((Dreamscape, Jaxx's Mind))
::Standing in the bright white abyss, Jaxx looked at himself noticing he was wearing a silk Betazoid ceremonial robe. He was confused. There was nothing around him but light. He felt alone, not being able to see anything. He started walking, but quickly realized there was nowhere to go. The longer he walked, the more he was confronted with the same sight. Andrus felt lost, with no clear direction in mind. He became anxious as he realized he had no control over the situation. No matter how hard he tried, there was nothing he could sense. It was as if he were in a void that did not exist. After what seemed like hours, he finally stopped walking and sat on the ground. It had been years since he meditated. It was another part of his culture that was easier to neglect. Closing his eyes, he found it hard to center himself. There was no noise, no distractions...only light. After a few moments, he heard a voice.::
Saraa: ::in an angry tone:: What are you doing?
::Quickly, he opened his eyes. He looked around him in a panicked manner. Still, he could see nothing, feel nothing, sense nothing. He began taking deep breaths to enhance his level of calmness. A loud bang echoed around him. In an instance the light turned to darkness. Quickly jumping to his feet he began looking around once more.::
Saraa: ::in a voice from behind him:: You have forgotten?
::Quickly turning around, he expected to find someone. For the first time he could feel something other than the ground beneath him. A subtle breeze was flowing from what seemed like every direction. The air was warm and moist. Andrus could still sense no one. The vast existence that was now black, continued to house nothing. His emotions began to race. Was it her? How could she be there? Was he dying?::
Saraa: ::whispering:: Not yet...
::Turning around once more, he saw a shadow emerging from the darkness. The woman in front of his was an older reflection of the girl that died in his arms. He could not understand what was happening. He remembered his visit to the Mercury...returning to his quarters, but nothing afterward. He was flooded with questions that seemed more illogical than anything he had ever faced.::
Jaxx: Who are you?
Saraa: Andy, you were never one for stupid questions....::coyly:: why start now?
::There was a slight gasp. He had not been called that in years. Even then, she was the only one that did. It was a sort of pet name that he allowed her to call him. The truth was, he hated his first name. Andrus was his fraternal grandfather's middle name. It was something that his parents thought was important. His brother Leton, was named after their maternal grandfather. His parents thought it was important to honor their memories. Jaxx watched the figure closely as it neared him.::
Jaxx: I find the question to be as valid as any other. ::shrugging:: I know very well who you look like, but since she is dead...you cannot be real. Therefore, you are either a figment of my imagination, or something else.
::The woman smirked slightly and folded her hands in front over her.::
Saraa: Something else will do for now.
::Jaxx felt as if he had no control whatsoever. He prided himself on his ability to command a situation. There was once when he was more docile, but the death of the woman appearing in front of him changed all that.::
Jaxx: Dammit, I want some answers!
Saraa: ::snickering slightly:: Temper, temper. That is not the boy I once knew...he was so ::pausing:: carefree.
Jaxx: ::rolling his eyes:: Things change, you for one should know that.
::Her death hit him hard. He was unable to stop it from happening, and her final breath was taken in his lap. They were betrothed, another great idea his parents had. He grew up with the girl and knew her well. As they matured, their parents thought genetic bonding would be the best course of action. She was the daughter of another house, and developing strong abilities. His mother, Bjenta, thought she was a prime candidate for introduction into their family. Back then, Jaxx did was he was told. He desperately wanted to do what was right for his family.::
Saraa: Life has a funny way of facilitating that change. So...I ask again. What are you doing?
::Jaxx looked at the woman quizzically. He was never one for mind games, and came to the realization that he was not in control. There was nothing he could do to change that fact. He stowed his anger, and shifted to his cocky, sarcastic self.::
Jaxx: Apparently, I am standing here talking to the ghost of wars past. I figured you would have chains or something.
Saraa: Well, that is a complete dramatization.
Jaxx: ::laughing:: And you are not? ::tiling his head:: Tell me...what emotional response are you looking to illicit?
::The woman kept that smirk on her face as she began walking in a circle around him. He could hear her heals hitting the ground. It was the first time he could hear anything outside of her voice. It was growing hotter, and the air was slightly heavier with moisture.::
Saraa: Do not know...what is there?
Jaxx: What is that supposed to mean?
Saraa: Are you daft?
Jaxx: I guess so...so how about you take a moment of your non-existence to explain it to me. ::shrugging:: I am obviously going nowhere, ::lowering his brows:: and I do like a good story.
::Jaxx kept spinning in one place as the woman did laps around him, slowly.::
Saraa: I die, and look at you! You have become a joke.
Jaxx: I have actually been quite successful, thank you very much.
Saraa: ::scoffing:: I forgot, captain sir...::giving a mocking salute:: That is not what I mean. You have never moved on. You have halfheartedly approached everything in your personal life since. So what? I died, Jazra died...it was WAR. What did you expect, uttaberries and sugar blossoms?
::Jaxx thought of the two women. He always felt guilty for falling for Jazra so quickly after the loss of Saraa. He tried over the years to justify what it was they shared. They were young, and he was grieving. Did he really use her to help get his mind off of Saraa? Or was it that she reminded him of Saraa so much? They were both among the strongest women he had never known.::
Saraa: Then Talon gets attacked and almost dies. As soon as that happened...BAM! You shut down emotionally. ::rolling her eyes:: Then there was the Morgan girl...do you have any idea how much she loved you? She knew that you were so unsure and so scared, ::raising her voice:: She was Betazoid! Did you think you could hide that from her? ::maniacally laughing:: Then there was the little Gideon...what was her name? Tressa? Way to screw that one up!
Jaxx: Do not presume to know me! ::yelling:: You have no idea what I have been through!
Saraa: Are you so certain about that? I know everything you are too afraid to admit to yourself! One of the most brilliant psychologists, and you are clueless when it comes to yourself. Your mighty career...does it keep you warm at night? Does it share your joy? Your fear? Your anger? ::leaning in and yelling:: NO! So, I will try again...::in a loud tone:: What...are...you...doing?
::Jaxx looked that the woman. He tried to wrap his head around what was going on. He could sense nothing from her, and felt at a disadvantage. What did she want from him? To talk about his personal life? It was irrelevant next to his career. He watched the woman and her expressions. It was as if she could sense every thought, even though he could not even sense her presence.::
Saraa: Your career is a pathetic replacement for love. You hated StarFleet! ::mocking his words as a teenager:: 'I will worry about Betazed, they can worry about everywhere else.' What happened to that, you sure seemed to join awfully quick.
Jaxx: I finished school, and took a year off.
Saraa: For your own form of retribution! What were you doing on Romulus? You ran right into the arms of the Federation and became their bloodhound!
::His eyes widened. His history between college and the Academy was classified, beyond StarFleet. He had never uttered a word about what he had done. It was not something he cared to remember. Those were different times, and he was still raging over the memories of the war.::
Saraa: Then you join the Academy, become an officer and you have never looked back. Offering up any personal joy as a sacrifice to the mighty pip!
Jaxx: ::raising his voice:: You have no idea what you are talking about!
::In a moment, the woman morphed into the likeness of Sidney. His eyes widened slightly at the unexpected shift. A different flood of emotions began to surface. He recalled the night before, and the sleeping woman he left in his bed that morning. He centered himself and looked at the figure in front of him.::
Saraa(Sidney): And how long until you push me away? A month? Three? What is another broken heart? If you cared at all, you would end it now! We both know you are incapable of being happy. You still cling to all the pain in your past, and you use it as a scapegoat to seclude your feelings.
Jaxx: ::shaking his head:: That is not true. I did all I could!
::Once again, she morphed into the likeness of Jazra.::
Saraa(Jazra): ::rolling her eyes:: Did you? It seems like the bare minimum is all you could muster. How long did it take you to see someone after I died? Six years? Eight?
Jaxx: ::quietly:: Ten.
::The woman morphed into the likeness of Saraa once more. She stopped walking in he circles and stopped. She walked toward him and softly touched his face. The feeling of her skin was cold. He did not pull away, as there was no fear within him.::
Saraa: Why? You keep pushing them all away..what are you doing?
Jaxx: I am not...
::Before he could finish his sentence the woman morphed once again into a copy of Jaxx in his uniform. Taking a step back, he looked at that man in front of him. The only thing he could sense was his own feelings. The man employed the same [...]y grin Jaxx had trademarked over the years.::
Saraa(Jaxx): What am I doing?
::Thinking for a moment, Jaxx looked at himself. He took a second to relieve everything in the past. It was all true. He was using his starship to run away from the very thing he could never escape...himself. Inside, he was still that boy fighting a man's war. The scars had never healed, and as soon as he was reminded of how great life could be...he shut down. For the fist time, he was able to identify the problem. Fixing it was another story altogether. Looking at himself, he finally had an answer...even though it was not much.::
Jaxx: I do not know, but I intend to find out...and fix it.
::The darkness deepened and once again there was nothing. The light, the voices...it was all gone and there was nothing there to replace it. He was unable to continue with his train of thought, but mentally he found himself reaching out...with nothing in sight. The darkness was all he knew, and all he could know.::
Captain Andrus Jaxx
USS Apollo, NCC-71669
Captains Council Magistrate