Popular Post Jalana Posted April 26 Popular Post Share Posted April 26 (( Outside counselling offices, USS Constitution-B, alternate quantum reality )) As the doors swished closed behind him, Lazarus broke his stride and paused now standing in the corridors full of people going about their day. He watched them for a moment, his eyes full of a dull fear. It was the kind of fear that eats a man from the inside out. He felt hollow. A small child's voice cut through his mental haze, as the child asked their parent if they could go see one of their friends on deck 8. He glanced left and right, and then joined into the flow of people moving about as he headed back to his quarters. When people spoke of Azura, she sounded better than him. A better leader, a better scientist, a better friend, and a better partner. It made him feel small, like he hadn't been living up to his full potential. As he walked, he mostly avoided eye contact, or if he accidentally met the eyes of someone else passing by he offered a terse simulacra of a smile. He had crossed through to a different-same reality, only to learn that the version of himself that departed here was his better. He was living in his own shadow... or was it her shadow? He still couldn't make sense of this change. Who was he? Were he and Azura the same? And if she was the more confident, more composed, happier version of themselves, then should he become her? In some ways it felt compelling to do so, but he was held by fear each time he thought about it. What if he transitioned, only to find out he was still the lesser of the two? What if he was transitioning to try and fix something and it was the wrong choice? What if he transitioned and did it wrong? It should make sense, all of this, but it doesn't. After extensive paperwork and meetings, he was granted access to her personal logs. He wanted to understand her and her life, in hopes that it would help him make sense of things. It wasn't just that she transitioned. She was also, apparently, autistic and queer as well. He found a few mentions in her logs of Kovar. He remembered Kovar well, and the book they gave him on neurodivergence. Lazarus had never read it, but it seemed that Azura did. He didn't have extensive personal logs of her time before joining Starfleet, but the mention of reading Kovar's book stood out to him. Maybe she read the book and figured out she was autistic. Or maybe she allowed herself to feel the queer yearning that he knew he repressed about Kovar. Or maybe it was both. Could he recreate the process if he read the book? Or would his journey need to be different because he knew the ending already? He sighed and noticed the intersection he was at, and took a turn toward the arboretum and abandoned his plan to go back to his quarters. (( Arboretum )) He spotted an empty bench and sat down. Plenty of people milled about, including another senior officer. They waved at each other. Sure, he had his title and his position back, but he was a ghost of who he used to be. Too afraid to connect, too overshadowed by Azura. It was hard for everyone to lose her, and to gain such a vague shadow of her. Lazarus decided that he was probably autistic, too, but still hadn't read the book. And he knew he was queer. He was still getting used to admitting it to himself, but those things were true. And it felt good to know those things, and to find peace about them. He was able to make sense of his experiences, especially growing up, when he reconsidered himself as an undiagnosed autistic and closeted queer kid. But was he transgrender? He scratched at his beard in contemplation, and noting for the umpteenth time that his beard didn't make him uncomfortable. He sort of liked it, it covered up a lot of his face and was very masculine. But then it struck him, an idea. The holodeck! He got up and hurried himself to whatever Holodeck was open. (( Holodeck 2 )) As he stepped into the black and gold grid, he ordered up a simple program. Davis: Computer, officer's quarters from the USS Constitution, just like the ones I'm staying in. The computer chirped in affirmation and the quarters materialized around him. Davis: Computer... He felt a cold sweat immediately forming all over his body. Part of him was thrilled, but most of him was terrified about what happened next, and how it would feel. Davis: Computer, change my appearance to match that of Azura Ada's. And give me a body-length mirror. The computer again affirmed the order, but seemed to hesitate for an iota of a second before complying. Maybe he just imagined it. He felt something odd as the computer projected a hologram onto his own body. He knew it was possible, but he'd never done it before. But when he looked down, he saw hands that responded to every movement, but they were slender and... lady-like. Gone were the fingers he'd written off as "sausage fingers." And suddenly there was hair surrounding his face and weighing his head down. Over the years, he'd tried to grow his hair out more than once but never got very far. This was full, and long, and moved when he moved. A strange sensation. He looked down and saw his chest. He gasped, and quickly stepped in front of the three panel body-length mirror. As soon as he saw the reflection, a shock ran down his spine and a deep sense of dread filled him, mixed with an overwhelming joy. Lazarus tried to study the reflection in the mirror, but every time he looked at it–at her–he started getting choked up. It was her, yes, but it was also him. He was her, she was him. It was all there. He'd seen this face plenty of times but to live in it, even as a hologram, was something entirely different. He touched his face, and watched the delicate hand caress his-her cheek as tears rolled down his face. Her face. Their face? He turned and posed and studied the form from all angles. As the shock wore off, so too did the dread. The dread, he was able to identify, was born out of fear that he'd like it. And that meant lots and lots of change. And change was hard. But he didn't like it–it was more than that. He stopped posing and was suddenly very still in front of the mirror. He felt a roiling inside himself, a conflict: fear and fact, battling inside. It could have been seconds, minutes, or maybe more. But suddenly it clicked. He opened his mouth and declared to the empty holodeck... Davis: I'm a woman. And she wept tears of relief and joy and fear in front of the simulated mirror. —— Lt Commander Lazarus Davis Second Officer Chief Science Officer USS Constitution-B IDIC team member ASDB team member C239510LD0 (she/her?, character) (she/they, writer) 5 1 Quote Link to comment
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.