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‘The Stuff of Dreams’

Posted on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 @ 10:24am by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Lieutenant Deanna Celes & Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann-Travis Dr & Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson & Lieutenant Seth Travis & Petty Officer 1st Class Amethyst Reece

Mission: The Orion Syndicate
Location: Sick bay. USS Washington
Timeline: Pre arrival at Orion

Shoniara lay unconscious on the bio bed following her collapse in the Captain’s ready room. The medical team could find nothing wrong with her other than she refused to wake up. Her neo cortex was however fully active as she continued to dream.

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The desert plain she found herself on seemed totally devoid of all plant life. Small scaly lizards skittered away digging tunnels in the sand to avoid the baking sun, whilst giant birds wheeled overheard their heads covered with a cresting sheath of thick skin. She raised her hand over her eyes trying to see beyond the shimmering terra her pupils contracting in an effort to see. Great mountains in the distance jutted vertically from the desert looking dark and foreboding, but something told her to seek their apparent coolness. She continued to walk taking small sips from her water rations to stave off dehydration.

It felt to her that she had been walking for hours but on checking her chronometer found it had only been thirty cycles. A thick heavy breeze began to blow across the desert plain picking up the dust behind her, she noted that it never appeared in front but behind as though it were herding her towards the mountains. As she looked ahead dark cylindrical clouds began to form above the tallest mountain peak and lightening bolts began to touch down on the rock causing explosions of rock that were taken up into the clouds. She checked the time again surprised to find no further time had elapsed at all since the first thirty cycles of her journey.

A small niggling feeling of panic and fear began to naw at the pit of her stomach. She knew the Syndicate did not like to be kept waiting. She trudged on foot in front of foot. Her sweat had made the weight of her clothes almost unbearable. Then a pressure began to form over her head with a roar so great she fell to her knees and covered her ears. Something gigantic began to move over her head and, as she looked up she recognised the massive span of a Federation Starship passing her on its way to the mountains. The sound was too much to bear and she screamed.
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Back in sickbay Dex began to seize.

Meanwhile Seth had heard tha Shon had collapsed and was taken to Sickbay. He instantly put everything he was working on and headed to Sickbay. Once there he looked for the nurse Shon had mentioned a few times before a nurse Reece.

Amethyst wasn’t far from Dex as she suddenly started seizing, calling out for help she could only stand by ready to help.

Someone called out for a hypo of midalolam and an application of cortical stimulators as Dex continued to seize more violently, then she stopped breathing.

Seth looked around in alarm, "What's going on? What's happening?" He asked anyone who could give him an answer.

Amethyst saw Seth, the rest of the medical staff were trying to resuscitate Dex so Amethyst made it her job to be at Seth’s side. “Seth...Dex was brought in after collapsing, we’re not sure exactly what’s wrong with her yet. They’re doing everything they can to help her!”
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She looked up at the nacelles and hull of the starship passing overhead USS Washington she read. She began to run towards the gathering clouds a feeling of dread suffusing her being. The ship was nearing the mountains. A stream of light shot into the sky through the clouds and seemed to turn from white to red. Then the unthinkable happened as the starship began to disintegrate. The flash was so bright she hid her eyes though she could still see her fingers as if they were in x Ray. In a ball of fire the great ship blew apart flaming debris shooting in every direction. She screamed in anger and loss as the storm raged overhead.
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"Is there anything I can do to help?" Seth asked as he felt useless as others worked to help Shon.

Amethyst shook her head. “Not right now Seth, they’re doing everything they can that I promise you.”

Sam strode into the chaos that was sickbay and her mind instantly switched from the command track to medical. Dex was in a bad way and from a quick glance at the medical display panel, Perrin was fighting a losing battle to keep her stable.

"Why is it that every time I turn my back you end up convulsing on my biobed" Sam mumbled as she tossed a medical tricorder and hypo spray into the pockets she thought she had in the surgical smock she wasn't wearing. Both items clattered to the floor. "Damnit, see I didn't even have time to get dressed properly" she rambled as she picked up the instruments and headed for the biobed, popping them on the side as she ran some detailed scans.

Seth saw a doctor and approached her, "Excuse me Doctor, "I'm Seth Travis, Shon's significant other can you tell me how she is?"

" Ahhh can I get back to you on that?" Sam answered as she tried to get her head around what was happening. They'd just placed Dex on life support, meaning she was still and quiet as the machines kept her both sedated and alive.

Amethyst remained at Seth’s side offering what support she could, the rest of the nursing staff knew their jobs she had every faith in them to manage without her direction.

The detailed scan's Dex took were conflicting and indicated a number of different possibilities. Sam scratched her head, knowing that nothing with Dex was ever straight forward due to her mixed heritage and complex neural structures. Sam took notice that whilst her body was trying very hard to die, her mind was still active. At least with the life support active her bodily functions would be taken care of while Sam figured everything out.

Pausing for a moment Howard remembered snippets from previous conversations she had had with Dex. One was that because of their previous mind meld during her Pon Farr, Sam would continue to 'feel' things that Dex was enduring. The other was that Dex had some kind of premonition about their upcoming mission with the Orions. Her behaviour lately according to the Captain and her friends had been erratic, indicating a problem that had been brewing for some time.
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Walking towards the mountains was even harder going as pieces of the downed ship were everywhere burning. The heat was intense and the huge sheet that had been the saucer section lay half buried in the sand. She pushed thoughts of her friends and the last thing they must have though as their lives were snuffed out in an instant. Seth, her lover for whom she now wept, Jon and Callie and Sam, dear Sam. She kept walking towards the opening she could now see in the wall of the mountain.
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"Perrin, keep an eye on her, I need to pay a visit to Puss" Sam nodded towards the ever capable Dr Perrin and went in search of Dex's feline companion, returning 10 minutes later with the companion animal.

"Excuse me Doctor, If it helps you, Shon and I were away on shore leave together. We went to a planet called Mizu and while we were there, she had several dark or black visions involving this upcoming mission and her own mortality." Seth told Sam.

"Has she been doing her meditations?" Sam asked, checking to see if Dex was still stable. She looked to Puss for guidance, the animal seeming to know when either of them were in distress.

Puss recognized Sam immediately and nuzzled her hand. He was usually very relaxed but currently he was roaming around and looked distinctly uncomfortable. He knew that his mistress had not been meditating for several weeks now despite trying.

Seth shook his head, "No, she didn't do any meditations. As I stated we were on shore leave and were exploring the planet. However, Shon was definitely concerned with the upcoming mission. So much so that she told me that she was leaving everything she had to me." Seth's voice broke as he said the last.

Amethyst frowned. “You think she knew something was going to happen to her?”

Seth nodded as he replied, "She definitely acted like she expected something to happen to her, no matter how much I tried to stop her from thinking like that, She was almost fixated on the idea."

Amethyst nodded. “If she was that fixated she could almost have willed it to happen.”
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The air was cooler under the brow of the mountain, mostly in shadow as she walked on the shale that had fallen from the mountain and built up over the eons into a thick slope of slippery razor sharp shards. Exhausted she sat for a moment and sipped the last drops of her water and tried not to look out over the desert, in the hope that what she could not see would not exist. She was so tired, now the Washington and everyone on board was gone she did not care much whether she lived or died. Something she had said or done had resulted in this. She sighed stood, and carried on walking towards the entrance to the cave system she knew existed.
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Sam continued to work on figuring out what was going on with Dex's neural chemistry. Her readings were way off and she wasn't responding to normal treatments.

Shran entered sickbay and spotted a nurse. "Nurse, I'm looking for Dr. Howard. I wanted to get an update on the condition of Dex."

Amethyst offered a polite smile. “The Doctor will be with you as soon as she can Captain”

Shran looked concerned. "I assume she is still occupied with Dex?"

Seth saw the Captain and walked over to him. "Excuse me Captain. I'm Seth Travis. Shon's um partner and I think you should know that we were on shore leave together and while we were, Shon kept having these visions of impending doom, specifically her dying."

Shran looked at Seth, "Mr. Travis, nice to meet you, though it be under these circumstances. Not to put too fine a point on it, and I apologize if you take offense, but I don't believe in predestination. Bad dreams or omens or whatever else are superstitious nonsense that should be left in the past. When people think bad things will happen, they'll find a way to make it come to be. That said, Samantha is the best doctor in the fleet, and whatever the problem, I know she'll fic Dex up and get her back on her feet in no time."

"I appreciate your position Captain but I believe you are missing the point. You may not believe in visions, omens but it's clear Shon does and that is the root of the problem. We have to find a way to convince her what she saw isn't going to happen." Seth replied candidly.

"If Sam is still working on her, then I would say the only way to do what you suggest is to bring in a powerful telepath. I would suggest a Betazoid, and we have several on board, though Celes is the best when it comes to going into other's minds."

"I think that is the only viable option we have Captain. Of course, we should speak with the doctor and get her medical opinion on this." Seth pointed out.

Sam appeared as they were talking, her expression grim and her face somewhat haggard. Her lips pressed into a think. Line as she approached the small group, not used to being the bearer of not so stellar news.

"Captain, counsellor, everyone." She started, exhaling slowly to settle her thoughts. "It's not good to be honest. Her neural chemistry is so far out of normal that the usual treatments aren't working. Her biosigns are stable only due to her being on life support. If I don't figure out how to align her brain and her body, I might never be able to revive her." Sam was trying her best to hold it together.

"So this is a mental issue, correct Sam?" Shran waited for an answer.

" Yes Captain, as with her previous episodes, I believe this has been triggered and sustained by her mental condition." Sam explained, rubbing a hand over her tired face.

"I suggest we use a telepath to make a connection with her in hopes of bringing her into a more stable mindset. I would suggest we have Celes as she is the most powerful telepath on the ship and she is trained to used her telepathy to enter uncooperative minds" he said in a vague manner.

Amethyst nodded in agreement. “I know Dex has shared mental contact with Counsellor Raven-Grayson before but given her already fragile pregnancy it’s probably best not to include her in this.”

Behind the group Puss stood up on his back legs as close as he could get to his mistress and began to howl.

"Puss, come over here with me fella and we can watch over Shon from a quiet part of Sickbay." Seth told the huge cat. As he found a corner and sat down. As he did, he did something he hadn't done in a number of years... he prayed to the heavens. *I know I haven't talked to you in years and I'm not asking for myself but for the woman I love with every beat of my heart. Please help Shoniara she is the best woman I know. Help her to overcome what it is she is battling. Bring her back to me, so we can grow old together as well as having a life together. Let her know she is loved not just by me but by her friends and crewmates as well.* Seth finished and then added *Amen*
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After what seemed like forever she found a cave the entrance of which looked manmade, the rock had been squared by something other than time, straight angles towered up into the darkness. Moving slowly into the cave she found the coolness welcoming. Water ran down the walls and she pressed her lips to the rock face drinking thirstily. Withdrawing her torch from the backpack she turned it on and shone it ahead of her. A few meters ahead she came across stairs cut almost vertically up into the rock, her light showed that the steps rose as far as she could see upwards. She shivered, they were reminiscent of a book she once read long ago “one simply does not just walk into Mordor” she whispered to herself as she began to climb.
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" I would agree that we need to try something, and that Celes is probably the best suited for the job, if she's willing of course. Any intervention would need to be conducted here in sickbay under high supervision" Sam explained " One casualty could very easily become two if we're not careful"

“I agree” Callie looked towards Sam as she appeared behind the group. She’d not long returned from Vulcan and was planning to check in with Dex not find her unconscious.

"Well at least the telepathic link wouldn't be from a mindmeld. That would make things far more dangerous" said Shran firmly. He hit his comm badge, =^=Celes, please come down to sickbay. =^=

=^=On my way. =^= she responded. Celes looked over at Ayana, "Ayana, you have the bridge. Keep us at yellow alert. I'll update the captain of our ETA when I get down there." Ayana nodded and moved from tactical over to the command station as Celes exited the bridge.

Shran looked at Samantha, "I know this is risky Samantha, but I know Celes will agree to it. What sort of dangers to you foresee?"

" Worst case scenario is that if Dex becomes unstable she could take Celes down with her, or cause her to have permanent brain damage. Of course I will do everything in my power to prevent that happening" Dr Howard hastily added "However I'm at an impasse with her treatment, conventional methods are not working, even some of my more unconventional treatments are have negligible results." Sam wasn't used to failing, and it hurt to see her friend lying unable to be helped by the hefty bag of medical tricks that Sam usually wielded.

Callie looked towards Sam. “I can keep a watch on Celes, if it looks like she’s in danger I can break her link with Dex.”

Shran raised an inquisitive eyebrow and looked at Callie, "Not to put too fine a point on it counselor, but humans aren't telepathic. How exactly would you break a telepathic link?"

Callie gave Shran a curious look. “With all due respect Captain, I’m not just Human, I’m half Betazoid as well.” She offered a smile.

Shran gave a half smile. "My apologies counselor. I forget about your Betazoid half. Do you think you would be strong enough to break such a telepathic link?"

Callie smiled. “Hopefully So Captain, but with some luck it won’t be necessary.”

At this moment the doors to sickbay opened and Celes entered. She saw the large crowd in sickbay and gave a half-hearted smile. "Oh dear. What I am volunteering for?" she asked bemused.

"It appears that we need you to be a telepathic lifeline for Dex" Shran said flatly.

Celes walked over and looked at Dex and then looked at Shran and Samantha. "Been a while since I was in a Vulcan mind, and Dex is only half Vulcan. Ought to be surreal" she said with a smile.

Puss who was sitting with Seth gave a low growl when he heard the Betazoid. He stood, pulled himself away from Seth and ran towards her. He stopped between Celes and Dex, his fur bristled and his extended Sehlat fangs glistened. His tone changed to one of warning as, every inch the predator he stood protecting her from what he knew to be an unwanted intrusion into his mistresses mind.

Seth got up and moved rapidly to Puss's side. he knelt beside the huge Sehlat. "Puss buddy, its okay. Celes is here to help Shon. Relax, Shon is no danger from Celes." Seth finished looking into Puss's eyes. "Come back here with me and let Celes help Shon."

Puss growled and moved towards Celes sniffing her, he raised his head and looked at her. After a minute he moved licked her hand and went back to Seth.
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She continued to climb, soon her knees began to scream with the strain of each steep step. Staying close to the rock leaning in to keep her balance the strain on her back became almost unbearable. Water from the rock face so necessary and inviting at the beginning of her climb now began to run down her neck and on down her back. Still she climbed, step after step. She had no sense of time any more the darkness above and below absolute, she had turned her torch off to preserve the charge. She thought this must be like hell without the flames and then thought of the Washington burning on the ground below her. Then a ledge appeared above her wide enough for her to sit and rest. She turned her torch on to find an opening in the rock which seemed to lead away from the stairs. She stood ready to follow — then she heard it from far below, a sound, the sound of someone climbing behind her. She pulled out her phaser, switched her torch off and waited.
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"I think I can handle it, though I suspect I may have to deal with significant mental barriers and protections. Vulcans have very disciplined minds, and they are often quite compartmentalized from a telepathic point of view. It sounds like the logical Vulcan side is at war with her Risian half, hence the premonitions or whatever you wish to call them. I would suggest she might somehow be picking up on future echoes, telepathic signals somehow directed at her from the future that are giving her glimpses of the what might be. I'd check the ship and surrounding space for several possible culprits that might cause her to be susceptible to this."
"Future echoes? Are their cases of such a thing?" questioned Shran.

"The most recent case of this actually happened to a human, Chief Miles O'Brien on DS9 over a decade ago, and was caused by a rare type of radiation poisoning, but he kept seeing glimpses of the future a few hours prior and eventually was able to prevent the big event and saved DS9 from being destroyed by Romulans."

"I remember reading about that in a report. I'll have them begin scanning the ship and surrounding area for any possible radiation leaks that might trigger this in Dex. Meanwhile Deanna, any thoughts why Dex seems to have fallen into her own mind?"

"Well, I'm no doctor" she smiled towards Samantha, "but as she is a telepath, it may simply be a natural reaction. As you are aware captain, telepaths do react differently to telepathic contact than nontelepaths. Falling unconscious makes sense, as most telepathic species have stronger telepathic bonds while we sleep, our minds more open to other telepathic links."

Shran looked at Samantha, "Thoughts doctor?"

Sam turned to Celes " If you're game, I'll monitor you and Dex and try to break the connection if anything goes pear-shaped. We need to try something though, nothing I've done has worked so far and if I can't keep her stable I'll need to put her into stasis. " She looked from Shran to Celes.

Celes giggled, "Hoorah! Cortical monitor."

"Gotta keep an eye on you somehow, unless you prefer invasive brain surgery" Sam retorted with a smile.

"Hard pass" Celes replied with a wry smile.

Seth scratched Puss's head, "Don't worry Puss, Shon is going to be alright." But he didn't know if he was trying to convince the Sehlat or himself. As he said another silent prayer for Shon's recovery and return to him.






 

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