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JP - Lt. Skyfire & Lt. (j.g.) Moonsong: The Path Out of Darkness

Sedrin Belasi

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((Counseling Suites - Moonsong’s Office))

:: He was still calm, and was fighting back his own waves of anger. The tears that threatened to rise to the surface were being held back by a manifestation of his will. Here he was, arguing with the one person on the ship who he came to for help. None of his conversations with Sal ever went this badly. ::

::Raissa stared him down, her dark eyes sparkling with unshed tears. She rose to her feet and moved away from him. Her hands clenched into fists as she struggled for self control. She was a counselor. This was her patient. This wasn’t how she was supposed to do her job. She was supposed to be emotionally distanced from the patient. Somehow that line had blurred and she crossed it without realizing it. A mistake that could cost both of them.::

Moonsong: ::her voice was hoarse:: I’m sorry CD… Doctor Skyfire. You came to me for help and I’m failing you.

::She paused, struggling to find the words. She decided to be honest. She wouldn’t blame him if he decided he wanted a different counselor. So much for her breaking his rotating counselors streak. ::

Moonsong: ::she didn’t look at him:: You matter to me. Your life matters to me. It’s not professional of me, I know. Maybe the connection is the reason… I don’t know. But the thought of you dying… so senselessly... hurts.

:: He watched her, listened to her words. His eyes continued to burn with the unshed tears, his calm seriously impacted. He had just endured the wrath of Raissa, and survived it with no shields around his mind. Much like yesterday, with the wrath of Gabi. And yesterday he got punched in the jaw for it. Did he need to reschedule? Did he want her help? After this, he wasn’t sure. Yet, something in her words touched him. She mattered to him as well, though for a different reason. His own voice seemed a bit strained as he spoke. ::

Skyfire: I told you...there was method to my madness… :: He trailed off, resting his right elbow on his knee and his head in his hand. He didn’t have the words to elaborate right now. ::

Moonsong: ::her voice was soft:: I know… But you have to know I will never be happy whenever you choose to risk yourself again. ::She paused and turned to face him:: And you will… it’s what you do.

:: Her words cut into him like a d’ktagh, a single tear glistening on his face now from her wrath. He needed the shielding. This incident proved he needed the shielding. And right now, he didn’t have it. His calm was now severely wrecked, hurt and yet humbled by her words. He hated his profession for a few moments, but missed the sense of having a family. Desperate for one, without ever finding it within Starfleet. oO Except Sal, who’s on the Columbia. Oo He didn’t know how to react. ::

Skyfire: :: Without looking up :: What do I do?

:: Raissa looked down at the man sitting before her. Right now she felt as if she were looking at one of her brothers. Despite the grief she gave them, if they needed her help, she was there. ::

Moonsong: It… it is your choice…. I want to help you… :: She decided to stick with the honesty route. It was better for him to make his choice with all the facts. :: If teaching you to properly shield gives you even a tiny bit of protection that could save your life…. If you’re not being battered by the thoughts of others… you can think things through with a clear mind… or without outside influence.

:: Raissa returned to her chair across from him. She did not sit back. She leaned forward her hands clasped tightly together. She looked up at him with clear eyes. ::

Moonsong: :: Her voice was a whisper: :: I would never turn my back on family.

:: He slowly raised his eyes to meet hers, another tear or two streaking his face as he echoed the last word with a burst of confusion and relief. ::

Skyfire: ...family?

Moonsong: :: Her voice was soft even as she looked away from him. :: It is what I see when I look at you… feel you…

:: He didn’t get it at first. Much like when he confessed his feelings of brotherly love to Sal, the ginger-haired counselor didn’t follow because he didn’t know what love is. And therefore couldn’t return it. In this case, CD dawned on the realization, and asked quietly with a touch of hesitation. ::

Skyfire: Do you see Alexi or Andre when you look at me?

Moonsong: :: Her eyes traveled over his face. :: You look nothing like them, but you do [...] me off like they do.

:: He managed a faint nod, barely able to register what she was saying. He was still a mental wreck, unbalanced by her words. CD searched her eyes with his own, hindered as he was by additional tears that threatened to spread across his cheeks. ::

Skyfire: Can we reschedule? I think I need time… :: Pause, however awkward. :: ...or shields… :: Beat. :: ...or both…

Moonsong: ::She nodded. She’d be lucky if she kept her counseling license after this. :: I can give you temporary help with shielding until you take your inhibitor. I can help you put up something temporary.

:: He blinked away a few tears, and noted the hesitation behind her words. In this instance, though he was still learning, he could tell she was preoccupied by...something else beyond seeing one of her brothers in him. ::

Skyfire: I...I haven’t taken it in two days...not since I did that stunt on the station..

Moonsong: :: She stared at him. :: Two days…. You’ve never been able to function without them that long before have you?

:: It was hard for him to find the words. His Russian was still a little noticeable in his words. ::

Skyfire: I can, da. I just don’t like going that long vithout them until I get control over it.

Moonsong: ::her mouth tightened slightly as she considered his words.:: I… I don’t think … I mean I guess I didn’t understand what you were using the inhibitors for. I thought you were using them to suppress your talent because you didn’t have any kind of telepathic shielding.

:: To that, he just nodded. She was partly correct. ::

Skyfire: That too. No shielding, no control. So, inhibitors were recommended.

Moonsong: ::She just stared at him. Frowning slightly. She thought she would teach him how to shield and basic controls, but….:: But something is different….

:: Again, he nodded. He had become too reliant on the inhibitors to prevent everything from exploding around him. ::

Skyfire: I think my brush with death might’ve had something to do with it, but vhat do you think it is?

Moonsong: ::she shook her head slightly:: Honestly I don’t know… You need basic shielding… I think you should use the inhibitors to catch up on rest… lack of sleep makes it harder…. ::she hesitated:: I can help… if you want...

Skyfire: :: He caught onto the hesitation. :: You’re hesitating, Ris. Why?

Moonsong: ::She stared down at her hands: Because the easiest way, the natural way, to do that is a telepathic link. But….I’m still trying to deal with my own issues that might bleed through to you. My own shielding and control is shaky as I try to rebuild them. For that matter, I still don’t know what caused my powers to spike.

:: He wiped away his tears with both hands, forcing himself to breathe. He was also hesitant; he wanted her help but by the same token if he didn’t accept it he would probably be more at risk than he was already for either doing something dumb or setting someone off. Despite his battered calm, he managed to keep his voice level. His Russian faded a little. ::

Skyfire: Much as I need it… :: He glanced down at her hands, then nodded faintly. He needed this shielding, and hopefully some control would come with it. oO Is this reckless too? Oo :: I accept...

:: Her hands clenched together tightly on her knees, the skin white as her fingernails dug into her palms. She swallowed hard and forced more control on herself. She was taking a risk that could be dangerous. Ironic since she had scalded him with her anger about taking risks with his life. Now they could be taking a risk with both their sanity. ::

Moonsong: This requires that you trust me completely. You have to let me take control.

:: He managed to blink away a few tears. Despite this “little brother” role she cast him in and the sibling quarrel they just had, he gave a faint nod. He felt his hold over his emotions starting to slip, and took a breath in an attempt to force control into himself. ::

Skyfire: Alright.

::Raissa hesitated a scant moment and then reached across the table to take his hands. She was shielded but he wasn’t. She dredged up every technique her grandmother had taught her about telepathy and empathy. Closing her eyes she let go of her physical self and entered a place of the mind. The mental image she conjured was that of a plain white room. There were no windows or door but light surrounded them. She opened her ‘eyes’ to look at CD and gauge his reaction to the place. Thier surroundings would waver as his perceptions took over and she needed to see how far his trust would take them.::

:: CD also closed his eyes in the physical realm, and let himself slip into the realm of metaphysical. A place he’d been before -- the construct. Once his projected image opened his eyes, he glanced around and felt nothing. No anger, no panic, no rage. There was nothing. Just Raissa, and the light. ::

Moonsong: ~ You are within my shields. ~ ::for a moment one of the walls seemed to soften and then it firmed and became solid again.:: ~ This is how I see them. ~

:: Skyfire’s projection glanced around once more before meeting her eyes. He felt words on the tip of his tongue, letting himself speak. ::

Skyfire: ~Lead on, then.~

::This time her hesitation was obvious along with her concern. Though she asked for his trust, she didn’t fully trust herself::

Moonsong: ~This is a basic shielding form I learn from my grandmother…. I want you to feel these walls and place your own. Overlay mine. They don’t have to be white. ~

::She watched him carefully. Yet the corner of her mental sight kept catching a glimpse of a disembodied toothful smile.::

:: He walked over to one of the walls and ran a hand over it, feeling the wall. Tracing the texture. He too saw the disembodied toothful grin that seemed to take shape on the wall he was examining, and jumped back as though it was going to bite him. He wanted the cheshire to go away, so he could focus. The walls rippled slightly, forming a dark oceanic blue color. Though the grin was still present. ::

Moonsong: ::she was frowning as one wall became blue. The ‘smile’ was becoming persistent; ~What is that image? It is coming from you. ~

:: Chythar tried to keep his calm, his muscles tensing as he came to the realization. ::

Skyfire: ~It’s...a...cheshire cat…~

Moonsong: ~ Why is it here? ~

:: Skyfire sighed heavily and tried to use his force of will to make it go away. He still had no real shielding to speak of, only one of the walls having been transformed. ::

Skyfire: ~I don’t know. I saw him..it...during my brush with death...taunting me…~

Moonsong: ::Her voice was uncompromising:: ~You do know… It is coming from your mind. What does it mean? Think!~

Cheshire: :: fades into existence, head first. :: ~Cathar!~ You are a sight for sore eyes, I must say!

:: His eyes closed, muscles tensing as the cat faded into existence. He wracked his brain, trying to come up with an explanation for the cat. He was silent for several moments. ::

Cheshire: :: faded into existence completely. :: ~Cat got your tongue, Cathar?~

Skyfire: ~I...I think he...was the one who…~ :: He trailed off for a moment. He needed to get the rest of the words out.No matter how much he disagreed with the reasoning. :: ~He’s the one who made me reach out to you…~

::Raissa stared at him for a moment. The wall behind her flickered with a montage of images so fast they took only a moment. A storm, trees bending in response to a violent wind, then fire burning until the wall returned to white. In a way the wall showed a representation of her emotions. She fought for control again. He needed to shield. That was all. More could come later. Except for the issue of this annoying striped cat::

Moonsong: ~Not he…. you… you reached out to me… Your mind chose this image. Only you can control it. ~

:: The cat distorted in it’s shape for a moment, and then faded completely as Skyfire gained enough control to make it disappear as he sank to his knees. He was probably too drained to maintain control of the wall, but it held. ::

::Raissa watched and for a moment the cat had smirked in her direction as if it knew something she didn’t.::

Moonsong: ~Continue. Once you’ve finished it will maintain itself. One wall isn’t enough. ~

:: His concentration was faltering a bit. He blinked and tried shaking his head to clear it, reaching his good hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. He tried to focus his energy to make the rest of the walls the same color, his left clenching into a fist for focus. The walls gradually shifted color to the oceanic blue, and his silence indicated contemplation. ::

Moonsong: ::her voice was quiet.:: ~ You need to finish it. Let got of your physical self. ~

:: He slowly obeyed, letting his hands hang by his sides. He clenched and unclenched his hands a couple times as the floor and ceiling shifted to match the color of the walls. ::

::When he looked in her direction he saw she had changed. Her form was no longer solid. Transparent and floating above the floor. Barely there..::

Moonsong: ~Make sure all the joints are sealed. ~

:: It took him a few moments to comply, his muscles tensing for a moment or two. When his eyes opened, she poofed like the cheshire had done. ::

:: The cheshire reappeared again, and he laughed mockingly at the doctor. ::

Cheshire: ~Was that so hard, Cathar? Why didn’t you figure that out earlier?~

:: His eyes opened slowly, a wave of shock crossing his face once again. Then he snapped back ::

Skyfire: ~Oh, shut up.~

:: Despite the shielding, he attempted telepathic contact with Ris. ::

Skyfire: ~Can I stop…?~

Moonsong: ::her mental voice was faint and layered in exhaustion and pain she couldn’t hide:: ~ Yes… your shielding will hold… ~

:: Skyfire came back to his physical self, opening his eyes and panting for a few seconds. His muscles were tense, and he was completely wiped from the effort. ::

::Raissa had let go of his hands and had fallen back in her chair looking almost as bad as she had when she beamed up from the station. The mechanics of teaching him to shield telepathically meant he had to literally push her out while she pushed back. It was exhausting, but effective. Especially when it worked. Of course she had never explained any of that part to him.::

Moonsong: Feel better?

:: It took him several moments to formulate a response. He felt silence. Felt nothing. He wasn’t even sensing anything except the exhaustion they both felt. ::

Skyfire: Everything’s gone...gone quiet…

Moonsong: ::She closed her eyes:: You… you’ll learn to modify them as needed. This is the foundation. At this point….. ::she took a deep breath and then let it out:: Once… you get comfortable with the shielding…. You won’t need me anymore….. ::she put both hands to her head:: By my ancestors… what did you do to me…?

:: It took him only a few seconds to react. ::

Skyfire: Maybe...we can revisit this...in a few days? We both need...a bit of sleep, I think...

Moonsong: If you like. But now that you have a basic shield… you really don’t need me anymore.

:: He picked up the cold tea and drained its contents before slowly rising to his feet. ::

Skyfire: I’ll call later to schedule those tests. Checking for brain damage and seeing where your powers… :: He blinked a few times. :: ..where your powers fall on the scale now.

Moonsong: ::She leaned her head back and put an arm over her eyes as if the light was too much.:: Fine, but Dr. Ven is an arrogant a--...... His nose is so high in the air the gods don’t need toilet paper.

:: The doc nodded faintly in understanding. He didn’t like the man either. ::

Skyfire: If you’d rather I administer the tests and so on, I will do so. Just to minimize the friction within the department.

Moonsong: ::She removed her arm to peer at him.:: If I have a choice I don’t want to deal with the man. He is very competent in his field but he makes me feel like a lab rat.

Skyfire: Say no more. I’ll handle the tests, you won’t have to deal with him. :: He felt the exhaustion from her. :: Tell you what. You can call me when you’re ready. We’ll talk more at that point.

::Raissa nodded. As far as she was concerned their session was over. All she wanted to do was to crawl into bed get some sleep. Ideally she’d like to crawl into Carter’s bed and… Her eyes flew open.:

Moonsong: ::her face reddening:: Uh… yes. Of course Doctor.

:: He disposed of his cup and headed out the door. He felt better. For once in his life since his accident with Azin, he had some shielding and a sense of control. ::


Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire

Acting CMO

USS Garuda NCC 73809


Lieutenant JG Raissa Moonsong


USS Garuda
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