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*BACKPOST* Getting your Head Read

Posted on Wed Nov 3rd, 2021 @ 6:31pm by Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant JG Shoniara T’ghann Dex Dr
Edited on on Mon Nov 8th, 2021 @ 11:36pm

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Before the away mission

Dr Sam Howard rubbed the bridge of her nose where a fatigue headache was blossoming. The sleep she had attempted the evening before had been restless and non restorative. With the eminent threat of Dex's Pon Farr now passed she was no longer living on adrenaline and in the midst of a crisis. Having given up on sleep she'd returned to sickbay to begin working on a medical paper on the serum she'd created whilst the data was still fresh-ish in her mind, only to be met with a frustratingly empty page and a non-functional mind.

Dex strode into sickbay fully rested and refreshed after a long uninterrupted sleep. Her Pon Farr and all that had preceded it 0ver. She saw Sam Howard leaning over her desk looking like she was sleeping. “Good morning Sam” Dex said “how did you…oh.” She stopped when she saw her face and knew immediately what it was. She went over to the small food replicator in her office “water room temperature.” The glass appeared and she set it down in front of Sam. She went into main sickbay and returned with a hypo, “allergy to Dextromotorapan?” She asked.

"Zeddamaaapannn" Sam mumbled from her semi-conscious state, head resting on her hand that was supporting its entire weight. The document lay open on the monitor before her, still mocking her with its emptiness. The blank page and fuzziness in her head had lulled her into a exhausted doze, her mind still churning over and unable to quieten but her body giving up on the concept of being awake entirely.

“Nurse!” Dex called, “help me get Doctor Howard up please.” Between the two of them they pulled her up and deposited the semi- conscious physician on a bio bed. The diagnostics began their run showing dehydration, elevated body temperature and increased level of cortical activity. “Sam, Sam, can you hear me?” Dex asked as she applied a cortical monitor and began to rehydrate her.

" Dex... you should be in bed" Sam slurred as the movement roused her just a little, everything seemed fuzzy, muted almost yet her mind was racing so fast it gave her a headache. "Whaz goin on?"

“Sam you are suffering from exhaustion and the effects of the meld you had with me. First you are very definitely off duty Doctor. Second, I am sorry to do this Sam but it is necessary…I am going to have to sedate you to prevent you dreaming until your body has recovered enough to work on your mind. Do not worry, I will not leave you but stay by your side like you did me my friend. Do you understand me at all Sam?”

"Zat mean I gets to sleep?" The CMO mumbled, her words almost incoherent, "What's happening to me?" her body melded into the biobed as though it was trying to sink further into it, her limbs completely malleable. Her head lolled to the side as she tried to focus on Dex's face.

“Yes Sam that means you will get to sleep without dreaming. I cannot keep you in that state for long however as we all must dream. However with the meld your mind has to be in a state of R’ash-nal’th which means ‘state of readiness’. She caressed Sams face. You will wake feeling much better and ready to work with me on reducing the effects of this meld. I know you are probably not hearing or understanding this but For the moment I just want you to sleep.”

"Need the sleeps" Sam's mind whirled and her words slurred as she struggled to form coherent words. She heard the words Dex was saying but the meaning was lost in the jumble of her mind.

“You are going to sleep now Sam, she produced a hypo of Improvoline 3ccs and injected Sam’s carotid artery, it had the desired effect immediately and Sam fell still, her face and body relaxed. Her vital signs began to return to normal although her blood pressure was still low. “Right” said Dex now we go to work.

"S'okay" Sam mumbled as the medication took her, her body relaxing instantly and her mind going blank. She relished the peace, to be able to feel nothing, not even her own thoughts in this time. She was simply too tired and messed up to care about them.

It was so good to see Sam sleeping, ‘first rehydration’ she said to herself as she instructed the arch to begin to rehydrate Sam “something for the fever” she thought again searching the files In her mind relating to Pon Farr and inter species melds. She noted her blood pressure was now coming up into the amber zone and thanked Surak that this had not happened during the night when Sam would have been alone.

She tapped her comm for the medical database and asked “computer do we have Vulcan Fidldalin tartrate for infusion here on the Washington?” =/\= Yes in science lab beta 2 stasis specimen in concentrate. Needs Chief Medical Officer or Deputy authorisation.=/\= Dex smiled, “well then this is Shoniara Dex authorisation Dex beta137. The computer seemed to take a little longer than she would have liked but eventually =/\= Authorisation recognised=/\=
“I will be right back Maria, I’ll pick up Puss on the way, he will be able to help when she comes round. Prepare a flush of solitol 20ccs and…call me immediately if needed.

It took about 10 ships minutes to collect the drug and her meditation lamp and herbs, Puss who did not appreciate being woken from his 16 hour slumber prior to dinner dawdled and drooled “Come on Old thing Sam needs you” she said, hearing Sam’s name perked him up and he led the way back to sickbay.

“Report” Dex asked on return. Puss wandered up to Sam and meowed as though he knew she was in trouble. He looked at Shoniara..”yes it is my fault.” She told him.

“ Doctor Howard is stable her blood pressure is rising, her fever is growing worse however and her neural synapse readings are increasing.” Maria said handing the hypo flush to Dex,

“Thank you” she said. “Let us get this fever under control first.” She injected 2ccs of the drug into the flush and applied the hypo to Sam’s neck. The drug hissed into her circulation.

Dex tapped her combadge again. =/\= Computer inform Captain Shran that this is Doctor Shoniara Dex, his CMO is currently unwell and is in an induced state of sleep. I have charge of sick bay. =/\=

She tapped her fingers on the biobed as she waited to see if there was any change in the status of Sam’s fever. She knew she could not keep her asleep for long, as her mind would keep making neural connections to try to give her REM sleep and therefore dreams. The dreams would continue her problems so she needed to be stable enough to be awake and interact with her. She drew up 3ccs of Lexoparin a drug that might reduce her neural activity enough to wake her.

“Doctor Dex, her fever is coming down.” Maria informed her. She sighed with relief. If the Lexoparin worked she could wake her sooner and begin to work with her mind. Then she had an idea. Puss, it was only logical if she could get him to connect with Sam that might bring down her neural activity. Trouble was he could not use the biobed as the clamshell was working on her rehydration.

“Maria remember that old surgical bench that Sam did not want thrown away?” She nodded, “could you find it and bring it here?”

The nurse looked a little askance but went to find it. Dex replicated some blankets for the top. “Very good.” She said as the nurse returned with it. She placed the blankets onto the top and moved it over behind Sam’s head. “Puss, come here loved one.” She said. “Jump up” she patted the top “and lie down.” Puss did as he was told. Dex moved the bench nearer Sam’s shoulders and put her hand on Puss’s head. She cleared her mind and placed one thought into his head, he moved each of his giant paws onto her shoulders his wicked claws withdrawn. He licked her cheek and placed his head next to hers. Dex filled the ceremonial lamp with herbs and lit them. She bent down to Puss once again and gave him the command ‘Pr’ak-Nagal’. Puss began to sync his brainwaves with Sam.

Shoniara waited for any sign that Sam’s sedation was lightening.

Something was different, the darkness wasn't as absolute and the stillness not as complete. It was as though the she was deep beneath the ocean and was now rising with the tide slowly, the colours of of the sun beginning to peak through the darkness. She still felt hot and cold and strange all over but it was the introduction of the light that had her intrigued.

Dex knew that Sam was becoming lighter, her neural cortex was showing signs of slowing synapses due to Puss’s guidance. She ruffled his head and scratched his ears. He began to purr.
She injected her with the 3cc’s of Lexoparin she had held in obeyance. Sam, Sam, if you can hear me squeeze my hand.” She said and held Sam’s hand. “Nurse watch her neural take up.”

There was a voice in the distance, as though coming through a very long tunnel, one where things were slightly distorted by the time to sound waves reached her ears. It was asking her to do something, why was that? The curious side of her brain began to turn over the request, wondering why someone wanted her to squeeze their hand. Still she felt compelled to obey yet struggled to find the right connections to make her hand move. It was frustrating to say the least, her head being so full of jumbles that she couldn't think straight.

‘Why is she not responding?’ Thought Dex…she closed her eyes and decided it was time to enter Sam’s mind. She centered herself letting her breathing slow and taking in the sweet but somewhat acrid smell of the smouldering herbs. “Nurse I am going to make a personal connection inside Dr Howard’s head, please do not touch either of us.”

“Surak n’al-nath S’nill-T’l-ath” she intoned. She placed her right thumb on the crook of Sam’s jaw and centered her first finger at the base of her nose followed by her middle finger on her temple. “My mind to your mind…my thoughts to your thoughts.” Her breathing slowed even more until it was barely discernible then she was inside her mind.

She took a deep breath, it was quite chaotic inside Sam’s mind, whispers, shouts, weeping and sounds of aggression filtered up from deep inside her brain. ‘Sam it’s Dex can you hear me?’ She called.

There was a voice in the chaos, as though a hand reaching down to rescue someone below the waterline. It offered hope, peace and a way out of the quagmire her mind had become. She moved towards it, eager for some respite.

" I can hear you, please help me!"

Dex’s mind resounded by Sam’s shout. She concentrated her mind on moving around the visions in Sam’s mind, uncoordinated, shocked, some involving her, anger rage and fire. “Sam take my hand look up and move through your thoughts like smoke enter them, go around them they are not important concentrate on light and stillness.”

Sam was filled with fear at the thought of confronting the chaos her thoughts and mind had become. She was used to a certain level of chaotic thought process, she was only human after all, but this was a whole new level of chaos and it frightened her.

Dex searched Sam’s mind but could not find her. It seemed that she was hiding, she tried again. “Sam you have Vulcan calm inside you also despite the chaos, concentrate on that, think of my lamp and it’s calming flame, Puss is here too helping your brain to relax. Push the chaos aside.” With her other hand she injected Sam with another 3ccs of Leporazine, it was dangerous and she knew it but it was all she had in her arsenal of drugs that would even help with this.

If this was not going to work she would have to put Sam under again for a longer time and that might do irreparable damage to her human mind. She could not countenance that. Sam had helped her through her Pon Farr, she would be dead now if it was not for her friend. She tried again now the Leporazine had had a chance to enter her neural and cortical synapses. “Sam Howard hear me, use your Vulcan calm !”

The instructions were fighting with the chaos, Sam heard them from the corner of her mind, under the water where she had been hiding, sheltering as much as she could from the tempest around her. The words were urgent, and carried an authority even she couldn't argue with. She moved forward, trying to find this 'calm' that the person kept referring to, trying to be brave in this strange new place she found herself in.

Dex knew that she would have to push herself further than she had ever gone. She was no expert in this and she had never actually been physically present in anyone’s mind. T’hgrek had taught her the basics though and she would do it. She slipped gently out of Sam’s mind and prepared another hypo of Leporazine. Puss growled announcing his wary ness of what she was about to do. If this went wrong the Washington would loose both of them.

She called Dr Perrim and explained in general terms that she was going to try to sync her neural pathways with Sam’s so they could see each other. She would have to wear a cortical monitor as she was going to inject herself with Leporazine. If it became necessary to save just one of them it was logical that it would be Sam so she would take back all her memories if necessary and release Sam. Perrim agreed to monitor them.

She melded again with Sam and Perrim depressed the hypo into her carotid artery. Once again inside the chaos that was Sam’s mind she began to look for a complete memory that existed inside Sam.

There was another presence, a calm spirit amidt the tempest and the storm her mind had devolved into. So many emotions warring with each other, fragments of memory interlaced with daydreams and whimsical musings making anything almost impossible to follow. Inspired by this calm Sam moved towards it, almost being drawn into the peace and serenity that beckoned.

Dex looked for a memory fragment involving the two of them, most of them were not tranquil, Sam fighting for Dex’s life, racing against time for the serum, then…a small fragment of a shared coffee break in the calm of a quiet sickbay. She walked into it seeing Sam sitting at her desk laughing ….”Sam you’re here.” She said reaching for her hand. Think of this moment only.”

Sam reached out for her 2IC's hand, feeling peace permeating from it. "How are you here? Are you here? Or is this another screw up in my mind?" Sam looked at the relatively happy scene before them, trying to ground herself in the memory.

“Hello Sam” Dex took her hand, there are no screw ups in your mind, as we sit here I am releasing you from your confusion, your fears and your rage. You will remember only good memories of mine as I will remember good ones from you. We are forever linked now you and you will know my peace, my logic and I your life force. Come with me now enveloped in my serenity nothing will touch you, nothing can harm you. We will travel together…there it is finished your mind is calm you are once again Commander Samantha Howard. Time for us to wake together Sam, let’s go home.”

The chaos diminished and was replaced by the relative calm of her own mind. Dex had paved the pathway to her mind resetting itself and freeing her from the ravages of her Pon Farr. She still wondered how Vulcans managed to speak coherently with everything that was going on in their heads sometimes. Hand in hand she followed Dex towards the light.

Dex opened her eyes and waited for Sam to do the same, this was only the start of the work they had to do and Sam had a long way to go yet. Dex could only take back some of the memories of the rage, lust and violence she herself had suffered and therefore passed onto Sam. “Come on Sam, come back to us.” She said bothered by her non response. Her neural levels were returning to some normality, her fever was down and she was rehydrated. Now she needed to sleep with natural rem sleep which she would do here in sickbay. “Puss” she said. Puss looked at her and proceeded to wash Sam’s face with the roughness of his tongue. Dex smiled, if anything would wake her this would. ‘She waited.

Sam was tired, oh so tired and wanting very much to curl up into a ball and sleep until some time in the next century. Her body hurt, even the cells in her brain seemed to ache with the rapid changes inflicted upon them. Still, there was a certain peace that hadn't been there fore, a clarity of mind that provided a relief from the last few days. Then something rough against her cheek reminded her that she wasn't alone.

"Ugh... what hit me" She mumbled as consciousness flirted like a dangerous liaison with her mind.

“Extreme exhaustion, anxiety and the remains of a violent Pon Farr, and some pretty strong drugs meant for Vulcans only. How are you feeling Sam?” Dex looked down at her. “Enough Puss!” Puss stopped licking her.

"So it wasn't a random shuttlecraft with an old fashioned bull bar and reversed over again for good measure?" Sam groaned, trying to turn away from the rouge tongue of Puss who refused to let up with the licking. " I feel like hell"

Dex raised an eyebrow. “A very logical conclusion Doctor, and may I say you look like hell also….that was my attempt at a joke!”

"I don't think it's a joke, I most likely look as bad as I feel" Sam grumbled as she regarded the scene before her, medical equipment lay strewn on trolleys needby. " Was it that bad?" She eyed the number of empty hypos next to the biobed and the clamshell that was still surrounding her body.

Dex nodded “I am afraid it was that bad, if this had happened anywhere else….” She stopped short of saying anything and released the clamshell. “We have work to do yet, now you need to sleep, here in sickbay where I can monitor your neural activity and your REM sleep. If your dreams are normal, and I mean not plagued by fire, violence and lust, when you wake we will have to begin a series of melds that may be needed over weeks or months.” She put her hand on Sam’s arm. “Do you think you can sleep now Sam?”

Sam paled at the notion of how close to the wire things had come, and what may have happened if Dex hadn't found her in time. She felt drained, as though all the energy had been siphoned from her body one cell at a time. "Sleep? I could sleep for a year"

Dex smiled at her “No need to sleep that long Sam but it is important. Is there anything you would like before your sleep, anything to eat or drink?”

"Just sleep... eat n drink later" The CMO mumbled as her mind tried to close itself down again and begin the healing process "do the stuffs with an IV....or a booster...or whatevs"

“I will be here Sam, sleep, dream and wake up refreshed. Once you are asleep I will monitor you. Sweet dreams.” ‘I hope she thought as she watched Sam’s eyes close.

"S'night" Sam mumbled as she secumbed to the sweet lure of sleep, despite the harsh bright lighting of sickbay and the usual noises that accompanied a working environment. She slept... and she dreamt.


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