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Lieutenant JG Rennyn - A Borg In A Field, And Other Terrors


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::Ren was standing in a field of tall grass in a land of green plants under a sky of pure blue with high white clouds and a faint, warm breeze. He was dressed a very well-made 21st century Terran suit, stone and gray glenplaid wool, with a crisp white shirt and a navy tie that hung loose around his neck. He knew he was dreaming, because his boyfriend Navin, who had been dead for 10 years, was walking toward him, every part of him fully transformed into a Borg drone. At least the weather was nice. While the antitoxin worked through his body in Sickbay, Ren had some issues to work through here.::

NAVIN: Well whaddya know. Rendal Rennyn, looking good. I like a man in a suit. ::Navin looked like a Borg, mechanical implants and mottled skin and one of those little skull caps and the red light shining from a piece next to his remaining eye. But he sounded like himself, not like a Borg.:: Resistance is futile. ::He made phaser guns with his fingers and pretended to shoot them at Ren.:: Pew! Pew! Pew!

REN: What are you doing here? ::He could have moved, but was afraid. What if he woke up? Then again, what if he didn't? Weren't you supposed to be with your loved ones in an elysian field when you died? Yes, so that was it. He was dead.:: Where's my grandma?

NAVIN: Uh.... I don't know? It's your dream.

REN: My.. My dream! I'm not dead?

NAVIN: What, did you trade brains with a gummy bear? Foster cured you. All this is, is you passing out while your body clears the toxin.

REN: How do you know that?

NAVIN: Because you're dreaming, and I'm in your head.

REN: I'm dreaming you.

NAVIN: Nnnnn.... is that what I said? Okay, sure. ::He winked his one Trill eye.:: Whatever you think.

::Ren didn't want to imagine any alternatives to what "in your head" could mean. He didn't want to look at Navin as a Borg. Then again, he could barely look away. Memories only slip as far away as the knowledge of how to ride a bicycle. But with people you've lost, the details are a bike you can't get on again. A photograph or a hologram can't do justice to the real thing. And dream or not, this was the real Navin. That eye, so brown it was almost black. It's corners, it's lashes. The quirk of his cheek, the fine muscle movements. Ren could have called up each detail if he thought hard enough about it, but to see them in action again, even ravaged by the Borg, was something better, something beyond memory. There was a reality here that he feared to question too deeply, lest he broke the spell and lost it forever.::

REN: I see you everywhere. But it's never as real as this.

NAVIN: Your memories of me were fading. And now I'm in focus.

REN: How....?

NAVIN: Nah. Wrong question. Look, Ren. We're going to talk about Sovak.

::Ren stepped closer, though he'd meant to step away. He didn't know what to do or say.::

NAVIN: I know you like him. And I know you're holding back because you were so hurt when I died that you can't risk losing him the same way. Am I right?

REN: ...Yes. It's dangerous out here. What if I let Sovak in? What if we're together? Then what? What if he dies? His parents died in the line of duty. So did you. I... I don't know if I can take it.

NAVIN: Yeah, okay. You've put together a good routine of whining and excuses. ::With his mechanical hand, he played with one end of Ren's loose tie. His servos whirred.:: The truth is, you're not afraid Sovak will die. You're afraid that you won't be able to love him enough, the way you didn't love me enough when I was alive. When I was right in front of your face. You're afraid of feeling even more guilt than you already feel about me.

REN: I was in love with you. I screwed it up with you, and then you were gone, and we didn't get another chance. Yes, I have spent years feeling low about it. But that's because I loved you.

NAVIN: And you barely did anything about it. And then I was dead. You didn't know what to do about that, and you still don't know what to do about it. You go from one day to the next, going about your life, trying not to feel anything that has to do with love. And they call me a zombie. Friends - fine. Laughter - great. Jokes and jokes from good times Ren. But there's that guilt inside you, and you can't root it out. And now it's keeping you from Sovak, who could be really good for you. ::He played with Ren's hair, just above the ear, like he used to, except now, the metal fingers were cold, and they made Ren cringe.:: It can change, Ren. You can change, you can get past that feeling of guilt. I am here to tell you what to do about it.

::Ren couldn't believe it. As the toxin and the cure battled for control of his body, his poor beleagured brain was dreaming up an image of his dead boyfriend to tell him to put the moves on Sovak. This stupid toxin... He sighed in exasperation and shouted up to the sky.::

REN: Really, brain? This is the best you could do? An image of Navin to advise me on my love life?

NAVIN: There you go putting words in my mouth again.

::Suddenly, Navin of Borg was pressed against Ren, his whirring mechanical parts crushing the fine material of the Terran suit. The Borg Trill's mechanical hand gripped Ren's waist tightly. The hand of dark, mottled flesh clasped Ren's face, pulling it uncomfortably close. Ren smelled death and machinery. This was not the embrace of his memories or his dreams.::

NAVIN: You want to stop dithering back and forth? I will tell you how. Give up, Ren. You will never forget me. You will never move on. You will never get past that dead feeling inside. Give up on moving forward, and be happy in the knowledge that you don't have to fight those feelings any more. Just accept that you will be miserable about me every day for the rest of your life, and forget about ever loving again.

REN: This is either a nightmare, or the galaxy's worst reverse psychology.

NAVIN: I'm haunting you, you idiot. What did you expect me to say? "Live and be free?"

REN: Please don't make me remember you this way. I'm not a quitter. I'm not going to do any of what you're saying. Why won't you let me move on?

NAVIN: Because we are one, Ren. Your biological and emotional distinctiveness was added to our own.

::Navin pulled Ren ever closer, tore the loose tie from around his neck, ripped open the crisp white shirt, and, despite Ren's struggling, inserted two nanotubes there. Navin whispered a sweet nothing in Ren's ear.::

NAVIN: Resistance is futile.

((USS Atlantis - Sickbay))

::Ren awoke in Sickbay with a scream, and his hands scrambled to feel the warm, sweating flesh of his chest and neck, confirming no entry wound. He breathed deep, ragged breaths, trying to calm down. It had been nothing more than a dream.::

::Someone had covered Ren with the blanket. His discarded uniform, drenched in sweat as it was, had been taken away, replaced with a fresh blue medical coverall folded neatly for him at the end of the bed. He was halfway in to it, trying to figure out how he was supposed to get the arm on over the IV, when the rest of Sickbay came in to focus, and he began to realize that the scream he'd woken to was not his own.::


LtJg Rendal Rennyn
Helm Officer
USS Atlantis

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