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PNPC Anya Nicholotti - Counting the Stars


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((Somewhere in the Habitat District, Starbase 118))

::The driving need to touch, and feel, everything around her pushed her onwards and further from the beaten path. From the smooth metallic feel of the handrails that guided others here or there, to the moist, almost grainy feel of the dirt that was now running through her fingers, everything offered her something new and completely amazing. Lost to the compulsion to see, feel, smell, and touch, the Captain's lookalike had left the path behind and now found herself ensconced in trees.::

::Far overhead, though not as far as one might have thought, an artificial sun began setting to one side of the artificial habitat. Animals, who didn't know the difference, began bedding down for the oncoming night, preparing to seek shelter from others, who only came out when the darkness called. Silently, Anya moved further into the trees, knowing that she was nearing the middle of what might have looked large, but was, in reality, both contained and quite finite.::

::But she didn't let those thoughts interrupt the idea that she was somewhere else.::

::Walking along, slower now, she stooped to look at a particularly interesting leaf. Green, with veins of red running through it, she knew it wasn't like the others. Yet here it lived, and thrived, on a vine with others of its kind. Touching it gently, she never saw or felt the stab of pain that shot through her and ultimately took her consciousness.::

::Almost as if a gentle breeze had simply put her to sleep, the woman's body fell ever so gently to the ground and her eyes closed. To her, the sun had already set and an endless darkness had taken over.::

((Dreamscape))

::Drip.::

::Drip, drop.::

Voice: ::Echoing.:: Aaanyaaa...

::Blinking slowly, and allowing her eyes to adjust to the light that washed over her face, Anya remained still and silent. She had thought she'd heard a voice call her, but after a long moment, she found herself drawn to the sound of dripping water. Propping herself up on her elbows, she allowed herself more room to move her head and look around.::

::Drop, drip.::

::In the distance, under shade provided with much taller trees than she remembered, she could see a small pool. The light that made it through the thick canopy above reflected off of a glasslike surface and shone on a nearby grey stone.::

::Drip, drop.::

::Slowly, Anya pulled herself up and brushed herself off. The telltale sounds of the station, and people not far away, had dissolved into nothing, but she was not afraid. Finding herself drawn to the pool, leaves and twigs and strange creatures around her were ignored as she stepped softly and quietly closer until she was standing next to the pool and gazing inwards.::

Voice: ::Echoing.:: Aaanyaaa. Time for dinnnnerr..

::Snapping her head up, she looked around for the source of the voice, but found nothing at all. Even a breeze seemed to be lacking in the new place she found herself in. When the voice didn't go on, her gaze turned back to the water and the reflection of her face that looked back at her. Suddenly, that reflection spoke.::

Reflection: You really should go. Mama will be worried.

::Both of Anya's eyebrows shot upwards and she found herself completely lost for words. How was her own reflection speaking to her? Suddenly, the voice turned deep and sounded familiar, though the face never changed.::

Reflection: It didn't work.

::And then it was gone. Despite looking at the same place in the water, there was no reflection at all.::

Voice: Anya dear, child, it's time to come home..

::Still distant, the voice seemed to have more coherence to it than before. Still, intrigued by the water, Anya reached out one finger gingerly. Slowly, she let it descend until it touched the surface of the pool. Ice cold shocked danced up her arm and through the rest of her body, but no ripples appeared.::

Cody: ::With a crooked smile.:: It's time to return to a place where time and space end.

::Glancing up, but still feeling the ice [...]s dancing on her skin, she saw the face of a man she thought was unconscious in sickbay and lost to their world. Yet, before her, he seemed so real.::

Anya: I don't understand.

::The form faded slightly, before mutating into another familiar face. Keito Nicholotti::

Keito: Come child. It's time to go home.

::Behind her, a robed figure appeared suddenly, with eyes sunken and a sorrowful look painted across his visage.::

Gareth: It didn't work.

::But before she could say anything, they both disappeared. Standing there, in the grips of a chill that didn't seem to end, Anya felt a million images enter her mind. Long forgotten, memories of eons gone by drifted through at warp speed, giving her only a moment to grasp at them before they were gone once more. Suddenly, she realized that these were the collective thoughts of the Greeters.::

Voice: ::Echoing.:: We're sorry, Anya. You were such a beautiful creation.

::Shadows fell around her from nowhere, filling her with a sense of definite dread. Yet, as scared as she felt, she could not move. Instead, she looked back down into the pool of water in front of her. At first, nothing happened, but as the darkness seemed to get closer and close her in, tiny strands began moving in the liquid.::

::Slowly, and ever so deliberately, they came together, wrapping around each other into perfectly mapped strands of what she recognized as Human DNA. But pieces were missing. Here and there, chunks had been replaced with something else that didn't belong. The strands tried to take over, replicate and duplicate themselves into a whole, but something went wrong and it all started falling apart.::

Voice: ::Echoing.:: Aaaanyaaa..

::This time, the voice sounded much farther in the distance than before. Anya shook her head and wondered what she was seeing. To her, it was so strange, so out there, but then again, her mind was full of images and knowledge shared with her by the Greeters. Not much made sense now.::

::Drip, drip, drop.::

Kalianna: It's alright Anya. We'll remember.

::Whirling around, she saw the woman who she had been modeled after. It was her DNA that enabled Anya to even be created. Still confused by the puzzling nature of the conversations and the people she'd seen, the biomatrix clone finally took a step away from the pool, only to fall into some kind of perpetual darkness that lay outside the tiny pool's circle of light.::

::Then, only blackness remained.::

((Somewhere in the Habitat District, Starbase 118))

::The body of Anya had fallen into a small alcove, with leaves already covering where it lay. Without warning, something changed. Silent, and stealthy, the youthful look faded, and the matrix disintegrated, leaving nothing behind but particles of Human DNA. The strands, physically goo at this point, drifted further and further apart, sinking into the dirt that the body had just lay in. With nothing to hold them together, and the process to convert the matrix to DNA having failed, the being that was Anya scattered quickly.::

::A signal skittered quickly on subspace bands; the last known aspects of the woman leaving the station and the body behind. Darkness encircled it, pushed it onwards, and chased it along in a long trek towards the end of time. An artificial rain began to fall, dripping on the leaves and washing away the last traces of where she had fallen.::

::Drip.::

::And then, she simply was no more.::

-End-

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