You don't belong here, Owen
Posted on Mon Sep 19th, 2022 @ 3:17pm by Commander Owen Nash
The Only Thing Left Was Hope
Location: Sickbay, USS Pandora
*All of this happens inside Owens mind, whilst he is laying comatose on a biobed in Sickbay*
It's all in the mind...
Darkness was all around him. Despite feeling that his eyes were open and looking around, darkness surrounded him and he was scared. This was something new to him, but he had one overriding feeling, repeating over and over in his mind: "Wake up!"
"Hello there," a voice familiar to him spoke out. "You shouldn't be here, Owen... what are you doing here?" the voice asked.
Owen closed his eyes again, trying to think, trying to play back the voice that seemed so familiar to him. He was normally good with faces and voices, being able to put names to them pretty quickly.
"Who are you?" he asked, with annoyance settling in quickly. Owen knew that this wasn't like him, normally he was level-headed, calm and ready to take on new challenges, but this was a whole other new level for him, at least so he thought.
"Owen, you know who I am, we've spoken before. It's been a while I'll admit, but somehow, we've found ourselves in the same place at the same time and as your friend, its fair I only help you as best I can," answered the voice.
Owen tried to move, to see if he could sit up, to see if he could move towards the voice, but the darkness around him seemed to be all-encompassing. "Where am I? how did I get here?" he asked, hoping that a change of tact might offer more answers for him and a clue as to who he was talking to.
"Here? Oh well, that part is easy, I can tell you about that. During the Battle of the ***, you hit your head pretty hard when the Pandora was engaged. You fell to the deck unconscious and the medics carried you to Sickbay," explained the voice, in a rather courteous manner. "You are in Sickbay on the Pandora...well, at least your body is... Your mind is here, trying to heal itself."
"Ok, that makes some sense and no sense," Owen asked. Thinking about the explanation given to him, Owen was starting to form an idea about who was speaking to him. "Which means that where ever my mind is right now, it's ready to leave. This is about the most active I've felt in what seems like an age...and I couldn't even tell you how long that is."
"That's the Owen I know... thinking, working things out and coming up with the right answer, or a unique strategy that will get the required results," said the voice, growing in confidence. "Using unique thinking to find a way out. So then, who am I?"
Owen closed his eyes and thought harder. It wasn't his father or Krys. That much he knew. Then he had an idea.
"It's been a while, Jack, are you here as my guide?" Owen asked. He heard the voice laugh.
"Commander Jack Solomon at your service, Mr Nash. Well done," Jack said. As Owen tried to focus on the image getting brighter around him, he suddenly found himself sitting at the helm of the Pandora, with Jack standing next to him. "The old girl looks in good shape, well according to your mind's eye anyway."
Looking around him as he saw the rest of the bridge appear in its formation, Owen smiled, getting a feeling of being back home again. He looked over at his seat next to the Conn and walked over to take it, feeling that familiar comfort that he had missed.
"Last time we spoke, physically, you were Chief of Operations... so how come you've made yourself comfy there," Jack asked.
"Since then, I was promoted to XO to Captain Temple and it's been that long that we've had a lot of adventures between then and now...wherever or whenever now is. I can see and hear you and myself but I can't see anyone else...so this can't be the real Pandora."
"As I said, this is what your mind's eye is projecting for you. Whatever happened to you is starting to ease up, but for some reason, the same thing that happened to me a few years back has happened to you as well...and the same guiding light in this universe has decided that I'm the best person to be your guide out of here," Jack explained.
"Remember, you don't belong here, Owen. You have many more years of adventures left to enjoy aboard the Pandora and whatever starships you serve on afterwards. You've been here long enough, it's time to leave," Jack explained as he sat in Temple's seat.
"Ok, I'm ready to go, when do I leave?" Owen asked, standing up as if he was ready to be beamed out of wherever he was.
Jack stood up with him and smiled. "If only it were that easy, however, unlike myself, who had to figure this out on the hop and nearly cost me my life, I can point you in the right direction. All you have to do is make the connection and the rest will go from there."
Owen looked around and noticed that the Bridge was fading them, leaving them back in darkness once again, except this time he was standing in the same spot with Jack next to him, now surrounded by what looked like bodies passing by him in a circle, some looking familiar and some not.
"So...how do I connect...whom do I connect with?" he asked, looking confused. Looking around him as each of the bodies kept circling him, some familiar and some not so.
"For me, it was a little easier... I had Deela to connect with. She's my wife, my boss and an extremely strong telepath and empath... I found a way to connect to her and leave the darkness, she connected with me and we helped each other get out. If you have a strong connection to someone like that, that's part of the way out." Jack stood before him.
Owen stood thinking for a moment and his first thoughts brought him back to Janet Glyndar. Owen would happily admit that Janet was his first love and what he didn't realise was that deep down there was still a tiny spark for her. He looked at Jack and wondered for a moment. "Are you going to tell me that my first love will be the one to bring me back? Because Janet and I haven't spoken in years, not since she left Pandora to join the SCIS Department, although..." he wondered.
"Nope, not Janet... but you are along the right lines though, you're heading towards the right path if that helps," Jack explained. "Oh and before you think it might be Krys? That's a wrong answer... Whilst you have a lot of love for her as your half-sister, she's not strong enough to do this as she's not the right connection," Jack explained.
Owen started to pace around, thinking hard about who Jack would be on about. With all that had gone on before the battle, Owen knew that he'd been working hard on rescue missions, undercover operations and making sure that the crew were safe whilst he was on board. Suddenly, he looked up and noticed a bright white light start to appear.
Jack looked up and grimaced. "Damn, I was afraid of this happening," he said. "Owen, you don't have a lot of time left, it looks like whatever is keeping you here has decided that it's not letting go of you. If you don't work this out quickly, Krys, Temple and the others may lose you forever," Jack warned him.
"Oh, no pressure then? But wait... I don't want to die... you said it yourself, it's not my time yet, I shouldn't be here, surely that's my way out of here?" he offered, however as he looked up, Owen saw the light get brighter and start to spread, noticing that the bodies encircling him were reducing in number.
"Nope, doesn't work that way, my friend, you need to make that connection, otherwise this will consume your consciousness, leaving you a dead body on that biobed right now. There has to be someone out there who you thought of a lot, was close to, someone you felt a connection with?" Jack pressed, seeing that the light was glowing brighter and the darkness was receding around them.
Own looked around himself again and closed his eyes, starting to feel that the brightness was hurting him now, causing him pain. As he focused, he tried to think of someone close to him, someone close to him as Deela was to Jack... Wife, partner, friend...
He opened his eyes and looked at Jack: "Aenardha," he said.
Jack looked at Owen and saw the light receding a little now, stopping its progress. "Ok, who are they?" Jack asked him.
"Let's just say, there were some bloody strong feelings about them when I wasn't... here. That's the sort of connection you are aiming for, aren't you?" he asked. Jack smiled.
"Call to them, call their name Owen. That's your ticket out of here," Jack said with confidence. He watched as Owen called out their name over and over, with more urgency. "Aenardha! Aenardha!! I need you, I need your help!! Aenardha!!!" he called.
Jack looked and saw one of the bodies begin to light up, shimmering white light and as the body stepped forward, it reached a hand out to Owen. "They can hear you Owen, who Aenardha is, they can hear you," he said. And that was when Jack smiled...
"Oh, you'll need one more thing... something I didn't have at the time which will help you now..."
Jack stepped forward to Owen and pressed his forefingers against Owens Temples, as a small spark left him and entered Owen. "Here's a quick boost that I never had... now, find your way home!" he said before disappearing.
Owen stepped back but held on to the shimmering body as he looked around. "Jack?? Aenardha?? Don't leave me here!! Aenardha, help me!!" he cried out.
On the biobed in Sickbay, Owens's vitals began to spike and alarms began blaring from the attached console...