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Its time to go home, Owen

Posted on Wed Jun 21st, 2023 @ 5:57pm by Commander Owen Nash & Ensign Aenardha Sh'vastarth & Petty Officer 2nd Class Cenvar Alexandrovna

Mission: The Only Thing Left Was Hope
Location: Sick Bay
Timeline: Current

Just as Cailus had shown her, Aenardha was performing rep after rep in the gym. When she was able to have the gym to herself, she would, of course, have the computer set the temperature as low as regulations would allow. Still, she donned only a pair of compression shorts and a sports bra and, still she sweated profusely. Still she fought against a desire to stop as it was just getting a bit too hot. Pressuring herself onward, Aenardha poured all her focus into her muscles. They ached but still obeyed at least. Pores nearly popped with perspiration yet she still pushed herself forth. Through gritting teeth, she seethed out another rep. Putting her mind to it even, Aenardha could have sworn everything felt a tiny bit lighter and a tiny bit easier as though her telepathy somehow levelled up into telekinesis, but she gave that up to the anger welling with her as she grew ever closer to the target number of reps. Weeks of coming to the gym; weeks of building her endurance; weeks of discipline and pain; all leading to achieving this hard-earned goal of…

A thought exploded in her mind. Many thoughts infact. All that focus on her muscles took away from her focus on limiting her telepathic abilities. For a split second there, all her discipline and mental blocks had lowered and she felt every single thought aboard the ship.

Nearly losing control and possibly hurting herself had she not corrected in time, Aenardha brought all her momentum to a crawl and an eventual stop. Her goal was so close but still unachieved as of yet. She rested and breathed deeply. The explosion of thoughts in her mind became but a memory but something about that memory felt odd. The many thoughts that had come to her could only be compared to a large group or people all yelling their thoughts and desires all at once and all monosyllabically. But thoughts came to Aenardha far differently than others would hear sound. Thoughts all had individual and distinct brain patterns. A person had a voice that many could pick out and identify with relative ease. A person also had a brain pattern that Aenardha could pick out and identify with relative ease. And brain patterns had a far greater degree of tags and other markers providing identifying evidence. This one, Aenardha had not been witness to since the battle in the Expanse. This one belonged to…

“Commander Nash!”

Aenardha departed the gym immediately. She did not clean up nor return the environmental settings back to their default state. Something far more urgent suddenly presented itself. She even left behind the clothes she had worn, over her PT outfit, to the gym and set out in a run through the corridors of the Pandora in the direction of Sick Bay. Any other personnel would have simply took her as going for a jog but Aenardha was sprinting where she could, utilizing public vision and public awareness all the while calling out, “Make a hole. Make a hole. Medical emergency!”

She did not have her commbadge with her, otherwise she would have already called for the command team. She only hoped whoever was in Sick Bay, was aware of the commander’s condition and knew what to look for.

With a wave of her hand, Aenardha attempted to mind-force the parting doors to open faster. Without knowing if that actually worked or not, also not caring, Aenardha entered Sick Bay and saw only the Pandora’s newest medical petty officer present, apparently just then springing into action as the biobed that Commander Nash rested atop started sounding off with a wide array of flashing lights and beeping sounds.

Cenvar had been at Nurse's station when alarms sounded. Picking up medical kit, walked in calm manner. "Vitals unsteady. Believe not immediate life threatening. Friend Ensign, attend." Opening medical kit, started sorting contents. "Where is, ah." Pulling out dinosaur print Band-Aid, passed to Aenardha before removing other device. "Cortical Stimulator. Normally used to revive neural activity. Now used to subdue and harmonize." Working quickly, Trill nurse adjusted settings.

“Um,” Aenardha did not know how to regard Cenvar; as ‘nurse’, ‘sir’, ‘ma’am.’ She was enlisted afterall. Aenardha decided to forego the salutations and the titles. “A accidentally caught a thought of his. What seems to be his condition?” Aenardha was able to see all the readings through Cenvar’s eyes but none of is made any sense. “Will he be alright?”

Cenvar did not remove gaze from patient, but addressed Aenardha. "Medical Science advanced. In Sickbay, can perform functions to keep physical body alive. Outside of sickbay, can use artificial organs." Trill nurse shrugged. "Mind is problem. For all Medical wizardry, is imprecise for brain. Different person use different sections of brain. Commmander Nash in coma. Is not physical ailment, but brain related. Require patient feedback." She pointed. "Cortical stimulator can assist. Readings are mind and body reconnecting. Mind attempting to restore functions. Am concerned, not alarmed. Do not mean callous, assume Commander is friend, yes? Is up to Commander to fight. We assist, but not our fight."

Aenardha really did not know if she could have considered him a ‘friend’ or not, but, “He is the commander of this ship.” She did receive a thought from him and, after having a few moments to think about it, could have sworn he was calling out her name in his thoughts. “And…yes. He is a friend.” It was more of a lie than not, but, “a close friend. I believe I can help him.”

Cenvar nodded slowly. "Vital signs jumpy. Concern remain, not alarm." Tilting head towards Aenar, nodded. "May be risky. Am not certain of extent of telepathic abilities. Suggest similar to Vulcan Mind Meld, attempt to... Telepathically communicate. Guide Commander towards... Normalcy? Risk involve losing self inside mind, similar coma state." Trill Nurse shrugged. "Can only attempt to regulate brainwaves. Can medically proceed no further."

Aenardha nodded as Cenvar spoke. “Yes, I am aware of the risks involved.” Though she was sure she would not become lost as well and comatose, she was well aware that she might have a similar fate as with her telepathic connection to Mr. Qaraq. She connected with him in such a way that her feelings for him welled and welled and remain unquenched. He died while they were connected. The benefit of that was that she was no longer fighting her feelings for Mauricio. This might certainly nullify her feelings for the deceased Mr. Qaraq but might also replace that with feelings for Commander Nash. Alternatively, there were equal chances that he might have feelings for or against her.

The risk was great but not acting could certainly end in his death. There was too little time and she feared definitely not enough time to alert the command time and await orders or permission. She could tell, through Cenvar’s vision and her awareness, that Commander Nash was down to seconds and that the chances of him surviving on his own was slim compared to the chances of him dying.

“I can do this,” Aenardha said to Cenvar. “Please monitor both of us and take note of my actions. The captain and Commander Mindo will definitely have questions and will want answers.”

Cenvar shook head, reached into Medical Kit, removed two items. "Bio monitor. Would prefer you sit in biobed, or at least chair with monitor on body. Cannot tell if telepathic and mental abilities will cause body to make uncertain moves. Do not want you to physically injure in attempt." Holding up other item, rotated small, oval object. "Sugar lemon, wrapped in plastic. Must hold in hand. Often find patients in mindscape cannot easily separate mental and physical sensation. Can use as anchor and squeeze to transition body back to normal. If squeeze hard, inform first, can fetch cup of hot tea for lemon." Trill Nurse raised eyebrow, quite serious.

Aenardha took the sugar lemon and held it fast. “This cannot be done with my on a biobed. I have to stand over him. No time to make accommodations. Thank you for your concern but I will not be making any uncertain moves.” That is, if Owen was reticent to the melding of minds. If he was hesitant, then certain unwanted movements could occur.

Aenardha approached the biobed from the head. She could see Nash’s eyes moving wild, sometimes in adverse directions of each other. His thoughts were wild and chaotic. She had decided that a standard telepathic link to his mind was probably not the answer. If time was short, her options were severely limited. If his death was closing in rapidly, then this was no time to swat at a fly with a swatter. She had to go in with a fullproof plan of attack. Aenardha decided to go all out to better ensure success.

But what was success going to look like? His survival or him dying in peace? Either method appeared far better than what he seemed to have been going through. With his thoughts as chaotic as they were, either of the two seemed preferable.

“Forgive me Commander,” and Aenardha bent down over Owen. Her antennae moved about like miniature arms and hands as they felt about, zeroed in on the temples behind his eyes, and pressed themselves down firmly.

After being instructed to never attempt this level of a telepathic link, after being told that this was reserved for Aenar elders only, and after being ordered to not engage in any type of telepathic link without prior permission or ordered to do so, Aenardha went in of her own volition.

She found herself on the bridge of the Pandora. Lights flashed. Sparks flew. Fires flared. Personnel yelled. Alarms sounded. Cracks formed. Beams fell.

A support beam from the ceiling swung down, connecting with Nash; torso and head simultaneously, sending him into the air, weightless across the bridge. His destination…was supposed to have been the computer terminal reserved for the bridge Science officer. This time however, there was a great chasm of darkness. Aenardha saw it first as merely a pinprick but it grew massive and fast as Nash’s unconscious body flew toward it. It growled as though a great beast ready to eat its prey.

The end.

But Aenardha reached out. Though the distance between her and the commander was too great, though she was stationary and he flying through the air like a limp doll discarded by an undesiring child, her hand met his.


Unending darkness. But somehow…air to breath. There was a light without a source providing illumination. Aenardha and Owen were able to see each other and themselves. They stood upon nothing at all though that nothing felt solid enough beneath their feet. Aenardha looked about and turned to look at Owen with her bright peridot eyes. Looking at him, and not looking back at herself through his vision. Here, she could see. They were holding hands and, though she relaxed her grip upon his hand, those hands remained pressed together as though two desperately did not want to let go. They could not let go.

“Owen,” she said to him. “Can you hear me?”

As the Darkness seemed to begin to close around him, a sudden light flashed and before him, Owen could see Aenardha, just as Jack had told him he would. He walked towards her then stopped, wondering if this was another trick of the mind. "Aenardha, is that really you? Are you here? Did you hear my call?"

Owen stood fast, unsure of whether or not to reach out to her and see if she was real. He so wanted her to be real, to be there, to help him, but for the first time in a long time, he was scared. Seeing Aenardha gave him a little hope, but he needed to know more...

“I heard…something,” she said. “A quick thought was all. But I recognized the mental tag as belonging to you. And yes, I am here. Both here,” she pointed up to his head, “and telepathically linked to you in Sick Bay.” She could see his confusion as to her peridot eyes. “I here, I can see. In here, you see me as I envision myself. We are on the bridge of minds; neither mine nor yours. It is as though we are meeting halfway. I cannot lie to you sir,” she continued, “but you are seconds from dying.”

Owen was able to know this just as she was thinking it; that she felt the same sensation before, and only recently, when she was linked to Mr. Qaraq…as he died. Aenardha was still linked to him when he died.

“But here,” she held on to Owen’s hand, “a second can last us for days.” Particles of space dust started flowing around them. The particles appeared to be spiraling galaxies far off, distant stars but somehow close enough to touch. It was as though them two were the size of hypergiant stars, but only singularities as the same time.

“And I do not believe you have to die. At least, not yet.” She turned and stood beside him, their hands holding the other’s and holding fast. “We cannot let go of each other’s hands. We are actually not holding hands. Consider it only a symbol of the telepathic link we are sharing. I came because,” she looked up at him, “sir, I do not think you have to die here. There is much unfinished work for you yet. But it seems there is also unfinished troubles of the mind as well. Something you are at war with yourself over. Make peace with it and perhaps you will wake up in Sick Bay.”

The space dust encircling them grew more dense and chaotic. It started to take on shapes and colors as though Owen’s memories were trying to physically form themselves, but only one would prevail over the rest. Aenardha was only the oarsman now, steering what came next into the calmest storm possible. It was Owen who was taking them to where to memories that may have haunted him or memories long forgotten.

Owen held on to Aenardha's hand tightly and closed his eyes and he delved into his deepest thoughts, to try and understand his own pain and soon the space dust encircling them began to take a familiar shape and Owen recognised who stood before them. He looked at Aenardha and explained.

"The person standing before us is my last partner...lover... someone whom I fell heavily in love with, only for us to go our separate ways," he explained. "Ever since, despite having family on board the Pandora... I've been scared of one thing: Being alone." Owen put his other hand over his and Aenardha's as he explained this to her.

"I don't want to die...and I don't want to die alone... and that's my biggest fear. So many of my friends on board have families, partners and I'm the Executive Officer on board, seeing all this happen and pass me by as I continue through my career. I don't want to be alone and I don't want to die alone."

Looking at Aenardha, Owen couldn't help but feel tears running down his cheeks as he explained his biggest fear to her.

There came a dripping sound echoing throughout the cosmos as well as a certain sensation of humidity.

On the biobed, tears streamed free from Owen’s eyes and streamed down the sides of his face, contacting where Aenardha had her antennae pressed against his temples.

Aenardha literally felt his words as he spoke. The sense of loneliness, feeling that there was nobody who understood, it was almost like a dreadful blanket that one could wrap up in for whatever was the opposite of warmth and comfort. From behind them, came a loud banging as though a giant threw his fists against a door holding itself fast. There came a muffled growling. Aenardha looked in the direction behind them then paid it no further mind.

“I understand your concern. I too know what it feels like to be alone with no one on your side. But we are aboard the Pandora, and you are surrounded by those who would gladly stand by your side.” But she also felt the meaning behind his fear. As awkward as it was to even contemplate trying to fulfill his needs, Aenardha could feel the end result of this telepathic link beginning to take form. Too much of this and she could find herself longing for him. And he could find himself longing for her…or hating her without any reason to explain it.

Aenardha felt the need to hold on for a bit yet. She looked at the figure before them, the figure from Owen’s memory. She forced an image of her own mother before them both. “And this, Owen, is my mother. The last person I ever felt who would turn against me did just that when I needed her help the most.” She kept the memory from materializing before them. She was no doctor but felt a bit better about his chances of survival. His life-force, if that is what it was to be called, felt very illuminative.

“It is when we let go of those who let go of us, let go of those no longer in our lives, that we find we have a free hand to grab at someone else.”

Owen looked at Aenardha's mother and he now understood why there were, at times, a similar or familiar feeling when he was close to her or nearby. Aenardha knew the same pain, except now, Owen didn't feel alone and also didn't feel scared with her stood with him. Grasping hold of her hand tight, Owen turned to Aenardha.

"I'm not letting go of you. I understand now why I felt certain ways previously and I understand that I have to let this pain go, that there is a new path out there and that one day I will be happy with someone," he explained. "I want that person to be you Aenardha, if you'll have me?"

Around them, the darkness seemed to rescind and the light became brighter. Owen looked around them both. "Is this a good thing?" he asked.

On the biobed, Owen’s eyes flickered open for a moment and before he knew it, he was adjusting to a new level of brightness. Looking around him, he saw Aenardha smile at him, before they slumped on the floor. Owen wasn't sure what was going on, but he knew one thing, he was awake and lying on a biobed in sickbay.

"Help! Can anyone Help??" he cried out as Aenardha lay unconscious on the floor beside his bed. He tried to move, but Owen felt pain overcome him as he tried to help them and winced as he lay back own. "Help! Can anyone Help??"


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