SIM:Ayiana Sevo & Toran Sevo (Alt) - The Face That Cannot Be
|Crew of the USS Gorkon|
|Lt. Commander Ayiana Sevo|
(( OOC: This takes place a day after the Battle of NGC 201502.))
Part 1 - Shock and Awe
(( Sto’Vo’Kor Lounge ))
:: Toran entered the Sto’Vo’Kor lounge and was immediately taken aback. He hadn’t lived in such openness in years. Evoking it’s Klingon roots, the Sto’Vo’Kor lounge had the same green carpeting that the rest of the ship had. There were numerous paintings, models, and memorabilia of Chancellor Gorkon, the Khitomer Accord era, and Klingon culture. ::
:: He had spent a lot of time either serving with Klingons or on one of their planets, so seeing the decorations hailing to that proud, lost culture was poignant. Toran made his way up to the bar. It was manned by an old, grizzly Klingon; well over one hundred and fifty, by Toran’s estimate. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Give me some bloodwine. Haven’t had it in ages.
:: The bartender poured a mug from a barrel behind the counter and placed it in front of Toran. ::
:: Toran scanned the room. There were lots of crew members and civilians here, but he didn’t recognize any of them; either from the Gorkon or the Triumphant. He was about to find a quiet spot by himself when he noticed a Trill woman with long, flowing red hair pouring over the back of her seat; wearing a blue-collared Starfleet uniform. The only other Trill he knew was Seren; whom he lived with on the Triumphant for years. It was nice to see another fellow Trill. And an attractive one, at that! ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Mind if I join you?
:: The woman’s reaction was not what Toran expected. Upon hearing his voice, she dropped her PADD and drink glass on the table. Her head shot up, as if she suddenly remembered an important thought. The woman slowly turned in her chair, and Toran saw her freckled face. He guessed she was around thirty. Her expression, though, was like she had seen a ghost. Her eyes were the size of planets, accentuated by her shocked, upturned brows. Her mouth was also hanging open in shock. ::
Ayiana Sevo: T-T-Toran?!
Part 2 - The Face That Cannot Be
(( Sto’Vo’Kor Lounge ))
:: The previous day had been crazy, but Ayiana had a good night’s sleep to recover. She was trying to write out a report of her time on the bridge, as well as catching up on her normal CSO duties. The Science department sent their usual assortment of reports to her; and Ayiana needed to read them and write up a summarized report on *them* for the Captain. ::
:: Looking back at her Bridge experience, Ayiana thought she did a decent job under the circumstances, though at the time she was nervous as hell. She was was finding it difficult to word the report properly. This was going straight to the Captain, and probably up to Starfleet Command, if they ever got home. Lots of important people would read about her first time commanding a ship. Ayiana placed her PADD down, and took a sip of her drink, casually surveying the room. ::
:: Evoking it’s Klingon roots, the Sto’Vo’Kor lounge had the same green carpeting that the rest of the ship had. The architecture was standard Federation, however. The place would often be used to host dignitaries and events; and it didn’t need to feel like someone walked onto Qo’Nos itself. There were, however, numerous paintings, models, and memorabilia of Chancellor Gorkon, the Khitomer Accord era, and Klingon culture. ::
:: It was two levels; the bottom level had the bar, manned by a grizzly old Klingon, various booths and tables, and an open area in the center that could be used for dancing, gathering, or other events. The second level was basically a wide mezzanine circling the walls of the lounge. It contained small stools and tables for two to four people. Scattered all around the lounge were numerous games such as tri-d chess, strategema, pool, and cards. ::
:: Ayiana returned to reading a report, and reached to take a sip of her drink when a voice spoke behind her. ::
Toran Sevo (Alt): Mind if I join you?
:: The voice was a deep, resonant bass. That wasn’t the scary part; what was terrifying was that Ayiana recognized the voice instantly; one she hadn’t heard in many years, but at the same time knew it well. She also knew beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that it was impossible for it to exist anymore. ::
:: Having completely forgotten her work, Ayiana dropped her PADD and drink on the table, the former landing with a soft *CLAP*, and her drink glass toppling over, spilling its contents on the table and floor. With her eyes as large as moons, Ayiana slowly turned in her chair to face the source of the voice; her brows upturned and mouth hanging open in shock. The face she saw was simply impossible. IMPOSSIBLE! ::
Ayiana Sevo: T-T-Toran?! oO It-it can’t be! No, not here! Oo
:: This was weird. The woman seemed to instantly recognize her, but was surprised by his sudden appearance. Surely the news of the Triumphant and counterparts of the crews had spread by now. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Um...yes? How-how do you know me?
A. Sevo: … … oO No, no, no. Of all the people in the galaxy, he’s *alive*?! And here?! Oo
T. Sevo (Alt): Uh...young lady, is something wrong?
:: Toran gently placed his hand on Ayiana’s shoulder. She immediately recoiled and shot up out of her chair as if shocked by electricity; the chair screeching loudly along the floor. She took a step back and eyed Toran up-and-down repeatedly. He was the same. Exactly the same! Older, with a few lines on his face...but it was him! ::
A. Sevo: You...you...how can you be *here*?!
T. Sevo (Alt): Well...funny thing. I was on a ship, and it exploded. The Gorkon picked up our escape pods. :: He paused as Ayiana maintained her vacant, shocked expression.. :: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!
:: She regained her composure at his outburst. ::
A. Sevo: Y-yea. I-I know. I was on the bridge the whole time. oO But had no idea he--*I* was on that ship! Oo
:: Ayiana stepped forward and gently touched Toran’s civilian-garbed chest with a finger, just to make sure he was real. She then slowly moved her hand up, placing her palm on Toran’s dark, stubbled cheek, which was a little higher than her head. She fought back tears at seeing her old face, realizing she failed as she felt a drop escape and run down her cheek. Before she knew it, Ayiana embraced Toran in a hug. ::
:: This was beyond strange. The woman acted like she knew Toran; but how? He doubted they were married in her universe. She was young enough to be his daughter! Toran gently pushed away the surprisingly-strong hug she had enveloped him in. He gently grabbed her freckled hand on his cheek with both of his, noticing how small they were compared to his own. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Um...young lady...maybe I should go…this is really awkward.
A. Sevo: Oh, you have no idea. :: Smiling in amusement. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Then please, enlighten me.
A. Sevo: I...well… oO *This* is going to be an interesting conversation. Oo
:: Toran simply raised his eyebrows, waiting for her answer. ::
A. Sevo: You-you’re Toran. Toran Sevo. My name is Ayiana...and I’m you.
Part 3 - What Happened Over There?
(( Sto’Vo’Kor Lounge ))
Toran Sevo (Alt): Bull****.
:: Yep, that was just like Toran. Blunt, and to-the-point. ::
Ayiana Sevo: Its true. I’m Ayiana...Sevo.
:: Toran paused to think. Her being the Sevo host meant only one thing - either he was never the host, or he was dead and she was the next one. Either case didn’t sound good to him. He sat down at the table across from Ayiana, who followed his lead and sat back down. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): I...see. If this is true, then in your reality, was I ever the host?
:: Well, this was going to be awkward. How was Ayiana going to tell this man he was dead? ::
A. Sevo: Um...y-yes. You were implanted with Sevo in 2365.
T. Sevo (Alt): Yes; right after Vereesa, who died in a lab accident.
A. Sevo: :: Ayiana blinked. That wasn’t right. :: Um...no, she died of old age.
T. Sevo (Alt): oO Bingo. Oo You’re right. :: Smiling. :: Just making sure. So then, where do *you* come in?
A. Sevo: 2388, right after...after you died. :: Her face was somber with the news, but it was also strange to be telling essentially herself that ::
:: There it was, the worse of the two possibilities. Toran hoped it wasn’t so, and he was simply living another life over there. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): I...see. :: He downed the rest of his bloodwine in one gulp, then signaling for another. :: How?
:: Ayiana *really* didn’t want to explain this part. Some of her memories of Toran were still missing, but she was clear on the circumstances surrounding his death. ::
A. Sevo: Do you really want to know?
T. Sevo (Alt): The universe has a pretty twisted sense of humor if I’m alive in *this* Gods-awful reality and dead in your paradise. I should at least know why it’s getting its kicks.
A. Sevo: :: Ayiana mentally smiled at Toran’s anthropomorphized reasoning. :: O-okay.
:: The waiter came around with new drinks and quickly cleaned up the spill from Ayiana’s dropped glass. Ayiana took a moment to gather her thoughts. This was not going to be easy. She was essentially remembering her own death. ::
A. Sevo: First, let me explain when our realities diverged.
:: Toran nodded for her to continue, taking a sip of his drink. ::
A. Sevo: Do you remember Operation Return?
T. Sevo (Alt): Yea. It was the Alliance’s attempt to retake Deep Space Nine. Over six-hundred Starfleet ships fought against a force of twelve-hundred Dominion and Cardassian ships. The Defiant was the only ship to break through. They made it to DS Nine, but realized they were outmatched. Captain Sisko decided to do Gods-know-what and flee into the wormhole, where another massive fleet of Dominion ships were waiting for the minefield to be destroyed.
A. Sevo: Yea. He convinced the Prophets to remove the Dominion fleet from the wormhole and prevent them from bringing any more through.
T. Sevo (Alt): :: He blinked and put down his cup. :: What? No, that’s not right! The Defiant was destroyed, and twenty-eight hundred Dominion ships came pouring through the wormhole. That’s when everything went to hell.
A. Sevo: Mhm. That’s the point of divergence.
T. Sevo (Alt): How-how do you know what happened *here*?
A. Sevo: One of our ships, the U.S.S. Invicta, visited this reality last year by accident. They were able to return to our reality and report on what they learned.
:: Toran hadn’t heard about that, but with no Federation and no communication network, it wasn’t like he could get daily news updates. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Okay, so somehow Sisko convinces these wormhole aliens to wipe out the Dominion force. Then what?
A. Sevo: Well, what the *Prophets* did was essentially force the Dominion to rely entirely on their infrastructure in the Alpha Quadrant. The Alliance fleet managed to break the lines and recapture DS Nine. After that, the Dominion retreated to Cardassian space. The war dragged on for another year before we captured the only known Founder in the Alpha Quadrant on Cardassia.
T. Sevo (Alt): Huh. Okay, so that brings me up to speed on the war. But what happened to me?
A. Sevo: :: Ayiana took a nervous sip of her drink. :: Well, after the War, you returned home to Trill. To be honest, you were bored.
T. Sevo (Alt): Bored?
A. Sevo: You’re a soldier. That’s what you were trained for. Starfleet gave a lot of mandatory leave time following the war, especially for the foot troops. For a few months, I--you were happy being home, but it didn’t last.
:: Toran nodded. He would be *very* happy to go home. ::
A. Sevo: You spent several months on leave to get readjusted to peacetime, but the war changed you.
:: Ayiana’s mind started to slip into the past, recounting Toran’s experiences if they were her own; which, through Sevo, they were. ::
A. Sevo: My memories of you are patchy, but I remember being nervous and paranoid a lot. Like a Jem’Hadar was waiting around every corner. I jumped at shadows and noises; or had panic attacks in crowded areas.
:: Toran was both enthralled and shocked. He had completely forgotten his drink, his eyes locked onto Ayiana’s face. He noticed the downward tone in her voice, the slight accent of his native region peeking through the words. ::
A. Sevo: I went through years of counseling and psychotherapy. I had nightmares all the time, losing sleep; and I didn’t want to eat. I was in-and-out of hospitals for malnutrition, panic attacks, and isoboramine imbalance. That...that was what ultimately...did it.
:: Ayiana’s mind went blank, as she thought of the nearing moment of death. She could feel herself shaking, but it was a warm feeling on her hand that brought her back. Wiping away tears, she saw Toran had gently grabbed hold of her’s. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Go on. You were talking about your isoboramine levels?
A. Sevo: :: Her voice returned to normal, she took a sip of her drink before speaking. :: Y-yes. Eventually, I--you got so distraught that your Joined minds couldn’t handle it anymore. Your isoboramine levels dropped to dangerous levels, and…
T. Sevo (Alt): :: He removed his hand from Ayiana’s. :: ...And they removed Sevo. To prevent it from dying.
:: Intellectually, Toran knew that was the right course of action. Every Joined Trill knew that the host might have to be sacrificed to save the symbiont. But when it actually happened, it was a cold, dark thought. ::
A. Sevo: Y-yes. But...but if they hadn’t…
T. Sevo (Alt): If they hadn’t, both of us would have died.
A. Sevo: No...well, yes, but that’s not what I’m trying to say. If Sevo hadn’t been removed and you kept on living, I...I think you might have...taken matters into your own hands.
:: Toran sat back, aghast at what the woman in front of him was implying. Was she saying the alternate Toran was contemplating suicide? ::
T. Sevo (Alt): What-what makes you think that?
A. Sevo: The last years were...dark. You rarely laughed. You drank a lot. Spent most of the time by yourself. There were times you had...certain thoughts.
T. Sevo (Alt): I...see. You said your memory of me was fuzzy. Why?
A. Sevo: Sevo had completely blocked any memory of you. When I was implanted with Sevo, I thought Vereesa was my last host. Sevo even made false memories, thinking she died in 2388. I...I even remember *seeing* her on the operating table across from me.
:: That was difficult to hear. Toran’s entire life had been erased. As if he never existed. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): So how do you remember me now?
A. Sevo: Well, it turns out one of your old counselors is now on this ship - Kael Tam. He recognized the name Sevo, we had a very...distraught talk. After that, my memories of you started to come back.
T. Sevo (Alt): Kael *Tam*? You don’t mean Kael Seren, do you? The Triumphant’s doctor?
A. Sevo: I think so. I haven’t met everyone from there.
:: There was a long pause between the pair. The waiter came and silently refilled their drinks. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Well...um...thank you for sharing that with me. I’m sure it wasn’t easy.
A. Sevo: No...it wasn’t. But, I think it was *needed.* I haven’t talked about your death since...since it happened.
T. Sevo (Alt): I’m sure there’s more we need to discuss, but that can wait. I’m...I’m sorry you had to go through this.
A. Sevo: Well, this is a small ship. I was bound to run across you sooner or later. I’m not sure how I feel having my past, dead self around. In some ways, I think it's worse than the other people who encountered themselves. They still look at the same face. I see a dead one.
T. Sevo (Alt): Plus the memories of that face.
A. Sevo: Yes. :: She paused, finishing off her drink. :: Maybe we can talk again later. :: She smiled. :: You...you have no idea how *good* it feels to see you again. But its also heartbreaking. I...I need time to sort out my mind.
T. Sevo (Alt): I understand.
:: Her mind aflutter, Ayiana took her PADDs, and with one last look at Toran, she headed out the door. ::
:: Toran raised his cup towards the bar, his mind racing at this revelation. ::
T. Sevo (Alt): Mek! Another one!
Toran Sevo (alternate)
Lieutenant Ayiana Sevo
Chief Science Officer