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Lieutenant Corliss Fortune-To The Ones Who Left Us, Come Home (Part One & Two)


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And thus the counsellor and Brunsig saves us all. Well written, @Corliss
 
 
((Main Engineering, USS Triumphant))

Fortune: Sadly, they can affect me, so it’s a little worse than the holograms. ::she frowned, crossing her arms as she thought for a moment.:: They know which way to go, it’s the going that’s the problem. And we’re onto something, if by the big bad spooky thing coming our way a minute ago was any indication. If not a rope, what else do we have on the list?

She shut her eyes a moment, and then, it felt like she lost a bit of time. In between one breath and the next, a hand was on her back, hand holding hers in a mimicry of a waltz. She cracked open her eyes, surprised to see Walter leaning over her, and she half expected him to spin her in the next step of the dance.

He wasn’t like Loxley, whose hands were smooth to the touch, their fingers meshing together like puzzle pieces. Rather, Walter’s were bigger, rougher, and faintly, she was reminded of her father, taking her hand in his, showing her how to carefully plant a seed of a new generation of plants, an excited whisper as they smoothed the dirt over it, and a proud little sign in front of it proclaiming ‘Corliss’ First Plant!’

She squinted up at him curiously, a faint tremor of amusement tracing her features.

Fortune: Sir? What are you doing?

Because no matter the situation, she highly doubted he decided now was the time to cheat on his wife in front of her very loyal crewmembers. She did have enough sense about her to know that.

Brunsig: ::Low,:: An anchor. Take what you need from me, Fortune. I’ll shore you up.

Huh. That was…she wanted to decline him, to step away from the dance pose, but she paused. There was a limit to her abilities after all, and she was quickly reaching them. At risk of passing out, she would gladly accept his offer of help.

So, she nodded, passing him a smile.

Fortune: If you’re certain. Brace yourself.

Because she could only imagine how this would drain him as well.

He braced, his stance wide open as if prepared to take an onslaught, and her hand curled into a ball with his. Oh, to be Quinn coming back to find out her counselor had scratched up her husband with her nails.

Hopefully he’d forgive her for that.

She did feel bad, her normal net and wall were now tossed to the side in order to draw in the lost crew, and she could hardly imagine what he was feeling in response to it.

A screech from the Rift, and she felt it bounce between herself and Walter, a reverb that was as painful as it had been alone.

Nice. Just what they wanted.

Well, actually, they did! Someone stumbled from the portal, looking terrified. Feeling terrified. Her edges felt raw as if they were torn to shreds, and she wished she could smooth them down like the curls of hair out of one’s face.

For now, she let out a stuttering breath.

Neathler: Help her.

Wrenn: ::She looked at Neathler.:: We should have left it there. We should have left it there.

Tan: I think she's in shock.

She absolutely was, her emotions scattered and almost numb, but Serren took up the lead this time, him and Samira helping the next person through.

Neathler: Can she join the others?

Loxley: I think a mild sedative wouldn’t be a bad idea. :He paused.:: And if any medical crew come through, get them to prep sickbay and run observations. Assuming they’re in a fit state themselves.

Tan: Good idea. Let's delegate the most able to help the most sick, and we'll make it happen.

More were coming through, bundles of emotion that were either ragged and numb, or terrified like no other. Her fingertips were most likely making dents in Walter’s hand, but he never moved away, nor shook his hand from her.

He was a redwood in the eye of a hurricane, a well of security.

She’d have to make more than a gift basket to thank him for this.

Brunsig: ::Low,:: Keep it up, Fortune. ::He squeezed her hand.:: You’re bringing them home.

She squeezed back, breathing as steadily as she could. She felt nauseous, but it was ebbing for the moment.

Fortune: We are. Your help is greatly appreciated, Captain.

More than he could ever know, really. A cool well to steady her, although she worried over what it was doing to him as well.

Neathler: ::She looked toward the equipment crate.:: Could those pattern enhancers help somehow? Although they’re mainly used to boost energy or particles, maybe they could be altered, divert it to the Rift?

Loxley: Hmm, I wonder if we could use them to steady the hole we’ve made? Shore it up, so to speak? Then maybe we could make it bigger without any issues.

Tan: If we can, that would help a lot.

She just made a noise of agreement, not really sure what would be the best way. It didn’t matter, as all of a sudden she heard a thump, unaware of when her eyes had slid shut.

Samira was thrown to the wall, Serren lunging forward to grab her only to miss-

Her. Ears. Were. Ringing.

Her hand tightened in the Captain’s, and she was sure her knees would have buckled without his hand keeping her up. No. No no no, they were so close, it wasn’t even fair-

Loxley: Commander!

Tan: Sami!

Fortune: No!

Then something was dragging her, dangling her like a fish over a cat, and she could feel the moment they all realized what was going to happen.

Loxley: Careful! If it drops her, she’ll…

It was as if it was waiting for those magic words. It dropped her.

Loxley was the one to charge into the fire, both of them escaping into the inky darkness.

She had many, many words she wanted to say, tumbling over and over in her head until they felt like they made no sense.

But where she thought she would feel a deep sense of loss, she felt…

It wasn’t hers.

It wasn’t her determination.

It was Walter’s.

And it fed her own fire, stoking it into a burning bonfire as she drew in a sharp breath.

Tan: Sir, requesting permission to enter the rift and effect a rescue of Commander Neathler and Lieutenant Loxley.

Both of them sounded off at that.

Brunsig/Fortune: No.
 
Serren’s eyes flicked to hers, and for a moment, it wasn’t him. It was Cory, upset at his demotion, perhaps hoping she would agree that it was unfair. But just as in this moment, she agreed with the Captain. He needed to have less responsibility, in order to grow to his full strength.

And Serren needed to trust them.

Tan: We'll try rope. Technically, high tensile-strength micro-cables, but... fancy space rope. Let me grab one of the security staff we've recovered, or a volunteer if we don't have any. The team should be no more than three; no sense risking more and this isn't something we can throw manpower at. I'll need thirty seconds to replicate some supplies. Nothing complex, the nearest wall replicator will do just fine. Estimated time of completion, ten minutes.

Brunsig: I said no, Tan. We’re not abandoning a functioning rescue plan for one we don’t know will work. ::His flint blue eyes darted toward the man.:: We’ll get them out, but this isn’t just about them, and I’m not throwing more good people into that place.

Deep in the void, an answering pulse. Someone, another telepath?, had realized what she was doing. She pulsed back, louder and louder, a burning lighthouse instead of a candle now.

Fortune: Absolutely not. We know they’re not…in danger. We know they’re just lost. We’ll get them back, Serren, but you’re our only defense right now. Keep an eye on the void, okay? And if…if they don’t come through soon enough…we’ll think of something.

Something less people throwy, and something more…well, she still couldn’t think right.

And then the rift was spitting out people like it was losing its lunch. Ayiana. A woman she had yet to realize the name of, but whose emotions felt familiar, perhaps the pulse in the void? Pira. Samira.

Loxley.

Her breath stuttered, but she kept up the noise, just in case. They had plenty time to celebrate once they were all out and about.

And then bam. The Admiral herself.

She stumbled out, her hands on her thighs, and the Captain’s emotions spiking as instantly as hers did, but he’d come to the same quick conclusion they had. They had them back, but who else was left.

And then Quinn looked up, and her eyes darted to the Captain’s faster than anything.

Brunsig: You’re a sight for sore eyes.

Reynolds: The feeling’s mutual.

…well, now she felt suitably awkward with Walter’s hand on her hip. Still, he was helping, and they could explain in a moment.

Fortune: You’re all okay!

Her eyes bounced around them, quickly taking stock, but she couldn’t help returning to Loxley, nervously checking him over as if the split second apart had dealt him damage he wasn’t voicing.

Neathler/Loxley/Tan: Response

sh’Qynallahr/Sirin: Response

Well. Okay was relative. Alive was better.

And then the void cracked and her hand jerked in Walter’s hand with a shudder and a shriek. The feedback from him to her, the ringing, had gotten so loud it was like a whip crack across her temples.

And then it was gone, leaving her breathless from agony.

…fun.

There were so many people. One side of her reveled in their being, feeling the confusion and anger and fear, wanting to temper ragged edges and wrap herself into them. Despite the circumstances, she felt herself flourishing with them all here, safe, out of the void.

And the thing was gone. The thing…was gone.

That was celebration enough.

Walter let her go, his concrete force fading away, and for a moment she wanted to scramble to keep a hold on him, if just to make sure all was still well. But she wasn’t a youngster just gaining her powers, stepping crookedly on a path already beaten by generations past. She let him, a small apology for squeezing his hand so harshly, dipping her head at him as Quinn headed his way.

Her netting was broken to pieces. For now, she quickly tempered a wooden resistance, not needing a steel one for now. Able to tell others were around, but not pressing into them, able to just relax in the wave around her.

She launched herself into the crowd, quickly trailing to where she had seen Loxley pop through the void, and before she could even stop herself, she threw her arms around his neck, burying her shaking body into his for a moment.

Fortune: Y-You’re alive.

Loxley: Response

Fortune: I just, you know, need to cry it out. ::she sniffed, not looking at him.:: For about ten minutes. Maybe a week.

Loxley: Response

Quinn’s voice raised above the small murmurings, albeit they weren’t that loud to begin with.

Reynolds: This has to be everyone. Can we get a head count?

Okay, that meant moving. She could do that. She could…do that…she could…ugh. She barely raised her head up, a hand waving.

Fortune: That’s everyone on our end, Admiral.

Ew, was her face wet? Oh, she just wanted to get back on the Gorkon and hide away for a week.

Neathler/Loxley/Tan: Response

sh’Qynallahr/Sirin: Response

Oh, a new Lieutenant to the roster? Her mind crankily shifted to Work Corliss, creaking against it, the energy it took practically all that she had left. She shot Meidra a quick smile.

Fortune: Um. Welcome to the Gorkon? …we promise it won’t be like this all the time?

Sirin/Loxley: Response

Any: Response
 
 
Lieutenant Corliss Fortune

Highest Quality Counsellor Brain

USS Gorkon

G239510CF0
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