her being; few emotions did, and none were granted the freedom she had mistakenly allowed this. She had been confused, and nothing more.

Instead, she turned and crossed to retrieve a simple dermal regenerator from the remains of her desk; she kept one close for those patients who could sometimes injure themselves, and who were invariably in too fragile a state to invite a third party into her office to see to such wounds. She always insisted such patients be seen by a medical professional afterwards, of course, but field medicine was sometimes necessary in such cases.

Cross was not precisely one such case. He could easily be seen to by a nurse; Hathev's office was located in Main Sickbay, it would hardly be difficult to acquire such a person. But, Hathev determined, it would be more logical for her to see to the man's wounds herself, for she had caused them herself and thus the damage was hers to repair. She was also a relative newcomer aboard the ship, and one whose previous crew member had recently murdered the Investigations Officer aboard; how far would her garnered goodwill stretch should she present Sickbay with injuries of her making upon the Chief Tactical Officer?

Besides... For all her current instability, of which she was more than aware, she still wished to discuss some things with Cross. She had seen much inside his head, after all; the endeavour would be an entire waste if she did not at least attempt to understand what she had seen.

Her back to Cross, she gathered up all the emotion yet lingering within her, and carefully let it out, purging it from herself, until she was content that she would be able to perform the remainder of her duties without further danger. She would require many hours of meditation to fully right herself, of course; yet for now she was confident with her current state. She was no longer filled with that warmth, had removed it from her being entirely until there remained no trace. She was herself once more.

She returned to the couch, dermal regenerator in hand.

'You are injured,' she observed. 'Please, sit.' She paused for a moment, and then clarified: 'I am content to rectify your injuries here, however should you prefer to be seen to by one other than myself I will understand. You may leave if you desire; I shall not keep you here.'
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #21
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]He felt a warmth growing within her before the affection and want and so many other emotions focused like a lightning strike as she returned the kiss, pressing herself to him even as he held her close. He felt her fingers run along his jaw, felt her breath on his face and they lingered in that way, each clinging to the other as though to let go would be to lose all. The warmth which flowed through the awareness of her in his head spread through him, leaving his head swimming with her presence. Her scent filled his nostrils with each breath, her lips soft on his as the kiss drew on and deepened, until she finally melted into him and Cross lost all sense of time and place. When finally the kiss broke and Cross drew un a shuddering breath, he gazed at Hathev from the close proximity, each with one arm around the other.

From his close vantage, Cross saw the change come over the other Vulcan's features just as a spike of something ran through her mind, and in doing to through his as well. Something cold and hard, as though a shard of ice had been driven into the heart of the warmth which had grown between them.

The expression in Hathev's eyes changed, those hazel orbs taking on the cold expression he remembered form the holodeck when she had admonished him for touching her without first seeking her permission. Confusion struck Cross' mind immobile for a moment as he saw Hathev' demeanour change so abruptly, the counsellor pushing him away, tearing his hands away from her as she attempted to free herself form him. She moved away, smoothing her rumpled and slightly torn uniform as though to brush any trace of what had just transpired form him person.

Cross, still bleeding slightly as he knelt among the shattered glass, stared on in bewilderment as Hathev seemed to wage some internal battle. That battle seemed to come to an end as she rose smoothly to her feel, her movements infused with the cold and graceful precision she had always displayed before.

Before...

"Forgive me, Commander," She finally spoke, her tone stiff and lacking any of the warmth which has coursed through them both just moments before. "I was quite overcome; it shall not happen again." She went on, informing him that, should he wish to launch a complaint against her, she would neither object nor hold it against him.

Cross barely heard her words, so thrown by the steely, matter of fact tone with which she spoke.

Complaint? The word bounced around in Cross' skull, seeming not to fit there among the scattered senses of bewilderment and disorientation. The loss of that awareness of her in his mind made his own thoughts suddenly feel lonely. What the hell had just happened?

She met his eyes then, and he saw a flash of something that was perhaps of some semblance of what they had just experienced seeping through, though Hathev's Vulcan discipline quickly schooled it from her features.

"Complaint?" Cross' mouth finally put voice to the word which tumbled around his head, phrasing it as an extremely confused question as Hathev crossed the room to her deck and retrieved something from it. He didn't both to look to see what it was, watching her movements instead. She was graceful and beautiful in the way she moved, though that cold precision was back, the transformation which Hathev seemed to have undergone causing the former hybrid's heart to sink. She stood there for a moment with her back to him, and Cross suspected that her internal struggle continued as she purged herself of her emotions.

It was very Vulcan of her.

Cross' bewilderment was joined by a sense of frustration as he pushed himself to his feet, feeling the shards of glass dig into his knees as she shifted position, though not piecing his trousers to cut the skin. He had been about to speak, to voice those frustrated questions, when Hathev moved again, gliding to the couch and seating herself upon it before addressing him. She politely asked him to sit, stated that he was injured, and that she would see to his injuries. A quick glance told Cross that the item which she had retrieved from her desk was a dermal regenerator. She went on to say that, should he wish to be seen by someone other than herself, she would understand. She also made mention that he could leave, should he wish to. She would not keep him here.

Some part of Cross wilted with each dispassionate word she uttered, his pale blue eyes remaining locked on her as they searched for any sign of the warmth which has coursed through them in their embrace.

He found no trace of it.

"You'll understand." Cross echoed her words without emotion, his pale gaze regarding her with a befuddled expression. He made no move to join her on the couch but instead remained in place, standing amid the debris. In the past several... well, he didn't know how long it had been... minutes? Hours? In that time she had raged, assaulting him while spitting utter hatred... she had kissed him, bringing to light things he had not felt in a long time, a warmth unlike anything he had ever experienced coursing between them like glowing passion...

Now she sat on the couch regarding him in a coolly matter of fact manner, back to pure Vulcan professionalism.

Where they all really the same woman? The raging ferocity, the tender sense of want, the cool analysis... could they really have come form the same person?

If anyone knew what Vulcan emotions were capable of, it was Cross, but to see such things transpire in someone else was a thing to behold. He wanted to join her on the sofa, to stride across the sea of shattered glass and sit on the ruined cushion and stroke her cheek. He wanted to feel her presence in his head once more. He wanted to scream at her for her return to that damned Vulcan serenity in the face of what had just passed between them. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to shake her for rejecting what they had felt. What he knew she had felt...

"Forgive you?" Cross blinked, his mind finally catching up to what she had been saying. "What the haja am I supposed to forgive you for?" Cross asked the question in a tone which bordered on a being a growl. "That you weren't yourself? Neither way I, at first. I felt that damned sense of serene calm that I suspect you always feel. Haja, you're probably striving for it right now!" Cross took a step closer to her, blue eyes burning with pent up frustration. "Or that you broke a few things? Scratched me?" Another step closer. "In the course of my career I've been shot, stabbed, burned and partially crushed. A few scratches aren't going to hajai kill me." Cross took another step closer, his voice growling out the words. "Or am I supposed to forgive you for actually feeling something?" Another step. He was standing right in front of her now, looking down at her and her infuriating serenity with a forlorn expression. He looked at her for a long moment, then lowered himself to his knees in front of her. "I know I was returning to myself when that kiss happened, Hathev. And I won't let you hajari apologize for that." He gently placed his hands on her knees, staring at her seated on the couch before him. "However you were affected after the meld, and however defective you think people like me who feel emotions are, that was real. And you don't get to hajari apologize for that." Even as he spoke, he felt that awareness of her bloom into being in his head, cold and contained.



Kardasi Translation:
Haja - Fuck
Hajari - Fucking

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #22
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Fife

She would see to his injuries, and then he would leave, retire to his quarters, to safety, and leave her to clear the mess she had created. She would sweep up the glass, tidy her desk, have the remains of her coffee table removed and replaced with an exact replica. Come morning, it would be impossible to tell that anything had transpired in this place at all, every item returned to its proper place, the essence tranquil and ordered once more.

And herself? She would be placid, controlled, correct, returned to her proper state. Whatever she had felt tonight was an outlier, an echo, the result of a meld that had been an unmitigated disaster, a tangled mess of memory and emotion that had bled between them freely, like the push and pull of tides. More than Hathev merely being present in Cross' mind, they had shared a mind, showing and seeing and feeling everything from the other.

Cross knew more about her than any other living soul.

It was a disturbing thought.

She let it go, flowing through and past her, focusing on the ritualistic timbre to her movements as she moved to sit upon the couch, smoothing the skirt of her uniform over her thighs. There was nothing to be gained from dwelling upon such things. She would meditate later, but for now she could slip into a similar state, clearing her mind of clutter, speculation, concern. She need only heal Cross' wounds and then she would be free to-- To take herself in hand as necessary.

Cross was confused. Perhaps he had believed she had acted of her own accord; foolish if so. He knew she did not feel emotions as he did, and certainly would not allow herself to be ruled by them in such a way except in the most extenuating of circumstances. Her anger had been his. Her despair... that had been hers. But the warmth? That had been his, certainly.

Certainly?

Surely.

It could not have come from her.

She was-- detached, watching him approach her. He seemed quite agitated, she noted dimly. He seemed... distressed.

'I do not doubt your experience with injuries, Commander,'
she said, hearing herself only distantly. 'Yet that I should have been the cause of any is the result of an oversight on my part.'

He continued towards her. 'I did not feel anything,' she corrected him, sounding very far away. 'I am no slave to emotion. What you thought you saw was reflection, nothing more. I do not feel such things as you do.'

He was before her now, kneeling; he brought his hands to her knees, covered by her stockings, thin and inadequate, unable to block him but muting him all the same. She felt him, muffled but present. His confusion. It remained separate to herself, a mirage fluttering outside her consciousness; it could not influence her as he had before.

Her hand twitched as if to move towards him.

She regarded it with surprise. What possible cause could it have had? She was certain Cross' emotions did not rule her now as they had before; she had purged them from her. It was rare that her anatomy could be so unruly.

She felt a sudden urge to shiver, and suppressed it, the tiniest frown appearing upon her face with the effort. What was happening to her? Aftershocks of the meld? She turned her gaze inward, studying her inner workings in an attempt to determine the cause; there remained the vestiges of emotion, the result of an incomplete purge made without full meditation, but these were dim, trapped, lying dormant where she had caught them as they waited for the time when she was next alone and they could rage once more.

There! The warmth, swirling within her; she must have missed these traces in her last attempt to expunge them. But even as she became aware of its presence, it expanded, bubbling up through her chest, thrumming to the surface of her skin, welling up uncontrollably from-- from herself, from within her, from her.

She looked at Cross in-- astonishment? Horror? Fear?

'I...' What could she say? What...

She breathed deeply, closing her eyes briefly that she could focus, and let the warmth just run through her, pouring in even as it drained away, cyclical, endless. She breathed, and let it happen, allowing the flow, drifting in it.

'It appears I was mistaken,' she said, finally, opening her eyes. Her balance was restored once more, yet now it was... warm. 'I am not myself,' she said, but it was uncertain. 'I must warn you... I cannot know if this will be permanent. It may yet be an after-effect of the meld. However... It would seem it will not be dismissed as easily as I had thought.'

Nor was she entirely certain she wished to dismiss it.

'Please,' she said instead, 'sit. Let me fix your injuries, if you will.' And then, because he had used the word, and she had felt his hurt in saying it, and because she had not been able to clarify before, or had not wished to, or known that she should: 'I do not see emotions as defective, Cross. Nor even you. It was... What you saw...' She stopped, collecting herself. Eventually: 'I did not mean for you to see those things.'
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

  • Fife
  • [*][*][*][*][*][*]
  • Inactive Theurgist
  • "There's no tea in this tea!"
  • Awards: Awarded by the GM in appreciation for any act or contribution to the sim which is especially superogatory, rising above and beyond expectations. Awarded to a player in recognition of their willingness and ability to put their character through extraordinary personal hardship, be it suffering through sickness or personal crisis, through which the writer contributed superb posts relevant to the situa Awarded to the writers of an erotic scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of emotion, adherence to character, atmosphere and steaminess. Awarded to the main contributing writers in an action scene that stands out way above the norm in terms of pace, thrill, scope and stakes. Awarded to an writer who goes through extreme, even insane measures to get an administrative project done for the sim, well beyond any kind of expectations from the GM. Awarded for participation in Part 2 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear. Awarded for participation in Part 1 of Episode 05: Courage is Fear.
Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #23
[ Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @fiendfall
[Show/Hide]Hathev spoke coolly, informing him that, while she did not doubt his experience with injuries, the fact that she had been the cause of these particular injuries had been an oversight on her part. Apparently an oversight which she wished to rectify. Cross held back a joking remark about her definition of oversight, all too aware that this was not the time for such things. Cross' eyes narrowed, however, as she went on to insist that she had not felt anything, going to far as to insist that she was not a slave to emotion.

That may well have been true, generally. Cross thought to himself, making a point of not glancing around at the devestation which surrounded them in her office, proof that she had, in fact, felt something. Cross stared at the diminutive Vulcan with a blank expression as she claimed that what he had seen was a reflection of his own feelings.

Cross didn't believe it for a second.

What he had felt had not simply been a reflection of his own feelings. His own emotions had never caused that sort of reaction, that sort of warmth, to build within him. There was no way what she claimed was true, was there? Was it possible that he had simply been feeling her own awareness of his feelings? That it had somehow caused his emotions to resonate with themselves, and that she had contributed nothing to the whole experience?

A look of uncertainty came over his features, though it masked a sense of utter confusion which grew inside him.

It couldn't be true. She had kissed him. He had felt her relax in his embrace. They had practically melting into one another as the kiss had drawn on. It had not been until after that she had withdrawn and pulled away from him.

He caught movement out of his peripheral vision as his hands rested on her knees. Her own hand had moved ever so slightly, twitching. When Hathev's gaze moved to that hand, an ever-so-slight alteration in her features giving Cross the impression of surprise, at least so far as a Vulcan would show it. Cross' gaze returned to her face, finding a minute frown as she seemed to retreat within herself. Then...

She looked at him with a startled expression which Cross couldn't put a name to.

"I... It appears I was mistaken." She said, going on to state once more that she was not herself. It was a phrase Cross was growing very tired of. She issued a warning, saying that she wasn't sure if this would be permanent, that it may yet be some temporary after-effect of the mind meld. Cross' jaw tightened, the former hybrid wondering why Hathev seemed so fucking intent on denying what she felt. Vulcan stubbornness ran deep in her, he knew, as it did with all Vulcans. But Cross didn't understand why she so wished to rid herself of something what had been so... perfect.

He had just opened his mouth to voice his protest when she spoke again, asking his to sit once more so that she could fix his injuries. This time he did as she asked, removing his hands form her knees with some reluctance and moving from where he knelt to sit on the ruined soft beside her, more stuffing oozing from the tear he had left in the cushion as he did. Rather than raising the dermal regenerator, Hathev turned to face him.

"I do not see emotions as defective, Cross. Nor even you. It was... What you saw...  She paused for a moment, seeming to consider her words."I did not mean for you to see those things."

"And I didn't mean to pry. Or to show you as much as I did." Cross admitted sheepishly. "I'm sorry. My lack of control has caused nothing but problems for you." Cross sighed as Hathev began to run the dermal regenerator over the deep scratches on his jaw and neck, a light awareness of her blooming in his mind as the counsellor used her other hand to gently angle his head to allow her better access to the wounds. "Though I am glad I didn't try to kill you this time..."

"Please refrain form moving or talking while I see to your injuries." Hathev quietly intoned as she applied pressure with her fingers to turn her head once more.

"Why don't you refrain form acting like we don't have some things to talk about?" Cross retorted, his words coming out almost as a growl. As he spoke, he reached up and gently placed his hand on Hathev's. "That kiss, for one." Cross gently guided Hathev's hand down away from his face, his eyes not leaving hers. Cross kept a gentle hold of Hathev as their hands hung between them. "You say you aren't yourself, and you don't know if this is an aftereffect of the meld, or if it will be permanent. But what if it is permanent? And do you want it to be?" Cross' face coloured a furious green as he asked the question, the former hybrid feeling uncomfortable speaking so openly about such things. "And if it does turn out to be permanent, there's also the matter of your family... your wife..." Cross' eyes searched Hathev's, as though seeking answers there. "I..." Cross' gaze dropped to their hands, and he reluctantly let go of her. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be asking any of this. It's not fair to you. I just..." Cross fell silent, staring at the couch between them for a moment before once again turning his head to allow her access to the scratches which still seeped small amounts of green blood.

As Cross angled his head, he had a view of the destroyed room; the debris from the desk scattered across the floor, the shards of glass scattered everywhere, the small green stains of his blood on the carpet. It seemed to tell a story.

A story of violence and a lack of control.

Cross's eyes took in the details. Every drop of blood and sliver of glass, and a feeling of unease came over him. Why did something always happen to Hathev when they were together? Was there really that much wrong with him that his presence could cause such a disaster as every turn?

"Am I a monster?" Cross murmured, unaware that he was speaking the question aloud.

Re: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones
Reply #24
[ Lt. Cmdr. Hathev | Chief Counsellor's Office | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Fife

Hathev was many things, but a fool was not among them. Nor, indeed, was she inexperienced. She recognised the traces within her for what they were, what they could perhaps become; so too did she understand the significance of their presence, the very fact that they had not dissipated as she expected but rather remained, returned. With every breath she expected the sensation to fade, and yet it did not. It was-- not quite an emotion, but the germ of one. More than that, even in this small state it escaped her control. Lessened now from her attempts to dispel it, she found herself able to soften its pull, mute it slightly, but that was the extent of her potential; she could no more eradicate it than she could the memories of when last she experienced such a thing. Memories which, now, had been bared.

She schooled her expression to the best of her ability. By his own admission, Cross had also revealed more than intended. The culpability was hers, of course, for being unable to control and direct the meld as she would have liked; but then, her own abilities had always been deficient in such areas, and Cross had proven himself the bearer of a strong will already. It had been her own reluctance to act without full information that had led to this situation, and now... She was no closer to a decision on that matter than she had been in the hours prior to their meeting. Certainly, she was in no position to make one now, impaired as her judgement may be.

Instead she put such thoughts from her mind, and focused on the task before her. Cross had relocated that she might attend to the aftermath of her earlier furore, and thus she did so, steeling herself for the touch before contact was made. Her protections were shaky, her mind blown open from the meld and difficult to wrestle back within normal parameters; however her concern proved unfounded. Cross' own mind, though touching hers once more, was inoffensive in its presence. The pressure was minimal, almost gentle, and although she could identify much of the man's emotional landscape it neither overwhelmed nor repulsed. It merely existed, light beneath her fingertips, almost familiar, comfortable.

She worked silently, moving carefully, deliberately, and only speaking to admonish the man when his attempts at discourse interrupted her. His hand, when it came, surprised her from her endeavours; she paused with the regenerator raised, her own hand hanging in the air in medias res. He guided it down, settling between them; his hands holding hers, her skin warm and singing with the touch, the sensation as illogical as it was real. Hers.

So too was the ghosting of loss she felt as he terminated the touch. Hers, also.

For the time being, at least. There was little telling how long it would last.

Fortunately, Cross seemed to be cognisant of the fact, even as he wished to approach it as if... on the assumption that it would not dissipate. It should not have been unexpected that he would wish to discuss such things; he was essentially an emotional being, after all, and whether the feelings they had shared had originated from one or both of them, Cross would be at a significant disadvantage in both identifying and controlling them. Should they be a mere reflection of her own, unexpected and unruly as they were, Cross would likely struggle to realise such a thing; she, however, had presumed the situation to be thus.

Yet considering it now, she realised the fallacy in that assumption. To transfer feeling so completely outside of a meld was rare; she had been affected by Cross' anger long before the meld broke, after all. It would not have been outside the realm of possibility for the warmth to also have originated from within him, hidden by the strength of the anger. But for her to send the warmth to him, entirely of her own accord? She seriously doubted her ability to do such a thing.

She studied his countenance carefully for any indication, although an indication of what she was uncertain.

There was little purpose in planning for eventualities which may not come to pass; she could tell him this, yet from experience she understood it may be received poorly. Cross was looking for reassurance, and a logical evaluation of the situation would offer him little. No, she would have to entertain this possibility as he did. At least such preparation would not be entirely unreasonable.

What, then, to make of his question? Did she wish this sensation to be permanent? As if she was one to entertain illogical flights of fancy. Ridiculous. She wished for nothing. She wanted only to perform her duty as was correct and to maintain a healthy working relationship with her colleagues. She had, of course, wished in the past, wanted to... But no longer.

Such an answer would hardly satisfy Cross, however; certainly it did not satisfy even her. Thus instead she reconfigured the question. Supposing the effects were indeed permanent as Cross was imagining, what response would she have? Faced with only two options -- work to dispel or attempt to accept -- which would she consider the more logical course? Supposing the effects remained just as they were now, without dissipating in any way, experience would advise the latter. Her efforts to dispel similar sensations in the past had merely proven a waste of resources and a drain on her energy; on every occasion she had thought herself rid of them, she found her path bending towards Triss once more, always justified with logic and yet driven by the most illogical of forces.

No. Denying the existence of such a thing would be futile. At least if she were to accept it, she could control it to a better degree, muting it to an acceptable level.

And Triss...

Cross referred to her family, sounding strange even to Hathev's ears. They had not been a family for some time. Kireil was gone, and Triss had made her own feelings on the matter abundantly clear. So too had the kindred sensation Hathev had once felt for her drained, leaving behind only a wordless ache she kept locked away. Regret was illogical, after all.

Whatever they had once had, it was no longer. There was nothing left to betray.

She had finished her work silently as she considered, resolved to speak only once she was certain of her conclusion. And now it had been reached... She leant down to place the regenerator carefully upon the floor by her feet, crunching a little amongst the glass still strewn there. When she returned to look at Cross, it was to find him also gazing out upon the scene, the remains of her office. With his question, he surprised her once more.

'Am I a monster?'

Her hand found his of its own accord.

'No,' she said firmly. 'The very premise is objectionable, yet even supposing true monsters to exist, you would not be classed amongst their ranks.' She paused for the briefest of moments, deliberating, and then, more gently: 'What you showed me... I consider your control to be exemplary, in the circumstances. That there is more work to be done in that matter does not make you deficient.' Despite all that had happened, she did not judge him to be an indiscriminate danger. The trigger which had prompted his rage was both identifiable and preventable, with some work; and the circumstances of her own turbulence today had been extreme. Many of her patients, past and present, expressed trauma through anger or violence; doing so did not make them monstrous, it merely spoke to their pain.

Of course, no amount of pain justified its enactment on another. She would not excuse such a thing. Cross' control did require work. And, if she were to entertain the possibility of permanence once more, it should strictly be her own duty any longer. He had never been her patient, and yet their relationship would require adjustment all the same. In more than one respect.

She had never answered his original question, she realised; she would endeavour to rectify that oversight now.

'I am no longer married,' she said carefully. 'However if this should be permanent, there would still be certain issues to navigate. First and foremost, we are colleagues; it could not be allowed to interfere with our duties. Secondly, a certain re-evaluation of our current arrangement would be required. I cannot in good conscience counsel, officially or unofficially, anyone with whom I am affiliated in such a manner. So long as both conditions are met, I would find no objection with the continuation.

'However you must know this is based on-- on conjecture,'
she said quickly, suddenly aware of the need to impress such a thing upon the man. 'It may very well be temporary, both for myself, and for you. I-- We cannot make any assumptions at this stage. We cannot know until the morning.' She took a slight breath. 'Yet should it remain, I see no reason why my answer would be altered.'

She had not released his hand. She saw no logical cause to do so now.
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]