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Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn - Anchored in Reality

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A few days later than I had intended—but I loved this sim, Bryce. There is such a flow to the words that makes it so easy and fun to read. We go from moment to moment with Tagren-Quinn as he tackles with the differences between what is real, and what was a dream, identifying things in his environment, such as the cat that he hadn't even wanted, now an anchor to the real world.

Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn - Anchored in Reality (google.com)



((Personal Quarters, Deck 8, USS Gorkon))


There was comfort in the familiar and mundane, the ordinary. Things that, on any other day, might have been overlooked or taken for granted. 


For instance… 


His quarters. There, intact (thank you rift!), clean, real


The cat. Yes, Bry initially scoffed at the idea of having a pet, but his sister and nephew insisted. 


His reflection was still the same–forever changed by chronitons—though strangely more familiar now, with any hints of silver completely dyed out. 


And then there was the trusty blue uniform, complete with a single golden pip that glinted proudly in the light. Evidence of his hard work and successes. 


Oh, and the dependable turbolift, with its spiffy lights and steady hum, as it ascended to Deck 7. And the sight of Nurse Franklin flitting around sickbay, who greeted him with a silent, demure smile. 


And his workstation. Well, it was a shared station, it was true, but it was as dependable as ever. Fingertips glided gently over the console. 


Yes. It all served as a reminder of the life that was real and that brought relief as he navigated through the haze.


Pinching the bridge of his nose, Bry fell into a seat with a heavy sigh and took to consuming copious amounts of coffee and more reports before finding himself under attack by the verbal statements provided by the medical teams. His head. It was worse than the hangover following that infamous night at Iana Station with the med crew–did that happen eons ago? 


As a part of him still shuffled in the fog, hoping that some glorious meds would help remedy it (he was, after all, at the perfect place for that), Bry’s thoughts went to his friend, Meru.


More members of the medical team approached him, and realizing that her day was likely going just as spectacularly and hectically, the hybrid sent along a quick message, text format, via the workstation: 


Hi! Morning’s been rough, and I’m sure it has been for you, too. Sorry for the method of contact and brevity, but wanted to see how you were. Catch up later?


It felt impersonal, but… 


Franklin: Doctor, you’re needed at biobed one.


The words pulled him away and back into the depths of the medbay to a case unrelated to their dream adventure, where a colleague sought his expert advice. Once the brief consult was complete, Bry turned and quietly excused himself with the intent of going to the Brew Continuum for some real coffee when he caught sight of a Ferengi dressed in a navy speedsuit waving at him.


For whatever reason, the sight made Bry do a double take. It took him a moment, a few blinks, to realize he recognized the face. Memories of a night at Palanon slowly surfaced, of a celebration complete with campfires and food and drinks under a star-speckled sky. From a distance, he had seen the diminutive Ferengi there speaking with Vylaa.


But, an even cloudier memory surfaced, and his green eyes brightened with recognition. Putting two and two… 


Gnaxac: Ens-s-sign?


Tagren-Quinn: What can I do for you, ::a slight pause:: Lieutenant Gnaxac?


It may not have been the right thing to say in the wake of the shared delusion, but the doctor in him automatically took the pilot’s seat. It was clear, though, that the other man was wrapped in nerves and was maybe a little haunted—and, honestly, with all things considered, it was to be expected—as he fiddled with his fingernails, unable to make eye contact.


Until he did. 


Gnaxac: I j-j-just wanted to meet you, you know… f-f-for real.


A fuzzy memory bubbled to the surface. It was of the man’s alter ego, Doodle, placing a comforting hand on Croaker’s shoulder at various stressful moments during their experience. With understanding written across his face, the Starfleet doctor put his hand gently and without hesitation on Gnaxac’s shoulder and offered a warm smile.


Tagren-Quinn: I’m glad that you did. It’s good to meet you, too, officially.


Gnaxac’s gaze returned to the floor. 


Gnaxac: And to say thank you - f-f-for having my back.


Tagren-Quinn: Well, you had mine, too, so I should share my thanks with you, too.


The words came out smooth and calm, assured. Genuine. The smile remained in place.


Gnaxac: Response 


Tagren-Quinn: I–I don’t want to keep you if you have someplace to be, ::he waved to the man’s clothes:: but I’m heading to the Brew Continuum for some coffee. Would you like to accompany me? If coffee isn’t your thing, maybe we could head to Nine Forward, STo’Vo’Kor, instead? 


It would be nice to get to know the real Gnaxac, he thought to himself. From what Bry had heard, he knew that the Ferengi was just as much of an engineering genius in real life as he was in Skarbek-land. It went beyond that, though. To go through an experience like that together… 


It was like he already knew him but… didn’t, and it was… 


Gnaxac: Response 


Tagren-Quinn: I could use the company this morning, in all honesty, so you would be doing me a big favor, and besides… I should probably assuage any fears of being a rogue surgeon who operates in warehouses and cargo bays. 


The additional bit, “that only happens on Mondays” was left unspoken because he wasn’t sure how to joke with present company, with their present situation. The rest of it, though, was an attempt to bring some levity, to lighten the moment and bring ease—maybe the effort was put forth for the Ferengi’s sake, but Bry silently knew it was for his own as well. 


Gnaxac: Response 




Ensign Bryce Tagren-Quinn, MD
Medical Officer
USS Gorkon (NCC-82293)



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