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Scratching the Surface - Part 2

Posted on Sat May 4th, 2019 @ 11:11am by Lieutenant Narira Atay & Lieutenant Yukime Winters
Edited on on Sat May 4th, 2019 @ 11:12am

Mission: Mission 29: Shore leave, supporting Leadership of SB-214
Location: SB214 and unnamed asteroid
Timeline: April 14 to early 15 2392

[Continued from Part 1]

It seemed a sort time but then there was little to measure the passage of time but hours later Silk looked to Naria to see if the engineer was ready to give the signal that their crater was now ready to be EV suit free.

The betazoid double checked each field emitter to be sure that all was well, and that the power was steady. Then she double checked the atmosphere generator; also green. "We have seal, power and breathable air. Pop your seals when you're ready." Narira pressed the buttons on her helmet which hissed a little as the air inside escaped into the cold bubble they had set up. "Brr. We'll need some heaters to get this place going. But hopefully we won't get smooshed by another rock or friend by solar rays."

"We should be safe enough. The fields will shield most things out except a big rock and the scanners in the shuttle are still active and will give us a plenty heads up if need be. Well tell you what, you get the heaters going, set up some chairs and I will start getting us some grub. Cannot work the mind the mind on an empty stomach." Silk chuckled and headed back into the shuttle to double check the scanners and then start making something up.

While the pilot cooked, the engineer got to work on tuning the environment, setting up the heaters, and making sure the air scrubbers were properly working By the time dinner was ready, it was a reasonable 18 degrees, and the hum from the heater dialled back to a feint purr.

The field overhead was all but invisible and let the hard cold stare of the stars through. It was like being in the calmest and clearest of nights. The meal was simple but should be satisfying enough. Silk knew how to make things but this was not a trip for cuisine but to try to help someone out.

"So, think you are ready to give things a go?" Silk asked sitting back in her chair and looking over at Naria.

"All ready?" Narira was more nervous than surprised. She hadn't ever actively negated her medication without medical supervision, and wasn't sure what would happen. She didn't want to admit it out loud, but she was scared.

"Only if you wish," Silk replied making a little shrug. "Nothing too hard to start with more like, well say a greeting. A sort of 'hello' type of thing."

"Well, I guess, strike whilst iron is hot, etc." She went to her bag and found all the hyposprays she needed. "This is my normal meds, and this," she held up another. "This is a mix of dylamdon and tetrovaline that I've had before. In case things go south."

"Very good," Silk eyed the hypos. She really did not want to get into having to use anything like that. It sort of defeated the purpose but she knew that they had to plan for things.

Narira picked up a third one. "This will cancel out the current dose. I guess it could take anywhere from 5 to ten minutes to kick in. So. I don't know. Think quietly?"

"Go ahead and take the one to cancel your meds. I am going to shield and meditate then. A sort of get centered." Silk went ahead and got into a Lotus position and did just that. she closed her eyes and started to take those deep calming breaths letting her mind and body clear. She then put up her shields, not just the everyday keep the noise out ones, the ones one would use in case of psychic attack. Building layer on layer.

Narira depressed the hypospray, and waited. It was five minutes before she felt the fuzzyness at the edges of awareness that signalled her telepathy was waking up, and groping for other minds to connect with. After eight minutes the fuzziness turned to the prickle that let her know there was another mind nearby, but Silk was very good. She was shielded well, and, Narira hoped, trying not to think of anything. The betazoid put her own filters up, and hoped they would at least help.

After a point which internally Silk counted as the appropriate time plus a bit. She dropped a bit of that shielding and sent out the smallest wave. Gentle as a calm wave just kissing the sand.

*Hello?* It was just that a simple hello.

Narira screamed, fell sideways, collapsing into a ball, arms over her head. "You don't need to shout," she whimpered.

Silk immediately withdrew and clamped shields down. The later was not so much for herself but for Naria. The woman had basically no shields to speak of, nothing to filter out anything. She suspected then that the teachers she had, had concentrated on her restraining herself but not how to filter others. She had been a rebellious sort but that was the one thing that she had taken to. It kept the rest of the world at bay.

"Sorry, as gentle as I could, you have basically no filters." Silk just said that in a matter of fact way. "The good news is that gives me a starting point. We need to work on you getting enough in place to both help keep the voices out but also to filter.

"Tell you what, let's take a small break. I will make up some tea and then we can work on that part. No more shouting I promise."

"Thanks." Narira pushed herself up again, and took a breath, seating herself back on the heated cushion. She cheked ber watch. "I may not be able to promise the same." She sighed. So how does a rebellious pilot get a grip on filtering out the minds around her?"

Silk got up to get tea but she paused long enough to answer. "Well when I was a kid they sent me to Betazoid to learn. There was a bunch I did not learn but the one thing that stuck with me was learning as you have found out, keeping the rest of the world at bay." She got the tea brewing. Silk may have replicated the tea pot but the tea was real and she did not like replicated stuff.

She turned while the pot was heating. "Sorry but no formal tea ceremony for now. I really did not get a hold of things though until two things happened. The first was I took leave on Bajor and the Vedek there opened one of the orbs. It was weird. I found myself back on Bajor and where I was as a child. In fact, I ran into myself as child and told her, well myself, that there was nothing to be frightened of. To learn, to calm down. Then right after that I had to navigate the ship with the Medusan. Somehow between the two experiences it got me to learn control and not be quite so rebellious. I will not say I am a paragon of patience and it seems that trouble still finds me but at least I do not seek it out actively."

Narira could hear the hum of Yukime's thoughts underneath the words. She couldn't make the actual thoughts out, locked away as they were, but they pressed in on her and seh shifted in her seat a bit. "You suggested coming out here to do this." Narira pointed out. "That's likely to be trouble."

"Trouble I can handle, well pretty sure. Worse is you take your meds, and then we pack up and you live with problems the rest of your life. Alright, tea is ready, let us have a little and then we will work on shields. Yours are if I may say so, pretty much crap. Sugar, cream?" she asked as off hand as is it a nice day.

"I haven't really got the experience with human teas. Whatever you think best." Narira said politely. She was trying not to feel bristled by Silk's comments. She had shields. And if she was normal they would be more than usuable. But the pilot didn't seem to believe there was more to it than personal failure.

Silk returned with the cups and blew on hers before taking a sip. "Oolong, hope you like it. Me, I enjoy the earthy taste reminds me to keep firmly planted."

Narira took the tea. Silk's shielded thoughts were louder now. Still not clear enough to pick out, but it wouldn't be long now before the pilot's shields wouldn't be up to the job either. See how she liked that. "Thank you." she said taking the hot mug. She tasted it. It seemed drinkable. Not as...substantial... as plomeek, but then, the only real difference between plomeek tea and plomeek soup was strength and thickness. But it was spicier than plomeek, which generally had to be thick enough to cut with a knife before you tasted anything. "Stronger than what I'm used to. I think Vulcans sometimes bred anything resembling taste out of their tea in case it promoted strong emotions"

Silk chuckled at that. She had not had much dealing with many Vulcans. They never gambled and mostly stayed away from the kind of places she liked to hang around. Perhaps the Romulans were actually the better people. They certainly had built quite a reputation across the galaxy.

"Alight," Silk set hers aside. "You need to work on your shields. Betazoids culture tended to think of them like brick walls. You worked it brick by brick. In your case those will probably need to be neutronium but start with something familiar. Some like to think like an old fashion shield. I have heard from a few Andorians that the Aenar think of them as ice walls. Or your an engineer, you know how the ships shields work. What ever comes easier in terms of mentally making something." Silk looked at Naria seeing what she might pick.

"And The Ullarians typically build their walls from fire, to consume unwanted intrusian." Narira said, a little snippily. She knew how to build a bloody shield. "Most Halanans imagine stone ramparts drawn up from the earth around them. And Vulcans think of mirrors, reflecting unwanted thought away without expending effort. I don't know about Romulans, but after seeing Koon-ut-kal-if-fee done in earnest, I can't imagine whole planets full of unrepressed vulcans are better people."

Silk only shrugged. "Have not run into some of those and I supposed that emotional Vulcans that marched under the banner of the raptor are not the easiest people to get along with. Alright so you know how others build shields, but if the simplest mind touch causes screaming fits then yours pardon the expression are crap. Look," Silk got serious. "You have a great gift and there is a lot of potential there if the little bit I came across is any indication. Better than my own. I would not put it past that if you had the control you could perhaps like the Aenar psycoproject."

"Stop saying that!" Narira took a deep breath, forcing herself to focus on articulating with her actual voice, and hold her telepathy back. "Its not as if I'm not making an effort. But I am trying to hold back a flood with a pool float" she spat through gritted teeth. It felt like her whole conscious was going to explode her skull, pressing at the bones, trying to expand out.

Silk put her tea aside and held up her hands. "Sorry, you are right." She thought a moment and then asked, "How about talking your medication and we settle in for a bit and when it starts wearing off then we can try again. That way I won't come across as shouting and your gift will not be at full potential and hurt so much."

Narira grabbed at her hyposrapy and took the dose with unseemly haste. Her telepathy had barely even started and it was already too much, and there was only one other mind in the best part of an astronical unit. "I don't know. I can hear you thinking already. Not clearly. Its like.. like talking on another side of the door. If we let this run, I'm not going to be able to stay out." She let out a sign of relief as the numbness in her head took hold again.

Silk nodded. It had to be tough, triply tough for Naira to handle that. "Well tell you what, I will get a roll bag and camp out on the other side of the shuttle. That should help as well. If you feel up to it give me a tickle come dream time."

"I think that would be better." MAybe if only half awake she wouldn't have the physical discomfort. Then again, how much control would she have if she ws only half awake?

She pottered around the camp for a little bit, brushing her teeth, visiting the head, packing up non essential items, then headed into the shuttle to settle into her bunk. Even though she had put the whole field together and knew it was solid, she wasn't sure she'd be able to relax exposed to space. Lying down in her bunk, it wasn't long before the stress and fear gave way, and she floated off.

The next thing she knew, she was under an unfamiliar sky. It wasn't Vulcan. This world was lush. But the stars weren't right for Betazed. She was looking at them framed by four sides of covered walkways, that lead into shaded cloisters. She must be in Silk's dream. She had an invitation afterall. Only one thing she could do. She picked a door leading from the quadrangles at random, and started looking.

A fairly youngish man greeted her as she came around a hallway. "Good morning. I am Vedek Soran Andayis, how might I help you?"

A Bajoran. Narira was now utterly sure this wasn't here dream. She'd never been to Bajor. "I'm looking for someone. A human. Yukime Winters. Do you know where she is?" It seemed to make sense. Best to get an invitation. who knew what a medusan trained psychic would have as protections. And it seemed rude just to go wandering around someone's subconscious.

The man, surprisingly young for a Vedek smiled and nodded. "Indeed, she is currently in the orb room. As such we consider that if the orb wishes to talk to one it is a private time, however she has told me of you. You must be Narira Atay. I was informed of your coming here. This way if you please." The indicated a direction with a small bow and an outstretched arm. He fell into step alongside her.

"As I understand this has to do with something with the mind. Yukime came to us with the same problem and unsettled mind. Though we ourselves do not possess the gift that you and she has none the less we believe that mind, body and soul are connected. One must find harmony in all three and perhaps the gods will talk to you or show you the way they did with her."

I'm and engineer. I don't believe in souls. "I didn't think the prophets spoke to non-Bajorans. Captain Sisko aside. And he was two decades ago."
The strange aliens intelligences that lived in the Bajoran wormhole were just as mysterious as the Medusans. Yukime certainly seemed to favour the more outlandish solutions. Then again, Yukime's telepathy probably wasn't as destructive as her own.

"The Prophets decide to speak to whomever they wish to," the Vedek replied. "I am not so sure they spoke as they guided her. Anyway, come this way," he indicated and then continued on for only a sort distance before stopping before an ornate door and opening it. He stuck his head inside and said, "Your visitor has arrived." He then nodded and opened it further indicating for Narira to enter.

Silk was sitting on the floor in that position one would call a lotus position. She looked up and smiled and offered for Narira to take a seat with her. "Come take a seat," she simply said.

The Betazoid sat obediently. "Are you really here, or am I dreaming. or are you just dreaming and I'm talking to a subconscious representation or some other weird stuff? I'm not used to being in people's brains."

"More like the later. You are in that same dream state that we first met. It seems your mind is open enough but also not so overwhelmed at the same time. I am sort of directing the state of this to a certain extent. Just so you know, if at anytime your mind does not feel comfortable then it will break everything. Anyway I choose this setting because it felt good, helped me calm myself. What appears to happen here physically like meditation, work etc. is actually working in your mind. I know sounds a bit complicated. I want you to feel comfortable before anything more happens. We can just talk, meditate whatever feels good to you. However know this, this is your gift operating as it should. Sharing things without being overwhelmed. "

Silk then added, "Well we have a starting point at least we scratched the surface. Unfortunately I got a message late last night that we are being recalled so the end of this experiment for now but at least we know what might work."

Narira felt relieved to cut this short. Silk was confident that this was her operating as she should. And there was truth in that. But this was jsut a whisper of her strength, the least amount freed from its chemical prison. She wasn't sure she wanted to see it unbridled. She knew she could rip this entire dream scape apart with a heart beat if it wasn't smothered, and chained and drugged. "Its different to being awake. I'll give it that." SHe looked around the Monastery. It was dark, but in an earthy homely way. "I guess we'll be back here again. Until then.."

Narira snapped her fingers, and they both woke up.

OFF:

 

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