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*BACKPOST* What happened to me?

Posted on Mon Nov 1st, 2021 @ 3:13pm by Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson & Lieutenant JG Shoniara T’ghann Dex Dr
Edited on on Mon Nov 8th, 2021 @ 11:37pm

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Morning After saving Dex

Callie had done her best to get some rest and sleep after events in Sickbay, but hadn’t managed very well at all, her mind was full of the images Dex had shown her. Deciding she needed help she headed to Sickbay to speak with Samantha.

Making her way inside Sickbay she was glad to see Dex was holding her own. Puss was lying down next to Dex’s bio bed seemingly asleep. He woke and looked expectantly at Callie as she walked in. Walking over to the CMO’s office she paused in the doorway. “Doctor...Samantha, I need your help.”

"Of course, come in Callie, have a seat" The Doctor offered the comfortable chair opposite her own, she engaged the privacy screen in the office so they would not be overheard nor interrupted.

"How can I help?"

Walking inside Callie took a seat, she sat for a moment before finally speaking. “I think there’s something wrong with me. When I was in her mind Dex showed me a vision, of me...a mind meld, and then me...on a biobed, and not in a good way! She said something about my meld being wrong.” She looked at Sam. “I’ve experienced a mind meld before but I don’t remember it hurting me.”

Puss had wandered in and was sitting by Callie his head on her knee. Trying to offer her a little clarity if he could. Dex had wanted him to persuade Callie to link with her again but had tried once and she did not want to. The last thing he wanted to do was force her. Just by being touched by her though the Sehlat realized there was something wrong.

Sam mulled over the words for a moment, considering several things that popped into her mind. Could it be a repressed memory? A past trauma either medically of psychologically buried in the depths of the mind to prevent further trauma? Or perhaps in Dex's previous state of turmoil the meld itself was her memory and not Callie's. All were possibilities and deserved to be explored.

"You say you have no memory of a meld before?" She asked carefully.

“I remember a meld alright, just not the one Dex showed me!” Callie frowned. “It felt...real, like it was a true memory but I don’t know why I don’t remember it! She showed me an image of me, I was lying on a biobed but I don’t remember that either!”

" There may have been another, but we will need to investigate it. Your medical records are a little ambiguous from that time so either it wasn't recorded at all or it wasn't documented properly. Either way we'll figure it out" Sam tried to reassure her new friend.

Puss then walked over to Sam pushing his head into her hand. She must be suffering from her meld with his mistress and he wanted to help. Dex slept on peacefully.

Callie smiled as she watched Puss. “It seems Puss wants to comfort you.”

Sam's hand reached down and scratched Puss's chin absently, yearning the mental clarity from the constant jumble the creature provided. It was apparent that her messy mind would take some time to sort itself, making work a little challenging but giving her a greater understanding of what it was like to have such conflicting thoughts going on in one's mind.

She looked at Dex's vital's on her monitor, seeing the slow but steady increase in the markers into the green zone. She was definitely improving.

There was something in Dex’s awakening brain that was not quite right. She was worried, there was an imperative to talk to her friends Callie and Sam. Dex knew that during a meld with another Vulcan something unwanted had happened to Callie. She could help to bring this out into the open otherwise Callie’s mental health would get worse and her mind would fracture. When she was determined to die she had tried to warn Callie, but now, now she was going to live she knew Callie would be frightened and seeking answers, answers that she could help with.

As for Sam, poor Sam coping with her feelings of anger, sexual misdirection and loss of control would have trouble keeping herself together, she needed to meld with her again after her Pon Farr and take it from her, she had to help her friends. She tried to wake, strained to open her eyes to see the familiar sights of her workplace, become her normal self again but could not. Where was Puss? she needed him. The Pon Farr was never far away and she wondered how she was to deal with it. At the moment she decided to go along with her brain and return to sleep as a tear slipped from her eye.

A short time later Puss rose and headed from Sam's office, jumping onto the biobed (much to the horror of the attending medical staff). Sam followed the creature with her eyes, as though she could feel something was happening. " I think she's waking up"

Callie nodded, “Let's go and see, I would really like to speak with Dex when she’s feeling up to it.” She motioned for Sam to lead as she stood to follow her out into Sickbay.

The first thing she felt was a wet slobber running down her face she tried to raise her hand to brush it away but was unable too. Trying to open her eyes the light was too bright and she forced them shut again. “Sam, Callie, illumination down…..please” she whispered in a voice she could hardly recognise as her own. “Unless something awful has happened to you both I assume I am still alive?” She tried to push Puss away. “Sam why can’t I feel my arms?” She said.

Sam reduced the illumination to 25% and activated the scanners on the biobed. " Hrmm, it appears there some residual swelling in your cranial cavity, give me a sec and I'll get something to reduce it" She darted off and returned with a hypospray. "This should help return some of the sensation.

She managed to open her eyes fully now she could see without the Vulcan sun burning her eyeballs. “Thank you Sam, what happened?”

Callie looked at Sam then at Dex. “You tried to kill yourself, you took poison that Sam was eventually able to get out of your system and save your life.”

“I am so sorry, the Pon Farr …. Did I hurt anyone?” She looked at Callie, “did we meld?”

Callie shook her head. “No we didn’t meld, Puss had me telepathically link with you though. As for hurting anyone, don’t worry it was just the security detail and you only hurt their pride.”

Shoniara swallowed. “Callie, when we were telepathically linked what happened, I must know?……please.”

Callie was silent for a moment before she finally spoke up. “You kept telling me something about my mind meld being wrong. I saw...images that I don’t remember.”

Sam observed quietly, taking some extra readings to make sure that the poison was indeed purged from Dex's system.

“Listen to me Callie, we have to meet to explore this meld you had further, as soon as, and if I can get through my Pon Farr..it is of the utmost importance to you.” She sighed. “I messed up in spectacular Vulcan fashion and I am truly sorry but you must face this and we will do it together.”

Callie nodded. “Thank you Dex,I appreciate that.”

She looked at Sam. “Why do I feel so calm and lucid when I have not been through my Pon Farr yet? Could it be that it is finished?”

" Let's just say there's a nice cocktail of drugs in your system and the flush for the poison may have diluted the chemical markers in your brain " Sam explained, setting her tricorder down " I can't say your Pon Farr has resolved, but this along with the meld we experienced earlier may have bought you some time" The CMO explained

“Sam I have to apologise to you, I took advantage of you when you suggested we meld so you could see what the rage of Pon Farr was like. I should have said no, but..I wanted it, I felt so alone with my rage and I wanted to share it even for just a minute. It was selfish and unVulcan. Now, we are linked forever, to an extent you will feel whatever I feel and I you. I will know when you are in pain, feel terror or moments of great emotion. At times you may feel it has become harder to control your temper. I can help you with this. It is only right….I…” she trailed off “I am sorry I feel very tired.”

"Rest, don't make me make it an order" Sam replied simply, placing a reassuring hand on Dex's shoulder. " Puss has been helping me, there's a bit of brain fog, and sensations that feel almost ghost like, but I'll survive. You said the bond would be released if you were successful in our Pon Farr?"

“Yes, Sam I did, however we have now been melded for much longer than we should have been. Your mind has already developed new neural pathways and space for my memories as has mine for yours. We may be able to reduce that if we can get to Vulcan or we can contact T’ghrek, although…” she breathed heavily…..”although I am not sure that even he has the skill to separate us. I am so sorry but…. Sam I feel dizzy and warm?” She turned her head away from Sam, she had failed her.

Sam activated the biobed's scanners, reading an elevated body temperature. " Hrmmm, your body is struggling to deal with everything going on and is trying to develop a fever. You need to rest whilst I try and figure out how to stay ahead of it" Sam's voice brooked no argument. " Now don't you go beating yourself up, I asked for the meld remember."

Shoniara’s mind kept going over the last twenty four hours but she could not remember any of it apart from making the tea which she fully expected to have its effect when she was aboard the shuttlecraft. She felt she had lost the respect and any burgeoning friendship she might have had with Sam and Callie. Instead of her protecting them they had protected her at her most vulnerable. She wished that she had been successful in her bid to die, and, of course she still had to go through the blasted Pon Farr in the holodeck. She had trusted Sam and she shouldn’t have.

“Sam I know you asked for it but my knowledge of the way I was feeling should have alerted me to the fact that it would have a stronger effect on your mind. How are you dealing with what you are feeling and…don’t tell me you are not having any because I can see it in your eyes, your facial musculature even the way you stand and carry yourself is different……and your dreams? Surak I feel so hot.”

" I won't lie it's been a little tough, but I've managed with the help of Callie and Puss, You however are a whole new kettle of fish. I have perfected the serum I was working on, we just need to get you well enough to use it and get your Vulcan ass onto the holodeck and settle this once and for all" Sam said a little more firmly than she would have liked.

Shoniara smiled. Sam sounded like her after a long day. “What will happen if it does not work? We cannot go through all this again.”

" Then we will find another option, and there ARE other options" Sam replied. " But first you must believe the holoprogram will work, if you go in with any hesitation, we'll be back to square one"

Dex nodded, “okay tell me about the serum you have perfected, how does it work?”

" I used a base serum from Vulcan that inhibits the rational centres of the brain, then tweaked it a little for your unique physiology. From what I have envisaged it will help the emotional centre of your brain override the logical centre of your brain and thus facilitate the holoprogram working." Sam explained, bringing up the chemistry of the serum she had been working on.

“That sounds very effective, and the rage of the Pon Farr will not override it?” She looked over the chemistry, “that is some very fine work Sam, this could help many Vulcans. I am still not sure that it will work and I suppose the only way is to try it….you said there were other options and if I am not going to take my way out I wonder what they are?”

" Firstly, I am confident this will work, and secondly I have options if it doesn't. Stasis for one of them, but I will not let you harm yourself again" Sam replied, placing a hand on Dex's shoulder.

Shoniara placed her hand over Sams, “I promise you I will not voluntarily take my life. I will place myself in your capable hands. I suggest we undertake it in the next few days otherwise the rage will begin to take me over.” She smiled” although right now I feel pretty calm, just weak and warm. I wanted to ask you how you are feeling, any of my rage and confusion left In you? If my rage comes back you will feel it to a lesser extent. I do not want that to be my last link with you.”

" It's ready to go as soon as you are" Sam reassured as she placed the serum carefully back on the tray along with some other vials she had been working on " As for me, I'm ok-ish I guess you could say. I think there's going to be a lot to work through once we get you settled and sorted" She admitted sagely " But we'll get there"

“It should not take me too long to get up and about. I just have to be able to be strong enough to take part, I do have enhanced healing, well the Vulcan side of me does, the Riasan part of me wants to be looked after.” She smiled, “possibly tomorrow, I just feel very warm, it may be the Pon Farr but I have never had this feeling prior before. Thank you for looking after Puss whilst I have been here, I am sure once you get over the drool he was a perfect houseguest?”

" He was... an oversized cat, a rather odd evening it was" Sam admitted, remembering the evening she had spent with Puss.

“By the way have you seen much of Callie? I must admit I am worried about her.

“I’m right here” Callie reappeared beside Dex’s bed, “Sorry I...just needed a few minutes to myself. Just to try and clear my head a little.” She offered a smile.

“What is inside your head that you have to clear Callie?” Dex said. “Are your dreams disturbing?”

“If you call waking up in a cold sweat disturbing.” Callie nodded. “Up until now I haven’t even known why, with no clue of what’s been bothering me.”

“You are not going to breakthrough this on your own, nor can you forget it. It is best out in the open but you will not be able to do it without my help. I could try my brother again he has experience in this kind of…” she tried to find an appropriate word for what she could see as probable mental rape that Callie had undergone but she dare not approach it like that. Callie had to work through it. “ hopefully in the next few days This …Pon Farr thing will be over and my mind will be clear enough to help you. You have to commit to regular sessions, learn to meditate ..are you up for that my friend?” She waited for Callie to speak. She had to say yes, if not then it could mean a complete mental breakdown.

Callie nodded. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes Dex, just get yourself sorted out first.”

Dex slept for a long time with Puss beside her. When she woke she felt refreshed but as she began to clear the fog in her brain she felt it, a sudden force of heat and anger from deep inside threatening to take her over. She asked the nurse to call Sam “Please can you tell her the Pon Farr is beginning again.”

" Then it's time for you to visit the holodeck" Sam appeared a few moments later, serum in hand and a concerned look in her eyes. She also carried a neural monitor in her other hand. " This will allow me to monitor your brain activity and intervene should the situation require it" Sam helped Dex into a sitting position and placed the monitor on the Vulcan's temple.

“Are you coming with me?” Dex asked with raised eyebrows and gave a half smile. “I need to get few things from my quarters first but when do you need to give me the serum?”

" I'll moniter you from here with the neural moniter and an active transporter lock in case things go pearshaped. I can administer the serum now to give it some time to work before you enter the holodeck, if the mind believes the body will achieve" Sam's attempt at a pun fell lamely, even on her ears.

“I’ve not heard that one before, I’ll remember it though.” Dex jumped off the biobed. If this does not work for whatever reason I want you to know you tried everything you could. Will you look after Puss If I don’t come out of this? At least until he can be reunited with my brother….” She paused “right then let’s get this done Sam”.

"You WILL get through this Dex, and if we can prove it works there will be a new treatment for all Vulcans in deep space during Pon Farr" Sam smiled encouragingly.

“I don’t expect that you have met many depressed Vulcans Sam?. If this works It would be wonderful breakthrough for you, your name would be in many journals and on many Vulcan mouths as well. So,” she sighed “let me have it, I have my programme prepared.”

Sam didn't hesitate, pressing the already loaded hypospray into Dex's neck before picking up a tricorder and monitoring the results. " Ok, give it about 10 minute to completely be absorbed by your system, then you're good to go"

Dex rushed to her quarters to change and collect her ‘supplies’ for the experience then entered her program into the holodeck. Once it had received and loaded it with the usual ‘Program loaded, enter when ready’ she hovered around the door not really wanting to go in but knew that eventually she had to. A medical officer with a ba’tleth hanging around outside a holodeck was bound to raise some eyebrows. She smiled, ‘now if they actually knew what was really going on!’

She entered and the doors closed behind her. “Computer disengage safeties authorisation Dex beta 2 gamma 34” she said. The computer obliged with the usual warning that disengaging the safeties might cause injuries. “Just do it” she said.

Vulcan brandy and Andorian chocolate in hand along with her ba’tleth she entered a secluded glade in a deep wooded forest that Dex remembered from one of the trips her grandfather Anasatin had taken her on when she had visited him back on Earth many years ago. She could feel the heat of the Pon Farr burn beginning again in her brain and hoped that Sam still had eyes on the cortical monitor she had placed on her forehead.

She remembered Yellowstone as beautiful, with the true feel of the wild wilderness that many places on Earth no longer contained. It was silent apart from birdsong and the sound of the wind in the tops of the trees. Here in this place was the absolute truth about existence as it should be. Somewhere far away a moose called, his low mating  tone echoing across the mountainside waiting for an answer. She `shrugged ruefully ‘really’ she though. ‘Moose mating!’ 

Mating was the last thing on her mind in this beautiful place. She poured herself a large glass of Vulcan brandy purloined long ago from her Bond brother T’ghrek’s bountiful cellars. She remembered asking him ‘why, when Vulcans do not drink did he have so much? She smiled as she remembered his reply. “To be able to give away.” To be honest at the time  she did not believe him but then she found out just how many functions ambassadors were called to. No one had refused his old bottles of Saurian brandy. His cellars were full of rare wines and brandies from almost every world in the Federation and some that were not. Ancient bottles of Romulan ale, Rare Kanar from the Monastery of Dacartus on the southern continent of Cardassia, 200 year old bottles of Katerina Frix, twice fermented Andorian ale and so much more from worlds she had not even heard of and a few that were no more.

She herself did not normally drink but she felt that possibly the alcohol would help with her inhibitions. ‘The chocolates certainly would’ she thought to herself as she broke off another piece of exquisite Andorian White and placed it on her tongue. She waited until it started to fizz and dissolve inhaling the deep cherry notes and coffee tones. This was a chocolate not to be eaten but to be inhaled. As Vulcans were known to be allergic to chocolate she counted herself lucky that her half heritage allowed her to enjoy it as a treat.

She took another drink placed her Ba’tleth on the ground and took off her jacket. She felt hot and the sun on her bare arms was warm so she stretched herself her arms under her head out onto the warm meadow grass. Everything smelled so good, so fresh. She watched as an enormous bald eagle circled silently above her, his outstretched feathers still, surfing the air currents and eddies just above the tree tops. The sight of it made her a little dizzy and she imagined the sights the eagle could see from his vantage point in the skies. The leaves on the highest tops rustled and shivered like a tidal ocean in the sky green amongst the blue. She felt she could stay here forever, build a little log cabin, live on her own in this majestic place. A land where there were no Breen, no viruses, no Star Fleet and no rules apart from those she would make herself. It was a beautiful dream.

She must have dozed a little as when she awoke a cloud had blown across the sun casting cool shades across the flowing grass. She felt warm, anxious and dizzy. She downed the rest of the glass, stood and walked unsteadily to a deep, still green pool of water at the edge of the glade. Hurriedly she took off her clothes and stepped into the still water causing widening ripples like phantom jewels popping and dipping around her. The coldness took her breath away and she dived feeling the water surround her body. However instead of the invigorating pleasures of the water suffusing her and caressing her she felt nothing but uncontrolled rage at how cold the water was. The feelings ruined it and she surfaced and dressed. She had forsworn the traditional Pon Farr robes for plain trousers and top. In fact she really had wanted to wear her uniform but it seemed so out of place with what she was supposed to do.

Her anger seemed so out of place amongst this beauty but, it was there and growing as indeed it was supposed to do. She took her Bat’leth in her hands and considered its beauty. It was a traditional blade given to her by her Bond brother T’ghrek of the House of Okann as a gift on their bonding. It was made of baakonite 116 centimeters long and weighed 5.3 kilograms. She felt the heaviness of the weapon and ran her finger over the wickedly curved blades trying to imagine the feel of of it rending flesh. She stood and held the blade out, twisting and twirling in the Moc’h bara exercises she had learnt.

Then she sensed someone behind her and turned. A tall, spare handsome Vulcan male stood before her also wielding a ba’tleth. He hissed at her as he studied her body and she could see the evidence that he enjoyed what he saw. It was at that moment the rest of the universe went away and all she felt was lust and rage like an open lava flow inside her spilling over. She screamed and lunged at him weapon in hand.

They came together blade upon blade, thrust after parry. He was the first to draw blood from her as she felt it run green down her side. He had strength on his side but she had stamina. She danced round him attacking, feinting and then retreating until he began to lower his weapon. The scent of battle and sex suffused her until it became one and she felt the anger she had kept for so many weeks rise and break like ocean waves over and over.

Into the trees they fought dodging the branches as they whipped and scratched the pair. Finally she managed to wound him, his left arm now did not have the strength to wield the weapon as forcefully as he had done. She placed her bat’leth under his, turned and twisted it out of his arms. It clattered onto the rocks beside the pool and disappeared into the water diving like Excalibur into the depths.

She roared and ran at him her ba’tleth falling to the floor. She hit his body and pushed him to the ground her nails raking his skin as he bit into her breast, tearing at his clothes as he did hers. He bit her lip and held her there as he pulled her onto him, they both screamed in pure lust and the rage of the Pon Farr as they moved. Then as quickly as it had begun it was over. She pushed him off her breathing heavily. She felt weak maybe from loss of blood, or maybe from…..whatever she did not know or have the mind to care.

She picked up her bloody bat’leth and began to hobble away leaving him on the ground. For the last time rage overwhelmed her and she turned and stood over his prone body. He looked at her and smiled as she screamed one last time and brought her weapon down disemboweling him in one sweep of her blade.

She held her side and hobbled bleeding and disheveled to the holodeck doors. Already the peace that was her normal life began to suffuse her being and she felt the last of the rage leave her. “Computer end program” she said in an exhausted voice. The scene faded and the utilitarian yellow and grey of the holodeck returned. Somehow to Dex that seemed more comforting.

She made her way hobbling slowly to sickbay bloody Bat’leth in hand not bothering to look at the crew members she passed. ‘I must look a mess’ she thought. Blood seeped from her side, lip and breast and she had very little clothing on but there was a serenity in her face. She entered sickbay and hobbled over to her benefactor. “ Sam It worked” she breathed. “Your formula actually worked.” She sat down heavily on a bio bed.

" Well that certainly looked different to the 'program' I thought you would be using" Sam retorted as she wheeled the small trolley over next to the biobed. Tricorder at the ready she noted that Dex's brain chemistry was already moving in the right direction, an encouraging sign that the Pon Farr had been completed. The rest of her wasn't so encouraging.

Dex winced and said “I think I might have a pneumothorax as well, my sparring partner fell quite heavily on me, the rest is just cosmetic. I feel so much better Sam, I apologise for tweaking the program a little, call it” she winced again “call it artistic licence. I wouldn’t mind some analgesia though?”

" Hey, you knew what it would take for it to work, I just persuaded your mind to believe it a little more" Sam replied with a smile as she picked up several instruments and began treating the worst of Dex's injuries. None were life threatening but they would definitely be uncomfortable. She added a strong painkiller to her treatment regime and continued.

“You have to disseminate this throughout the Federation you know that. You will be lauded on Vulcan, there will not be enough space 0n your wall for your medals and awards. Just…don’t mention me will you..” she smiled. “So when do we get together for our first session?…and where is Callie, I am looking forward to her knowing that this has worked. Her problem is much more pressing. She may come to you with increasing headaches and possible paranoia, some victims of these inappropriate melds have thoughts of being followed.”

"First things first, lets get YOU back together again and get some rest, then we can deal with Callie and her meld gone wrong" Sam replied firmly " You need 6 hours sleep, minimum for your body to reset itself, and don't argue with me or I'll make it 8 with a sedative and here in sickbay"

Dex put her hands up. “Honestly Sam I just feel a little bruised, I can counsel Callie sitting down and the meditation is very restful. We heal pretty quickly and I can sleep after our first session. I feel responsible for initiating this you know that.”

" Did you just argue?" Sam quipped, crossing her arms in front of her. " Rest...I can wait, Callie can wait 8 hours" Sam stood her ground.

Dex gave in gracefully, well somewhat, “Very well I will go and rest on your recommendation.” She swung her legs off the biobed and slipped down onto the floor gingerly and winced. “You’re completely right. Thank you Sam. I will see you in 6 hours. She hobbled off. Her quarters were quiet and Puss was sleeping. She replicated a cup of dela leaf tea drank it down, lay on her bed and went straight to sleep.

Sam sagged, her body worn and her mind frazzled after the last few days. Dex was on the mend, they still needed to tend to Callie, but right at this moment, her body craved sleep. Handing the routine of sickbay over to Dr Perrin she headed back to her quarters and headed to bed.

 

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