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Ensign Brayden Jorey: One Man's Nightmare, Is Another Man's Dr

FltCapt. Sidney Riley

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((Reaper Unreality))

T'Mihn: This place might not even be real, but in our minds.

Jorey: oO This isn't in my mind... must be their mind.Oo ::As the
realization came the environment seemed to flicker in agreement with

Tagren: What makes you say that?

::As the two women discussed the situation, Jorey focused on the idea
of being caught in another's mind. oOMaybe this isn't our nightmare,
but rather we are in a Reaper's dream. There is no way out, we cannot
wake up, because we are merely character's in the Reaper's dream.Oo

Tagren: I noticed my medical kit missing but I wasn't sure... I did
try to use my communicator but got nothing. Not even a...

T'Mihn: ::nodding:: I believe we are in a virtual environment.

::Jorey turned his thoughts inward again and the two women's voices
faded into the background. oO Virtual environment... no that can't be.
How would I be back aboard the Helios at the Battle of Betazed while
the others were still in the twisted hospital replica? If it were
virtual, wouldn't we all be in the same location?Oo

T'Mihn: ::T'Mihn's voice slowly made its way back to holding Jorey's
attention:: Existing in fear is a choice.

Tagren: It feels like they... whoever they.... a Reaper? It feels as
if they are trying their best to force that choice on us.

Jorey: Why? oO Why do they want to dream about us afraid? Does it make
them feel better to see others weak? Maybe they can't experience fear
and need to feel it second hand? Like fear addicts...Oo ::Jorey's
thoughts gave way to the doctor's confusion and fear.

Tagren: Are... are we back on the ship? No, wait...

Jorey: ::Jorey, involuntary, moved slowly toward the doctor:: No
doctor, we are not on the ship. ::Jorey felt the strange sensation of
not being able to control himself. He placed his hand gently on her
arm and looked her in the eye and with all sincerity continued:: We
are in no place... we are nowhere. Alone.

Tagren: I... don't feel very good. Please, give me a moment.

::Jorey watched as the doctor closed her eyes and slumped down against
the wall.:: oO Nowhere? No, not nowhere. Somewhere, but not a place in
our reality. A dream can exist, but that doesn't make it real. The
reaper dreams of us in nightmares.Oo

Jorey: If a man dies, but exists in another man's dreams, is he still
real? Does he still exist?

::Jorey slowly sat down on the cold, hard floor. He crossed his legs,
placed his elbows on his thighs, and held his chin up with the palms
of his hands.:: oO Am I already dead? And the Doctor and T'Mihn too.
But instead of our souls being blessed and joining the gods, we are
somehow trapped in this purgatory to be a reaper's play things while
he dreams?Oo

Jorey: ::Jorey felt the predator within him.:: Doctor, we will not die
and leave you alone...:: Jorey felt oddly compelled and whispered just
loud enough to be heard.:: Maybe we are already dead and trapped here
together. No escape, no relief, and no hope.

::Jorey looked up Tagren and then to T'Mihn before closing his eyes
and cradling his face between his hands. Jorey wondered if he was
losing himself to the despair and hopelessness that had been stalking
him since he first beamed down to Bilire IV.::

Ensign Brayden Jorey
USS Tiger – A
Helm Officer

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