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LtCmdr Kaji - It's Over

Dizmim ChNilmani

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((Saloon, Reverie Rock))

::Kaji and Nugra had talked along the way, and she thought they had an idea what was going on. They were sure it was some sort of dream because they could remember waking for brief moments. Kaji had no idea where to start looking for Ben, but she was sure if they got to the bottom of this dream, they'd be able to make sure he was safe. She kept glancing at the Gorn walking alongside her, his stride covering two of hers so she had to jog to keep up. He was furious. She could feel it radiating off him without her empathic skills. He didn't mention the confession she'd made or the one she was sure he regretted making. He turned to look at her as they reached the saloon doors.::

Nugra: Be careful, Commander. I...I do not want anything to happen to you.

Kaji: You too. ::she hated his formality but appreciated that he cared enough to warn her.::

::They walked in. Lucky was sitting at the bar, and Captain Faranfey, MacRae and Shiarrael were gathered around him. Kaji squealed and ran over to hug Shiarrael. She hadn't seen her in the dream, and had wondered where her friend had gotten to.::

Lucky: Welcome to the council. ::He raised his bottle in salute.::

Nugra: I have no interest in your council. What have you done to us?

Shiarrael: ::grousing:: Oh, please let's not go over all this again.

::Kaji lifted her head from where she'd rested it on Shiarrael's shoulder. She held onto the other woman for moral support more than from a physical need.::

Kaji: We figured out that it's a dream. Lucky, are you in charge of this? ::She had vague memories of him being a friend. She wondered why he'd latched onto her, or if she'd latched onto him. But she cared about him in a strange way.::

Lucky: ::softly:: Yeah, Missy, I'm running this circus. Though your captain, I think, has other plans. The short story is I'm being killed by parasites and I made a telepathic sedation field, which you all got caught in. I tried to make it a beautiful place for you. ::Looking at Kaji:: Didn't I give you what you hadn't dared to dream?

::Kaji glared at the man and clung to her friend. Did he know her feelings? If he was telepathic, he probably did. Was he responsible for giving her that moment of hope and then snatching it away? Or was it her own selfish desires that led to the pain in her chest?::

Nugra: So...Now what?

Faranfey: I sacrifice myself for the crew. Lucky needs the parasites off him. We just need to figure out how to utilize it.

Nugra: No, you will not, Ma'am.

::Kaji looked back and forth between them as they stared each other down. What the hell was going through their minds? Why did anyone have to sacrifice themselves?::

Faranfey: It's my responsibility to protect the crew, and I think I'll be able to hold them long enough to be effective...

MacRae: Erm...not quite! My plan, Captain, is to try and bridge the world between the corporeal and the non-corporal. Lure the creatures somewhere they will be vulnerable.

Nugra: What is the point of that?

Kaji: Will that even work? ::She was up for anything that saved the Captain and the Gorn. She wasn't ready to lose any friends today.::

MacRae: Questions later please we don't have much time. Lucky will slowly release his grip on his captives - letting the crew go one at a time. As the parasite's world shrinks they will focus more and more on the Captain to feed on...because she'll be the only dish on the menu. Once the last of our people are out and Lucky has dropped his sedation field I'll transport the Captain and store her whole pattern in the computer core...linking it to the holodeck.

Kaji: So the captain will be in the buffer?

MacRae: Essentially, yes - the Captain will be the program and the parasites will be part of that program.

Nugra: This is extremely unsafe.

MacRae: I don't see what other choice we have given the circumstances. It's been done before, short-term storage of transporter patterns in their entirety and with some system alterations the Doyle should cope with that - for one person. Please, Colonel, if your experience of non-corporeal memory parasites more extensive than mine then let me know because I am open to suggestions.

Nugra: There is an easier way. I have four life times worth of memories and that is enough to cause the parasite to face me. From what it sounds like, Lucky only needs to be able to get away and the parasites will be unable to lock on to him. There is a good chance that they won't be able to latch on to me and die in the process. They are just energy and they won't survive long without something to feed on.

Faranfey: Nugra, do you think you can hold out? I know you have a lot of strength, but you are just as valuable as me.

Nugra: Of course.

::He was lying. She knew it. She shook Shiarrael's shoulder and gave her a pleading look. Surely the Romulan could think them a way out of this!::

MacRae: Captain, I need to know who will be going into the system so I can plan accordingly. I appreciate the noble gestures on all sides but if we don't act soon then these things, if Lucky is correct, have the potential to unmake history on a galactic scale. Without that past there won't be much of a future for any of us for very long.

::The saloon door opened and an unfamiliar Klingon and the large Andorian she'd met briefly came in. Apparently a lot of people were remembering themselves. The room certainly had enough aliens in it. Including herself.::

Tavanah:  Well, this is something interesting to walk into.

Faranfey: If you think I can protect our people in a more effective way, that gets us all out of here, I am willing to hear it.

Nugra: We'll have to go with my plan. ::Pointing to the form walking up.:: The parasite is already here.

::The parasite’s avatar, Scorpion walked into the saloon with a face of sheer triumph. Kaji shivered in fear and held onto Shiarrael's arm. What plan exactly? She hadn't heard any good plans so far. She felt like the situation was running away from her and felt powerless to do anything.::

Scorpion: After all these eons, I have finally found you. Hiding as a simple drunk. How ingenious.

Lucky: We all knew this day was coming.

::Nugra looked between them and Kaji followed his gaze. She pleaded with Lucky with her eyes. Surely he could do something.::

Nugra: If I take him out, we can go home, yes?

Lucky: Yes.

::Kaji saw Nugra move forward and she started across the room after him, terrified of the figure in the doorway, but more afraid of what Nugra might be planning.::

Scorpion: And what do you think you're doing?

Nugra: Removing you.

::Nugra looked back at the captain and then he looked at Kaji. Tears flooded her eyes at the kindness in his eyes.::

Kaji: Nugra...

Nugra: ::smiling:: Go find Ben. I'll be fine.

::He was lying again.::

Nugra: Alright you [...]. Time for you to die.

Kaji: No! Please, somebody do something! ::She looked around the room::

Scorpion: I can't die you fool.

::She followed as Nugra charged the bandit, caught him, carried him through the door and onto the ground in front of the saloon. Scorpion swung and connected to the lizard's face. Kaji ran after him as the Gorn flew across the street. She'd never felt so helpless, even in captivity.::

Scorpion: There is no way you can defeat me.

Nugra: I don't need to defeat you. I just need to distract you.

::Talia caught up and grabbed onto Nugra's arm, but she didn't think he even noticed she was there. She could feel the concentration in his tensed muscles. She looked between him and Scorpion. What was he doing?::

Scorpion: Fine! If you're going to waste your life, then so be it. Your memories are going to be mine!

::As she held on to the Gorn, she could see two worlds. One one level she could see Reverie Rock, the dust blowing on the street. But on top of it, she could see a nightmare. Scorpion became a horrifying monster, and Nugra through her arms as if she weren't even there. The two clashed together and Kaji screamed as she watched Scorpion sink his teeth into her friend. Kaji felt her world shatter as the monster exploded.::

::Time seemed to slow as she watched Nugra fall to his knees and look up. She saw the Pale Goddess he'd told her so much about come to him, surrounded by fallen friends, some she recognized, and some she didn't. Talia watched him take the Goddess's hand and suddenly she really understood that he was gone. This was no dream.::

((USS Doyle, Science Lab))

::Kaji opened her eyes. For a moment she just lay there, pain and heaviness filling every cell. She noticed with a strange part of her brain that someone had cleaned up the glass. Her hands were bandaged, too.::

::Slowly, she dragged herself to her feet. She leaned heavily on the wall.::

Kaji: Computer, locate Ben Kaji and Colonel Nugra.

Computer: Ben Kaji is in Corridor 298, Senior Officer's Quarters. Colonel Nugra is in the Marine CO's office. ((OOC: I know earlier sims put him on the bridge, but I'm going to go with MacRae's latest and have him in his office so things don't get confusing.))

::Kaji nodded silently in response. Ben was closer. She needed to see that he was alright. Then she'd go find Nugra, though she already knew what she would find.::

::She stumbled down the corridors. Everything seemed surreal as if this was the dream. This couldn't really be happening. She spotted Ben from down the hall and her legs started to work right. Talia ran to her son, picking him up and clinging to him. The tears came easily now. She looked at the two women he was with. One was his nanny, Mrs. Fluffy, and the other was their Reverend...er, counselor.::

Kaji: Can you two take care of him? There's something I have to do.

Tonston: Sure.

::Mrs. Fluffy nodded, and Kaji turned and ran for the turbolift, tears blurring everything. It only took her a few minutes to make her way to the Marine section. There were already several people gathered in the CO's office. She could see past them, though, to the still figure still sitting in his chair, looking like he'd gone to sleep. She leaned against the wall and then slid to the floor, out of the way of the emergency workers. Sobs wracked her frame. It was over.::

LtCmdr Talia Kaji
First Officer
USS Doyle-A, NCC-80221-A

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