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LtCmdr T'Lea - Morning Hour


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(Embassy - Hotel - Suite 018))

:: It was more than she needed. It was a luxury hotel room specifically designed to pamper VIP’s -- that was what Della had arranged for T’Lea to stay in. It was a nice gesture, but a simple room and a bed would have sufficed. This place, she glanced at the expensive window treatments – this place had more space than she knew what to do with.::

:: No matter. The whole point of being here was to keep her family safe, and that meant removing herself from their lives.::

:: She picked up the bag that had been delivered earlier, and walked it into the bedroom, which to her wide-eyes looked fit for a Queen. A massive bed awaited her, and it was decked out in rows of puffy pillows and a hand-embroidered floral duvet. The lighting fixtures were polished in a high luster latinum color, and the rugs overlaying the glossy tile floors were, no doubt, made by local weavers.::

:: All of the comfort that surrounded T’Lea didn’t even register on her scale of caring in that moment. There was nothing she could see beyond the dark thoughts that plagued her. And so, without realizing it, she turned a blind eye to it all and tossed the bag onto the bed as she headed for the shower.::

:: Inside the bathroom were more of the same high-class expectations that went unnoticed. T’Lea removed the assorted bathing accessories from the counter, completely missing the fact that Della had sent something special – a bottle of her favorite Vulcan milk bath.::

:: A very hot shower was set, and gain, nothing except the cancerous thoughts in T’Lea’s mind had her attention.::

:: Steam filled the room, and the moisture started to cling to everything, even T’Lea’s bare skin. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and her image beckoned her closer. She leaned in to examine herself – to see what lurked behind her eyes...::

:: There it was, the cybernetic implant lens in her right eye -- the one that did the targeting, the one that gave her the fine details of how best to kill. She concentrated, trying to see that the program was still running somewhere inside her, but all she saw was a blue iris staring back at her, until the mirror fogged up, taking her image away with it.::

:: It was true. The optical targeting system was offline. The vital organ mapping software was offline. The reflexive muscle weave in her arms and hands were offline. She couldn’t make the cybernetics operate even if she’d wanted to, and yet she still felt completely helpless, and out of control.::

:: Stepping out of her dress, she submitted herself to the high pulse of hot water in the shower, and tried to relax.::

:: It didn’t help.::

((Later – 0400 hours))

:: T’Lea rolled over and felt a warm body next to her in bed. Arms pulled her close, a nose nuzzled her neck, and then lips breathed a sigh of contentment. The hybrid Vulcan reciprocated, until the haze of sleep rolled away from her mind, and logic set in.::

:: Her eyes popped open with force, and she groggily focused on the spotted skin that was snuggling against her.::

:: It was Della?::

:: It *was* Della.::

:: A flash-flood of questions swept her thoughts -- how did Della get in here, when did she get in here, what was she doing here?::

T’Lea: K’diwa?

:: The response was a happy groan, and the Trill shifted onto her back, expecting T’Lea to join her, however, the move revealed a pool of blood that had soaked through the clean white sheets.::

:: The smile of love Della gave her was the total opposite of T’Lea’s terrified expression.::

:: Words were uttered from frantic lips as T’Lea jerked back the sheets and saw the gaping hole in the Trill’s abdomen, right where the symbiot should have been.::

:: Horror struck the hybrid and a chaotic scramble sent her falling off the bed and to the floor. The jolt smacked of something wet in her hand. She looked down and there, beneath her wife’s blood was the Vetri symbiot crushed and limp in her fist.::

:: The sound that wailed from T’Lea’s throat was that of a pathetic wounded animal caught in a hunter’s primitive mechanical trap. It was guttural and cruel.::

:: She dropped the dead symbiot, and crawled back on the floor until she felt herself bump into something behind her.::

:: When T’Lea looked back there stood Gina with half of her skull missing, and T’Sara with a crooked broken neck, smiling at her, as if all were merry and bright.::

:: That’s when the sound of her own scream woke her up.::

:: Panicked, and with her heart racing at speeds that would have sent a cardiac unit into an emergency response, T’Lea shakily looked around the room, gasping for breath, and grasping for understanding.::

:: No one was there. Not a soul. Just a darkened, quiet, still room with a slight breeze moving in from the open balcony doors.::

:: It had been a nightmare. A sadistic, horrific dream.::

:: A dream that was too close to being real. And that, indeed, was the scariest part of this whole ordeal.::

:: A hearty swear word exhaled from T’Lea’s dry, coarse throat. She reached for the glass of water on the nightstand, but her hand bumped into a holo-photo of her family that Della had packed for her. She hesitated at the water, and ended up taking the photo instead.::

:: It was a picture perfect representation of what T’Lea’s life had been just a few short months ago. The image had been taken on the beach at her wedding. It was a casual family photo with Gina, T’Sara, T’Lea and Della smiling. Happy. Together.::

:: It greatly pained T’Lea to see what she had lost, and it only amplified the feeling that she would never have that happiness again.::

:: Abruptly she shut the image down, ignored the teardrop escaping from her eye, and crawled out of bed. She snagged the glass of water from the nightstand on the way to the balcony, and inhaled the fresh air that was circulating in the room to refute the tightening in her chest.::

:: Outside were the Embassy grounds, and very little movement – just the nightshift of security personnel doing their job. Nothing more, since most sane people were asleep.::

:: There T’Lea stood, staring into the darkness of early morning, feeling as empty as the hushed scene outside. She sipped from her glass and gripped the metal railing in front of her until her knuckles turned pale green. There were a few scattered lights in the distance, she noted. One of those twinkling pearls of light may have been the Ambassador’s residence, her home, but she couldn’t be sure.::

:: She wondered what it would take to get back there, to get back to a place where she felt that her family was safe, and that she could trust herself to be around them?::

:: She wanted that badly, but was it even possible? Could she ever find her way home to them after what had happened?::

:: She let go of the rail, and stepped back to watch the sky.::

:: The sun was slow to rise, but she patiently waited, and at the first sign of daybreak she put in an urgent request to see Counselor James.::

Lieutenant Commander T’Lea
Chief Science Officer
Embassy Duronis II - USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A

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