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[ROUND 2] Ensign Alahndra Nevarass: Experimental Nightmares


Sedrin Belasi

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[sB118-Independence] Ensign Alahndra Nevarass: Experimental Nightmares

((Deck 4: Crew Quarters: Alahndra’s Room))

::Not five minutes after W’tine left, she had her lab set up. She had taken

samples of the infected area, and of areas that did not seem to be infected. She

hoped the parasite had not spread throughout his entire body, but only testing

would show if she was right. :: oO I hope his Pythron constitution is fighting

the infection and winning, Oo ::She thought.::

::She began setting up experiments. First, the control. She took a Petri dish

and extracted a sample she hoped was not contaminated with the parasite, left a

little “food” for the cell to continue living for at least the rest of the

night, during which time she hoped she would be able to find out if the parasite

had spread to his entire body. ::

::She set up the rest of her experiments, each one a little different than the

other. All the rest of the dishes contained cells she knew or suspected were

contaminated. Then she began studying contaminated cells with a microscopic

viewer. She watched one contaminated cell reach out to others that were not

contaminated… it acted almost like a virus, working through taking over the RNA

constructors in the cells, mutating them, and… leaving no trace of the original

infection save for a completely changed cell. A completely different organism.

Unrecognized.::

::Alahndra also detected Somaru, in faint traces, and only in the samples close

to where the wound was inflicted. She knew the substance was outlawed, but that

it produced psychotropic symptoms when consumed. She almost contacted W’tine

over the intercom, but then she glanced at the clock and realized it was nearly…

well… dawn, for her. She had about an hour left to work, and then she would

sleep for one hour, and she would wake after that. She took a padd from an

unpacked bag and fed the information from it into the replicator, and she

sanitized her hands. If she didn’t consume the herbs soon, she wouldn’t wake up

in time to be ready to go with the away team.::

Nevarass:: Replicate “dream1”, and a glass of water, room temperature.

::The small capsule appeared. She knew most Deltans would refuse to take it, but

she had always found it useful in a time crunch. Tetalus, the plant, native to

Delta IV, would place one into a deep sleep for a short period of time. It

worked as well as a full night of rest, but the nightmares it caused could be

devastating. But her nightmares couldn’t be worse than real life. She had used

it several times at the Academy, and the dreams did tend to stay with one for a

day or two, but after a while, they faded. Until she consumed the plant again.

Well, replicated plant. She felt comfortable in her own head. She sometimes even

took it in order to have the nightmares.::

oO In my dreams, my family is alive again. And then I get to watch them die. And

I cannot do anything. It is always the same dream. But in regular dreams, I

never see my family. So to remember them, and what I ran away from, I suffer. Oo

::She diagnosed herself coldly. :: oO People who do the same thing over and over

again expecting different results are insane. At least I expect the same thing

each time. And then I spend the next day or two flogging myself with my own

guilt. Stupid. Perhaps the dream will be different this time. I have changed,

and its been over a year since I last took the "dream pill." I haven’t been to

Delta IV since the night I left, under a false name, and went to Terra to enroll

in the Academy. I never saw my family die. Except in my own head. Its always

worse in my mind. Oo

:: She took the small capsule, feeling nostalgic. After her family had died, she

hadn't been able to sleep. Instead of tellings someone, she had replicated the

Tetalus plant capsules. She had taken enough to sleep every night, and every

night she faced nightmares. Many would call what she had done insane. It could

have easily driven her insane. But it had not. She swallowed the pill with a

mouthful of water. It would take an hour to work, so she decided to check up on

her experiments in the meantime.::

::One of the dishes had run wild, stimulated by glucose. She disposed of it in

the replicator. She knew from study that Pythron physiology made little use of

glucose. oO That’s to W’tine’s benefit. Had he been a Terran, or Deltan, or a

myriad of other species… He might already be… whatever the end-product of this

parasite is. Oo

::She noted that the parasite had actually separated from the cells in one dish,

though it seemed to keep itself alive somehow. It seemed to have entered a stage

of dormancy. She checked a PADD with her notes, and realized that to that one,

she had introduced a small amount of isotopic antibodies type H, programmed to

seek out anything other than a cell containing W'tine's DNA, into the system.

The isotopic antibodies, type H, were not produced naturally in any species, but

were manufactured isotopes that were actually programmable to an extent, and

they had been shown to be useful when combating cellular viruses and parasites.

After being immobilized, the parasites then had to be physically removed via

bio-transport, or some kind of system flush. She had seen the like, though she

had never encountered a parasite that actually changed its host’s physiognomy.

And the traces of Somaru…

oO Perhaps the parasite is somehow connected to the illegal drugs? Oo ::The

thought came sluggishly.::

:: She realized that the herb she had ingested was taking effect. She quickly

disposed of her experiments, replicated enough isotopic antibody H, programmed

to seek out the parasite, to last a month oO I hope Oo and loaded it into two

different hyposprays. oO One for him and one for me, just in case we get

seperated. Oo She gathered everything she thought she might need for the away

team mission hurriedly, packing nutritional packs, medical supplies, and two

sharp throwing knives taken from one of her packs. She would wear them under her

robe, along with some kind of phaser, but she had to stop. She turned,

staggering across the floor, and collapsed on her bed without undressing.::

((Dream: Delta IV: Nevarass Residence))

::Ryald Nevarass stared across the table at her. He was powerful, but he had no

power over her. She sneered at him.::

Ryald: You will not. I will not permit it. You cannot dishonor me by doing so.

oO He’s so real. Oo ::She shook her head, wondering where the stray thought had

come from. Of course he was real. And she hated him for being so.::

Alahndra: How can you control me? I am no longer your daughter. I spit in your

eye, Ryald Nevarass. I will go as I please. I am no longer a child to be guided.

I am grown. I—

::He cut her off:: Ryald: You have always been disobedient. You will do as I

say. I have arranged for you to meet several powerful men. You will choose one

of them for your mate. We cannot lose the blood of an empath.

::Suddenly she remembered the argument. She had told him this a thousand times,

and a thousand times. And suddenly she ran from him. His eyes followed

accusingly. She smelled a fire burning. Fire this time.::

oO No way out but to leave forever…Oo ::she thought.::

::And she stood on a hill, and her families cries went out into the night as

they burned. For a moment she watched her home burn, fire racing towards

her. She ran, but no matter how hard she ran, each family member appeared to

her, burning. Her father first, his flesh afire and eyes full of flame. He would

not speak.

~You are not my daughter.~

::He died hating her, and she stumbled in ashes, staring in horror at his bones.

She watched her mother, so beautiful, burn to death sitting at the dinner table,

waiting for her children to arrive. She did not scream, but her eyes accused

Alahndra, and she would not speak.::

~You are not my daughter.~

::Her brothers and sisters all died begging for her to help. She watched. She

could not close her eyes. She could not run away. And she stood among their

ashes, and she cried. Each had disowned her. She had no family.::

::But then she saw something strange. Water was flowing and washing away the

ashes. Next to her stood a man she recognized, but she couldn’t remember his

name. She was stroking his arm. The feel of the fabric comforted her.::

Unknown Man: You always asked me to wear silk, you know.

::And they were standing on the top of the highest tower. She looked down on the

city and saw that she had parted with it.::

Alahndra: I know you… but who are you?

Unknown Man: Perhaps you will understand someday.

::She realized that she had come to the end. Before her lay open and unexplored

territory. He kissed her on the forehead, and then he faded.::

::She blinked::

::Alahndra was a child, and she woke from sleep screaming. She had been sleeping

too close to her brother and had become caught in his nightmare. She cried in

the dark. No one came to her. She remembered only ashes, and her father’s eyes

burning, fire eating out his eye sockets and consuming him from within.::

::She felt the horror as it began again, and her family drowned as an ocean

covered her home world. She stood above it, and she felt every single person on

her home world die. It was agony in her brain. She stood somehow among the

stars, and she was alone.::

*Clang*

*Clang*

*Clang*

((Deck 4: Crew Quarters: Alahndra’s Room))

::She opened her eyes, hearing the alarm. For a moment, she felt relief. It had

been a dream. She sat up, expecting to see sunlight through her bedroom window,

and realized she was not on Delta IV. Her family was gone. She was on the USS

Independence, a StarFleet Officer, now. Memory washed over her, but she didn’t

cry. She had done this too many times to cry. She had lost them thousands of

times, and though each time it hurt, each time she cherished the fact that she

could remember them, even in this warped way.::

oO This is the only way I can feel it. Otherwise I just remember why I left and

think myself justified and lucky. This way I can feel the loss. It was a loss. I

shouldn’t shrug off the death of all my family members. I have to feel it. Oo

::She stood and tugged off her rumpled uniform. She removed her com badge and

tucked it among the things she would take with her to the surface. Alahndra took

a shower, and the water washed away her grief. Everything seemed sharp. She was

a thousand times more alive than she had been only an hour ago. Grief made her

feel alive. Grief over the dead made her thank the stars that she was alive.::

oO If I would have stayed as he commanded, I would have died with my father.

Funny, though, that part where the ashes were washed away… and that man, who was

he? I remember him, but I’ve never met him? Just a dream. But why wasn’t I

scared the entire time? I was frightened out of my wits the last time I took

Tetalus. This time I was just sad. Oo

::She caught sight of herself in the mirror and stared. She met her own eyes in

the mirror, and a single tear escaped from her left eye. She took the tear on

the tip of her finger and stared at it.::

::Alahndra spoke to the tear.::

Nevarass: Only one this time. Last time I cried off and on for two days. I have

changed that much? Or am I hiding my feelings from myself?

::She shook her head. She did feel very refreshed. Somehow, she had finally

dealt with it. Maybe it was because she *did* have a new family now. The loss of

her old one was not so hard.::

oO Maybe. Oo

::Alahndra replicated nondescript clothing, flowing dark brown with plenty of

pockets. She attached the knives to her arms and flicked her wrist a few times

to test whether the sleeves impeded the motion. The knives flew quickly into her

hands, and she tucked them back up her sleeves. She slung her small pack over

her shoulder and pulled her trusty old Murkind phaser from her bags. She had

acquired it from an old friend, a former classmate on Delta IV, and wouldn't

part with it, even though most considered it outmoded. It was small, and she

kept it for times when she could not use a standard issue Federation phaser. She

tucked it into the holster on her belt. The belt had been a gift from the friend

too. oO Ah, Shintara, I never told you I was leaving, but you knew. Oo

::She also made sure every day to wear something made out of silk, real silk,

not replicated. She dug in her bags for a cream-colored silk handkerchief, which

she tucked into a pocket on the inside of her blouse. It was an obsession, she

admitted. Perhaps that had been why she’d dreamt of it.::

::She attached her com badge to the inside of her blouse.::

Nevarass: Computer, locate Officer W’tine.

Computer: Officer W’tine is in the Ready Room.

::Alahndra decided to try to meet him. He definitely needed to have some

isotopic antibodies, at any rate. At least that would keep the parasite dormant.

She wasn’t sure about how to go about removing the thing without anyone finding

out, but she could figure it out somehow. She decided to go lurk around the

corridors near the Bridge and catch him when he, and most likely the senior

officers, were done discussing things. She knew she needed to be careful,

though. If anyone thought that he was anything but fit as a fiddle, he would be

pulled from the away team.::

::She left her quarters, took the turbolift, and made it almost to the Bridge

when she spotted him. She walked briskly and quickly caught up to him, though

his stride was much longer than hers.::

Nevarass: Lt. W’tine, Sir?

::As she drew near to him, she felt his pain, not so sharp as yesterday, but

still nagging.::

W’tine: Response

Nevarass: ::Quietly:: I discovered something that might be useful last night,

and are you in pain? ::Louder:: I was wondering what the orders are for the away

team.

W’tine: Response

Nevarass: ::Quietly:: The… problem… I may have found a short-term solution.

::Louder:: Yes, Sir.

W’tine: Response

Nevarass: ::Quietly:: Can we go somewhere where I can give you a partial

solution? oO Am I being too vague? Oo ::She reached into her pack and pulled

out the hypospray, motioned to it with her eyes, and then shoved it back into

her pack before anyone but he could see.:: ::Louder:: Very well, Sir.

W’tine: Response

::She looked both ways down the corridor. No one was in sight. She remembered a

storage room somewhere around here. She had found it on her first day, thinking

she was walking onto the Bridge and much abashed when confronted with

non-perishable supplies, extra circuit boards, and other odds and ends.::

Nevarass: ::Quietly:: I think there's a storage room somewhere around here...

But I'm no use with directions. Do you want to administer it to yourself? I have

two hyposprays loaded with something that I think will help... I will give one

to you in case we get seperated on the surface... ::She took one and handed it

to him.::

W'tine: Response

Nevarass: It worked in the trials I ran, so it should work. ::She felt a vague

memory of something she had thought of last night... but it escaped her. oO

[...], I know it was something important. Oo ::She frowned:: oO Oh, yes, the

Somaru. Oo

W'tine: Response

Nevarass: Did you have any strange effects after you were stabbed? I detected

faint traces of Somaru close to the wound. It is a highly psychotropic drug, and

also highly illicit.

W'tine: Response

<TAG>

Ensign Alahndra Nevarass

Medical Officer

USS Independence

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