Sal Taybrim Posted February 11 Share Posted February 11 A wonderful and fascinating introduction to a critical side plot - bravo!! ((Medical Facility, Miranda VII)) /// Stardate 2400.02.11 /// Supplies are running low, Moray reports friction in Naystrims ranks. While he is attempting to de-escalate the situation, both Kravis and Bellamy are attempting to push project “El-Nar”. The embargo has caused a delay, but the project is still underway and treated with priority, implying that an escalation within the next few weeks is to be expected. Strict curfew and rationing are still enforced. /// Awaiting orders and urging to act as soon as possible. An access code and the press of a button sent the message out into the universe, and from here on Nestira Aristren could do nothing else than to naively believe that her contact received it, was able to forward it to Taybrim at Starbase 118, and that the Commodore would take action before it was too late. She was painfully aware of what would happen to her if she got caught, but she banished those thoughts quickly as she sensed Katalina approach her workstation. She needed to remain focussed on what she *could* influenced, not get stuck on matters outside her control. Katalina: Nyra, are you still not done with that file? I would like to get home *before* 2300 hours for a change. Aristren: Sorry. I’m hurrying. The woman sighed in annoyance and turned away from Nestira and the console. She walked to her own desk and began sorting through a number of PADDs that lay strewn across it. Aristren: You can go without me. Katalina: And explain Yavin why you’re late? I don’t think so. Just stop being slow. The Humans voice was harsh and her words not exactly comforting, but over the past weeks Nestira had learned that Katalina simply struggled to permit others to see that she cared about them. Upon her arrival as ‘Nyra’, Doctor Moray had clothed her, fed her, given her work and a place to stay. And then, when her younger brother Yavir had taken a romantic interest to the undercover Rodulan, Katalina had all but adopted her. Not that Nestira was particularly thrilled about any of this, but she could see the purpose it served. As much as Katalina’s poisoned thoughts and her involvement in Project El-Nar strained Nestira’s own mental health, spending so much time with the Doctor allowed her insights in no one else would get. As much as Yavir’s touch disgusted her, the physical closeness allowed him to not only provide Nestira with information, but allowed Nestira to influence his views and opinions when they spoke. Aristren: Done! Katalina offered a somewhat disdainful glance and a ‘then let’s get going’ before leading the way out of the medical facility. Even before the doors hissed open, Nestira knew which of the guards stood ready to escort them. She knew that one of them was considering to flee Miranda VII with his pregnant wife, while the other was itching for a chance to blow a hole into someone’s head. Luckily both of them were somewhat intimidated by Katalina. Nestira had to admit that part of her was pleased to see how quickly her telepathy had developed in the past weeks alone. As she had once explained to her then-partner Sa’sara, who wasn’t a telepath herself, that it was like looking up into the night sky. With the naked eye, only the biggest, brightest, and closest of stars were visible, and while one acknowledged their existence, one rarely truly looked at them and paid attention to the way they shone. In a usual setting, Nestira would perhaps hear the surface thoughts of those nearby, but chooe to ignore them like conversations not meant for her ears. It was what was considered ‘polite’. But now that her life and the success of her mission depended on actively paying attention, she found that her ‘universe’ was quickly expanding beyond what she could see before - And that was fascinating and empowering and terrifying all at once. Fascinating because she hadn’t thought that she could develop her telepathy into this direction, and how easy it truly was to listen in on the little worries and victories of those around her. Empowering because it made her feel in control. Safe. If someone came for her, she would sense them from miles away. And if she knew their thoughts she knew how to settle their concerns and remain undetected. Terrified because, sometimes, she was almost sure that there was something beyond the minds of the humans around her. Something brighter than anything she had seen before, beautiful and blinding at the same time. Part of her was curious about whatever the thing was- and the rest of her was wondering if the *thing* could see her too. Katalina: You are daydreaming. Aristren: I am. Sorry. Katalina offered one of those rare, almost maternal smiles. Katalina: I know it’s difficult to come to terms with. It’s not supposed to be easy. Nestira nodded slowly. The Doctor was, of course, speaking about project “El-Nar”. Named after a Betazed landmark, the Rodulan assumed that the place held some significance for Naystrim. It didn’t really matter. What mattered was that it would mean the death of thousands of civilians aboard Miranda VII, whether they were part of Terra Prime or not. A massacre blamed on Starfleet, and an escape plan for Naystrim and those close to her. That included Katalina and Yavir Moray. And it would include Nestira. Aristren: I know. But Nestira had no intention to let this happen, and she was still coming to terms with not being entirely sure where she would stop in order to protect the innocents Terra Prime would sacrifice. The rest of the evening passed quickly. Dinner was sparse as usual - even Naystrim’s closest advisors were not exempt from the rationing - and under the pretext of a headache, Nestira avoided Yavir’s room for tonight. She could hear his dismay concerning the ‘ruined evening’ but credited him for not letting it show as he bid her goodnight. Slowly, the minds around her dimmed, allowing the Rodulan to relax. It wasn’t entirely impossible that someone would take this very moment to figure out that Nestira wasn’t as Human as she claimed to be, but it was very *very* unlikely, and the constant vigilance was beyond draining. It was soothing to close herself off telepathically, to be *alone*, even if it was only for a few moments. But she wasn’t alone. Nestira frowned. She had grown almost familiar with that strange, blinding presence, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t still curious about it. It was tempting to try and figure it out. Which was a bad idea. Retrospectively she wasn’t sure what made her deviate from her usual strategy of ignoring the presence, but that evening she turned towards it instead, tilting her head as she tried to figure out what exactly it was, and settled on the telepathic equivalent of a nudge. What could possibly happen? TBC…. ***************** Lt. J.G. Nestira Aristren Intelligence Officer Starbase 118 Ops J239809TA4 2 Quote Link to comment
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