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[Last Round 2008] I did it!


Delinda Sharee
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((Starbase 118 - Command Hub))

::Had Kalpana heard Pedro's insubordinate comments at this juncture in her life, she

probably would have leapt upon the opportunity provided by such an irritant and killed

him. Given her exobrace and his weakened condition, she probably would have been

successful, too.

::All told, it is probably for the best (if far less satisfying) that she remained in her little

niche off somewhere behind the Environmental consoles, salted tears rolling freely down

her cheeks. Part of her mind was aware of how horribly she was throwing her body out of

whack. She was not terran, despite her resemblance to them, and she could not afford the

same indulgences that one of that same pervasive species.

::Continual sobbing would deprive her body of valuable dissolved salts and minerals,

which could not be easily replaced from water vapor in the air. Evaporation would leave

the soluble residue on her cheeks, which would be reabsorbed and, bizarrely enough,

actually cause a dangerous *increase* in her body fluids' salinity.

::Her heavy breathing was torture on her lungs, forcing the thick, soupy air (which was,

itself, deplorably deficient in the very elements that her body demanded) through her

throat in chest-rattling gasps. The air was too dry, too dead, and too thick to ever feel

natural to her body. She shuddered all the harder as the universe hammered home the

realization that she was woefully out of place.::

Ramirez: Yes, a phaser rifle... Don't worry, I'm used to tinkering weapons, that's my

specialty... aside general knowledge and entertainment, of course...

::Far more of her mind, however, was latching frantically onto anything that it could use as

a distraction - from both body and invaded mind. If her lungs and tears were both

wrought upon foreign seas and under distant suns, then so too were her ears. The words

spoken casually across the Hub were as clear as if spoken inches from her head.::

Geeva: oO Foolish. Too risky. Rifles are serious power sources, especially if he adjusts one

to produce titanium atoms. It will be drained immediately, and if not, I doubt as to its

effectiveness. You might as well spray carbon on a terran's cut and expect it to function as

a dermal regenerator. Pedro is devious, yes, but nobody would ever accuse him of

brilliance. Or Walter, for that matterrrrnnnnngggga aaahhhhh- !! Oo

::Her mental cry shattered the memories of Walter's past tactical efforts that were even

now trying to assert themselves within her forebrain. She did not WANT to remember! She

did NOT! She would rip the very thoughts from her skull!::

Geeva: Nnnngg! Ssssh!

::Her grunt of effort brought a hiss of pain as only her exobrace's safeguards stopped her

long fingers from digging into her own face. With an explosion of breath more animalistic

than angry, she flung her arms down, cursing the very machinery that allowed her to walk

upon these decks in her natural muscles' tattered condition.

::Her mind came into brief sync with the world around her, catching on a snippet of gossip

between two operations technicians a dozen feet away.::

Geeva: oO By the ever-cursed Ninth! Just pay the gi'nok man out of the station's budget!

We can draw a quarter-billion credits without Starfleet batting an eye. Ancestors! This isn't

a starship, it's the v'ta frelling Fleet Command! Lily, stop be-... Oo

::Flashes of Lily's smile, of laughter and happy times, pounded into Kalpana's skull and she

groaned with the effort of trying and failing to fight them off. She shoved at the memories

- hard - and they twisted in her mind.

::Her body was awash with fire - jagged shards of pain piercing her flesh. It was

reminiscent of what she'd felt when she awoke in that dark corridor, but distinctly

different. She could feel herself slipped away as Lily spoke her name.::

Memory-Ventu: ...stay with me.

::She felt herself slipping, slipping, blackness would be sweet relief, but then she felt a

wash of sterile cleanliness sweep through her body as the Hub's walls flashed white.

Reconstituting themselves into the walls of a hospital, a second figure joined the figure

that had to be Lily Ventu. This one was smaller. Too small to be a child, until something

niggled at her mind - terran children were smaller than iridians. She still couldn't pin down

the identity, though. The vision in her memories was crystal clear and sharper than her

native eyes had ever been. It was like dreaming of having the eyes of a hawk..::

Geeva: -I usually keep the doors locked.

::Kalpana couldn't differentiate between her real body and that in her memories, so she

had no way of knowing that she was speaking out loud. Or that Rocar was speaking to

her.::

Rocar: Everything okay, Commander Geeva?

Geeva: I'm dying, aren't I?

Rocar: Commander!

Memory-Ventu: Yes.

::A beat. Kalpana through up her mental hands, tears running in a torrent down her

physical cheeks. A water shortage was noted, molecules were pulled from other portions

of her body, and notice was passed up the chain of nerve cells. Words thundered against

her psyche like the pulse of a giant butterfly's wings as she wrestled with something no

less ephemeral than thought itself.

::Time skipped strangely and she found herself staring out an enormous window at a

Sabre-class vessel being built in drydock. A voice... *her* voice spoke from her lips, but

there was no mirror. She couldn't see the face that spoke those words. She still knew not

whose life she was raping!::

Geeva: I don't want to talk about it.

::If the ktarian fleet captain was taken aback by her answer, his operations officer never

knew it.::

Rocar: Nothing, you just seemed a little distracted, is all.

Memory-Ventu: No. I didn't think you would. ::beat:: But you're showing me-

::Showing her. Showing *both* of them, and unlike Lily, Kalpana had the force of will (and

the advantage of home field) to force the issue. She shoved again at the memories,

buffering her efforts with cultural indoctrination and traditional values. Morals waged

against engrams and won but a minor victory...

::They were in a shuttle, now, Lily seated beside her and an odd little terrarium sitting on

the console in front of her body. She was speaking...: :

Geeva: If I don't... If this is it for me, I want you to pass on some messages.

Memory-Ventu: This isn't it. Absolutely not.

Rocar: Response?

Geeva: Don't make me beg. We both know that I'm-

::The iridian shoved again... or tried to. She was weakening from the effort of stretching

psychic muscles that she had never before been aware existed. She strained, she tried, and

she failed to move the scene by more than a few seconds.::

Geeva: David. ::a moment's pause,:: ...Cody. Tell him that. That I love him.

Rocar: Response?

Memory-Ventu: ::firm:: I won't let you go.

Memory-Ventu: -you have to let me go. I have to get back. I have to get you out!

Geeva: I don't know how! I don't even know how you get in here in the first place, let alone

how to get you out again!

::Everything started to fall apart after that. There were explosions and scene that Kalpana

barely understood. Multiple views overlapped, with multiple bridges from crises all

throughout her stolen memories, and some that were clearly the products of pure

imagination. The fight was brutal. Weapons were gone, shields a tattered mess, the hull

was leaking air like a sieve, and she was steering the entire bloody wreck right into the

face of the enemy.

::All for a friend. It was something that Kalpana could get behind. A symbol that energized

her mind and she pushed, forcing her mind along half-hidden currents in the memories,

riding engramatic tides like an avenging valkyrie.::

Geeva: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE, LILY! RUN!!

::The words shot from her like a cannon blast, and her mind surged free of the sea of the

past like a breeching submarine. Her vision went white as she pierced the veil between

subjective and objective reality, only to fade back in as she came crashing down to rest

atop her sea. All would be right... one should sail upon their past, not dive deep within it.

::Her sobbing came easier now, interspersed with giddy laughter. She was... happy? No,

too tame. She was *jubilant*.: :

Geeva: oO I did it! I did it! I saved her! Oo

::She was still laughing through her tears when she felt a hand on her shoulder and she

followed it to a face. She couldn't contain this joy by herself. It was too much.::

Geeva: I did it!

Any: Response?

---

Lieutenant Commander Geeva Kalpana

Chief Operations Officer

Starbase 118 Operations

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