((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
::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
Rocar: Everything okay, Commander Geeva?
Geeva: I'm dying, aren't I?
::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
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.
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.
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!
Lieutenant Commander Geeva Kalpana
Chief Operations Officer
Starbase 118 Operations
[Last Round 2008] I did it!
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