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Checking In (Working Title)

Posted on Tue Jun 7th, 2022 @ 8:17pm by Governor Cael Maz & Defense Force Officer Cormac MacArthur & Operations Zakaran Ick'thar & Medical Devaen Torr & Defense Force Officer Arlaena Torr

Mission: Colony Life
Location: Hospital, District 2
Timeline: 241401.20

One of the pleasures -- all right, it wasn't pleasant to know people were suffering, but that wasn't what he meant -- of being a doctor was the time when he could visit his patients. Devaen had the heart of a true healer, and he always took every opportunity to ease their suffering in any way he could, even if that was just to talk to them for a few minutes. In Cael's case, the only thing he had been able to do so far was adjust medications in the hopes that something would bring the governor out of that coma and talk to him for a bit. Devaen firmly believed that people in comas could hear people talk to them, maybe even needed it to anchor them, and so he did it when he made his rounds.

Each day as he came to Cael's room, he had seen Arlaena there, holding her mate's hand and speaking softly to him. Sometimes she spoke in Standard, sometimes in Trill, and sometimes in Filra. But always, she spoke lovingly and in tones that felt as though they were meant to call him back from the Abyss. Devaen loved his sister and wished fervently that he could help her as well, knew she was scared for her mate, that he might never come back to her. But he also knew that Arlaena was strong, stronger than he would ever be, and that she would keep doing this, day after day, until either Cael came out of that coma or she died, whichever came first.

As Devaen entered today, she was here again. She looked up and smiled weakly at him. That had not surprised him; it was what he had gotten used to. What did surprise him was Cormac sitting nearby. Devaen frowned slightly "Shouldn't you be resting, Cormac?" he asked as he approached the three.

"Ain't no rest for the wicked," Cormac said with a smile as he flexed his hands with the tennis balls inside his palms. Truth be told he had not been sleeping because of the nightmares he had been having about Yani, Tanum, and Cassie. They were keeping him up but it wasn't like he wasn't used to it. After all, he did just spend a solid two weeks awake and moving.

Devaen frowned. Still speaking in song titles. He glanced to the man's wrist, noting the wristband and that it still functioned. He had tried to figure a way to remove it without doing permanent damage to Cormac, but so far, he'd had no luck. His eyes came back to the man. "Why did you come in here?" That was curiosity, and it would tell Devaen something about the man's frame of mind.

Cormac took a few minutes to respond but it felt like a few years. "Astronaut In The Ocean," he said trying to convey his thoughts in a proper manner. He then walked over to Cael and frowned, "Hello" he said. He looked to Arlaena as if asking if he was okay. His thoughts ran through a few songs before responding in his new way of thought, "Yours"

Devaen was not sure he understood the reference that Cormac was making. He tilted his head slightly, his tail flicking a few times in a show of confusion. "I assume you mean feeling lost. Do you mean him or yourself?" he asked, watching the man.

Arlaena looked up as Cormac approached her and Cael. She wasn't sure she understood the word choices, but the look she did understand. "He's the same as before, Cormac," she said softly.

Cormac looked to the doctor and pointed to himself with a nod. He then looked to Arlaena and Cael a few times "Somebody to love." He said with a nod hoping that someday he would be able to speak his thoughts but for now, he knew he would have to use his song titles clearly. With his wristband still offline, he could not use a playlist that he knew Jenj would have. It was still on however transmitting to somewhere, just clearly not Jenj who had yet to come online.

Zakaran hesitated in the doorway, he'd left rather abruptly, and he had done some deep soul searching. He had realized this was the only place he'd rather be, with his friend Cael.

There was a tiny part of him that wanted to rip off the limiter and just run in and fix Cael, but another, larger, part of him that said not to. He decided to remain in the doorway, just watching.

Devaen, sensing the new arrival, turned to regard the man standing in the doorway. Not immediately recognizing him, Devaen moved over to stand before him. "Can I help you, sir?" he asked. He guessed that this man must be one of the people who had come with the GAV ships.

"I'm one of Cael's friends. Zakaran Ick'thar. I came here with the initial group, then left for some soul searching, though I hadn't realized I needed it." Zakaran said.

He leaned slightly to one side to look over at Cael, one hand drifting to his limiter. "Is he alright?"

Devaen glanced over his shoulder at Cael, tail twitching reflexively a couple of times before he stilled it by wrapping it around his waist, then brought his eyes back to the man before him. "We're working to make it so," he answered honestly. "But at this point, there isn't much that can be done. I've done what can be done, but now it's up to him."

Devaen did not miss the movement of the man's hand and glanced at the device. His head tilted slightly as he studied it. "May I ask... what is that device? Does it cause you pain?" The healer in him demanded that he ask in case it was something the man needed help with.

"Psychologically yes. It's a limiter. I'm a Thrunaran, you probably haven't heard of them. We're very electrosensitive, to the point that we're capable of manipulating electric fields by touch."

Zakaran continued, "Starfleet makes me wear this thing because I'm capable of even manipulating the impulses flowing through a person. As long as I wear it my powers are effectively gone. And the one guy who can turn it off temporarily, at least to my knowledge, is currently in a coma." He nodded at Cael.

Devaen frowned slightly in thought. Starfleet? This man must have been gone a long while to not know that Starfleet was gone. "Starfleet makes you wear it?" he repeated, that frown still in place. "You have been gone for a good while then. Starfleet doesn't exist in that form anymore. I doubt that the current organization would have the same issues." Devaen moved closer and studied the device closer. "May I scan it?"

"Go ahead." Zakaran said. "Yeah, like I said, I was doing some soul searching. My people are long lived."

Cormac looked to Arlaena and to Devaen and the new guest carefuly, "Pardon me." He said before backing off and stepping aside, debating on heading out to check to see if Yani had decided to stay. Then the thought occured to him. Though he was wearing what ammounted to a gown with pockets, recovered from New Destiny along with a few effects from his old place to make him feel more comfortable, he carried with him a picture of Yani, Mr Blake, and himself at some fort of graduation event. He moved over to Arlaena and pointed to Yani, "Until I day I die?"

Devaen reached into the pocket of his lab coat for his hand scanner, but found a piece of paper. Retrieving it, he blinked at it for a moment, trying to remember why it was there. Hearing Cormac speak, he remembered. He had found it the night before when he had gone to check on the man. It had been under a table near the bed. He had not read its contents as it was not his business, but he had kept it in case it was important with the plan of giving it to Cormac next time he encountered him awake.

Temporarily, he placed the paper back into his pocket and removed the scanner. Taking a scan of the device that Zakaran wore, he looked it over. "It looks like a form of Power Inhibitor or Nullifier. It should be easy enough to remove. If you will allow me, I will make a closer examination shortly?" he asked, adding as information and a reason why he was putting the other man off, "Currently, however, I need to attend to these patients."

"Yeah, ok. That's fine." Zakaran said, moving over to take a seat somewhere. He was anxious to be rid of the thing, and yet also excited. This was a chapter in his life he hadn't ever had a chance to explore, and now he was going to be able to.

Devaen smiled. "Thank you for your understanding and patience. I promise it won't be long, and I'll get right back to you." He then headed over to where Cormac and Arlaena were.

Meanwhile, Arlaena had looked up at Cormac as he approached her. She felt a great deal of compassion for her fellow pilot, wished she could help somehow. But she couldn't even help her mate, and that chewed at her soul far more.

As he showed her the picture, she glanced down at it. That was right; he'd been involved with Yani Blake. She looked up at him from the picture, her expression showing compassion and apology. "I'm sorry, but I haven't seen her," she told him. "But then, I've mostly been in here."

Cormac nodded with a sigh. If Yani said she went with Arlaena and she hadn't seen her, he wasn't sure where to look next. As he placed the picture in his pocket, he looked to Devaen and nodded, "I need a doctor." with emphasis on the doctor as if he was addressing him rather than requesting one.

Devaen was starting to recognize the patterns in Cormac's odd speech patterns. He may not know the references themselves, but he was beginning to catch on to the subtleties of the way the man said them. "I don't know if it's important, Cormac," he said as he took the piece of paper from the pocket of his lab coat once more, "but I found this last night when I went to check on you. You were asleep, and it was under the side table, but it hadn't been there before, so I thought it might be something you'd want." He held it out to the other man. "Whatever it is, I didn't read it. I just kept it for you in case it was important to you," he added by way of assuring Cormac that his privacy was in tact.

Cormac sniffed the air a little bit as he took the paper. It's smelled a little familiar to him. Yani. His hands moved with grace for a man who had recently had a funeral in his honor. He opened the document and moved his feet as he walked.

Item delivered, Devaen moved to check Cael's readings. The same. No change. He gave his sister a sympathetic look and a warm brush of mind. She reciprocated with a look of gratitude and a return of the warm brush of mind. Then she returned her attention to Cael, continuing to speak to him softly while Devaen returned to Zakaran.

Stopping before Zakaran, Devaen motioned for him to follow him, asking as he did, "Would you mind following me to another room where I can get a better scan of that thing. Then we can see about removing it for you."

Without any notice or warning, the wristbands on all those that had one began to power up and refresh. A loading screen was found on all of them indicating that a system-wide update was commencing. After a few seconds, the new home screen was available to everyone.

Devaen paused as his wristband activated and looked down at it. Well, that was good. The system was back up. And the thing had a new desktop. Interesting. He would look at it more thoroughly later. For now, he had work to do. He looked to be certain that Zakaran was following him then continued out of the room.

Tag Zakaran

After Zakaran left, Cormac's face went from a smile to a frown. The letter read:

My dearest love,

When you read this I will be gone physically from this place. But know that no matter where I go, what I do my heart it lingers here with you. You have been my strength and my shield. Though I loathe to leave you in your time of need I must go and protect our homeworld from destruction by the Borg. I know how shallow and empty these words of mine might seem written here on this page, but forgive me my cowardly heart that I could not look into your eyes and face the pain I know my departure from you will bring. I love you, I always will. You have made me better then I ever was. I can only hope someday you will be proud of me and this choice.

With all my heart I pray for you, I will miss you, and always love you,

Your Yani.

If someone could hear it, his heart snapped into two as he slowly dropped the letter. Through his wristband music began to play out loud for the very first time since he returned. Ricochet by Starset.

When the music began, Arlaena looked up. She did not need her telepathy to tell what was wrong. While she didn't know the cause -- she hadn't read that letter -- she could see the pain etched into Cormac's face, smell it on him. Whispering to Cael, "I'll be back, my Love," she kissed him softly then laid his hand against his stomach and stood. Moving around the bed, she came to stand beside Cormac, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. It was an offer.

Right now, she could do nothing for Cael. But poor Cormac she could at least try to help. And he was one of her pilots... and a friend, she felt.

Cormac watched the letter flutter down as it hit the floor and he just stared at it. Black tears began to form in the corner of his eyes, supprising as the spores in his body were reported to be gone. The song cut out and changed as his fists clenched tightly, "Breaking down." And the song began to play. As his face tried to hold back the tears, his hands began to draw blood that dripped onto the floor. After a few seconds, the blood began to rise up off the floor and the energy in the room shifted. Like ample waves, the lights in the room began to fade as if a pulse was being given to them.

Cael mumbled under the pressure, "Run...now...run." But it was loud enough to be heard over the music.

Arlaena did not hear Cael, but even if she had, she would not have run. One reason was that to do so would have left him here with whatever was happening to and because of Cormac. Another reason was that what was happening was because the man was in agony, and she could not simply leave him like that. It did occur to her to wonder how in the Abyss he was doing this, but that was a question for after she got him to stop... if she could.

Coming to stand in front of him, between him and Cael's bed, she put both hands on his shoulders and locked gazes with him. Hers was different than usual. There was something older and wiser in her eyes, ancient even. "Cormac, I understand." That ancient something was in her voice as well, bringing with it a warmth and understanding that reached across the distance between them. "I understand the pain, the anguish, the suffocating pain," she continued.

Now she slid her hands down to take his in them. "I know the need to lash out and make the universe hurt like you do. But I need you to look at me." Her hands closed on his firmly but with warm caring. "I need you to hear me. Please." She knew that she was taking a risk by focusing him on her. But at least if he was focused on her, others would be safer, she hoped.

Cormac's eyes opened to reveal red whisps dancing like a fire where his iris used to be. It was an old feeling, a matching ancient force that burned inside him, consuming him like some flesh eating bacteria. Rather than speaking, he used his thoughts, {Blake....Blake....Blake....} as red blood flowed from his nose and floated upward to the ceiling. The feeling of pain and anguish washed over the room.

Cael could feel the pain and anguish and began to wince in his bed. His mind now flooded with Cormac's thoughts so easily as there was no mental guard with Maz out as well. She did everything she could for Cael but it still was not enough to protect him. His lips parted and a primal yell came. It was brooding and ancient in nature and not at all Cael, Maz, or even Cormac for that matter.

Arlaena felt all of it wash over her. Even with her mental walls, she was still not immune. And that ancient someone inside of her did not flinch. The woman she was now winced inwardly. Now she was torn, though. The younger Arlaena wanted to go to her mate and protect him. But that ancient soul inside of her knew that would not help him. To truly help him, they needed to help Cormac. But how?

Arlaena's azurite blue eyes held steadily on Cormac's now fiery ones. She did not flinch. With her own telepathy, she reached out to him. {I understand what you need,} she sent. {But I cannot bring her to you. I know the burning pain of such loss, but we cannot choose the path of another, even if letting them go tears out our hearts.} She was trying to reach him through understanding, warmth, and common ground. {And what you're doing now, she wouldn't want.} The tone of her telepathic voice was softer, gentler.

Meanwhile, using her tail, she tapped a message out on her wristband. It read, *Jenj, please send someone to sedate him.* She was beginning to see that she was not going to reach him like this.

Cormac just relentlessly continued his demand, {Blake...Blake....Blake} with his strength increasing exponentially. That was until the doors opened ten times quicker than normal and a large blue bolt of what could be near lightning shot out from somewhere on the other side, stunning him.

As soon as the bolt struck Cormac, Cael began to settle down and return to his vegetative state.

Two tall peach-colored drones came in and began to pick up Cormac, escorting his limp body out of the room, but not before placing a collar around his neck. As they left, a tall blue figure clad in pink and orange outfits that resembled what the armor looked like for the Abrexi, came walking in. She raised her wrist band which looked much different from the ones on the colony. It spoke melodically in standard Federation. "Are you harmed?" she asked.

As Cormac slumped, Arlaena released him. Her eyes closed for a moment as she tried to find her balance emotionally. After a moment, she opened her eyes and glanced at Cael, seeing that he was settling but still worried that he might stay that way. Then she brought her eyes to the new figure. Abrexi? she guessed. "No," she answered softly. "I'm worried, but not harmed. I think I was at the eye of the storm as it were." Even telepathically, she was not harmed. He had been roughly insistent, but nothing she couldn't handle. She'd had far worse at the hands of Treviul.

She looked back at Cael then at the woman. "Are you a doctor or security?"

"In my lifetime, I have been many things. Jenj alerted us to the rise in telekinetic energy. His outburst affected the whole planet, it seems. He will be taken aboard the vessel we arrived in and treated." The Abrexi said through her band, "My name is Zenasha."

Arlaena nodded understanding. She was shocked to learn that the effect had gone so far, but she was glad she had called for help. A lot of people could have gotten hurt. "I am Arlaena. Pleased to meet you, though I wish the circumstances had been better."

Her eyes flicked to Cael once more then back. "Can your people help him too?" she asked, moving now to take her place once more beside her mate. It was clear in her eyes and voice -- they'd now returned to her normal -- that Cael meant a great deal to her and she was very worried now that she could once more focus on what mattered to her.

Zenasha moved over to Cael with grace and began to scan him with the wrist band, "There are two options. The host and the symbiont can be given separate bodies. This can be done with our cloning chambers. At the moment we have Abrexi bodies available for use. This would be a difficult decision to make, we understand. The Abrexi bodies, of course, would be temporary while we clone the Host body for him. The symbiont however will have to stay in an Abrexi body. Its nuclides are incompatible with our cloning systems.

The other option that is presented is we attempt to fix the mind with our own sort of telepathy. As we do not know much about his species, this could have a chance at fracturing both his mind and her mind. How would you have us proceed?"

Arlaena froze. The decision was hers? Cael was in a coma, so he couldn't decide. But what about Maz? Could she reach Maz telepathically? Should she even try? What if the symbiont was damaged too and her telepathic contact exacerbated that damage. She couldn't bear it if she was the cause of damage to either of them. And so that left it to her.

She held Cael's hand tightly between hers as she thought about the options. "What is the percentage chance of damage to them in the second method?" she asked. She needed as much information as she could get before choosing what their lives would be from this day forward. Great Filra!

"Not knowing the structures of the mind and without the assistance of an expert in his species, both of them, the chances are about 26.9173% chance of damage occurred in various different stages of the damage. One includes both brains dead. However, if we had an expert in their species, your chances increase most likely in the single digits. Mind you, we do not normally do this with other species due to the risk."

Arlaena nodded understanding. The risks were too high. But something Zenasha had said caught in her brain and stuck there for a moment. An expert on the species. "By expert, I assume you mean a medical expert?" she asked. They did have another Trill here, but Arlaena was not at all sure that was what the lady meant. And Devaen... could he be considered an expert on Trill? Not really; he was more of a general practitioner. He knew enough about them to treat them effectively, but not likely the kind of expert Zenasha needed.

"Yes, a medical expert in Trill. Jenj just informed me there is some sort of counsel needed for the procedure to help the symbiont. Do you have those on the colony?" The Abrexi asked with curiosity.

Arlaena hissed softly, though not at the woman. She didn't really know how many Trill were here. She knew of Mesu Mehl, but... "Governor Mesu Mehl might know how many there are; she's Trill. But I don't think we have a specialized medical expert on Trill." Tears unshed glistened in her eyes as she tried hard to focus on what to do. "So I guess it's moot how many we have." She let out a shaky breath and tried to think of what they would want.

She suspected it would be difficult to adjust to not being in each other's minds, but wouldn't that be better than both being damaged? At least that way, they were each still whole if separate. Right?

"I... think the least risk comes with the first choice, right?" she asked to be sure. Maybe she was stalling just a bit, but this was not a decision to be made lightly, quickly or without as much information as she could have.

Zenasha nodded softly, "His status right now, from what I am getting," and she flicked her finger at her wrist band and it displayed on the wall, two heart beats, both steady. Brain wave patterns indicated that both were in a coma and the image of both brains was projected on as well, "is that he is stable and healthy. However, if you look at this section here, where the trama occurred, it's not as active as it should be. From initial scans taken when he arrived, it is healing but at about a fraction of a percent a day. I have reason to believe that due to this black spore situation, it has affected him in some way biologically. It is also my recommendation that everyone in the colony gets tested and treated regardless of natural immunity."

Devaen reentered the room then. "I agree. I will be setting up a schedule for that as soon as we finish here," he assured.

Arlaena glanced to her brother and then to the wall screen and finally to Cael. She was truly torn up inside and wished that she could ask someone for advice. {Devaen, what should I do? I have to decide how to treat Cael and Maz, and I...I don't want to make a decision they can't live with or that does more harm than good.} she Sent to her brother.

Devaen looked at the images and readings on the wall screen, compared them with his own readings of the pair, then looked over at his sister. {Honestly, Laena, I would use the cloning option,} he sent back. {They might be separate and have to get used to that, but at least they'd be healthy.}

Arlaena nodded and looked at Zenasha. "The cloned bodies. At least they'll be healthy." She hoped to everyone's gods that she was making the right decision, one Cael and Maz could both live with and wouldn't hate her for making.

It was not a second after the choice was made that the drones returned as if they had been listening in and moved over to Cael. The bed, wich was used to monitor the vitals, detached from the wall and began to hover. The two drones began to make their way toward the door.

"Let us begin." Zenasha said.

MUSIC FOR POST:
https://youtu.be/SaC0YVaIMno?t=24

 

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