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Topic: Day 15 [2100 hrs.] Hic Sunt Leones (Read 252 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
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

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?
Lt. Cmdr. Cross     [Show/Hide]Ensign Isel "Foxfire" Nix     [Show/Hide]PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc      [Show/Hide]

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?'
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

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.
Lt. Cmdr. Cross     [Show/Hide]Ensign Isel "Foxfire" Nix     [Show/Hide]PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc      [Show/Hide]

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?
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

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
Lt. Cmdr. Cross     [Show/Hide]Ensign Isel "Foxfire" Nix     [Show/Hide]PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc      [Show/Hide]

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.
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

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...
Lt. Cmdr. Cross     [Show/Hide]Ensign Isel "Foxfire" Nix     [Show/Hide]PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc      [Show/Hide]

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?
CPO Morgan Song - Engineering - Chief of Maintenance (V2) [Show/Hide]
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer [Show/Hide]

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 Join 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?
Lt. Cmdr. Cross     [Show/Hide]Ensign Isel "Foxfire" Nix     [Show/Hide]PO1 Scruffy LeBlanc      [Show/Hide]