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LtCmdr Traenor - Nightmares


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((Surface, Planet PR-652))
::It was oh so dark, and eerily quiet. Maxwell Traenor stood alone among the trees, lost. He had abandoned Kurt Logan to a drone horde, had abandoned Brell and Randal Shayne inside the weapons installation, and despite his efforts to get to the shuttle to rescue them, he was now helplessly lost.::
::A breeze started up, whispering through the branches and brambles that reached their skeletal finger out to rake his flesh, murmuring secrets that hovered just on the edge of comprehension. His imagination heard the voices of Logan, Shayne, and Brell in those whispers, crying out in terror and dismay over his betrayal and abandonment. Frustrated and frightened, Maxwell shook his head to clear the voices and stared wide-eyed and unseeing all around in the pitch blackness.::
Shayne: Now you want to leave it here on this rock.
::Ringing out clear and loud as the peal from a bell, the helmsman's voice reached Maxwell's ears and caused him to whip around. Where before he was blind, now he saw the clearing opening up before him in an ethereal light. Highlighted in the center of the clearing was Randal, with a petite Borg drone beside him. Randal had his arm draped over the shoulders of the drone. Protective, perhaps? But his scowl said otherwise.::
Traenor: Lieutenant! You escaped the structure! Where is Brell?
Shayne: I understand your concerns, sir.
::In Shayne's free hand was a large dagger, glinting in the ethereal light. But Maxwell paid it no heed. Eyes agog, he was staring at the drone. Beneath all the Borg implants, despite the grey skin, the drone was unmistakable. It was his niece.::
Traenor: Eden?! Eden, is that you? What happened to you?
::He made to run forward, sweep up his beloved niece and cradle her, comfort her and smooth her patchy hair despite his own anguish, and promise to do everything in his power, turn the universe inside out, to fix her and restore her and to...save her. But Shayne brandished the dagger menacingly, waving him off, then brought it up to Borg Eden's throat.::
Shayne: ::sarcastically:: There's too much risk. The drone stays behind. Prepare for transport. Traenor out.
Borg Eden: Afraid! We...am...I...are...We are afraid of I. And I are afraid of We! Make it stop!
Traenor: ::failed attempt to placate:: Hush, Eden! Yes, I will make it stop! ::pleadingly to Shayne:: I was wrong, Randal. That was not the right choice. But we can fix this! I have changed my mind, and we will save her!
Brell: She is unstable. Sir.
::The Bolian officer had appeared off his left shoulder, and his quiet words made Maxwell jump. He turned, begging to Brell, trying to impress on him the veracity of his will and desperate desire to save his niece.::
Traenor: Please, Brell, please, help me convince Randal to spare her!
Brell:: Move her to one of the other camps. That way she will be... *spared*! 
::Brell broke out into malicious laughter, as if he had just said the most ridiculous, hilarious, patently untrue thing in the world. Tears starting to fall, Maxwell made to move towards Shayne again, but with a snarl he jerked the dagger ever closer to Borg Eden's throat, dimpling the tender skin there.::
Shayne: ::mockingly:: Is the drone independent? Are you absolutely certain it cannot and will not pose any risk to this shuttle or the Darwin?
Traenor: Yes, yes, a million times yes! I will forfeit my life if you just spare my dear Eden!

Logan: They're not part of the collective, Commander.
::Now Kurt was here too, appearing off his right shoulder. Maxwell turned his pleading gaze to the Security officer, knowing that the man was reasonable and sympathetic and amenable to his guidance. His eyes, his expression, his posture, his very soul pleaded to Kurt to assist him in saving his niece. Slowly shaking his head in the negative, Logan pointed at Borg Eden with his phaser rifle.::
Logan: ::slow, with finality:: Close the hatch.
::As if it were a pre-determined prompt, Shayne affected a ghoulish grin and drew the dagger deep and clean across its target. Borg Eden's one remaining eye shot open wide, and a pathetic gurgling voice issued forth as the skin of her face turned from a mottled grey to a pallid white.::
Borg Eden: Help. We are afraid of I. And I are afraid of We!... Help...
::And then she was gone.::
::Traenor fell to his knees, howling his grief and anger for all the cosmos to hear, while the three men of his Away team stared at him impassively. Red-rimmed and tear-filled eyes glared at Shayne as Maxwell balled his hands into impotent fists.::
Traenor: You killed her! YOU KILLED HER! I KILLED HER!  I... I killed her?  I killed her.
Shayne: ::with a simple smile:: Well, no, sir, not as such. But I think that she's okay now.
Traenor: NO!!!

((Personal Quarters, Deck 6 - USS Darwin-A))
Traenor: NO!!!
::Maxwell flung himself to an upright seated position in his bed, breath heaving heavily and heart beating a staccato arrhythmia fit to burst in his chest. Drenched in a cold sweat, it took a moment for his vision to stop swimming, and he saw Barque perched beside him in a submissive crouch. The poor dog gave an uncertain whine, licking his master's arm in an attempt to calm the obviously agitated man.::
Traenor: ::voice slurred from exhaustion and emotion:: S'okay, Barque, s'okay, boy. Just another bad dream.
::Maxwell absently patted Barque, before rubbing his eyes vigorously. He hadn't had a good night's sleep in days, and he was absolutely bushed. Nightmares had plagued him since the conclusion of the last mission, and though he had thought they would abate after a few nights, they were actually worsening. He wanted to lie back down and try to sleep again, but to do so would only invite more bad dreams, and besides, they had arrived back at Outpost Unity. Today, Renos was welcoming esteemed guests from the Alpha Quadrant, and Maxwell needed to prepare for his part in hosting them. But, there was two things that he needed to take care of, that he could not afford to put off any further.::

Traenor: Computer, prepare a message, translate into text, and send to Sickbay. Commander Traenor is requesting a surgery date to finally correct a persistent knee injury, all the details are in my medical file. Please advise me of an appropriate time. Sign and send. ::big pause:: And computer, prepare a second message, translate into text, and send to Mr. Stennes' office. Commander Traenor is requesting a counseling consult. Events of the previous mission have been causing me adverse psychological effects. I fear you'll need to set aside a couple appointment blocks please, at your earliest convenience. Sign and send.


LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor First Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A
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