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Vylaa "Cable" zh'Tisav: Rather Be A Real Nightmare Than Die Unaware

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How @Vylaa let us go through a train of emotions with her latest sim is amazing.
((Stolen Hideki Ship, Indre III High Orbit))

It was all over.  The Cardassian ships had been thoroughly smacked down, ripped to shreds by their own exploding ships.  For the first time, the Bridge of the stolen Spoon ship was still.  Quinn huffed a breath and leaned back into the pilots seat.  Vylaa’s sharp eye caught a ghost of a wince pass across the humans face.  The pain from her leg must be terrible, and a tiny whiff of necrosis reached her nose and antennae.  She stepped back over to the Engineering station as Quinn turned to look at the Vulcan and Andorian.

Reynolds: I’ll call that a win. ::She smiled faintly.:: Let’s hope the rest of our lot can say the same about their corner of the liberation.

zh’Tisav: I’m restoring full life support to the rest of the ship. Then, I’m going to find the transporter room and beam these dead bodies into space before they really stink up the place. Then I’m going to see if this crate has a med bay. ::She turned to Quinn.:: And see if they have any good painkillers and antibiotics onboard.

The zhen turned and walked toward the door they had so recently burst through with guns blazing.  Her bruised tuchus made her limp a bit, but she kept her back straight.  There would be time to rest and release all of the stress of this mission later, with the aid of lots of alcohol.  She raised a hand to wave to the other two.

zh’Tisav: ::She raised her hand.:: Failing finding a med bay, I’ll be in the cargo bay having a smoke.

T’Lar waved back at her, and… smiled.  Vylaa’s eyebrows nearly reached her hairline.  Something felt… wrong.

Reynolds: ::Quietly,:: There isn’t a med bay. There’s no room for it with all the modifications they did.

T'Lar: Where is the music coming from?

Vylaa stopped at the door.  The most nagging feeling tugged at her gut, like a heavy weight had been dropped into it.  Had T’Lar really just said that?  And that smile…  The only time she’d smiled was when she’d had the concussion, and was ogling Caeden like an animal in heat.

Reynolds: ::Quieter still.:: There’s no music.

zh’Tisav: T’Lar?

Then the strangest thing happened.  The Vulcan began to sing.  Vylaa shared a glance with Quinn, who pushed herself up.  The zhen approached T’Lar cautiously, not wanting to get too close lest she make the wrong move.

T'Lar: Street lights... People oh oh ahhhhhhhh...

zh’Tisav: Hey, T’Lar.  Tell us what’s wrong.

Now that she was closer, she could see a dab of green under the Vulcan’s nose.  The nagging feeling turned into a vice grip on her soul.

T'Lar: Don't—

And then, she just dropped.  Like a scarf dropped onto the floor, the Vulcan crumpled up into a pile.  A very still pile.

Too still.

The zhen dropped to the floor at almost the same time as Quinn and knelt across from her, T’Lar lying still between them.  While the human fished out a tricorder and started a scan, the Andorian grabbed T’Lar’s hand and squeezed, hard.  Hard enough to draw a response.  But there was none.

Reynolds: She’s dead. ::She shook her head.:: Looks like a massive brain bleed.

Vylaa couldn’t believe what she was hearing.  It couldn’t be true.  They had been through too much together, and now, at the very end?  They had won.  Winners weren’t supposed to die...

zh’Tisav: How the hell did that happen?!  She was fine!

Reynolds: The doctors cleared her back at the clinic, so it must have happened some time after we left. ::She sighed, message sent, and put away the PADD.:: I don’t know. Could have been anything. We’ve had explosions, firefights, space combat...

The Andorian waited.  That wasn’t a good enough explanation for her.  It was half-a**ed at best.  They’d all been through the same hell.  There was no reason why a Vulcan, even an injured one, would have succumbed and they didn’t.

Reynolds: My guess is whatever the Romulans did to her brain made it particularly susceptible to injury. Or—::she frowned, darkly:: —or they’d built in a kill switch.

zh’Tisav: What the **** are you talking about?

Reynolds: She was a spy for the Romulans, Vylaa. ::Quinn looked up at the Andorian.:: Valesha had reason to be suspicious, and then... well. There were so many things which pointed to it. The V'Kor are police officers on a planet free of violent crime. The V’Shar is Vulcan intelligence, but they’re primarily analysts, and they prefer to leave fieldwork to Starfleet. ::Her gaze fell back onto the fallen woman.:: Her skills didn’t match her background. Parts of her story kept changing.

Vylaa couldn’t believe what she was hearing.  Had Quinn hit her head?  A Romulan spy, here?  Vylaa was about to tell the human exactly what she thought of the idea, when she continued.

Reynolds: And I’m a touch telepath. I picked up some... things when I was dragging her around in the council building. Suppressed memories, where her handlers talked about a constructed personality to hide the spy, and why she was being sent to the Maquis. That mistake with the shields; my guess is the Vulcan and the Romulan were getting mixed up in her head, and she briefly confused shields with cloaks.

Vylaa frowned, tears beginning to drift down her face, a feeling of betrayal creeping across her soul.  Not just at T’Lar, or whatever her real name was.  Someone she had, reluctantly, begun to consider a friend.  But Quinn as well.  She hadn’t trusted her enough to tell her that she was working side by side with a potentially dangerous individual.  Hell, she’d even been alone with her a couple of times, she could have been killed.  She suddenly no longer regretted the words she’d said back in the tunnel.

zh’Tisav: Gee, thanks for letting me know…

She sat back and scooted away, away from living and dead.

Reynolds: She has a daughter. They’re grooming her to infiltrate Starfleet. ::Quinn heaved out a deep sigh.:: I’ve still got some contacts there. I’ll reach out to them, make sure she doesn’t suffer the same fate as her mother. If T'Lar was ever real, I imagine she'd want that more than anything else.

zh’Tisav: I suppose…  And when we get back, I think I need to take a break.  I don’t like being lied to, and I like being kept in the dark even less.  I need to figure out where I belong.

She stood, and dug the crumpled cigarette pack out of her pocket.  Her last smoke in the pack was slightly bowed, but still intact.  She lit it as she made for the bridge door, not caring who the smoke bothered.

zh’Tisav: Don’t follow me.

Reynolds: We should—

((Vylaa’s Quarters, USS Gorkon))

Vylaa’s eyes snapped open.  Cobalt irises darted about, trying to sus out her surroundings in the dark.  She was in her bed, the air of her quarters refreshing and cool, not the stifling heat of a Cardassian bridge.

Cardassian bridge…?

The blanket slid off her bare shoulder as she bolted upright, her bare feet landing on soft carpet, not booted feet on hard deck plates.

zh’Tisav: oO Was that a dream? Oo

It had felt so real.  She rose, confusion ruling her mind, and cast a foot about the floor to find where she’d dropped her robe when going to bed.  Upon finding it, she slid into it, and shivered when the soft fabric touched her bare neck.  Hadn’t her hair just been long?  She wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t.

Was this the dream?

She shuffled across the floor, trying to remember more of the dream.  She seemed to remember a tunnel, and being terrified to be underground.  She’d never felt that way before…  The deep dark had always been a friend.  She stopped at the bathroom door and turned on the light.  She stared at her face in the mirror.

zh’Tisav: oO Has my hair always been this short? Oo

And black.  She could have sworn it had just been her natural white, and much longer, down to her shoulder blades.  She leaned closer, trying to see beyond the edges of the mirrored glass, half expecting another version of herself to peek around the edge.  The motion sent her shapla swinging out the open front of her robe.  She reached for the lucite pendant, glanced at the four twisted hairs buried in the acrylic.  She smiled at the soft warmth radiating from the material..  It was as if a knife suddenly cut through the confusion.  Her mates were her anchor, the dream feeling less real now.  And her…

She spun and ran across the dark bedroom, to the front room, stopped at her sofa and grabbed at two photo frames on the end table.  There they were, her mates.  And in the other, her children.  She sighed in relief, feeling guilty for not remembering them.  And her sisters...  She grabbed a third frame, one of the three of them together at her bonding ceremony.  Sataa was alive.  Alive and well on Andoria.  Happy at her forge, turning Tharan blade steel into weapons.

The tall Andorian collapsed into a chair, the relief washing over her like a wave, the pictures clutched close.  It hadn’t been a dream.  It had been a nightmare.
Vylaa "Cable" zh'Tisav
Computer Specialist
Simmed By
Lt JG Vylaa zh'Tisav
Engineering Officer
USS Gorkon
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