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SIM:Adyr The Fall of Cory Reese

((First Officer’s Quarters, Inside Cayden’s Mind – Approximately 0530))


::Dinner had been an enjoyable affair and something that she looked forward to doing again. The entire event only reinforced her convictions that she had made the right choice in following Liam to the Apollo, and in doing so, leaving her life behind to stumble into yet and entirely different realm within herself. Not that there had ever been any doubts, but certain concerns had surfaced over the course of her first day; concerns that came with a very specific face – that of Alaryc Adyr.::

::Still, sleep had come easy for her, though some of the credit for that went directly to the man whose arms she had found her way into and the warmth and protection they promised. Once released from the waking world, however, such feelings had dissolved and though her subconscious knew that he still held her, her mind was taken to a whole other place; a place that existed in an entirely different time all together. A voice echoed in her mind as the thoughts of the present day faded and gave way to her dreams.::

Adyr (Alaryc): Cayden Adyr.

::The older man smiled warmly at her as she turned slowly around and took in her surroundings.::

Adyr (Cayden): Alaryc.

::She tried to return the smile, but her eyes were still scanning the bridge she now found herself on. It wasn’t the bridge of the Apollo though, and for a moment, she felt quite lost and anything but in control.::

Adyr (Alaryc): Welcome to the Valor.

::So that’s where she was. The man stood nearby patiently as Cayden continued to look around at the dated consoles and hardware that surrounded her. It wasn’t that the ship was ‘old’ per se, but it had nothing on the holo consoles and the new smell of the Apollo. Of course that was when it hit her that she really shouldn’t be there. She whirled around and faced the grey haired man who was still smiling down on her with a knowing smile.::

Adyr (Alaryc): I thought it might be easier this way.

::She just stared at him now. It seemed the more he spoke, the less sense anything made.::

Adyr (Cayden): What would be easier this way?

::The older man sighed and his warm smile faded slightly.::

Adyr (Alaryc): You aren’t alone. Just remember you aren’t alone.

::Cayden narrowed her eyes slightly, but before she could say much more the deckplates beneath her buckled and nearly sent her sprawling across the room. Her small frame was thrown and her balance lost, but Alaryc was already in place to catch her as if he knew what was coming. Regaining her balance she caught his eyes for a moment before he rushed into action. A chill washed over her; the look he had given her seemed almost loving, much like the look that a father might give his daughter during some kind of major trauma.::

::The thought worried her as she turned to look at the screen at the front of the bridge as Alaryc began barking orders from the center chair. With the activity on the bridge in a flurry, he turned slightly and gestured to the chair next to him.::

Adyr (Alaryc): You should sit. This may get rough.

::His voice as he spoke to her was as if it was an afterthought – overlaid on a recording that had been made long ago. It was like he was split in two, one who was playing out whatever scenario was happening and one who was sitting back and watching it all happen. Without an argument, Cayden made her way down to the same chair she shared with the counselor on the Apollo, only there was no counselor in sight on this ship.::

::His attention turned back to the job at hand, the calm voice fading into the background as the deck jolted beneath them again. Sparks flew and one of the officers who had been sitting at the effected station flew forcibly backwards falling on the deck with a sickening crack. Her instincts kicked in and she started to get up to help, but Alaryc blocked her with his hand.::

Adyr (Alaryc): You cannot change this past, Cayden.

::That frustrated her. There was blood flowing from the ears and mouth of the officer and Cayden knew that they were probably already dead, but not being able to help or to comfort them hit her like a strong kick to her stomach. She felt sick.::

Adyr (Cayden): Then why am I here?!

::Alaryc just shook his head as another barrage of light came streaming towards them from a shadow that danced across the viewscreen. For a third time, the deck shuddered, only this time, she could hear the moan of protesting metal as the hull began to take a real beating. Frustrated, she tapped hard on the console on the arm of the chair pulling up what information she could.::

Officer: Sir! We’ve lost life support on decks 5 through 12 and our shields won’t hold up to another barrage!

::Cayden looked on with horror as another voice joined the fray.:: Reese: Ric, I’m not sure how much longer we can keep this up…

::Before Alaryc could answer, another shower of sparks lit up the bridge and smoke filtered through the dim red lighting. The viewscreen was darkened by the growing amounts of it that was pouring from the damaged consoles.::

Officer: We’ve got radiation flooding on multiple decks. Our weapons are offline!

::Her head snapped to Alaryc with widened eyes as the panic in her chest began to rise. From what she had gathered by reading the information readily available from her, they were in the middle of the Typhon Expanse, but what they were facing was far from anything she had seen before. Scans showed a shadowy ship that seemed to slip in and out of the very fabric of their realm, and though it looked vaguely Borg in nature, it also seemed very… different.::

Adyr (Alaryc): If you have an idea, now’s the time to throw it out there…

::Despite the battle waging, the bridge grew quiet for a moment before the science officer spoke. She was Vulcan, and regardless of the chaos developing around her, her voice was calm and steady.::

T’jara: Sir, I believe I may have found a weakness.

::Alaryc almost smiled.::

Adyr (Alaryc): It’s about time. I don’t know how many times we need to face these guys before we come up with something.

::There was an air of frustration in his voice as he looked to the Vulcan woman who quickly ran through the possibility. It was clear they would need their phasers, however, to make it work. And of course their phasers were one of those things that just weren’t working, at least not in any manner you would have wanted them to. The man at the tactical station stood just then and walked back to the command chairs. Cayden felt a strange attraction to the man – Reese – as if she should hold him there and keep him from doing whatever it was he was going to do.::

::He didn’t seem to notice her, however, or the frown she made when he approached. The cacophony of emotions that were colliding in her mind just then only confused her more. She had no idea where she really was, why she was there, or what the hell was going on, and all of those points really were starting to worry her.::

Reese: Have a team of engineers meet me in the forward phaser bay. We’ve lost control from here, but I might be able to fix it and fire from there.

::Without missing a beat, the Captain waved him off.::

Adyr (Alaryc): Go. I want updates as soon as you have them.

::The other man only nodded before taking off towards the lift and disappearing behind the doors. Cayden felt the dire need to run after him, but the man in the center chair looked over at her with a sad smile and shook his head as if he knew just what was going through her mind.::

::Another whine of the hull echoed through the bridge as another wave of energy weapons fire hit the ship and the shadowy aggressor on the screen tore off and moved out of view momentarily. In the background she could hear the officers on the bridge yelling out, but her mind and her eyes were stuck on the turbolift doors and on the man who had been swallowed by them. Something inside her told her that it would be the last time she would see that face.::

::The young Trill had no idea how long she had faded out; it wasn’t until the speakers crackled to life with his voice that she finally snapped back to the present.:: Reese: =/\= Tell them to turn them back on. =/\=

::Alaryc gestured to the officer who had taken over at tactical, but the officer, after tapping a few keys, turned and looked back at the Captain with a horrific look.::

Officer: I can’t, sir. If I reactivate the phaser banks it’ll flood the compartment with radiation. They’ll die within minutes!

::Suddenly, as the science officer spoke of being ready to put their plan to take advantage of the weakness they had found into motion, things started to come together in her mind. Another shudder rocked the ship and yet another officer yelled out above the din.:: Officer: We’ve lost our shields! She can’t take anymore sir!

::This was it. It was down to the wire. Time seemed to fall into slow motion as the voice who had been listening to it all returned over the crackling speakers.::

Reese: =/\= Ric. I can handle it. Reactivate the phasers. =/\=

::A tear fell from the eyes of the older Alaryc that seemed to be woven into the slightly younger one that was oblivious to both of their presences. He reached out and took her hand, which she squeezed tightly as things began to make sense in her mind.::

Adyr (Alaryc): Do it.

::As soon as he gave the order the man slumped back in the center chair, still holding her hand more tightly than he had before. The older version turned towards her with tearful but accepting eyes. This was the past, after all. It was only a memory and nothing could be done to change it. All that Cayden or the older version of Alaryc could do was sit and watch.::

::The bridge became a flurry again as the plan was set into motion. On the screen, the shadowy ship turned back for another run – the run that would release the Valor from the very universe in which it existed, except for they, whoever they were, never expected retaliation. A single, long pulse of the modified phaser beam shot out into the blackness of space, piercing a hole in the night. Over the speakers, she could hear at first a grunt that soon turned into a moan and then a cry of agony.::

::The sound hit a fever pitch as the screen lit up like daylight back on her homeworld. The shadow had been brought back into the light; a light that had only chased the shadows out of space and right into Alaryc’s heart. For another minute, as the bright lights on the screen faded, the painful sounds echoed throughout the bridge until finally nothing more could be heard. Silence fell around them in a most suffocating manner, broken only by the weak and shaking voice of the man in the center chair.::

Adyr (Alaryc): Shut it all down. And…and begin radiation cleanup.

::A somber cloud seemed to fill the bridge as the officers complied and the Captain stood. Cayden realized what she had been feeling as the man had disappeared behind the turbolift doors and suddenly she found herself unable to fight back her own tears. Around her, the world faded and she soon found herself standing in the middle of the living room of the First Officer’s quarters on the Apollo. An older man, with signs of experience etched on his face, stood before her, tears streaking down his face despite the ever knowing smile he tried to offer her.::

Adyr (Alaryc): I’m sorry.

::Cayden could only shake her head and fall into him as she sobbed almost uncontrollably. It wasn’t just her emotions that she was feeling, it was those of Alaryc as well even though he was standing right in front of her. None of it made sense; she had never experienced anything like this before, but her mind didn’t have time to dissect it all just then. All she could think about was the man named Cory Reese who had saved the Valor… and Adyr.::

::It seemed like forever that she stood there in the older man’s arms crying, but at some point, he too faded into the bad dream. Soon, all that was left was the lingering sound of his voice saying ‘I’m sorry’.::


((First Officer’s Quarters, Bedroom – Approximately 0630))

::The sound of the alarm startled her awake, though she had thought that she already had been. The streaks of tears were still wet on the sides of her face as she sat bolt upright in the bed and made somewhat of an attempt at getting her bearings. Slowly, everything came back to her and her hand instinctively moved to the other side of the bed, but it was already cold. Liam had left for the day, which meant that she was already bordering on late.::

::With the memories still fresh in her mind and the tears still streaming, albeit inconsistently now, Cayden slowly pulled herself up and found her way into the shower. She didn’t remember getting ready, or getting dressed, but it wasn’t long before she stepped out into the living area. Her eyes automatically fell on the center of the room where she distinctly remembered Alaryc standing. Yet, it had all been a dream…at least that was what her mind allowed her to fathom at that given moment.::

::Checking herself in the mirror to ensure that she didn’t look too much like she’d been crying, Cayden took a deep breath and pushed all thoughts of Alaryc from her mind as best she could as she stepped out the door and made her way towards the bridge.::


((Bridge, USS Apollo))

::Stepping slowly out onto the bridge, Cayden found her way down to the command center and practically flopped herself into the far left chair. Taking a quick look around she noted that neither Jaxx nor Liam were around and for a moment she was thankful. Though she wanted nothing more than to take solace in those she loved, there was a careful balance between duty and those relationships that simply could not be disrupted, even when she felt as if the carpet had been pulled out from under her.::

::Still quite sick to her stomach, she glanced up at the viewscreen and saw the stars passing by. Images of the dream flashed through her mind as the deep voice of Alaryc echoed there as well.::

Adyr (Alaryc): You are not alone, Cayden.

::The voice faded into the background as another took its place.::

Frost: You look like you've just seen a ghost.

---
Cayden Adyr
Civilian Contractor/Command Advisor
USS Apollo

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